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King's glitter, As i call it

Actually Win. # 20 but with i

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#41 spitfire

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Posted 03 January 2015 - 11:18 AM

Surprises me some of you guys had a reaction that gave a foul smell. I never experienced that with glitter formulae... I shot some 3'' and 4'' shells with this glitter this NYE, it amazed the audience! 


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#42 stix

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Posted 07 January 2015 - 06:30 AM

My MgAl arrived a couple of days ago and I'm just starting to prepare a small 25gm batch.

 

I'm not sure what Mesh it is - it didn't say on the website, although the image looked more granular than what I got. It does however resemble portland cement or wheat flour and is very dusty. I'm assuming this will be ok.

 

A couple of questions.

 

My components have previously been either ball-milled, or are already a fine powder, except for the charcoal which is mostly airfloat but has a few small lumps in it. The charcoal is paulownia so it's very soft and can be easily crushed by hand. Is it worth ball-milling all the ingredients together (except for the MgAl) - or just sieve/screen it all together including the MgAl?

 

OR when it says "Sieve the ingredients and ''diaper' them to a homogeneous mass" does that mean sieve the ingredients separately to remove any lumps then diaper? - Now as I write this I'm thinking this is the case.

 

At this point I've weighed and mixed all the other ingredients (ex MgAl) in a small plastic container - Do I now add the MgAl, and diaper to a homogeneous mix?... I find this part of the instructions a bit unclear and ambiguous, but perhaps that's just to do with my inexperience in this area - I've only ever made bp and r-candy.

 

I did try to read the posted reference to "GLITTER chemistry & techniques  by Lloyd Scott Oglesby" but that was a bit much to take in.

 

Sorry about my confused ignorance, but this is my first composition with metals and I'm getting a bit paranoid. I'll wait for further info before proceeding. Perhaps I'm being too cautious?

 

Cheers.


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#43 Maserface

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Posted 07 January 2015 - 10:46 AM

Why not instead, pick up the ACTUAL literature that this composition is from?  ill help you out, its Pyrotechnica ii, and its worth every penny.

 

In my opinion you are being just a tad paranoid.  12 parts mgal isnt going to suddenly make this mixture into a deadly and sensitive explosive.  Add the mgal and blend by hand-   If it were me, I would have already started adding moisture to the mix to keep the dust down

 


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#44 Bobosan

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Posted 07 January 2015 - 07:08 PM

Since you are feeling a bit paranoid, coffee/ball mill the individual components (except mgal) to pass through at least 40 mesh. Consolidate all ingredients except the mgal through a 40 mesh screen at least 3 times or until completely homogenous.  Finally, diaper in the mgal until a homogenous mix is obtained.


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#45 stix

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Posted 08 January 2015 - 12:48 AM

Why not instead, pick up the ACTUAL literature that this composition is from?  ill help you out, its Pyrotechnica ii, and its worth every penny.

 

In my opinion you are being just a tad paranoid.  12 parts mgal isnt going to suddenly make this mixture into a deadly and sensitive explosive.  Add the mgal and blend by hand-   If it were me, I would have already started adding moisture to the mix to keep the dust down

 

 

Perhaps overly cautious might have been a better choice of words than paranoid.

Thanks for the info on the book - I'll have a look for it.

 

 

Since you are feeling a bit paranoid, coffee/ball mill the individual components (except mgal) to pass through at least 40 mesh. Consolidate all ingredients except the mgal through a 40 mesh screen at least 3 times or until completely homogenous.  Finally, diaper in the mgal until a homogenous mix is obtained.

 

Thanks Bobosan, that's exactly what I'll do.

 

Cheers.


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#46 stix

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Posted 08 January 2015 - 03:35 AM

Ok, it's all mixed and done.

 

Unfortunately I think I added a bit too much water though. It didn't look like it was going to hold together enough (too crumbly) for cutting stars, so two spritzes later... I now have a ball that resembles dough.

 

Given the op's original info: "It is critical when you make stars out of this, to use a minimum amount of water. Too much water somewhat kills the effect." Does that mean It's not worth going any further and I should just flush it.?

 

Anyway, I'm going to leave it for approx. 1hr for the dextrin to activate properly. My method for cutting will be to roll it out between two sheets of baking paper to about 1/4 inch thick then cut into 1/4 inch cubes with a plastic card.

 

btw. I experienced the same foul stench that others have mentioned. This was more evident just after a 'spritz' and only lasted for about 30 secs.

 

Cheers.


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#47 mabuse00

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Posted 08 January 2015 - 05:52 AM

A little foul smell is OK.

 

 

It's not worth going any further and I should just flush it.?

No!

