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Blaf

Roman Candles

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As I've already announced, here's a new topic that you could play with...

Last Saturday I attended my cousines wedding party. It's a bit complicated flow of events respecting tradition full of funny rituals. To make long story short, I took them by surprise and performed a nice firework display. It was short lasting one but everybody loved it. My cousine has a house with (still) flat concrete roof – ideal to place a setup. Here I have to confess that half of my pyro setup consisted of commercial stuff....but still, the other half was pure me! Single shot Roman Candles, that is. There were 20 of them made of convolute wound craft paper, mounted on a piece of cardboard 20x10 cm. Tubes were glued to it with hot-melt glue and linked by short pieces of my domestic fuse. Each Candle consisted of a small charge of granulated BP (don't know exact weight...) topped by cylindrically shaped stars of slightly smaller diameter than inner tube one. Stars used were Gold & Silver Rain and Fish Golden Glitter, no prime at all. Yeah, you can see a small Strobe Pot at the right corner....well, I had to add an effect of lightning while stars were shot in night sky. And it was pretty impressive, I might say. The whole show started by depressing a Fire button on my Flash Unit box, bride and groom did it together from safe distance by crossing their index fingers and pushing the button at the end of a short countdown sequence. The whole thing lasted about one minute only but part I love the most came after the noise (and beauty...) ended – how have you done this, how have you made that...and so on. Everyone wanted to know instantly a secret of the trade. But be calm – I'll never reveal it just like that...it's part of its charm, isn't it?
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And here is the conclusion: This was pure success. Stars from shorter tubes (12cm) reached 15 meters while longer ones (18cm) shot them over 20 meters in height. The last long tube fired a short fat cracker with KMnO4+Al+S flash which exploded above petrified crowd...thus marking the end.

Any comments?

Blaf

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Well done, i have to admit that i have never used single shot roman candles before but its actually quiet nice, and yes you're right, everyone is astonished by the beauty of you're domestic fireworks and everyone wants to know how in god's name you have built that?

I am planning loads of starmines for the newyears eve and some fountains, and offcourse i will try and make some single shot roman candles.
This all will be initiated with a 12 shot firing panel wich i am working on(allmost done) as soon as it's ready i'll post you the plans and prices, and believe me, its not as cheap as i expected, only for the buttons to iniate i payed over 20€ but i had the luck that i was aible to get a transformator from the old man that was used to reload car battery's.

Can i ask you the composition of the silver shower stars you made to use in the candles?

With regards

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Hello Exhile!

Anxious to see your firing pannel...meanwhile, I started a new topic "Stars" where you can find those formulations you wished from me.

Blaf

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Here we go again!

Yesterday I assembled a 5 shot candle. OK, I just assembled it! No firing yet...it should be done in a few days somewhere next to the sea. Why? Cause something tells me it's not perfect. Here are some details:
The body (tube) is 20cm in lenght while inner dia is 15mm. Bentonite plug on the bottom end and there come 5 identical layers: BP, pumped star, some more BP - slightly pressed, delay - pressed again. Piece of my fuse goes down the top to the first layer of delay. In fact, delay I used is not quite delay - it's Gold and Silver rain formulation for stars.

But one thing I'm certain of - I'll fix the tube on the beach, light it and retreat.

Blaf

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Here is the moment of truth...

This Roman Candle I made was a moderate success. I mean – it did not shoot all of five stars simultaneously. They came out one by one in more or less well timed intervals of some 2-3 seconds each. As for the height, the first star reached the lowest height (some 6-7 meters) eventhough I used the largest BP lift charge to shoot it out. Short lenght of the tube and its inner diameter should be blamed for this. But consecutive lower positioned stars had lesser amount of lift charge and they actually shot well. Quicker burning BP would be handy here because ½ of the star burns out until flame front reaches the lift charge underneath...yes, I was using the classic Candle construction without long piece of fuse laying along inner side of the tube. But all in all, this was pleasant surprise...even the delay composition was giving a nice volcano efect of a kind so that waiting for a shot was not boring at all.
Next one will be pictured for sure...

Blaf

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And so, I took out a small single shot RC made of plastic tube of 15mm dia, 7cm in lenght, glued to carborad square 5x5cm. My cousines sons kept their eyes wide open waiting to see it working. We placed it on their balcony and lit the fuse. Here I admit, the fuse was piece of original Chinese green Visco...I swear I won't use it any more. The star was Reeper Silver one (see Stars topic) and it shot at more that 10m up, burning brilliantly with long silver tail. The smile on kids faces told me it worked fine...they asked for more but my bag of wonders was unfortunately empty. I should make a few bigger stars these days and try it...but it would look better in Comets topic.

Blaf

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Nice work Blaf!

A few days ago i started making my own stars (just MP from groundflowers :S). They are 16 mm in diameter (just the right size for a PVC tube) and i have to say, they fit very tight :P. Yesterday I fired one of them. As a burstcharge I used (CuO) thermiet and a bit of MP (the fuse was in the MP, which lighted the thermiet). It went up with a loud bang, and my star went all the way up to like 10 m high, with a brilliant yellow color. Photo's will come in like 15 min. (just pics from the stars that is).

[edit]
Oke, the pics are coming a bit later...The batterys of my cam are a bit empty...
[/edit]

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The last production Candle, made a week ago was 100% successful. This time I used long piece of fuse (domestic brand, of course) which was placed along inside cardboard tube of 10mm dia and 20cm in lenght. A Bentonite clay end plug was rammed at depth of 7cm so that 12cm remained for load. Then, generous toss of BP topped by pumped star then 10mm thick layer of saw dust was then pressed in. The same drill was repeated 6 times in a row but each consecutive load of BP was increased a bit because the shorter the tube the more power you need to shoot the star. The last layer of saw dust was pressed with additional tissue paper end-cap and that's all. Each load was slightly, but just slightly rammed with rubber mallet. The tube was slid onto wooden stick of appropriate diameter, stuck between large gravel stones, slightly skewed to sea water line. The fuse protruded some 3cm from the tube mouth, I lit it and watched the show. Each shot blown the star well over 7 meters, in more or less straight line. Stars used: Golden & Silver Rain and Reeper Silver. They all worked perfectly with no blind shots with about 1-2 seconds delay between shots.

Conclusion: I should make more of these....

Blaf

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Sounds like a verry nice piece of work Blaf :)

I reckon no pics. Too bad. Just one question... how much sawdust did you use to top the stars? Just enough to fill the gap between star and side of tube? Or more, so theres a layer of sawdust ontop of the star?

Gr33tZ

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Hello Tyneman

Before I tossed saw-dust into tube, I poured some additional BP to fill the remaning gap between tube walls and star. When they (top of the star and filler BP) were more or less leveled I poured half of a tea spoon of saw-dust and pressed it with wooden ram. It worked really nice, just maybe the thrust was too strong for this size of the tube.

Blaf

p.s. You're right, no pictures were taken but next one will be reviewed for sure.

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