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Remote Dumping of a Bll Mill (by Ned Gorski)


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Many of us agree that one of the most potentially hazardous fireworking operations we undertake is the dumping of milled black powder dust, and media, from a ballmill barrel.

I've had in mind a method to dump the barrels remotely, for a while, and thought I'd try to put it into action. This is a "proof of concept" project, and I'm sure the method will be adjusted as I use it for a few months. I'll then add some details of those adjustments.

The barrel shown in this project is the one I use in my double-barrel ballmill. I imagine this dumping method could be modified for use with any ballmill jar or barrel.

This video shows the process in action:



Here are some details of the process:

This is some of the hardware used in the project:


I drilled a 1/2" hole in the bottom of a large, plastic garbage can.


The lid and top-section of a 5-gallon bucket were cut and drilled as shown. Then that assembly, and the garbage can were bolted to the deck to hold them in place. That all provides a place for the ballmill separation bucket screen to sit, and stay centered in the garbage can.


The side of the separation bucket was slightly modified to accept a snap-hook.


A rope going through the side of the garbage can attaches to that snap-hook. The rope was left 20 feet long to allow for remote wobbling of the bucket.


The ballmill barrel was drilled in each flange with 1/2" holes, to accept two more of the snap-hooks.


The snap hook attached to the top flange was suspended from a fixed screw-eye in the overhang. The snap hook attached to the bottom flange is attached to a 20-foot rope going through the pulley.


The whole assembly works as shown in the video. As mentioned earlier, I'm sure I'll be doing some tweaking of the apparatus and process as I use it in the coming months, but I already feel more safe with the idea of dumping the barrels this way, and with the remote separation of the material from the media.



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How did you get that much burning fallout on your TT stars? Mine seem to burn right up

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TyroneEzekiel, how corse is your charcoal?
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WMJ the New Year Eve shooting was nice and I hope as the time goes by you will continue to grown in your year long hobby!...........Pat

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