Jump to content


Photo

Milling media


  • Please log in to reply
46 replies to this topic

#16 StarScream

StarScream

    Member

  • General Public Members
  • PipPip
  • 56 posts

Posted 14 October 2004 - 07:07 PM

Hey my first post! :)

Just wondering if anyone has tried using steel ball bearings (not chromed) for milling single chemicals? I'm concerned about corrosion of the steel from the chemicals being milled, especially KNO3.

Also, for those using 1/2" diameter brass rod media what is the best length to cut the pellets to? I've heard 1/2", 1" and most cylindrical media I've seen is 3/4"... so I really don't know.
"Life is a tragedy for those who feel and a comedy for those who think."

#17 paul

paul

    Pyro Forum Regular

  • General Public Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 722 posts

Posted 14 October 2004 - 07:45 PM

You should be less concerned about the corrosion but more of the danger of sparks. Steel balls WILL spark if they hit each other.

Don?t use them.

My flickr photo album


My first very own firework pictures are online!!!

#18 Richard H

Richard H

    Pyro Forum Veteran

  • Admin
  • 2,704 posts

Posted 14 October 2004 - 10:33 PM

My brass media is 1/2" diameter by 1/2" long. Works really well.

#19 StarScream

StarScream

    Member

  • General Public Members
  • PipPip
  • 56 posts

Posted 16 October 2004 - 04:40 AM

paul: Good point about sparking. A few guys here use chromed steel balls for milling single chemicals. I was thinking of doing the same but the chrome plating can chip off in time exposing bare steel... maybe not a good idea even for single chemicals. Think I'll stick to brass rod media.

Richard H: Thanks for the size. I've already started cutting up my 1/2" x 1/2" brass pellets! :D
"Life is a tragedy for those who feel and a comedy for those who think."

#20 adamw

adamw

    An old Leodensian

  • General Public Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1,297 posts

Posted 16 October 2004 - 03:34 PM

Oxidisers and steel balls WILL cause corrosion. The balls will become useless and run a risk of contaminating the chemical you are griding with iron oxide (rust) and maybe other things which have formed from your oxidiser.

Ive also seen KNO3 turn lead balls 'mouldy' (not sure if it was actual mould but sure looked like it) :)
75 : 15: 10... Enough said!

#21 Creepin_pyro

Creepin_pyro

    Pyro Forum Top Trump

  • General Public Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1,198 posts

Posted 16 October 2004 - 06:35 PM

I've thought about this alot, as I've seen my Ammonium Perchlorate turned orange by steel media.

There are many different grades/types of steel. Some have very weak oxidiser/acid resistance and will contaminate, while others are very resistant, and are perfect for milling chemicals. I don't have the details around right now, but IRRC, a certain grade of annealed steel is perfect for milling oxidisers.

Still haven't managed to find steel able to withstand powerful oxidisers :angry:

Just got two batches of charcoal from the mill. Both using new lead media - one with commercial muzzleloaders, and one with tyre weight DIY ones. The charcoal coated the commercial balls, while the home-made ones remained clean :huh: Any ideas?

#22 StarScream

StarScream

    Member

  • General Public Members
  • PipPip
  • 56 posts

Posted 17 October 2004 - 12:35 AM

Just got two batches of charcoal from the mill.  Both using new lead media - one with commercial muzzleloaders, and one with tyre weight DIY ones.  The charcoal coated the commercial balls, while the home-made ones remained clean  :huh:  Any ideas?

View Post


Yep... a lot of commercial lead ammo, even the hardened stuff, seems still too soft to use as milling media. I recently bought a 20 pack of 1/2" hardened lead balls (Hornady brand "Hard Balls") to see if they would be suitable for milling, but abandoned them after I found that I could easily gouge a fingernail mark into them and write on paper with them... too soft.

I'm not an expert on this subject, but I think they may JUST use antimony to harden most lead ammo. You NEED tin in there as well. I think wheel weights have lead/antimony/tin.
"Life is a tragedy for those who feel and a comedy for those who think."

