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deadman

Round Stars

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Now I know that there is already a star thread, but this is a whole different kind of star so I hope no one minds. If it is a problem I will be glad to repost in the stars thread.

Round stars are my favorite kind of star. After some experience they are very easy and fast to make. Overall I love the fact of changing color comps half way or sometimes 3 times through flight. Things you need other than you know a scale and comps and what not are: a wok, some cores to roll the stars around (pumped or cut stars work, but I prefer lead shot for simplicity), a spray bottle, and fine wire strainer. I actually found this at a favorite website of mine. united nuclear

The link to the picture guided tutorial is:
http://www.unitednuclear.com/stars.htm

BTW if you absolutley can not find a chem they most likely have it all be it overpriced. If you are going to use lead shot, do not buy it from them. Buy it at a gun shop as lead shot #9.

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Hello Deadman

It's OK with me and I hope with others too. Have you made some sort of rolling mechanism or you just do it manually? Whatever the case is, it would be nice if you could post some step by step images....what do you say, heh?
I haven't made my star roller yet, I have everything lying somewhere around here but have other priorities for now.
As for lead shot, I must admit I don't like it as a general idea because it has certain weight and can easily end up in someones eye. Ask rabbits or ducks what they think of it, he, he, he.
Lucky you to have access to chems which impart colour to you stars. Here in old Europe, we have no chance to purchase them. At least I can't. And this is not from Sept. 11-th only, those stiffened laws are in effect for long time now and I believe will never be loosened. Sad but true...

Blaf

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Well the link to the page that showed me how to do it has many picture for step by step. I basically roll in a circular motion, like when you have a bottle of water and make that little whirlpool inside. C'mon you know you do it. Just I do it from the handle of the wok. I have to pick it up and slam it to the ground and to the side to get some of the balls to the middle. The best part about the lead shot is the weight though. It's not very big. The reason I said #9 is because it's the smallest I know of: 2 mm. It burns away with the star comp. You can't get a hold of any colored star material? Wow that is very unfair. I don't know what all is available in Croatia, but a very easy to find (chem wise) green star formula is as follows by weight:

Potassium nitrate.................................15
Sulfur-----------------------------------------2
Airfloat charcoal....................................1
Copper powder------------------------------4
Red gum...............................................1
Dextrin ---------------------------------------1

I alternated periods with dashes so the numbers would hopefully be easier to follow. To get copper powder grind a few feet of soft copper tubing with an angle grinder into a bucket and ball mill. Cu is a soft metal and should be easibly powdered. If it is not green enough for you add 1 part chlorine donor. PVC works. Please do check out the other website for instructions. I don't believe I could explain it better than them so sorry.

As for the core if you want to use pumped stars go for it as it sureley works and may save you the trouble of lumping at the beginning. Other things know to be used as cores are:
small pasta
rice
various seeds
couscous

I'm not sure what that last one is. I'm sure a google search of couscous would find it but after searching for alternative cores I'm tired of google for now. I also found an alternative method of rolling stars than United Nuclear offers. It actually starts with pumped stars.

Here's the link:
http://www.wfvisser.dds.nl/EN/stars_round_EN.html

I believe his website is orginally written in dutch (I may be wrong) and then rewritten in english. Great material there also. I feel like an advertiser. If a mod has any problems with me naming other sites please delete them. Sorry if I'm stepping on anyones toes.

EDIT: Forgot to mention to use a 25% alcohol with this mixture as red gum is soluble in alcohol and the alcohol makes the comp "wetter". Rubbing/ispropyl alcohol is fine. Never let compositions have direct exposure to sunlight

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Thanks for that green formulation...though, there's something about ground copper that doesn't give me much hope.
See, when I asked if you could post your images, I already knew there were other sites describing star rolling in detail but just thought it would be nice to have our own slide show from a member of the forum, not imported stuff.
As for mentioning other sites here, try to avoid that too as it is supposed that we all know for them already. Not to mention revealing chemical sources...

Blaf

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Wow I just realized that you were a moderator. It just struck me because back when I first joined you weren't. No I don't have any of my own, I am in the middle of a move right now and don't have the time, but I definitely will be making some soon as the 4th is coming up and should have the time to edit and post them shortly after the 4th. So if anybody is willing to wait for mine then it will be here in about 2 weeks maybe 3. Maybe a copper salt. I personally have never tried that formula but did find it on a reputable site. I only posted it for simplicity and availabilty. I have a 1.5 megabyte wordpad file on quite a bit of pyro related things. Just putting it out there. Not compiled by myself but is informational.

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I've been doing quite a bit of searching and it turns out that commercially stars are made in a star rolling machine. It is shaped what I can only closeley described as a hollowed out pumpkin. it would be like a squashed ball, but there is a major section cut out of the top and it is at what looks like between a 30-45 degree tilt. I'm sure a automatic dryer motor would work well for this. It looks amazingly simple also. I can't believe I've never thought to look for this. I credit my looking for a machine to Blaf so thanks.

Blaf are you able to make that green star formula I posted earlier?

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Yes, these little machines are all over the Net for some time and I'm about to make one myself. And they're really simple to make...even with a tilting feature.
As for that green mixture you posted, unfortunately I can't get hold of Red Gum here (they don't even know what it is) but I've got hefty bag of PVC powder in my basement. Also, one of these days I'll make some Copper (II) Oxide and try it instead of pure Copper.
Ah, 4-th of Jully, you Amers know how to make life a glorious venture, at least once a year...

Blaf

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Red gum also known as acaroids resin is a binding agent. It costs about 3 times as much as dextrin and is alcohol soluble, not water. It is for resin comps like strontium nitrate where dextrin I believe works better with hot burning stars like Mg, Ti, and Al. I think if you use copper oxide which is supposed to be a good blue coloring agent dextrin should work. You might have to tinker and make small batches. Good luck. Blue is difficult.

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The great dissappointment...

Well I didn't know where else to put this. I have been away for a few months and now live in Monterey county. I did NOT make any stars, shells, crackers, (well maybe a few flash salutes), or any other pyrotechnic devices out of the ordinary for the 4th of July. I just watched some class C's go off in the middle of the street.

Wait! Wait! I did make a fountain now that I think of it. It was a 1" ID 6" length piece of junk. The choke was not properly prepared and popped out immediately. When loading the comp I let a bit of bentonite get in the middle and that slowed things down. Anyways nothing spectacular. It did show me that heated aluminum foil put in a coffee grinder does work well for a silver stream effect.

Anyways things are back on track and I'm ready to be an active poster again.

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