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First small canister shell

canister shell

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#1 PhoenixRising

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Posted 08 May 2016 - 09:19 PM

After dabbling with enough things, I finally decided to take the plunge and make a small can.  All homemade, I'll try my best to explain how it was made.  

 

Body is made from 3 turns of 60lb craft paper bound with some Elmer's.  It had an inner diameter of 1.2 inches.  The finished shell had an outer diameter of about 1.3+" and was fired from a 1.5" tube.  The end discs were thick cardboard I had from an old TV box.  

 

Attached File  002.jpg   71.01KB   2 downloads

 

Stars were a combo of White stars and Gold glitter stars of my own recipe.

 

White lightbulb star:  (reminds me very much of old-school lightbulb white)

KNO3  -  60  (Blade milled

S         -  10

Sb2S3 -  10

Al        -  5   (Eckart 5413)

Ti        -  11  (powder, fines, chips 20-100 mesh mixed)  

Dextrin -  4

+1 Boric Acid

Bind with 6 - 8% water

 

Twinkly Gold Glitter:  (I'm not good at naming things)

KNO3  -  50

C         -  10  (airfloat or mixed)

Al        -  10   (30-80 mesh atomized)

Al        -  5    (Eckart 5413)

Sb2S3  -  12

S          -  5

Na22CO2  -  4

Dextrin  -  4

Bind  with 8%  75/25  Water/Ethanol

 

Reason for the mixed Titanium was I got it on sale really cheap.  You can probably just sub granular or atomized, but I think sponge would ruin the effect.  

 

Spolette was filled with home made meal powder.  Burst was homemade granulated BP dusted (heavily) with 60/40 (half of that 60 was nitrate).  (I think that's called Chinese burst?  Please correct if I'm wrong).  Lift was 7.5 grams of homemade BP as the shell weighed in at 78 grams.  Spolette was primed with wet meal dipped in granulated BP.   

 

Attached File  006.jpg   55.88KB   3 downloads

 

Attached File  014.jpg   51.7KB   1 downloads

 

Attached File  015.jpg   54.35KB   2 downloads

 

Attached File  016.jpg   76.06KB   2 downloads

 

And here's a video of her firing.  

 

Attached File  WhiteGold Small Canister.mp4   23.14MB   110 downloads

 

Sorry to cut this short but I gotta go right now.  I'm still excited this thing actually worked, it's been the culmination of a lot of reading and small tests over the last couple years.  Be back to upload some mine shots of these star formulas for y'all.  :)

 


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#2 pyrokid

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Posted 08 May 2016 - 10:34 PM

Congratulations! The first shell is always very exciting!! Now to expand your operation with many hundreds of dollars to develop new effects!!



#3 PhoenixRising

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Posted 09 May 2016 - 07:39 AM

Thanks!  Yes, many hundreds of dollars that will buying a new dishwasher in about a week.... haha.  I'm so hooked on the idea of glitter lately I think alcoa 120 aluminum and coarse magnalium are on deck next.  Got a small pile of fir, pine, and maple for some charcoal testing shortly, just gotta get some scrap wood for fuel.   

I'll get the mine shots up later today and then maybe finish the thread off with a second canister later in the week.   



#4 pyroman2498

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Posted 09 May 2016 - 02:43 PM

looked pretty well :) , better than my first shells xD 

 

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#5 Aspirina

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Posted 09 May 2016 - 06:38 PM

Congratulations! beautiful shell,  very good for how small it is :o 

I'm also starting to make my own shells, so I not have much to say. But if you let me give you some advice: change the type of cardboard for tops, looking for compact carboard like the covers of books, this was recommended by users of this forum, and since then no more casing explode in the mortar or ahead of schedule.

 

Greetings :D 

 

 



Edited by Aspirina, 09 May 2016 - 06:39 PM.

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#6 Wiley

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Posted 09 May 2016 - 10:37 PM

That looked great! I'm really curious though: how in the world were you able to ram powder into that thin little spolette tube? It obviously worked great, but I can't see how it could have been done without a sleeve of some sort. 

