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Buying chemicals.


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#16 BigG

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Posted 25 May 2003 - 05:19 PM

Good lack Damo.

Let me know when you managed to produce some good charcoal :)
You can U2U if you need advise.

When producing Charcoal I usually target trees, which I know are abundant near my house. While Willow will produce very fast burning charcoal ? lots of other trees will do very nicely. Many of the masters of fireworks science stress that all charcoal got place in pyrotechnic. Hardwood charcoal ? especially larger mash, produce superior sparks then some of the soft woods.

For many years I used to make charcoal using scott-pine. I had a forest near my house and as the winds come in hard winters and some of the wood fell, nobody was bothered when I come and cut many branches down. I can happily report that pine can produce very fast burning charcoal.

Another point that I wish to make regards to buying charcoal. In the USA I had experimented with charcoal that come from the same supplier over a period of couple of years ? and I can guarantee that the quality was NOT the same from batch to batch. In recent years many producers have to adapt to cheaper prices and dropping demands ? and will get the wood for the charcoal from different suppliers. As such ? if you have a forest of the same tree type near your house ? and you record your charcoal making process ? you might discover your batches to be more consistent then the commercial ones. Also, there is that joy of experiment ? sometimes a lovely pitch black perfectly made airfloat charcoal, is more wonderful the a five inch multi-colour shell. And then again ? it just might be me :)

BigG

#17 Damo

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Posted 26 May 2003 - 07:58 AM

Right you've convinced me to try and make my own charcoal. All this talk about experimenting with differant woods is very inspiring. But I'd like some more advice on this matter. If I'm going to do it I'd like to make a good quantity and quality product. I'm not sure of the wood I can find locally yet, but there are quite large supplies of wood. What I was wondering though is if I could go to a wood yard, I have one very locally, and ask for say pine offcuts. Also I've read about people using 45 gallon drums to make charcoal in. The fire and wood are contained with in this one drum. Any help with a design would be very much appreciated. I'm a sheet metal worker by trade so adapting a drum would be really easy. Thanks once again. Damo

#18 bernie

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Posted 26 May 2003 - 10:33 AM

A drum inside a drum type of an affair. Quickly as I can . Cut lid off 25 gal steel barrel. Bottom intact. Cut a hole large enough to feed fire into bottom end of 25 drum. Punch 4-5 small holes in the bottom of a 5 gal can. Fill tightly w/ desired wood. Affix lid on 5 gal bucket. Place bricks in bottom of 25 gal barrel to support 5 gal. bucket. High enough that a fire can be maintained under bucket of wood. Bucket on bricks build fire and wait for smoke to stop rolling out holes in bottom of 5 gal bucket.

#19 Damo

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Posted 26 May 2003 - 07:54 PM

one question on the method above about making charcoal. You say put some small holes in the bottom of the small container but once the smoke has gone for there holes do you need to plug the holes up to stop oxygen getting back into the contain with the wood in it.

#20 bernie

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Posted 27 May 2003 - 12:09 AM

I would imagine that it would'nt hurt to plug the holes. Unless of course if you burn your fingers in the process. The holes should be large enough so they will not get clogged up with the tar like drippings that will be evolved. The escaping gases will help fuel the fire as well. BE CAREFUL.
I understand this to be a superior method.

#21 Pyromaster2003

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Posted 27 May 2003 - 11:58 AM

anyone got any tips on crushing charcoal to a powder without getting too messy?i currenty use an electric grinder which does a pretty good job, there are however two problems with this method:it is very very messy, you can only powder little ammounts at one time. i was thinking of putting the charcoal in a strong bag and sealing it without while trying to get as much air out as possible, then place a wooden board on top of the bag and hammering it. anyone found any other method successful? thanks, chris

#22 BigG

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Posted 27 May 2003 - 01:30 PM

I used to crash charcoal using method similar to the one you are wondering about. I placed the charcoal in a strong bag, extracted the air from it, placed it between few layers of paper and hammered it with a brick.

