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#1 Gecko123

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Posted 12 May 2016 - 02:11 PM

Hi
In need help with a lift charge for a star mine. I can't make fast burning black power and was wondering if you can use a flash powder composition or any other kind of easy to make lift.
Thanks

#2 AzoMittle

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Posted 12 May 2016 - 02:21 PM

This topic comes up fairly often. The short answer is: no, and especially not flash. Good black powder is the base of good pyro, you need to work out your issues with that even if you jerryrig your lift somehow. Why is your black powder not hot enough? Is it an issue with supplies, weighing, mixing, milling, etc? When you say "fast burning" how would you describe  your current powder? Have you tested it at all?


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#3 Gecko123

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Posted 12 May 2016 - 02:44 PM

I currently use a kno3 and quite broad magnesium powder which does work but creates a big blinding flash and you struggle to see the star.

#4 dagabu

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Posted 12 May 2016 - 02:55 PM

I currently use a kno3 and quite broad magnesium powder which does work but creates a big blinding flash and you struggle to see the star.

If you already have the KNO3, then you should be able to make good BP.  Magnesium powder can be quite hazardous in certain conditions and as you have already noticed, it burns with a lot of light!  


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#5 Gecko123

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Posted 12 May 2016 - 03:32 PM

I can and have made black powder it's just that it isn't good enough to use for a lift

#6 MadMat

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Posted 12 May 2016 - 03:42 PM

As was stated earlier, good BP is the basis of good pyro. You need to be able to make good BP period. Why don't you quickly go through you process of making BP and we can troubleshoot why it isn't "fast burning"


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#7 lloyd

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Posted 12 May 2016 - 04:43 PM

I can and have made black powder it's just that it isn't good enough to use for a lift

Gecko,

No... you have NOT made "black powder".  You have mixed together (presumably) three ingredients in the (presumably) Black Powder proportions.  Then, when it didn't perform as it should have, you gave up, and said, "Well... I made it, and it didn't work; so what else can I use?"

 

That rationale would mean that if you made a star that you didn't like, you'd give up on making stars, and look for some other effects to punish.

 

You need to learn how to make BP.  It's not hard.  It requires some time, some equipment, and some care -- but it's not difficult to do.

 

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#8 Aspirina

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Posted 14 May 2016 - 07:33 AM

From my experience:

it took me a long time to get a quality b.p , in my case my mistakes were: use a charcoal of poor quality and not having a ball mill in conditions. I recommend:
Invest some money on getting a good ball mill with good ceramic balls.
Take a tour of your area and look at the trees that have around you, get branches of trees with light woods, branches soil are the driest, you see carefully the wood is not rotten. The best wood is the fruit trees or  willow, balsa, poplar and pine. I recommend any of these but pine woods no, also works, in my case I not get so powerful b.p as other woods .

Once you have all tips, get to do charcoal and now you just have to experiment  ;)


Edited by Aspirina, 14 May 2016 - 07:35 AM.

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#9 braddsn

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Posted 16 May 2016 - 02:12 AM

Gecko, you can absolutely make good bp, no problem. As a matter of fact, you could even make usable bp with a mortar and pestle if you don't have a ball mill, or the funds for one. Give us an idea real quick of how you have tried to make bp. Did you ball mill the ingredients? Did you use 75% KNO3, 15% Charcoal, and 10% Sulfur? If so, what species of charcoal did you use? And was it cooked properly?  Give us some details and we can help ya.  


Edited by braddsn, 16 May 2016 - 02:13 AM.

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#10 Redrocketman

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Posted 26 June 2016 - 11:56 PM

If in the right proportions / ratios and milled or ground correctly, u will have gun mill ( or meal, whatever u like to call it ), not black powder. The dextrin in the mix must be utilised as a bonding agent, and needs wetting to activate its binding properties. By wetting the right amount, not too much and screening, this acts to " push " the kno3 molecules into the pores of the charcoal, adding to the speed of the powder. After squeezing & screening and again drying, you now have black powder.

#11 WindowLicka

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Posted 30 June 2016 - 07:31 AM

Okay! Then to turn it into a good lift powder you......?