 

A really nice size to work with is 1.75" nominal (1.91" mortar ID). The case former is 1.625" diameter. They're still relatively small, but you can get some pretty "big" effects out of them. It's not hard to make a 3 break-and-report that stays in the air for 8 seconds and does at least 6 interesting things in the process. Just takes time, and a bit of practice. On the other hand, you can make single breaks that put the consumer stuff to shame without any difficulty at all. 


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#7 stix

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Posted 10 May 2016 - 05:32 AM

Thanks for your detailed post - That looked very nice - it must be satisfying to achieve a good result. I'm almost at that point myself, but got sidetracked as usual.

 

It's inspired me to finish what I started.

 

Cheers.


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#8 PhoenixRising

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Posted 10 May 2016 - 08:13 AM

Thanks for all the kind words, I really appreciate it.

 

To address everything as best I can:  

I appreciate the advice about upgrading my end-disks.  Will most likely do that when I move up to larger sizes in the future, but for now the cardboard I'm using is surprisingly strong and "should" keep working for smaller shells.  (We shall see)  

 

About the spolette:  I filled it with a small paper funnel and then hand rammed with the butt of a 1/4" drill bit.  I don't go crazy with the pressure, but I will do a series of small taps to pack everything down in increments.  The form used to shape it was just a simple pen body with about 3 or 4 turns of 60lb paper, bound with Elmer's.

 

Attached File  004.jpg   87.9KB   1 downloads

 

Attached File  005.jpg   81.86KB   2 downloads

 

Just got a hold of a new (used) 1.75 tube last night from my buddy's old exterminator kit.  Should be better than the 1.5 tube I was using from an old saran wrap roll.  Hardly worthy of the title "Suuuuper Genius", but I'm moving on up step by step.   :)

 

Just wanted to add that there was another 2 turns of 60lb paper outside of the spiking, so there was a total of 5 turns around the side walls.  Also, I believe 2, maybe 3 of the stars blew blind.  Playing back in slowmo I was able to count everything, but a little bit of the break is hiding behind some other stars.  There was only light BP prime on the outside of the white stars.  And lastly, using granulated BP instead of coated rice hulls used a good bit IMO.  There was around 7 grams of booster (estimated) and probably about 30 grams of stars.  Unsure of BP content, likely between 10 and 15 grams?  I'll try and do a better job of measuring everything better next time.  

 

And for the 2 mine shots of the star comps: 

 

Attached File  WhiteStar 1(2).mp4   20.5MB   14 downloads

 

Attached File  NewGold1(2).mp4   15.28MB   30 downloads

 

I actually used up the last of my granulated BP last night and need to make a little more from some meal.  Will put one more of these together the same way as best I can in a couple of days.  Thanks again everyone.


Edited by PhoenixRising, 10 May 2016 - 06:19 PM.


#9 gregh

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Posted 10 May 2016 - 11:03 PM

Good start! You should check out Winokur 20. It is one of my favorite glitters!



#10 stix

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Posted 12 May 2016 - 07:00 AM

NewGold1(2).mp4 looked good - and with nice 'Bokeh' :)


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#11 Rocketman14

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Posted 12 May 2016 - 10:34 AM



My first shell, let me know what you think would improve it.
No stars (since it's just a test)
75/15/10/3 granulated lift (12grams)
60 grams burst (meal coated hulls)
Hand rolled spollette (not timed well)

#12 dagabu

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Posted 12 May 2016 - 10:41 AM

Honestly, it went up, it had a delay, it burst!  I think that is an all around success, don't you think?

 

Congrats!

 

Improvements?  Buy a mortar made from HDPE and use that.  The paper tube (spiral wound nonetheless) will blow up on you.  Second, use more lift, the spolette would have been just about right for a 300' lift. Third, make some charcoal stars, cut them to make it easy. 

 

Good job!


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#13 PhoenixRising

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Posted 12 May 2016 - 10:49 AM

NewGold1(2).mp4 looked good - and with nice 'Bokeh' :)

 

Thanks, but honestly though I do want to change that formula as soon as I get different aluminum.  It is just a touch slaggy at the end so I'll probably add 5 or 10% meal to it.  The reason for the slag at the end could be due to the fact that I'm pressing these stars and not rolling them (which I believe is the preferred method for glitter?)  Most of the comps that I'll be trying for some time to come will be optimised for hand pressing methods as that's all I have at the moment.  I'm actually more interested in upgrading my metals and oxidizers before I upgrade my tooling.  Maybe a small star pump before the 4th, but that's all in the near future.  

