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Star Rolling


Shizznt

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I've been screen cutting colored stars and now I want to move on to rolling them. Since the formulas I'm using use red gum and parlon as a binder do I use only alcohol to wet them or do I use a combination of water and alcohol. The formulas I'm using are from skylighter's rainbow rubber stars.

 

P.S I will put up a video soon of the shells I shot off using the screen cut stars.

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Water will not bind either red gum or parlon. You have to have dextrin in the mix for that. If you're going to try rolling the stars as-is, I'd suggest using alcohol to use red gum as a binder. Using acetone to activate the parlon as well tends to just make a mess.
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I second the parlon/aceton thing. Just makes it messy and it will be harder to handle it, if I remember correctly. Edited by Sinken
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You could also use phenol formaldehyde or urea formaldehyde urea being water based for phenol I would use alcohol water mix
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Why would you use water in those formulas? There is no dextrib or SGRS in them which are activated by water. They only have parlon and red gum, so one should do what Mumbles posted.
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Yup, add 5% dextrin and start rolling with water. Most colored formulas have red gum and parlon/saran in them, but not as a binder but as fuels and chlorine donors. It just happens to be that you can bind them using the parlon, it was not put there to be a binder.
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Actually the parlon in the rainbow of rubber stars was put there as a binder when screen slicing stars as Ned shows in his article. But for rolling you don't want to use acetone as your solvent because it will just turn the parlon into a stringy, sticky mess. You can try using alcohol and use the red gum as a binder but I'm not sure how easy they will be to roll for a beginner. You might just want to add +5 dextrin and roll with water and a small amount of alcohol to help break surface tension. If you are worried about changing the formula you could do something like subtract 3 from red gum and 2 from parlon, and then add in the 5 of dextrine. I just guessed there and didn't account for oxygen balance. But either way, rolling with dextrine and water will probably be easier to learn with. You could also learn to roll with a BP based charcoal star that is cheap if you mess up.

 

Just a thought.

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While cheap, charcoal streamers are probably one of the hardest compositions to learn to roll with due to it's tendency to spike and form rasberries. It will teach you patience though. If you can roll charcoal streamers, you can pretty much roll anything.

 

There are several different rainbow rubber star systems around produced by Ned, amongst other people. I can't speak universally, but some of them were created by taking standard color formulas and replacing the dextrin for parlon 1:1. It should be easy to go back to the original formula, by reversing this substitution.

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Aren't charcoal stars only hard to roll if they have coarse charcoal? Don't stars with airfloat roll fairly easy? I will admit I have only tried rolling a couple times by hand and don't plan on doing it again until I get a roller built. But I have read a lot about it and was under the assumption raspberries were caused by large particle sizes. That and getting the hang of how much solvent to add (not too much) has an effect.

 

I will also admit the only formulas for "rubber stars" I have seen, have come from Ned. I wasn't aware there were formulas that had dextrin instead of parlon. I don't see how they can be called rubber stars unless they contain a good portion of parlon (rubber). I know there are other systems of stars like veline, but they differ from rubber stars and their high parlon content.

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The parlon / screen sliced stars by G Smith don't have dextrin and thet served as the basis for Neds tutorial on them. There is also an article by Troy Fish about waterproof stars with high mgal and parlon in one of the issues of Pyrotechnica. He used some different solvents to bind the parlon and discusses different advantages. No dextrin there either.
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I just got rolling some independence Red and Green and i wound up with more cores than stars. I'm still investigating that. Edited by dynomike1
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You can take nearly any colored star that has parlon and use the parlon to bind the star. Optionally, I would leave out the dextrin, since there really is no need to have it in there. The formula does not need to be anything special to be bound like this, it just needs parlon in it. Like Mumbles said, the "rubber" stars are merely just tweaked variations of other well know star formulas.

 

Personally I like the idea of parlon binding red stars. You dry your chems (strontium nitrate mostly) and dry your solvent. Then you have a decently moisture free star after it drys. They also don't really soak up moisture afterwards too.

 

It's been noted on several occasions, that binding with parlon will cause the star to burn a bit faster. It can also leave a bit of an ashy tail behind as they burn. To most untrained eyes, it's nothing that will be noticed.

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I probably could have written that a little more clearly. The formulas from which Gary and Ned's rubber stars were originally based upon are typical water bound formulas. In some cases, the only modification was to take the 5 original parts dextrin, and convert it into 5 parts parlon.

 

Something like

 

Strontium Nitrate - 50

Potassium Perchlorate - 10

MgAl - 15

Parlon - 15

Red Gum - 5

Dextrin - 5

 

Would just become:

 

Strontium Nitrate - 50

Potassium Perchlorate - 10

MgAl - 15

Parlon - 20

Red Gum - 5

 

I was just saying, it's just as easy to go backwards.

 

"a bit of an ashy tail" is an understatement much of the time in my experience. Picking out that ugly incandescent tail, especially on video, is often quite trivial.

