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first fountain!


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#1 rick87

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Posted 12 October 2010 - 06:40 PM

Sorry for the amount of "my first this" and "my first that" but figured i'd share my progress with you all :)
After a couple of weeks of reading and a couple of helping hands in the name of Paul (pyromaniac303) and Dean (portfire) (thanks guys...) I've swallowed the nerves and made my first fountain.
Here it is:


hope you like :)
oh and you'll have to put your head skewiff the girl doesn't do technology lol

#2 darkfang77

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Posted 12 October 2010 - 08:19 PM

Sorry for the amount of "my first this" and "my first that" but figured i'd share my progress with you all :)
After a couple of weeks of reading and a couple of helping hands in the name of Paul (pyromaniac303) and Dean (portfire) (thanks guys...) I've swallowed the nerves and made my first fountain.

That looks awesome, maybe too short lived, and maybe the fountain effect was a little drowned by the light from the nozzle and smoke.
I wish I had two mates to help me make stuff, how did you manage to know them?

#3 rick87

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Posted 12 October 2010 - 08:29 PM

they both work for the same firework company that i'm helping out with so got chatting with them :) It was pretty short, how do you make them last longer? I think my composition was pretty innaccurate cause i used kitchen scales to weigh it out. They didn't seem to move at all then jumped 20grams lol. Need to get myself an accurate set of scales me thinks

#4 darkfang77

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Posted 12 October 2010 - 08:33 PM

they both work for the same firework company that i'm helping out with so got chatting with them :) It was pretty short, how do you make them last longer? I think my composition was pretty innaccurate cause i used kitchen scales to weigh it out. They didn't seem to move at all then jumped 20grams lol. Need to get myself an accurate set of scales me thinks


=O
I cannot describe how envious i am now lol!
To extend the life of a fountain, imo, more increments or harder ramming will help to decrease the space (?) between the particles so decreasing burn rate. A nozzle maybe? Or a more refined formula? No offence.
I still use kitchen scales, although very good electronic ones.

#5 rick87

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Posted 12 October 2010 - 08:42 PM

no offence taken at all i asked!
more increments and more ramming won't go a miss. My ramming was questionable at best. I don't have a proper former nor did i have a round piece of dowel so had to make do with a square one lol. will pop over to me grans at weekend and turn one on her lathe.
I made a plug and nozzle out of slightly damp kitty litter (cause i have three cats and they've never come in use for anything until now) but pretty much straight away the paper casing burnt away and the nozzle fell away you can see this happen at 0:20 i think.

#6 darkfang77

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Posted 12 October 2010 - 08:52 PM

Luckily I have some antique 1 inch diameter rolling pins (older than me!) which I ram things with.
damp kitty litter may not be the best material to make nozzles out of, I find damp litter tends to really fall apart and shrink/expand unpredictably, might be different in yours though.
if the paper casing burnt away, that suggests a serious problem (not that serious) with the fountain, lance tubes should burn away but not fountains, you should roll it so it doesn't burn through, although it will be hard with a square dowel so not totally unexpected!

still a very nice fountain, I remember my first fountain, it failed badly, the sparks didn't go very far at all.

I guess you were using a BP based formula?

#7 rick87

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Posted 12 October 2010 - 09:04 PM

Guess i need a thicker wall for it to not burn away? I've learnt an awful lot from making it. Still scares me mind.
What do you make the nozzle out of?
Yeah I used a BP formula, it's all very very basic. I'm very much at the entry level of learning.

#8 darkfang77

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Posted 12 October 2010 - 09:31 PM

Yes, a thicker wall is a must if you're making it yourself.
Personally, I roll at least 5 layers of card for it not to burn away.
Nozzles should be made out of dry kitty litter.

I do not mean to patronise you, but was the nozzle hole at least 1/3 of the Inner Diameter of the fountain?
The plug is the last thing you make to fill the fountain up, so basically the plug you made at the start was meant to be the nozzle, you either use a drill bit or rather have a something which makes a hole in the plug when you ram it.

Also on kitty litter, do you attempt to powder it before you made the fountain? Or use it straight from the bag?
I tend to find that litter straight from the bag is the main cause of crumbling, mainly because the litter isn't incorporated together, and there's loads of air pockets which cause it to fall away, could be the cause of a weak nozzle.

I do wish I had some pyro buddies to help me out. That way I can actually go further than making small flares and fountains.

#9 portfire

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Posted 12 October 2010 - 09:57 PM

Nice work mate! If that had some Titanium in there it would have looked great. On the point of nozzles, if you use 10# to fine powdered litter, you'll find the larger grains dig in to tube wall which in effect makes the nozzle less likley to blow out. Also slow your comp down, try 60-30-10. or what you can do is use the standard mix and add 20-30 or 40% charcaol.
"I reject your reality and substitute my own" Adam Savage

#10 pyrotechnist

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Posted 13 October 2010 - 12:04 AM

Never use damp clay as it shrinks, use treated bentonite unless you are firing within a short period of time and like portfire said clay with larger particles will help grip more though generally you use bentonite clay with grog (pre-baked clay) making a hard durable plug. No nozzle at all will create the slowest fountain you will get as a nozzle increases the burn rate as well as increasing height while no nozzle will give a much weaker height but can still look pretty.

Try:

KNO3 ----- 60
Sulfur --- 10
Charcoal - 30

that should create a nice gently slow gold spray, used mixed wood charcoal or pine charcoal for longer lingering sparks. I have found adding fillers like fine sawdust to the fountain mix cheapens as well as slows the mix down considerably.
fireworks is my aim setting of is the game

#11 Karl

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Posted 13 October 2010 - 02:05 AM

Try some slower burning BP and a smaller nozzle for a longer lasting fountain. As said, put in some titanium for a nice effect.

#12 pyrotechnist

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Posted 13 October 2010 - 08:07 AM

I have always heard that a smaller nozzle creates a faster fountain due to internal pressure and burn acceleration.
fireworks is my aim setting of is the game

#13 rick87

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Posted 13 October 2010 - 05:40 PM

ok cool thanks for all the advise i have the following things on order before i try again: scales, titanium flakes, bentonite, some card and kraft paper
bloody addictive this pyro mallarky innit

#14 darkfang77

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Posted 13 October 2010 - 06:00 PM

ok cool thanks for all the advise i have the following things on order before i try again: scales, titanium flakes, bentonite, some card and kraft paper
bloody addictive this pyro mallarky innit


Very! Well, its a excellent hobby if you happen to live in the right place.
I've heard Ti flakes can be quite expensive... Or some Ti sponges at least.
Does anyone know what Ti sponges are?

#15 dr thrust

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Posted 13 October 2010 - 06:21 PM

ti sponge is used because its easier to crush down ( softer)than ti metal it comes from part of the manufacturing process of making ti metal.
ie reducing the ti ore into sponge ready for melting.
just a little word of warning chaps, ti can spark with impact, and Dr shimizu suggests the use of titanium in whistle as a "unacceptable risk"
so factor in the use of a press for ti based fountain,rocket formula, even if its a homemade large wooden lever type press




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