 

If you accidently use to much water, just rice your mix through a coarse sieve or kitchen coolander as you would BP to rice it, and spread it out somewhere. That way it cannot heat up easily and looses moisture quite fast.

 

Just don't try to heat it.

 

 

Next time use a scale to measure the amount of water and take notes. So that after gaining some experience you don't have to experiment every time but just execute a well tried method.


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#48 GalFisk

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Posted 08 January 2015 - 06:28 AM

When cutting W20, I've had to add about 20 weight% water/alcohol (75/25) in order to get it into a workable state. Maybe I'm just impatient though. Still, it works just fine after this. I also don't mill the ingredients; the KNO3 and NaHCO3 are as fine salt, everything else is fine dust.

 

The moistened mass behaves rather like corn or potato starch in water, becoming hard and crumbly when pressed/formed, but soggy when left alone. I think it's the charcoal that does this.



#49 stix

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Posted 08 January 2015 - 07:51 AM

A little foul smell is OK.

 

No!

 

If you accidently use to much water, just rice your mix through a coarse sieve or kitchen coolander as you would BP to rice it, and spread it out somewhere. That way it cannot heat up easily and looses moisture quite fast.

 

Just don't try to heat it.

 

 

Next time use a scale to measure the amount of water and take notes. So that after gaining some experience you don't have to experiment every time but just execute a well tried method.

 

Thanks mab, I've pretty much done that and cut them - about 100 x 1/4 inch stars have been born. :)

 

No, I won't be heating them - I do understand the difference between force drying and natural evaporation. They are now sitting on a mesh screen with a fan blowing over them.

 

Over the last hour or so I have smelled a big sulfur stink coming off them, which I assume is part of the drying process.

 

When cutting W20, I've had to add about 20 weight% water/alcohol (75/25) in order to get it into a workable state. Maybe I'm just impatient though. Still, it works just fine after this. I also don't mill the ingredients; the KNO3 and NaHCO3 are as fine salt, everything else is fine dust.

 

The moistened mass behaves rather like corn or potato starch in water, becoming hard and crumbly when pressed/formed, but soggy when left alone. I think it's the charcoal that does this.

 

Thanks Galfisk, good to know that others have been there. Yep, it seems weird, and I have experienced the potato starch crumbly but wet phenomenon.

 

Thanks muchly.


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#50 spitfire

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Posted 08 January 2015 - 10:03 AM

you're on the right track stix, you will figure it out! We all started this way. With a little help from our friends here you learn fast. After a few batches of star making you''ll get a ''feeling'' for this. About (over)wetting the composition: what mabuse said is the way to go. For making cut stars a little over-wet isn't such a big deal. When you press stars in a plate, it would. Next time use less water and let the wetted mixture sit for awhile to let it fully do it's job. Like: wet a little, mix with your hand gently, leave alone for a few mins, check, and mix in some more when not wet enough. Use small portions, i use a plant sprayer bottle for this. Any questions welcome!

 

EDIT: oh the book about glitter is indeed a bit a plunge in the deep, yes. It is not of much use when you want to learn to make your first stars, bu very interesting to understand what chemistry happens inside the burning glitter star and what the role of every chemical is. Save it for later!


Edited by spitfire, 08 January 2015 - 10:07 AM.

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#51 Maserface

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Posted 08 January 2015 - 10:53 AM

I would be cautious about running a fan over your stars, fan motors have been known to short and spark-  Please be careful.

 

As for overwetting, it happens-  next time put the whole bowl onto the scale, and keep close track of the amount you add.  You also seem to be working in extremely small batches, that makes it easier to goof on the moisture.  You could also keep a portion of dry comp aside, that way you have at least one do-over if you get things too wet (it happens)

 

Good luck 



#52 stix

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Posted 08 January 2015 - 04:44 PM

I would be cautious about running a fan over your stars, fan motors have been known to short and spark-  Please be careful.

 

As for overwetting, it happens-  next time put the whole bowl onto the scale, and keep close track of the amount you add.  You also seem to be working in extremely small batches, that makes it easier to goof on the moisture.  You could also keep a portion of dry comp aside, that way you have at least one do-over if you get things too wet (it happens)

 

Good luck 

 

It's ok, I'm not THAT dumb :whistle: it's a pedistal fan about 1 meter or so away blowing air from the side, not above.

Don't get me wrong - I'm happy for anyone to always point out potential hazzards.

 

Yeah, small batches does make it difficult when wetting - I was very suprised how quickly it turned.

It's all part of the learning process.

 

Thanks guys,

Cheers.


Edited by stix, 08 January 2015 - 05:16 PM.

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#53 stix

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Posted 13 January 2015 - 07:14 AM

Thought I should report back with my intermediate results.

