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Essential pyro books


Pyrophoric30

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Hello pyros, can you suggest a book that can help me with my journey to the pyro world. I just finished reading shimizus F.A.S.T book and watched Ned Gorskis FW101. I just started making my own pyrotechnic devices last january this year. I think im a little bit ahead and being impatient. I have successfully created bp rockets, whistle rockets (benzo not redline fuels), gerbs, and ball shells 2 to 3 inch in diameter. Thanks!

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In my Collection I have

"Fireworks Art,Science&Technique" by Dr.Takeo Shimizu.

"Pyrotechnics" by Alexander Hardt.

"Best of AFN 2, Best of AFN 3,4 &5".

"Fireworks principles and practice " by Ronald Lancaster.

"Pyrotechnica".

Kosanke "Selected Pyro publications series 1 to 8".

"Skylighter 100 tutorials".

"Pyrotechnic Chemistry" by kosanke.

"The complete book of Flash" Powder" by Paul Moran Branford.

"Glitter Chemistry" by Oglesby

"History of fireworks" by Brock.

"Encyclopedic dictionary of pyrotechnics".

"Pyrotechnist's treasury" by Thomas Kentish.

And Here is useful link that may help you.

https://www.skylighter.com/collections/books

 

 

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It's unfortunate, but I don't know if there is really a "best" overall book.  There are fabulous books on specific topics or devices, but hardly a great over arching single book in my opinion.  Fireworks Principles and Practice by Ron Lancaster or Pyrotechnics by Hardt probably come the the closest.  If there is any specific topic you have in mind, that would make it easier to make a recommendation.

In lieu of that, the following three make up a great foundation to start.

"Fireworks: Art, Science, and Technique" - Takeo Shimizu

Fireworks Principles and Practice - Ron Lancaster

Pyrotechnics - Alexander Hardt

Shimizu's book is also one of the best resources on Japanese style ball shells.  Pyrotechnica IX and XI make up one of the best resources on Italo-American cylinder shells.  Lancaster's book, as well as some older books, probably cover gerbs, wheels, set pieces, etc. the best.  

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It is my understanding that Ellern and Hardt were collaborating on an updated edition of Ellern's book.  They unfortunately both passed away in the late 80's, and this work was never fully completed.  What is published as Pyrotechnics by Hardt is the result of this, but likely an incomplete accounting of what they set out to do.  Neither are necessarily a how-to manual on making pyrotechnics, but are true treasure troves of information.

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13 hours ago, Mumbles said:

"Fireworks: Art, Science, and Technique" - Takeo Shimizu

Fireworks Principles and Practice - Ron Lancaster

Pyrotechnics - Alexander Hardt

 

I think this is excellent advice. My main interest in reading pyro books is understanding the fundamental chemistry, which these three books, together, cover everything fundamental. On top of this, the pyrotechnica magazines cover even more specific areas of pyrotechnic chemistry including glitters, strobe and crackle. It is unlikely you'd want to know anything beyond these three books, and of the three I think FAST is the best single book. 

If you are after info on step by step how to manufacture fireworks, I do not think any books do this well. But the fireworking courses (101 upward), cover this better than any book could. 

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A comment to Mumbles:

That is true but as you say, Alexander Hardt passed away before his book was finished and although several great pyrotechnists tried to finish it, the completed work is not as good as Ellern’s except that the formulas are more modern. 

The big drawbacks of Hardt’s book is first of all how it is written, Ellern’s was simply a better writer, and secondly the index is hopeless since so many obvious search entries are missing. 

I also have a hard time with the format of all tables and the bad looking chromaticity diagram is a true embarrassment!

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The list above is excellent, a worthy library for any pyro! From those references start small, start simple and develop your own manual dexterity and skills. 

Remember also pyro's several incompatibilities, occasionally its necessary to select formulations that work together, or for example have an odd prime to separate compounds.

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3 hours ago, AustralianPyromaniac said:

I think this is excellent advice. My main interest in reading pyro books is understanding the fundamental chemistry, which these three books, together, cover everything fundamental. On top of this, the pyrotechnica magazines cover even more specific areas of pyrotechnic chemistry including glitters, strobe and crackle. It is unlikely you'd want to know anything beyond these three books, and of the three I think FAST is the best single book. 

If you are after info on step by step how to manufacture fireworks, I do not think any books do this well. But the fireworking courses (101 upward), cover this better than any book could. 

Plus Kosanke's pyrotechnic chemistry is also good choice he has covered fundamental chemistry.

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