Xyloexplosive Devices


15 Responses to “Xyloexplosive Devices”

  1. Brainspore says:

    When I read “Xyloexplosive Devices” I was picturing one of those dynamite-rigged xylophones that were commonplace in old Warner Bros. cartoons. You know, the kind that would always backfire when the intended victim played off key and the bomber would finally get frustrated and step in to play the song correctly…

  2. Chrs says:

    That’s incredible! At least four times better than dominoes.

  3. efergus3 says:

    Bring me a roll of primacord and we’ll have some REAL fun.

  4. Cory Doctorow says:


  5. t3hmadhatter says:

    Reminds me of the jenga catapults me and my friend used to design at camp. We would have little ground wars with the other campers. Even set off the smoke alarm once, nearly knocked it off the ceiling.

  6. Blinde Schildpad says:

    Dagnabbit, I just came a little. In my pants.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Cool blog, William, and thanks for the compliments, everybody! BTW, I really enjoyed the gig at Leonardo’s Basement.

    Yes, this is a bona fide 2.250 kilostick Reticulated Xyloexplosive Ordinance Assemblage. Or you can just call it a stick bomb. They’re 2,250 tongue depressors (I buys ‘em by the case) colored with watered-down acrylic paint and woven together in an over-and-under basket weave design.

    The tension is caused by the warping of the sticks caused by the weaving. When a single stick is pulled out, it makes the forces unbalanced, and a shock wave goes through causing the tension to suddenly be released, shooting the sticks in the air. The shock wave in this particular design is about 50′ or 15 m per second.

    I did most of the cells in this design in the Double Cross pattern where each cell is two Xs. The cells at the end were in the standard Orthogonal design based around the square-bomb cell. I’ve been experimenting lately with stick-bomb arrays or fields and my current project has a giant monster face made out of colored sticks.

    Anyhoo, keep up the great work on the blog!

  8. neurolux says:

    That was so amazing that I don’t think I can enjoy record domino falls ever again.

  9. oheso says:

    OK, all that energy had to go into the system at some point.

    OK, from the instructibles link I see that the sticks are tensioned. Naruhodo.

  10. BSD says:

    I sometimes make similar, but much smaller scale, chain reactions of self-tensioned paperclips.

  11. Xopher says:

    I do not understand how these are set up…or set off. I can’t quite figure it out.

  12. LeFunk says:

    I was expecting something like macgyverian pine cone landmines or someone with logs tied around his waist.

  13. nixiebunny says:

    I want to know how many hours of effort went into setting up this demonstration. It takes me over half a minute to build just one cell.

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