 

Nice first shell Rocketman!  I think you did good other than the spolette timing, like dagabu says, it went up and burst!   You are more than welcome to keep posting here and we can use this thread, or you can start a new thread for troubleshooting if you want, I'm cool either way and will likely take a backseat when more experienced people chime in.   :)   

 

I put together another canister and documented every single step this time with pics, and I'll be testing her tonight. This time the spolette has some titanium and a small amount of Aluminum in it for easier tracking.  This time it's all white stars so that I can actually try to count them better.  Will upload pics and process as best I can if I have success tonight.  I have a lot of pics to sort through.  


Edited by PhoenixRising, 12 May 2016 - 10:54 AM.


#14 Rocketman14

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Posted 12 May 2016 - 11:16 AM

Thanks phoenixrising and dagabu. Did mean to intrude on anyone's post, thanks for being decent about posting here. I'm not sure where to post what yet as I'm a nube and a super nube to this forum. Some places jump all over people for starting threads.

I'll definitely try the things suggested. I think I need some heavier spiking yarn too. ANY spiking preferences?

I thought the same thing about timing g being close to right for 300' and that's what I was hoping to achieve! Oh well, I'll get it next time. BTW I'm using red maple charcoal because that's 90% of what I Harvest off my land for heat. Not sure if it's good enough for shells, but I'm trying to figure that out.
Thanks again!

#15 PhoenixRising

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Posted 12 May 2016 - 11:42 AM

From what I gather, maple would best suited for longer hanging sparks in charcoal effects.  For lift and burst powder if you want something good and cheap stick with Pine, Fir, and Spruce.  I've had excellent results with douglas fir, but the sparks aren't that great.  People will tell you to get "wilow, paulownia, etc.", which are usually harder to source and more expensive.  I haven't made lift with pine but will be doing so in a few days, but I mainly want to try it for brighter sparks.  Hardwoods don't make the fastest charcoal.  

 

It did seem like the lift was a tad slow, but it still works if you have a shorter spolette.  To get to 300' you'll need either hotter BP or more, or both.  Charcoal selection and proper milling will get you there.  

 

The break wasn't too bad at all, considering it was only hardwood BP in a small shell.  If you use that same BP next time, try and add a little booster.  If you don't know what 'booster' is then I recommend you do a little more snooping and research first as it's not my place right now to give out that kind of info.  

 

I think you should make another one, and take pics throughout the process.  Tell us what ratio of BP to rice hulls you used,  was it 7:1 or 4:1.  Also, how did you paste the shell and what binder did you use?  (Glue, wheat paste, wall paper paste).  

 

As of late it's become apparent that attention to every little detail at first really brings a better overall understanding as to what makes something work or fail.  The 2 best pieces of advice I can give based off the video I saw would be to get some hotter charcoal for your BP, and spolette timing, or course.   :)

 

No problem with hijacking the thread, but I would recommend a new one to keep everything nice a neat, as well as easier searching in the future for people looking to reference shell building.   


Edited by PhoenixRising, 12 May 2016 - 11:45 AM.


#16 dagabu

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Posted 12 May 2016 - 12:09 PM

Thanks phoenixrising and dagabu. Did mean to intrude on anyone's post, thanks for being decent about posting here. I'm not sure where to post what yet as I'm a nube and a super nube to this forum. Some places jump all over people for starting threads.

I'll definitely try the things suggested. I think I need some heavier spiking yarn too. ANY spiking preferences?

I thought the same thing about timing g being close to right for 300' and that's what I was hoping to achieve! Oh well, I'll get it next time. BTW I'm using red maple charcoal because that's 90% of what I Harvest off my land for heat. Not sure if it's good enough for shells, but I'm trying to figure that out.
Thanks again!

 

Cotton is usable but hemp is much better and linen/flax is the best. PM me and I will send you enough hemp to spike a few shells so you can see the difference.

 

SYP, or Southern Yellow Pine is the real "sparky" charcoal that is loved so much.  Wilow, paulownia and red cedar are prized for their energy and will push a shell out of the gun faster and fly it higher but can over-pressure the shell, especially if its a lightly built shell.  Its great for burst powder for small shells, it makes a BP only filler possible. 

