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Making Black Powder


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#16 MDH

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Posted 21 October 2007 - 08:26 AM

My drum is made of black PVC rubber. I am using lead milling media. Both of these can be had for as little as $40 from some website. For the record that's half the amount of great britian pounds. So, I recommend you look around and purchase a ball mill if you have a job or a bit of cash lying around.

My process is as goes...

I first prepare 30 grams of a high quality charcoal such as balsa and 20 grams of dusting grade sulphur. I wet down and seperately mill these together from the KNO3 as fine as possible for several hours, until it's a dark black paste.

I actually use a few grams of fine sugar as a binder for the sulphur and charcoal. I haven't noticed much of speed difference although if there is I'm sure it's made up for with gas production.

After doing this, I mix everything together with a few pounds of lead media. Bit by bit - not all at once, I add 50 gram amounts up to 150 grams of potassium nitrate over the course of about 4-6 hours.

When my black powder is done, it is usually very fast. Although I personally would NOT recommend balsa for lift production. Use pine...

#17 Arthur Brown

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Posted 21 October 2007 - 08:42 AM

There is a vast amount to learn about making good BP. Then again "what is good" - lift powder is different from burst powder is different from candle comp, but they are all Black Powder!

Search in BOOKS for formulations for BP for various uses. Start to stock the components then you can make little samples and see how they work.

Once you have all the compositions based on BP tried and tested, THEN progress to making other compounds.

Pyro is a fascinating hobby BUT if you do dangerous things it will not be fascinating for long. If you "make Bangs" your counter terrorism force could take too much interest in you.

Iron and steel mills have been used, they do work well. However there is a great chance of sparks inside igniting a viable compound so in "home" circles they are not used. You may need several mills for incompatible chemicals, to ensure that they are not mixed in contaminated mills. You may also need to mill raw ingredients separately from each other then intimately incorporate them into the final product. -Candle comp (BP) needs charcoal with 200mesh and charcoal at 12 mesh, that is done by having a stock of each and gently incorporating them while preparing to make the device.
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Keep mannequins and watermelons away from fireworks..they always get hurt..

#18 Bonny

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Posted 21 October 2007 - 01:53 PM

as for making the powder burn faster... what are your ideas? because milling will only get you to about Fg maybe FFg at it's very best... i heard you should dampen and recompress it or something like that...

thankyou
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Do some research, and you will find the answer to this question. Sometimes it takes awhile to find, but the info is around. There are several ways to speed up the powder for different purposes... I'd start by searching 'press' or 'corning' and see what you find.

#19 Techohead

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Posted 21 October 2007 - 09:56 PM

Well i've done all the reading on corning... and i wouldn't have the patience to do the 'boiling water' method, so i will wet and press... but i don't have a hydrolic (or any other kind) press... what if i put the stuff between two flat concrete slabs weighing about 40KG each, and then pile more slabs and bricks ontop of it, then jump up and down for a while?

that would amount to maybe 200-300KG of compression... would it be nearly anough to acheive corning?

#20 seymour

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Posted 22 October 2007 - 03:09 AM

A passable way to corn BP without a press is to dampen with Gum Arabic solution and ram it into pucks. The Gum Arabic is very important for making hard grains. Other binders may work too, but of all water soluable binders, Gum Arabic dries the hardest ( of those I know). However buying or making a real press will give you superior results.
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#21 Arthur Brown

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Posted 22 October 2007 - 06:40 AM

Also search Ricing BP damp BP is rubbed through a sieve and dried.
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Keep mannequins and watermelons away from fireworks..they always get hurt..

#22 marble

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Posted 22 October 2007 - 01:43 PM

I wouldn't worry about it. The odds of getting run over are higher than getting black powder to ignite from small sparks. Igniting black powder using big sparks from a piece of flint and tool steel is very difficult, iron on iron - no chance. Even if it fired up, there would be little shrapnel since black powder isn't a high explosive basically, instead it would just burst at the weakest point.


