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If you could start from scratch, what would you different?


Poindexter

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I am, of course, a n00b.

 

What my wife and I are doing together is looking at land. She loves display fireworks and while I am curious, I do plan to keep all my body parts.

 

What I see is I can do (under current ATF regs, USA, with S. 792 still in comittee) is fit a 16x16 foot process building and a 125# capcity Type I magazine on 4.88 acres with a 90x112 feet corner for an occupied building, assuming the lot shape meets my needs exactly. I would have to build a barricade between the magaszine and the house to fit the footprint.

 

My immediate question is how big should I go? Say I have talent at this and end up getting asked to do a 20 minute show for the city? I am guessing a 125# magazine is suddenly going to seem awful small.

 

Would 1000# of Type 1 magazine capacity be adequate for a 20 minute show, with attendant increase in space requirements around the magazine?

 

Should I just go all out for 10,000 pounds of Type I? I am not looking to quit my day job, I just don't want to build all the infrastructure and outgrow it in two years.

 

Thanks,

Poindexter

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First off, if you're just making fireworks you don't need a Type 1 magazine - those are for high explosives. A Type 4 magazine is acceptable for fireworks .

 

As far as "how big?" I put on one 20 minute show a year at my house, using a mix of 1.4g and homemade display fireworks. Takes about 1100 pounds of fireworks to pull it off. If it were all display shells it would be twice that, easily.

 

Kevin O

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In my dream setup, I'd have a large type 4 magazine, and a small type 1 or type 2 magazine. Certain components that we build would fall under the mass explosion hazard that makes a type 1 or 2 magazine necessary. It would be comforting to have the appropriate storage available if needed. A type 4 has less restrictive distance requirements I believe, so you can have a higher capacity with the same amount of space.

 

If down the road you get asked to do a show, you will likely be using a substantial amount of commercial product. Building that much without a dedicated workforce is going to be seriously challenging. Many wholesalers will allow you to keep product in their magazines, and pick it up when needed, so you might not even need dedicated storage on your own property if this were ever to happen.

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Thanks for the replies folks.

 

If I am reading the current regs correctly I could put a 1000# type 4 magazine and an LE / BP consumer fireworks process building on about 3/4 of an acre. It is accomodating the comps I don't make yet that qualify as "display fireworks" (ie high explosives) that sucks up all the land.

 

I am going to look into building a HE capable process building - 200 feet clear in all directions, so a 16x16 foot tent in the middle of a four acre field, and a good sized type 4 magazine and a respectable type I magazine all on the same property. I am pretty sure I (we) could fit a BP mill as a separate area from the process bldg without havng to go much bigger.

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Display fireworks ARE NOT high explosives. And NOTHING you make are considered display fireworks unless you are granted the appropriate EX numbers.
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I found a "more recent (to me)" version of the orange book when I was looking through the FAQs on the ATF homepage yesterday. This one has a cover letter with date stamp 04-27-2012. Linky: https://www.atf.gov/files/publications/download/p/atf-p-5400-7.pdf , the old one I was working from had a 2007 date on the cover letter.

 

In the 2012 version linked above, page 70 of document, page 76 of .pdf, FAQs #89 and #90, bulk salutes and bulk salute composition must be stored in a Type I or Type II magazine.

 

I am not yet licensed. I have not yet received my first order of turbo pyro components from Skylighter. However, my wife and I have been saving up for acreage for years. I am operating a tiny ball mill making two ounce batches working out my base mix before I attempt to scale up.

 

I have deleted my copy of the 2007 orange book from my PC. I am going to revisit my original question after consulting the various tables of distances in the 2012 version. At first blush the tables of distances in sub part K were very similar between the two versions; as a time saving measure I have deleted the old and will work from the most current information available to me.

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Ok, working from the 2012 cover letter version:

 

555.202(a) flash powders and bulk salutes are high explosives, see also 555.201(e)]

 

555.201(e) as of March 7, 1990 licensees are required to upgrade their magazines to store flash powders and bulk salutes as high explosives, enforcement begins March 7, 1991.

 

555.218 type 1 magazines, The numbers for <125# pound match my notes about 2007. But it reads like finished fireworks that include flash powder and bulk salute _may_ need type I storage. In another place it says finished fireworks are not subject to regulation, just a mess. I upgraded my paper farm to a type one magazine with a 20x30 foot floor rated to 1,000 pounds.

 

555.219 Type IV magazine, <5000#, 10x20 foot floor space.

 

555.221 & 555.222 process area for manufacturing, assembly, packaging, 500# max, max 10# of flash powder, 200' clear land in all directions, barricade encouraged but not required.

 

Just penciling it with algebra but no trig, i think I can fit a 28x28 inch square footprint ball mill with 57 feet clear in all directions, a 16x16 foot process area with 200' clear in all directions, the 10x20 foot Type IV magazine and the 20x30 foot Type one magazine on a lot 861 x 417.5 feet, about 8.25 acres, but no room for an occupied building on that piece. I could put a house against any of the four sides of the 861x 417.5 feet, I need two barricades, minimum, one on each side of the Type I magazine.

 

Changing the footprints of the magazines, 10x20 type I and 20x30 type IV instead won't change the total.

 

NB: If the 16x16' process area is not centered on the 417.5 foot baseline, It is justified to one side by 18 inches to make room for the ball mill in a far corner.

 

Looking at it a third time I may need to move the Type I magazine 5 feet down the page, adding 5 feet to the 861' dimension, to get out of building a barricade between the T1 magazine and the property line at the top of the page.

post-18188-0-37923700-1370412347_thumb.jpg

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It sounds like you are trying to do too much with too little. You are talking about cheating a building 18" to make room for a ball mill. And you are working off what the federal government says goes. Local government could say something else or at least have different building codes. Most places don't allow a building within so many feet of a property line. Also eaves and over hangs can count as the foot print making the actual liveable area noticeably smaller.

 

I would calculate what you need and double it. I would also get a job with a display company for the 4th season and see if it is something you really like. There is a lot of work involved digging in guns, carrying cases of product around, and working in the heat. Plus it is dangerous to an extent. Just about every year someone is killed by display fireworks. Are you planning on having kids running around a yard with explosive magazines on it? Doubt they will have many play dates.

 

Not trying to talk you out of it. But I'm not sure you are looking at the whole picture either.

 

Good luck.

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Actually, the youngest kid (of four) is moving out this fall for college. We are going for the smaller house on a bigger piece of land.

 

Temp work for a display company is a great idea, thank you.

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