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Thread: My homemade black powder

  1. #5381
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by HWooldridge View Post
    I bought a single red cedar picket from one of the local box stores and it seemed to make good clean charcoal - but I haven't made any powder yet. Waiting for warmer weather.
    You might try the big bags of red cedar pet bedding for 4 bucks a bag from Walmart. A bag makes a bunch of charcoal, and cooks easy and quick due to it being all uniform curly chips. I really like using it. Cook it, mill it with a little hand held coffee grinder, and good to go...

    It's a bit deceiving. The bag doesn't look all that big, but it's tightly packed in there. I never actually measured/figured it out, but I would guess a bag would make 6 pounds or more of BP.

    Edit: Probably more as I think about it. I think I've made 2-1/2 lbs. of powder out of the current bag, and it's only down about 1/4 from the top.

    Vettepilot
    Last edited by Vettepilot; 01-27-2022 at 05:49 PM.
    "Those who sacrifice freedom for security, have neither."
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  2. #5382
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cosmic_Charlie View Post
    They log it for paper around these parts and it grows back thick. Long and straight with few side branches ( easy to peel). Whole big stands right by the road, 2-3" Thick.
    Charlie;
    Given that, I would have to give it a try! A small retort (like a 1 quart paint can) would be quick to make you a small test batch.
    “Losing is a learning experience. It teaches you humility. It teaches you to work harder. It’s also a powerful motivator.” – Yogi Berra

  3. #5383
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vettepilot View Post
    You might try the big bags of red cedar pet bedding for 4 bucks a bag from Walmart. A bag makes a bunch of charcoal, and cooks easy and quick due to it being all uniform curly chips. I really like using it. Cook it, mill it with a little hand held coffee grinder, and good to go...

    It's a bit deceiving. The bag doesn't look all that big, but it's tightly packed in there. I never actually measured/figured it out, but I would guess a bag would make 6 pounds or more of BP.

    Edit: Probably more as I think about it. I think I've made 2-1/2 lbs. of powder out of the current bag, and it's only down about 1/4 from the top.

    Vettepilot
    Great suggestion - I have been considering that also since we have a Tractor Supply right around the corner and they sell a similar product. Like you stated, it is heavily compressed in the bag so there is a lot of volume there. I also liked the fact I would not have to cut up a bunch of pieces - the chips are already a good size.

  4. #5384
    Boolit Master
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    Yeah, that saves a fair amount of work, and the chips cook up really nicely. Fast, and even. I think you'll like them.

    Vettepilot
    "Those who sacrifice freedom for security, have neither."
    Benjamin Franklin. (A very wise man!)

  5. #5385
    Boolit Master
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    Has anyone actually measured the RPM's of the Harbor Freight mini mill? Mathematically, it comes out to 70 RPM's, but that's at the rated motor RPM, and loaded actual jar RPM is likely lower. I think people have reported lower than 70 with these little guys. I can't actually test mine since the motor's burnt up.

    In putting a much better motor on mine, I'm going to fire up the lathe and just make a new drive pulley the size needed for the RPM's I want. I wonder how one can figure how much difference there will be from no-load, to loaded RPM's???

    Or it could be that's not much of a factor normally, and the Harbor Fteight mill only turns slower than rated speed because the motor is weak?? Dunno!!

    Input appreciated, to keep me from having to make multiple pulleys!

    Thanks!
    Vettepilot
    "Those who sacrifice freedom for security, have neither."
    Benjamin Franklin. (A very wise man!)

  6. #5386
    Boolit Buddy
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    I havey HF Mill running with a single drum at 82-84rpm and it doesn't overheat.

    Anyway, I like that info Linstrum gives us. I think he's right on about the extra creosote in our lower temp charcoal causing clumping. I noticed in my high temp charcoal I had zero problems with clumping

  7. #5387
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by HighUintas View Post
    I havey HF Mill running with a single drum at 82-84rpm and it doesn't overheat.

    Anyway, I like that info Linstrum gives us. I think he's right on about the extra creosote in our lower temp charcoal causing clumping. I noticed in my high temp charcoal I had zero problems with clumping
    Is that un-modified and turning those rpm's, or with the drive roller size increased with hose or something to speed it up??

    The low temp charcoal might be a factor on the clumping. I think that might be around the time I started having issues; when I started using lower cooking temps and times. Just can't remember darnit.

    Vettepilot
    "Those who sacrifice freedom for security, have neither."
    Benjamin Franklin. (A very wise man!)

  8. #5388
    Boolit Buddy
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    Yes that is with a bunch of silicone tubing and electrical tape on the drive roller! If I put any more on there, my drum will be hitting the side panel of the housing!

  9. #5389
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    Vettepilot;
    My double drum with a loaded single drum ran 45 RPM. With the hose mod it runs 62.
    “Losing is a learning experience. It teaches you humility. It teaches you to work harder. It’s also a powerful motivator.” – Yogi Berra

  10. #5390
    Boolit Buddy almar's Avatar
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    i have a timeline with pictures, i dont clump till 8 hours. Then i break it up and it doesn't clump till 12 hours which is when i call it quits. I run a big 7 inch ID mill at 60 RPM pretty hard. At 8 hours the powder isn't good. You need to push it! no mercy! I also use a grain mill now to break up the pucks. If you are too cheap to spend 75$ on it this isn't for you but i just granulated 2 lbs of powder in 30 minutes. Sometimes you have to spend cash to get good enough returns on your investment.
    Last edited by almar; Yesterday at 08:28 PM.
    “It is not enough that we do our best; sometimes we must do what is required.”
    ― Winston S. Churchill

  11. #5391
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    Quote Originally Posted by almar View Post
    i have a timeline with pictures, i dont clump till 8 hours. Then i break it up and it doesn't clump till 12 hours which is when i call it quits. I run a big 7 inch ID mill at 60 RPM pretty hard. At 8 hours the powder isn't good. You need to push it! no mercy! I also use a grain mill now to break up the pucks. If you are too cheap to spend 75$ on it this isn't for you but i just granulated 2 lbs of powder in 30 minutes. Sometimes you have to spend cash to get good enough returns on your investment.
    Which model of grain mill are you using, Almar? I just did a quick look and prices are all over the place.

  12. #5392
    Boolit Buddy almar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HWooldridge View Post
    Which model of grain mill are you using, Almar? I just did a quick look and prices are all over the place.
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    it seems prices have increased
    “It is not enough that we do our best; sometimes we must do what is required.”
    ― Winston S. Churchill

  13. #5393
    Boolit Buddy
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    Well I just pucked all my meal (3 mill batches) plus last batch fines plus most of my 4F. Feels gooood. Now drying them. I like the look of that malting grain mill; I think the coffee grinder I am using makes it too fine so moving towards something with a snips action like the nippers I used. My puck buster isn't holding up and will fall apart soon. Maybe I should make a cast bronze one.
    Last edited by ChrisPer; Today at 03:33 AM.

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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