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Thread: BP making components from the BP making thread

  1. #21
    Boolit Mold
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    Nope, sulfur is insoluble as is the charcoal. The only component of BP that is soluble is the nitrate. That's why people that add bunches of water wind up with weak powder. They either wash away the nitrate or it re-crystalizes when everything dries and they wind up with an "unmixed" powder.

    I would think that to check the PH of sulfur, your slurry idea would work as long as you know the PH of the water first.

    You shouldn't need to mill the sulfur. Most of us on the dark side simply mill everything together so we get the most homogenous mix. I'm going to assume you're familiar with the proper media to use in your mill.The key to avoiding caking is to dry everything separately first. An oven or roaster works fine but electric skillets do not heat evenly. Surprisingly, charcoal seems to cause the biggest problem. Once dry, you can mill everything with less chance of clumping. If you use dry chemicals, clumping is typically an indication that you've milled the BP long enough.

  2. #22
    Boolit Master

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    well, the 90% high acid sulfur needed to be milled, so I did so. My nitrate is granulated so I'll mill that too. My mill balls are just caked with sulfur. Maybe I milled TOO long? The airfloat does frankly very much impress me. Maybe that is my low standards though.

    Basically, my hope was to minimize the time incorporation ball milling. so I figured I'd premill everything to airfloat so I can hang on to "meal" (right word here?) ingredients, and just measure and go. Heck, ideally i'd just mix together with a spoon, but I suspect I'll need to ball mill everything together even if it all starts as airfloat. Again, I just want to spend as little time in the ball mill as possible mixing. I'd love it if I could get away with a 5 or 10 minute cycle for incorporation. (starting with EVERYTHING as air float)

    But I've not used moisture anywhere yet, so the caking on the media may simply be a sign of EXTREME clumping? it doesn't come off easy, that's for sure. I'll either make dedicated sets of media, or maybe brush the leadballs with a stainless brush lightly in the colander? dunno if that's kosher after I try incorporation runs.

  3. #23
    Boolit Mold
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    I'm afraid you're trying to reinvent a process that's been used forever and you're just going to get frustrated with the results. Dry chemicals milled together for a couple of hours (depending on your mill) is as good as you can get. When done, you should wind up with BP that feels like talcum powder between your fingers. It won't burn worth a hoot until you granulate it but to get good BP, it has to be milled.

    Sulfur likes to clump even when dry but unless you dried it before milling, moisture is probably your problem.

  4. #24
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhilS View Post
    I'm afraid you're trying to reinvent a process that's been used forever and you're just going to get frustrated with the results. Dry chemicals milled together for a couple of hours (depending on your mill) is as good as you can get. When done, you should wind up with BP that feels like talcum powder between your fingers. It won't burn worth a hoot until you granulate it but to get good BP, it has to be milled.

    Sulfur likes to clump even when dry but unless you dried it before milling, moisture is probably your problem.
    YEP could not agree more.
    Fly

  5. #25
    Boolit Master

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    how much milling is needed to incorporate after all the ingredients are already air-float?

  6. #26
    Boolit Master
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    Depends on the ball mill.A harbor frieght mill with the drum filled 1/2 full of lead
    balls takes about 6 hours.

    The one I made which is much larger, 2 hours.
    Fly

  7. #27
    Boolit Mold
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    Just thinking out loud here.....

    Once a component is as fine as it can get, it will start to clump. As long as everything starts out dry this is one way to tell when you're done. If you put pre-milled product in a mill, I would think there would be a pretty good chance of it clumping before its fully blended.

    My mill uses 2 of the hex barrels from Thumbler turning at 67 RPM and I get finished powder in about 1-2 hours.

  8. #28
    Boolit Master
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    Here are some more useful resources on black powder:

    The Chemistry of Powder and Explosives, by Tenny Davis, (1941).
    www.library.sciencemadness.org/library.explosives.pdf

    Study on How and Why Black Powder Works, by J. D. Blackwood and F. P. Bowden, Research Laboratory for Physics and Chemical Surfaces, University of Cambridge, U.K., (1952).
    www.pyrobin.com/files/black%2

    Black Powder and How to Make It, by Randy and Leigh Ellis,
    L & R Publishing, P.O. Box 3081, Everett, Washington, 98203.

    Powder Manufacturing, Optimizing, and Testing, by Ian von Maltitz, Published by American Fireworks News Magazine.
    www.pyrotechnic.narod.ru/Black_Powder.pdf

    Gunpowder: Alchemy, Bombards and Pyrotechnics: The History of the Explosion that Changed the World, by Jack Kelly, Basic Books, New York, (2004).