 

Hardwood charcoal is what all commercial BP is made from and if you are willing to put the work into it, you can make the same or faster BP with hardwood. Ball milled hardwood BP with a binder and riced makes for fine BP for most purposes too, though you may have to add a little more to achieve the speed you want.

 

To make your own fast charcoal, just make a simple gallon can Top Light Up Draft (TLUD) cooker and use pet shavings, make sure the bag says Red Cedar.  A large bag will set you back about $7.00 at a pet supply warehouse.  

 

Good luck and keep up the good work. 


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#17 PhoenixRising

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Posted 12 May 2016 - 07:58 PM

 Thank you very much dag, that's exactly what I wanted to know.   :)  Grabbed a big chunk of yellow pine along my hiking trail yesterday evening.  Broke it down today and it's drying.  Fir will still be my lift, maybe because I just want to say that I use my christmas tree in my fireworks.  I dunno though, if the pine is just as fast with better sparks then I might just go with that, it's easier for me to process.  

 

SOooo, I had another success tonight   :D   I used more spiking (ugly as it was) and pleated the top much better, resulting in a harder break.  Last time I didn't measure the craft paper properly and was forced to use extra glue.  

 

Attached File  WhiteStar 1.4 inch canister.mp4   40.96MB   17 downloads

 

Final weight of this one was 75.2 grams (without lift) and the first one was 78.x grams, so only 3 gram difference.  Only this time I actually recorded everything I did down to the 'T', pretty much.  WIll upload pictures and whatnot as soon I sort through them all and cut it down for easier reading.  

 

Oh yeah, the BP used in this one was granulated a little nicer and contributed to the harder break IMO.  Much deeper boom instead of a pop like last time.  



#18 Rocketman14

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Posted 13 May 2016 - 03:26 AM

Phoenix, I thought your shell looked great! Also, I liked the cardboard spollette holder idea, I had to find something similar to use but I didn't think about making one like yours. After going thru your pics, I realized maybe I should've used a craft paper body. The body I used was from a spiral kraft tube. Great job with the stars too!

Edited by Rocketman14, 13 May 2016 - 06:24 AM.

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#19 PhoenixRising

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Posted 13 May 2016 - 09:17 AM

Thanks, I was really happy with this shell.  It does appear that all the stars lit this time, but 1 or 2 of them may have gotten slightly smashed on the hard break.  That's most likely due to the shape of them being flat and thinner.  I did use a couple of "not so perfect:" stars in it, and can always add another point or two of dextrin to the star formula.  I can also reduce the booster slightly too to get things dialed in the way I want later on.  Pics later today, I'm swamped at the moment.  



#20 Wiley

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Posted 14 May 2016 - 12:05 AM

Looks like you're already killing the average consumer stuff! This is still just a 1.5" shell, right? Think of what you could do with the extra space in a 1.75! All you really need is a former, some disks, and some good spiking twine.

 

To make a former, you just need a 1" dowel and enough posterboard to build it up to 1.625".

 

For twine, if you want hemp, go to the beading section of your local craft store and it should be there in little 380' balls: http://www.hobbylobb...emp-Ball/p/9853. Another option that works very well for these little shells is crochet thread. Two or even three strands of size 3 crochet thread makes for some very strong spiking that lays flatter than the hemp will. Either of them should be well-saturated with wheat paste before spiking a shell. 

 

To make wheat paste, take half a cup of white flour, and mix it into 1.5 cups of water, making sure to destroy any and all lumps. Bring another 1.5 cups of water to a boil, then pour in the mix you just made. Stir often. I've never timed how long I cook my wheat paste, but I have noticed that there comes a point where it starts to rise more than normal, and the viscosity actually decreases a bit. That's when I pull mine. I've stored it in the fridge for weeks, and it hasn't gone bad. You'll need lots of this stuff for pasting string and applying paste wraps.

 

For disks, you need some kind of punch. For a 1.75" shell, you want a 1.5" diameter punch. A good material to make disks out of is "white illustration board" from Staples. It's about 1/16" thick. If you want a punch in that size, just PM me. 


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