Let Them Eat Cakes!
Let Them Eat Cakes!
by: Matthew Kleinmann
Winter is now officially upon us, and so far we have seen over a foot of snow and temperatures that have dipped into the single digits at night. I get cold just thinking about it! As much as I like fireworks, putting on a show under these conditions sounds pretty miserable, but does it have to be? I have been thinking and if you have some indoor space and perhaps a friend or two, I have come up with a solution that will let you put on a nice show and not freeze your thumbs off. It also involves building a set piece, but this one is easy and you should be able to pull it off in your garage.
The gist of the idea is to take a piece of plywood and to screw a piece of 2x4 along one side, with the long dimension up and down. This piece of 2x4 has ½ inch holes drilled in it every couple of inches. You can set a cake on the plywood and run zip ties or fencing wire through the holes in the 2x4 and around the base of the cake to hold it securely in place. Often times in summer shows I will strip the foil off the top of a cake to save on the clean up, but given this will be very close proximity, leave all of the foil intact. The cakes can be right next to each other. As usual, this will be electronically fired. You can use the same holes in the 2x4’s and zip ties to hold the receivers down. When you are done fusing, cover any exposed fuse with foil. We don’t want things going off by accident. Now the night of the shoot, you and a friend can lift up the entire piece of plywood and carry it out to your shooting site. Arm the remote and shoot the show from the comfort of your house.
If you don’t like to electronically fire off your show you can still use this set stand and fuse together your cakes. Just go on out when you are ready and light one fuse. Simple as that.
After the show the only thing you really need to be concerned with is picking up your remotes. The plywood and the cardboard can be picked up the next morning.
I think this is far nicer than standing out in the wind, rain and snow, stringing things together. You can do all of that in the comfort of your garage. Your time outside can be measured in minutes instead of hours.
There are all kinds of cakes available, and you should be able to put on a very nice show with nothing but cakes. Go to Mess’s website and take a look at the videos and get a nice selection of them. Don’t forget that you can add in the usual tricks too, like having symmetrical pairs at the same time, mixing high and low etc.
One thing to remember is if your guests are going to be viewing your show from a window in your house as opposed to standing outside, you may want to limit things to smaller cakes so the effects stay within the viewshed of your window.
Have a great New year and I will catch you next time.
Matthew Kleinmann Is a professional, licensed pyrotechnician and a staff writer for Mess’s Fireworks