 

It's all looking very promising. After about 4 days drying (1/4 inch stars) I've done a few tests and big golden crackling spritzels :D

 

However, I do have some concerns.

 

After a couple of days the stars were still easy to break but worked. After a day more they became much harder to break, now after another day they have become soft again :angry: wtf? - I somehow imagined they would just keep getting dryer and harder?

 

I wasn't aware of any hygroscopic issues, but it seems to be the case?. Should I now dry them with heat and/or store them in a container with desiccant?

 

btw. They still work well, but I'd prefer them not be crumbly or degrade in performance.

 

Cheers.


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#54 Eric70

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Posted 13 January 2015 - 02:05 PM

stix, potassium nitrate and charcoal based stars may take at least 1 week to fully dry if they are sitting out in the open, perhaps up to 2 depending on the humidity levels. I would suggest letting them sit for 3 more days. I usually let my stars sit in a dry place on an elevated screen away from direct sun for 2 weeks. After the 2 weeks I place them in an airtight container with desiccant.

 

If the stars are not hard after a week perhaps they didn't get thoroughly mixed before wetting. Thorough mixing (sifting) helps ensure the dextrin (along with the rest of the ingredients) gets spread out. Don't get discouraged, you will do fine. :)


Edited by Eric70, 13 January 2015 - 02:06 PM.


#55 spitfire

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Posted 13 January 2015 - 03:26 PM

You could also make stars when the conditions are usually right... like spring and summer. making stars in fall or winter when everything is wet and cold... not very handy. I must agree, storing them in a container with desicant is a good one. For storage. Then again, i understand ''when you're in to it'' you want to make some...  


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#56 stix

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Posted 14 January 2015 - 10:40 PM

stix, potassium nitrate and charcoal based stars may take at least 1 week to fully dry if they are sitting out in the open, perhaps up to 2 depending on the humidity levels. I would suggest letting them sit for 3 more days. I usually let my stars sit in a dry place on an elevated screen away from direct sun for 2 weeks. After the 2 weeks I place them in an airtight container with desiccant.

 

If the stars are not hard after a week perhaps they didn't get thoroughly mixed before wetting. Thorough mixing (sifting) helps ensure the dextrin (along with the rest of the ingredients) gets spread out. Don't get discouraged, you will do fine. :)

 

Thanks Eric70. I believe it was mixed well. If anything I thought I over-wetted the comp. I let it sit for around 1hr for the dextrin to activate properly, screened it quite a few times and mixed it by hand.

 

I think I now know why I had the drying issue - This past week has been very hot/cold humid where I live, and to make things worse I had them on a screen about 6 inches off the floor!! probably the worst spot for drying :wacko: I should have known better. I've since elevated them and now they seem a lot harder and when broken in half, have a nice snap.

 

I'll leave them for a few more days then store them in an airtight container with desiccant.

 

You could also make stars when the conditions are usually right... like spring and summer. making stars in fall or winter when everything is wet and cold... not very handy. I must agree, storing them in a container with desicant is a good one. For storage. Then again, i understand ''when you're in to it'' you want to make some...  

 

Yeah Spitfire, I have to admit that perhaps I did jump into this prematurely.  Although I was careful regarding the safety aspects, I didn't really give much thought to drying them - got a bit too excited :D.

 

Anyway, all looks good now. At some point I'll post a thread regarding using them for a 3/4 inch star mine.

 

Cheers.


Edited by stix, 14 January 2015 - 10:43 PM.

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#57 stix

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Posted 19 January 2015 - 05:03 AM

Ok, I'm now attempting to make my first star mine, any suggestions are greatly appreciated, please read:

http://www.amateurpy...mine-questions/

 

Cheers.


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#58 stix

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Posted 28 January 2015 - 04:56 AM

Did some star mine tests:

http://www.amateurpy...e-2#entry139408

 

I preferred test 2, and I reckon they could burn longer by adding more NaHCO3 - also fiddling with different charcoals will also be interesting. Next time I will take more care to "cut" them better, but overall I'm pretty pleased with the result.

 

Thanks to spitfire for the original post, and I'm pretty much hooked on glitters. I'll enjoy refining this, and then perhaps try it in a 2 1/2" inch shell :)

 

Cheers.


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#59 Ubehage

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Posted 27 December 2015 - 07:09 PM

Can you replace dextrin with red gum, and get rid of the water?


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#60 Mumbles

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Posted 27 December 2015 - 11:08 PM

You can try.  Glitters involve some relatively complex chemistry, and tend to be more sensitive to changes.  If you want to go non-aqueous I've heard that PVB or phenolic can be made to work.  I would expect at least some change in effect however. 


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