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Author Topic: In the process  (Read 638 times)

Offline 10thumbs

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Re: In the process
« Reply #15 on: December 04, 2020, 10:30:44 AM »
  As an update: It went well, and turned out a useable product. I don't think I milled long enough, so will probably remill it. I have been using an old brass tumbler and have it taken apart at present to put on a bigger motor. The little one that came on it worked, but only barely. I should be able to get a faster rpm which ought to shorten the milling time.
 Muzzle loader season comes in Saturday. Maybe I'll get something to eat out of all this. Beats vegetables!

Online KDubs

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Re: In the process
« Reply #16 on: December 04, 2020, 06:54:40 PM »
Ah good glad to hear all is well. Thanks for the update.
 Just felt the thread left us hanging in suspense.

 I'm guessing you've done this before .
 Any benefit to DIY or is it just for fun.
Kevin
 
USAF Medic 1982-1992  Aim High

Offline 10thumbs

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Re: In the process
« Reply #17 on: December 05, 2020, 01:30:21 PM »
 This was the first time using a ball mill. And according to professional fireworks makers, beginners don't mill long enough. And that's where I am at this point.  The advantage, besides the cost, is that you can use different kinds of wood for your charcoal. Willow has always been the standard because of its availability, but other kinds will outperform willow. Curtis & Harvey used to beat Goex, until their supplier for Alder charcoal went ka-put. Then they used willow, and from then on it fell behind Goex on performance. Dogwood is supposed to give a 15% gain in burn speed. What I've been using is Tree Of Heaven for charcoal. According to others with more experience, should give equal results with Goex. Others get good results with Catalpa, Sassafras, Soft Maple, or anything that burns up quickly without leaving too much ash. Even cornstalks is supposed to make fast powder. I tried corncobs once, and it was lousy, so I might have to try stalks. Royal Paulownia Is supposed to be tops. Cottonwood was used for artillery in the civil war because of the abundance, but in small arms is too crusty for very many shots. Next spring if my figs have died back, I'm gonna save the limbs. As to cost, even buying saltpeter at Lowes a pound at a time, only runs about $7 a lb. Buying in bulk cuts it down considerably more. Some say $2 is about what they've gotten in a lb. Most likely they go pick it up locally. 

Online PetahW

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Re: In the process
« Reply #18 on: December 05, 2020, 06:03:24 PM »
.

The only power tools I use are a saber saw to cut on the plug, and a variable hand drill to drill for the spout and any filler hole in the plug, and to shape the exterior of the plug.

I first determine the forward end of the horn's interior cavity with a piece of coathanger wire bent to the same arc as the horn body, mark the end where it emerges from the horn, then lay the wire along the outside of the horn & make a pencil mark there.

I cut the tip off squarely with a hacksaw, about 1/2"-3/4" ahead of the mark, finishing the raw cut with a file prior to drilling a 1/4" hole down the center from the tip into the powder cavity. .


Since I like the natural shape of the open end of the horn, I trace the outline of the open end on a piece of wood that's about 1/2" thick, then cut just inside the tracing with the saber saw to make a slightly oversize plug.

I work the plug into the horn end a little bit at a time, filing & scraping to reduce the plug diameter until the plug's about 3/8" deep into the horn, then epoxy it in place, sometimes followed by a few tiny wood pegs of brass tack shafts (filed/sanded flush)

I use a sanding disk in the drill to shape the plug exterior into either a slight dome or flat, finishing it off with files & hand sanding/finishing.

I then drill a hole on the plug to accept a filling stopper, if desired, and fashion a tip plug from the cut-off tip, a violin key of an antler tine (whatever).

I file a ring up front to tie a strap to or to accept a different strap connection, then make a staple for the front strap, and sometimes for the rear.






NRA Life Member since 1971
USAF Vet (Vietnam era)
Boy Scouts of America

EVERYONE HAS A HIDDEN TALENT THEY DIDN"T KNOW ABOUT UNTIL TEQUILA...

Online KDubs

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Re: In the process
« Reply #19 on: December 05, 2020, 07:24:59 PM »
wow 10thumbs, never imagined the complexity of making powder, i figured charcoal was charcoal,  just throw a log on the fire and wait.

PetahW  like your work, it gives me inspiration for sure.
 
kevin
 
USAF Medic 1982-1992  Aim High

Offline 10thumbs

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Re: In the process
« Reply #20 on: March 26, 2021, 01:59:00 PM »
  Got the new motor working and was much happier with the results after milling longer. With 75 grains, .50 cal, I'm getting performance on a par with commercial. No chrony, just going by the seat of my pants, but instead of fouling choking the nipple after two or three shots, it stays clear well past ten. Have another pile drying in the wife's convection oven today.
 Just one problem. I'm having to put it in jars since I threw away about 15 old cans a few years ago. (What was I thinking?) :Doh!

Online Winter Hawk

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Re: In the process
« Reply #21 on: March 26, 2021, 11:36:19 PM »
In 9th grade a friend and I made black powder in the chem lab, but not enough to load into any kind of firearm!  It burned with a satisfying whoosh and we felt pretty proud of ourselves.  At least we didn't get thrown out of school for it, unlike what would happen today! 

Well, in the sake of full disclaimer, my parents were later asked to find another school for me before I was booted out, but that was because I didn't study and was a royal pain in the patooty at that point of my development!  :o

~Kees~
NMLRA Life
"All you need for happiness is a good gun, a good horse and a good wife." - D. Boone
USN June 1962-Nov. 65, USS Philip, DD-498