#23 superspud

superspud

    Member

  • General Public Members
  • PipPip
  • 17 posts

Posted 17 October 2004 - 05:56 PM

someone said they were getting lead balls from Sutlers (at the bottom of that page.) are those balls non sparking, and are there any places where you can get larger lead balls? i was thinking about slingshot balls, but im not sure if they are non sparking either

#24 StarScream

StarScream

    Member

  • General Public Members
  • PipPip
  • 56 posts

Posted 19 October 2004 - 08:34 PM

someone said they were getting lead balls from Sutlers (at the bottom of that page.) are those balls non sparking, and are there any places where you can get larger lead balls? i was thinking about slingshot balls, but im not sure if they are non sparking either

View Post


If they're made of pure lead or hardened lead they won't spark.

Large lead balls can usually be found in hunting/sporting-goods stores. They sell them for muzzleloader guns. Larger than 1/2" or .50 caliber might be difficult to find though. Trust me... I looked.

Slingshot ammo might be useful for single chemical milling depending on what material it's made of. Most slingshot ammo I've seen was either made of steel or ceramic/glass. The steel ammo WILL spark, corrode & likely contaminate whatever you grind with trace amounts of iron oxide. The ceramic/glass ammo might work as long as it's heavy and durable enough.
"Life is a tragedy for those who feel and a comedy for those who think."

#25 superspud

superspud

    Member

  • General Public Members
  • PipPip
  • 17 posts

Posted 21 October 2004 - 09:37 PM

how about kids marbles?

#26 Phoenix

Phoenix

    UKR Forum Ex Regular!

  • General Public Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 544 posts

Posted 22 October 2004 - 05:43 PM

OK for single chems provided they don't chip, but glass can spark, so obviusly no good for BP.

#27 StarScream

StarScream

    Member

  • General Public Members
  • PipPip
  • 56 posts

Posted 22 October 2004 - 09:17 PM

OK for single chems provided they don't chip, but glass can spark, so obviusly no good for BP.

View Post


And just to add to what Phoenix said, marbles aren't that heavy so they're not real efficient either.

RichardH: Do you mill all your chemicals, except of course Ammonium-based chemicals, with your brass rod media? I've chosen brass rod media as well, and just want to be sure I don't mill the wrong thing with them. Also, do you ever clean yours and if so with what? I did a google search for cleaning brass and came up with all sorts of wild stuff... vinegar, lemon juice, even ketchup!!!

(Homer Simpson voice) mmmm... Ketchupy Brass Pellets!
"Life is a tragedy for those who feel and a comedy for those who think."

#28 Richard H

Richard H

    Pyro Forum Veteran

  • Admin
  • 2,704 posts

Posted 23 October 2004 - 12:19 AM

I use brass media for everything, and I am about to make more for my seperate milling jars. It is a good idea to have sets for oxidisers, fuels, blackpowder, and metals.

For cleaning I usually just tumble the brass in water for a couple of hours with something abrasive such as silicon carbide.

Try to avoid cross contamination where you can...

#29 rooster

rooster

    Member

  • General Public Members
  • PipPip
  • 24 posts

Posted 23 October 2004 - 05:00 PM

I have ordered and used the sutlers' 1/2" lead balls. Charcoal tends to stick to them, and it is very soft. I don't think they are hardened at all. I melted them and poured them into small pieces(2cm long) of copper tube. This is a lot better to mill with. For my mill 1/2" balls are a bit too slow for grinding. The new media does the job much better!
My candle burns at both ends; It will not last the night; But, ah, my foes, and, oh, my friends - it gives a lovely light.

#30 Pretty green flames

Pretty green flames

    Pyro Forum Regular

  • General Public Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 689 posts

Posted 24 October 2004 - 09:25 AM

Could please someone answer a question for me.

How many lead balls should i put in this tumbler.

http://www.mamasmine...M/PROD/EQT-AL3A

Thnx




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users