    History of the Confederate Powder Works, by Col. George Washington Rains.
    www.digilibraries.com/ebook/1

    Never for Want of Powder: The Confederate Powder Works in Augusta, Georgia, by Stephanie A. T. Jacobe.
    www.american.academia.edu/

    Gunpowder, Explosives and the State: A Technological History, Edited by Brenda J. Buchanan.

    Ball Milling Theory and Practice, by Sponenburgh.
    www.rocketsaway.com/pyrotechnic.sponenburgh.pdf

    BATFE Orange Book on Federal Explosives Laws and Regulations.
    www.atf.gov/files/publications

    Ulrich Bretscher's Black Powder web page has good info on making BP.
    www.musketeer.ch/blackpowder/recipe.html

    Bill Knight's web site, The Mad Monk, has good info on making BP.
    www.laflinandrand.com/madmonk/html

    United Nuclear has goof info and equipment for making BP.
    www.unitednuclear.com/bp.html

    U.S. Department of Defense has information on BP burn rates, showing burn rates are directly related to the openness of the powder grains.
    www.dsearch.dtic.mil

    Information on making BP.
    www.creagen.net/fireworks/blackpowder2.html

    Article on progression from round shot, to muzzle loading canon, through smokeless powder (including brown-cocoa powder).
    www.victorianshipmodels.com


    I hope you find this interesting.

    Dave


    Psalm 144: 1-8
    Last edited by DR Owl Creek; 07-05-2014 at 11:58 AM. Reason: To Fix Broken Links

  9. #29
    Boolit Master
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    My pressing dies for corning powder.$22 plus shipping.PM me if interested.


    Fly
    Last edited by Fly; 09-03-2017 at 12:08 PM.

  10. #30
    Boolit Man Rojelio's Avatar
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    Nice work, Fly!

  11. #31
    Boolit Master
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    Well my ole buddy BrushHippie just finished another Video on Youtube on pressing Black Powder
    pucks for corned powder.He used my corning dies in his video.This was his first try & he made the
    first ones a little thick.No be deal they just take a little longer to dry & harder to brake up.

    These babys are dam hard.Enjoy https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I2Dg...JL907szrouTFfA

    Fly
    Last edited by Fly; 09-03-2017 at 12:10 PM.

  12. #32
    Boolit Master
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    The cost of my material, & the shipping out of my pocket cost much more than my time & labor.


    Thanks to the rest of you, Fly
    Last edited by Fly; 09-29-2014 at 12:27 PM.

  13. #33
    Boolit Master

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    that makes me sad. The willow was easy to work with.

  14. #34
    Boolit Master Nobade's Avatar
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    Aaw, I was too slow - I wanted to try some of your charcoal. Too bad to hear about the few that weren't honest. That's lousy that they took advantage of your good will.

    -Nobade

  15. #35
    Boolit Master



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    So sorry to hear about that. Would love to have tried some. How much are you out. Sometimes my wife and I look at things like this as a donation to the world at large. Hopefully the world will return your loss to you in spades.
    Last edited by square butte; 09-03-2014 at 07:27 PM.
    Being human is not for sissies.

  16. #36
    Boolit Master
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    It,s not about money guys, it really is not.My wife & I are retired & on a fixed income.
    But being a retired tool & die maker I kept some of my machine tools.Lathe vert milling machine
    & so on.

    I have done this to help those that wanted to make there own black powder.It is a hobby as is muzzle loading.
    I can make much more doing job,s for the locals here & in town.But I want to stay retired & do what I love &
    that is muzzle loading & helping folks I can.

    But there are always those that are looking to screw folks.99% of the people here are wonderful people.It is
    that 1% I just can,t deal with.But we will always have those people & there will always be them among us.



    That's all & thank each of you for your concern Fly
    Last edited by Fly; 09-29-2014 at 12:29 PM.

  17. #37
    Boolit Master



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    We do appreciate you Sir - and what you have done for folks around here. Want you to have it exactly as you wish it to be
    Being human is not for sissies.

  18. #38
    Boolit Master
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    Well thanks guys, I got blasted on another site for not telling the person
    there & will not the one here that burned me.I have my reason & hope you can respect my decision
    on this.
    Fly

  19. #39
    Boolit Master
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    My I got banded from gunslingers for not saying who cheated me????I think that is between
    me & them.I see there point but they don't respect mine, so be it.

    Fly

  20. #40
    Boolit Master


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    Fly, I feel your pain. It's a shame that one or just a few can ruin it for everyone else. My circumstance is like yours, and getting screwed over really hurts more than the coins.
    Enjoy your remaining years, in the way you desire. You've already done it "their way" long enough.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check