Good description redrocketman...... Can you finish to the OP's original question and thread title?

Once you have good black powder to turn it into good lift powder you.....?

#12 dagabu

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Posted 30 June 2016 - 09:29 AM

Okay! Then to turn it into a good lift powder you......?

Good description redrocketman...... Can you finish to the OP's original question and thread title?

Once you have good black powder to turn it into good lift powder you.....?

 

Try Skylighters article:  http://www.skylighte...lack-powder.asp


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#13 Redrocketman

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Posted 30 June 2016 - 01:34 PM

Not that I am a pyrotechnic pro, I've found that larger mesh size resulting in say, FF grade powder is suitable for lifting sufficiently. I only make BP for chute deployment charges & my other " lathe job ", and have found small grain powder, FFF grade best for chute charge, & FF grade much better in the big boomer.

#14 Redrocketman

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Posted 30 June 2016 - 01:48 PM

Sorry, but just to justify why I believe screen mesh size determines what powder is suitable for lifting: as there is presumably a large amount of powder in the charge the gaps between the larger size grains allows the flame front to propagate though the charge quicker than a denser picked, small gain size, resulting in a more energetic charge.

#15 OldMarine

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Posted 30 June 2016 - 04:16 PM

Sorry, but just to justify why I believe screen mesh size determines what powder is suitable for lifting: as there is presumably a large amount of powder in the charge the gaps between the larger size grains allows the flame front to propagate though the charge quicker than a denser picked, small gain size, resulting in a more energetic charge.

 

Your'e right. Smaller grains pack more densely and only ignite at contact points rather than along the exposed surface area. I've been playing with my camera viewing the same weight of powder in different meshes and it's clear that larger grains ignite more quickly across their entire surface and communicate the flame faster than the smaller.


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#16 alexpyro101

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Posted 30 June 2016 - 07:50 PM

Are you ball milling? 

 

What kind of charcoal are you using? Is it a soft wood? Pine, "Balsa, Red Cedar, Paulownia, Willow, Fruit trees, etc" from user Mikeee, see this thread: http://www.amateurpy...owder-charcoal/

 

Are you using quality kno3 and sulfur? Even if your sulfur and kno3 purity were a little off your bp should be passable. 

 

Are you granulating/corning  to the correct mesh?

 

If all these re correct and investigated you should have no problems with your blackpowder.


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#17 starxplor

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Posted 30 June 2016 - 09:38 PM

 

Try Skylighters article:  http://www.skylighte...lack-powder.asp

 

Is there a reason to use redgum/alcohol vs dextrin/water/alcohol, other than alcohol evaporating slightly faster?



#18 dagabu

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Posted 01 July 2016 - 07:24 AM

Good question, I think it has to do with the solubility of the dextrin in alcohol.  Keep in mind that this is not my method for making hot BP, just Skylighters.  My method is simple: ball mill Willow or Eastern Red Cedar charcoal, KNO3, sulfur and 1-3% dextrin until airfloat. Add hot water, make a ball and push through 1/4" screen onto kraft paper, dry for a couple hours, push through 1/4" screen a second time, dry and classify into separate mesh sizes.  


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#19 schroedinger

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Posted 01 July 2016 - 07:59 AM

Sorry, but just to justify why I believe screen mesh size determines what powder is suitable for lifting: as there is presumably a large amount of powder in the charge the gaps between the larger size grains allows the flame front to propagate though the charge quicker than a denser picked, small gain size, resulting in a more energetic charge.


Use 4-10 mesh for 4" and larger, 10 - 20 for 1.2"-3", 20-40 for smaller then 1.2"

#20 lloyd

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Posted 01 July 2016 - 09:22 AM

In practice, pressed and corned powder ('real' black powder) becomes faster, the smaller the granule size -- down to about 7FA.  Meal-D is actually a bit slower than 4FA.

 

The reason is that, unlike 'screen granulated' powders, the granules are clean and don't 'interlock' to fill up all available space.  So there are actually MORE flame paths with a fine hard-grained (and CLEAN) powder than with larger ones.  Plus, the larger grains themselves take longer to burn up, once ignited.

 

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