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Can I use steel screws, bolts, nails, etc, As milling media?

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#1 PyroDon


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Posted 04 August 2019 - 09:44 PM

Is it okay to utilize different shapes besides steel balls, I don't see why not, Just asking because I've seen a few videos where they worked with steel fasteners, Anyhow if using them is a big no-no that's real bummer, Cheers.

Edited by PyroDon, 04 August 2019 - 10:04 PM.

#2 Arthur



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Posted 05 August 2019 - 12:36 AM

Shape - it's conventional to use spheres, but not essential. A few mills operate with cylinders from cylpebs to rods. Irregular shapes like nuts/bolts/ washers coins etc will also accumulate powder in their crevices and cross contaminate materal batches with the last batch.


Material - It's important to use non sparking media, principally made of lead, brass or bronze. 

#3 davidh



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Posted 05 August 2019 - 07:43 AM

I like how when there is a milling discussion, everyone assumes black powder milling...


I know someone who has successfully milled more black powder with hexagonal brass stock than most of us will ever mill. I have heard of people milling with nuts. I say you can always try it and see if it works. Different shapes have different efficiencies.

IF you are milling BP, use a non-sparking media.

#4 justvisiting



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Posted 11 August 2019 - 03:20 PM

I wouldn't use anything with crevices if you want powder that is milled to a reasonably uniform particle size. My Rebel 17 mill jar has a flared opening, and powder packs in there. When I open it, the caked (partially milled) powder falls into the jar. Then I have charcoal particles in the batch that glow all the way to the ground. Or perc or whistle fuels that make whistle with specks in it. I can only imagine that having many more hiding spaces to avoid milling action would result in a worse case of the same problem. Good milling makes good pyro powders. I wouldn't skimp on media, myself.

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#5 Ubehage



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Posted 13 August 2019 - 08:27 AM

The most important thing to take into consideration is: Can the media create sparks when they hit each other?
Don't try to judge how likely it is to happen - only ask if it CAN happen!

Once you're over that hurdle, then the next thing is to avoid media with crevices or holes or similar where the powder can clump inside and avoid being milled.

Round balls is the usual media used, for obvious reasons.

But anything will do, really.

Blowing shit up is not a goal in itself. Seeing your device working the way you intended, is the greatest satisfaction of all.

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