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I don't know if that was all aimed at me. But I was not advocating using dextrine, actually the opposite. Rubber stars screen sliced or cut work great. The only thing I was saying is that if you want to roll these type stars like the OP wants, it may be easiest to do so with dextrine and water than parlone and acetone and maybe even red gum and alcohol.

 

I guess it came from not quoting mumbles and his statement about rubber stars and dextrine. Seems we all need to quote more to know what everyone is referencing. I'm on my phone and guilty of it.

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I probably could have written that a little more clearly. The formulas from which Gary and Ned's rubber stars were originally based upon are typical water bound formulas. In some cases, the only modification was to take the 5 original parts dextrin, and convert it into 5 parts parlon.

 

Something like

 

Strontium Nitrate - 50

Potassium Perchlorate - 10

MgAl - 15

Parlon - 15

Red Gum - 5

Dextrin - 5

 

Would just become:

 

Strontium Nitrate - 50

Potassium Perchlorate - 10

MgAl - 15

Parlon - 20

Red Gum - 5

 

I was just saying, it's just as easy to go backwards.

 

"a bit of an ashy tail" is an understatement much of the time in my experience. Picking out that ugly incandescent tail, especially on video, is often quite trivial.

okay I'll try that but can I use it with the strontium carbonate formula instead of strontium nitrate? I don't have any strontium nitrate right now.
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Worth a shot I suppose. The one I posted isn't a real formula by the way. Just something approximate I made up off the top of my head. There are dozens, if not hundreds, of red star formulas floating around made with conventional binder. You don't need to be restricted to the rubber star formulas.
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Has anyone got any ideas for the SIMPLEST red and blue stars for a beginner? Would really appreciate some help! I've looked at loads of star compositions from a lot of different sites, and I'm completely stuck!

Thanks

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Veline stars, when you mix blue and red you get purple :)

There are other systems but I found it the simplest and most versatile when starting out.

 

Dan.

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Nothing is going to be any simpler than anything else. Everything takes about the same effort to mix, wet, and process into stars. Some formulas have 1 or 2 extra chems, but that should not make it anymore difficult to use.
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A simple red star could be buell red, its a good red and it isn't hygroscopic.

And the blue could be pihko blue, or conkling blue.

There are a dozen blue formula's that use: KClO4,red gum, parlon, dextrin, CuO, so its easy to switch.

Edited by burningRNX
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  • 2 years later...

I've been screen cutting colored stars and now I want to move on to rolling them. Since the formulas I'm using use red gum and parlon as a binder do I use only alcohol to wet them or do I use a combination of water and alcohol. The formulas I'm using are from skylighter's rainbow rubber stars.

 

P.S I will put up a video soon of the shells I shot off using the screen cut stars.

Definitely use denatured alcohol. I too am rolling those type of stars. If you use acetone, you would need either a wooden or metal bucket to contain the acetone, or else it would melt. Acetone tends to make lots of fumes as well, therefore, it makes the whole process more dangerous and deadly.

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I'm glad you took the time to reply to a 2 year old post. Anyway, alcohol will only activate the red gum in these formulas, not the parlon. Comparatively, red gum is a fairly weak binder, especially when compared to both parlon and more conventional water based binders, like dextrin or SGRS. Acetone will not attack a rolling drum made from either HDPE or LDPE which covers many common drum materials like 5 gallon buckets and many kitchen bowls. Alcohol and acetone have fairly similar flash points, and will make relatively comparable amounts of flammable fumes. Acetone may seem worse since our noses are more sensitive to it. Not that this matters, since an organic fume respirator should probably be used either way. Acetone is not overly toxic, and you'll get it and it'd metabolic products in your body from denatured alcohol anyway. I'd personally be more concerned (though really not at all concerned) about the methanol in denatured alcohol.

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Speaking of dangerous , I think the danger lies more in the gassing off the parlon does when reduced in acetone. I dont remember exactly what dangerous fumes it makes, but remember reading it in the Parlon rubber stars post made by skyligher . ALso If you are working in a outdoor area , the fumes should be min. and not such a issue. Not the best idea to work in a garage or enclosed area with high flash point solvents , and stars comps. One faulty electrical connection or static spark could spell trouble

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Speaking of dangerous , I think the danger lies more in the gassing off the parlon does when reduced in acetone. I dont remember exactly what dangerous fumes it makes, but remember reading it in the Parlon rubber stars post made by skyligher . ALso If you are working in a outdoor area , the fumes should be min. and not such a issue. Not the best idea to work in a garage or enclosed area with high flash point solvents , and stars comps. One faulty electrical connection or static spark could spell trouble

The toxic fume should be CCl4 which is used as solvent in parlon manufacture.
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Ok, that seems to ring a bell. I dont think it is a lot of gas produced( at least in my experience), but in a enclosed work area ,this may prove dangerous .

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