It works, but also got it's disadvantages. First, the bag will tear, but if you lucky all the crashed charcoal will be still hidden amount the sheets of paper rather then on the ground or in the air. Second, you don't get the same fine powder as the one you get using a grinder. It will take more time to ball mill it to perfection.

My best advise - wear black?
BigG

#23 Pyromaster2003

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Posted 27 May 2003 - 01:42 PM

ok i think i may try it then. i dont have a ball mill yet but i will get one soon from http://www.manchesterminerals.co.uk/. i currently use a pestel and mortar to slowly grind my BP, by the end of grinding only 50 grams i have blisters:(. i may try a coffee grinder to powder charcoal aswel. Thanks Big G.

#24 BigG

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Posted 27 May 2003 - 03:01 PM

Originally posted by Pyromaster2003
ok i think i may try it then. i dont have a ball mill yet but i will get one soon from http://www.manchesterminerals.co.uk/. i currently use a pestel and mortar to slowly grind my BP, by the end of grinding only 50 grams i have blisters:(. i may try a coffee grinder to powder charcoal aswel. Thanks Big G.


Pyromaster. Even after using the bag and brick method, you will need ball mill to get it airfloat.

What model are you going to buy? Let me know if it works :)

BigG

#25 Pyromaster2003

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Posted 27 May 2003 - 03:06 PM

ok then i will have to get one soon then.

i was going to get the Evans Junior Rock Tumbler with one single barrel. im going to get the milling media from UN aswel, unles there is some place in the UK to buy them? il keep you posted;)

#26 PanMaster

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Posted 27 May 2003 - 03:15 PM

Its nice to know i'm not the only one with blisters!
That was until I cracked my pestle and discovered it was hollow and full of water.
I crush charcoal by hammering it in folded sheets of newspaper with really strong PVC tape. Hammering it a thousand times or so makes it real fine powder.

[Edited on 27-5-2003 by PanMaster]

#27 Pyromaster2003

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Posted 27 May 2003 - 03:22 PM

yes the manchester mineral place has a few around ?50 for the worst and ?70 for a pretty good one i think. they said with VAT and shipping it would come to ?69 for the Evans Juniour Tumbler.

#28 bernie

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Posted 27 May 2003 - 10:29 PM

They make really swell tumblers that have rubber lined walls. The disadvantage to this type of tumbler is that it is constructed of sheet metal. Very good for grinding C and other chemicals INDIVIDUALLY. Ball milling BP poses an explosion problem. Perhaps a plastic jar in place of the rubber lined steel tumbler when you milled BP may be a solution.
I know of a terrific web site where these can be obtained if Mr. Honcho and other noteables think it's OK for me to post it here.

#29 Pyromaster2003

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Posted 27 May 2003 - 11:20 PM

so you would advise to get the plastic jars instead then?

#30 bernie

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Posted 28 May 2003 - 01:59 AM

Richard, I just think it's cool when you do that click here thing. Envelope? What the hell is that?
The ball mills available at the click here website are top notch. Real quality to be sure. Will run for a gazillion hours is my guess.
The idea with the plastic jar is to MINIMIZE the confinement should the worse case scenario happen. In other words it will pop the lid off. The difference between 1 gram of flash powder ignited in a pile in the open air and 1 g of flash in a good solid cardboard tube with both ends plugged. CONFINEMENT is the key word.
Otherwise milling indivdual chemicals(one at a time) seems rather safe to me. Great way to grind up anything. Robert Johnson reminded us somewhere around here that the milling media should not be cross contaminated. It absorbs KCLO3 and retains it in the media(porous) and if you go bouncing the same media around with a BP comp. you are asking for trouble.
Manufacturing these things even in small quantities is still a dangerous undertaking. You, me and the others are foolish to think otherwise. Goex among many other very fine fireworks manufacturers have had BAD accidents. SH** happens. Plain and simple.




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