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Problems with willow-stars.


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Hello guys! This is my very first topic, so please cut me some slack hehe!

I've been making fireworks for about a year now, so I wouldn't consider myself a "total newbie", but I'm not anywhere near being professional either. Let's just say I got quite a bit of experience :) .. Feel free to check my YouTube-account too. Same name on YT as on APC.

Okay so let's get to the point..


Yesterday I made my very first batch of willow-stars, although it wasn't normal willow-stars, because I added some metal to it. I used this composition:


KClO4 - 30

Lampblack - 30

Charcoal (vineyard airfloat) - 25

KNO3 - 10

Dextrin - 5

Red Gum - 2.5

+10% 200µm MgAl


What I did first was to ballmill the KClO4, Charcoal, KNO3, Dextrin and Red Gum together for 4 hours approximately.

Then I took it out of the ballmill, mixed in the lampblack and granulated the star mix (using 75/25 water and 93% denatured alcohol). After the granules had dryed I gave it an hour in the ballmill to turn it into powder again, in order to really get the oxidizers to soak into the pores of the charcoal.

I then added the MgAl to this powder and wetted it, still using the 75/25 water and alcohol.

It was one of the easiest comps I've ever tried to handroll, because it really turned into this clay-consistency that was very easy to form and was super sturdy!

When I handrolled them I also primed them all in normal BP with dextrin, like I usually do with all my other stars I ever make.

After I had rolled all the composition, I put them in the evening sun for around 2 hours and then I brought them into my room, where they dryed overnight.

When I woke up the first thing I did was to check up on my willows. But what I saw was these cracked stars with yellow/white dots on them.





Okay.. So what did I do wrong? Personally I think, that the composition simply did not have enough dextrin to keep together all these fuels? (MgAl, lampblack and charcoal was basically 50% of the total comp!)

But what did you guys think I did wrong?


- Phillip

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Hi Phillip ,


I had the same problem with Ruby Red Stars.

Check this out.




Yeah it looks like we had the same problems hehe. Although I've made quite a few batches of ruby red and they never failed on me.

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