Guess you haven't seen the AFN ball mill explosion test, i wouldn't want to be within a few hundred meters of the thing when it goes.

Just realized that your the same person off youtube (techohead01) who i was helping out with the kno3 etc :)

Edited by marble, 22 October 2007 - 01:47 PM.


#23 Techohead

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Posted 22 October 2007 - 09:27 PM

well thats why i chose techohead... i'm techohead for everything i register on except youtube where i'm techohead01, and thankyou very much for your help, because i'm back in business now, as you can see just starting with the homemade BP.

if anyone wants to see my BP rockets and some other stuff i do it's all on my youtube account if you just type in techohead01. (forgive the cross-promotion, will remove if advised)

thanks for your help guys... i'll keep experimenting and in a few weeks will probably be reporting 5Fg speed BP. enjoy guy fawkes day... wreak havoc.

#24 Techohead

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Posted 28 October 2007 - 09:17 AM

hello to you all again... i've tried to go one step better by using willow instead of hardwood decking which is what i've been using until now. i went to a public park, while it was dark and raining, chopped teh branch of a willow tree and dragged it home. i chopped it into foot long pieces, about 2" diameter, and put four of those pieces in an airtight metal tin, threw it in a fire for hours until it stopped smoking, then let cool, and crushed the charcoal. i mixed some new BP using this willow charcoal, i milled fo rabout an hour, just to see if it was going to prove more efficient or not, and when i went to light, it wouldn't. i lit with a blowtorch and is burned for about 10 seconds, a marble sized pile.

i did my process exactly the same as normal, just with different wood. i'm thinking maybe it may have been a few remaining bits of bentonite, as that's what i was milling last, or perhaps that i cut it off a tree, so it was still too alive. throw your ideas at me... thankyou.

#25 Asteroid

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Posted 28 October 2007 - 10:29 AM

First of all, don't cut branches from trees in a public park. It's stealing, vandalism etc. There is some information around which is relating to the sap content of a tree affecting the quality of charcoal, but this shouldn't be a problem at this time of year, since there is very little sap after leaves have dropped. Washing your milling jar is a very good habit to get into, lets say you're milling potassium perc then forget to clean it properly and go to mill some bp. Oh dear, even contamination with something "safe" like clay is no good becuase that might well be whats affecting your burn rate

#26 Arthur Brown

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Posted 28 October 2007 - 10:35 AM

Getting caught by the parky for hacking his trees down! Leading the feds to your pile of BP! Pyro is done carefully and cleanly by those that do it for long.
http://www.movember.com/uk/home/

Keep mannequins and watermelons away from fireworks..they always get hurt..

#27 Techohead

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Posted 28 October 2007 - 10:39 AM

notice i said 'rain' and 'dark'. it was daytime but during a huge storm... big park, noone around... and inconspicuous getaway car...

but point acknowledged...

#28 rocket

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Posted 28 October 2007 - 10:54 AM

I wouldn’t worry to much techohead about getting in trouble for cutting up some willow, its classed as a major weed here in Australia. You may have a few passes by look at you funny like I have but that’s about it or just do what a fellow aussie did a say you doing work for the council.

#29 Asteroid

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Posted 28 October 2007 - 11:25 AM

I dunno where you're from but I foolishly assumed you were from the UK. Certainly in my local park they wouldn't take to kindly to it, but abroad, or even elsewhere in the UK they might not be bothered. It's more about principles, and if you did get caught, what excuse are you going to use? I er.. just liked the smell of williow wood :s

#30 Arthur Brown

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Posted 28 October 2007 - 12:06 PM

Wherever you are there are likely rules and laws about making BP If you draw attention to yourself by getting chased by the parky for stealing trees, you really will only have yourself to blame when you get caught for defacing a tree in a park leading to making illegal explosives leading perhaps to terrorism accusations.

Any illegal activity will count against you should you ever try for all the licences to do pyro manufacturing professionally. Even speeding tickets are to be avoided!
http://www.movember.com/uk/home/

Keep mannequins and watermelons away from fireworks..they always get hurt..




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