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Thread: My homemade black powder

  1. #6021
    Boolit Mold
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    Dec 2019
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    I'm new to this but have read the thread through more than once. Just made my first batch of screened powder and it's drying on my truck dash now. I'm making charcoal in a dollar store candy tin in a small kiln which I now control with a home made PID controller that I set at 550 (second batch). When I checked it wasn't done so put it back in at 625. It started to smoke then I got tied up cooking supper and didn't watch it for about 30 min. When I checked it it had stopped smoking. Well I figured I blew by the sweet spot but did an ash test and it came out about 2.1%. The coal was black - I was hoping for Brown. Now my question is how to judge doneness when you can't see the smoke except around the cracks of the kiln
    door? Also, I noticed when doing the ash test that some of the combustables seemed a bit harder to burn. Just an observation - probably not worth much as the n=1. Thanks for the thread that you've all added in to for the past 10+ years! Good stuff from lot of folks that think about what they're doing.
    Rick

  2. #6022
    Boolit Buddy
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    Yes, its tough to get the end point you intend without setting up to achieve it. I think its about changing from experience...

    I want to burn my off-gas to reduce stink and save energy, I want to observe the gas coming off and I want to be there watching when it changes. I want to have the smelly smoke blow away instead of stinking up our washing line and our neighbors. I want the charcoal to look just a bit brownish, which I have achieved. Hmm.

    Next time will be my third batch of charcoal; I don't want to experiment, I want constant best results. But I have got Paulownia to try out as well as the successful willow.

    I will try harder to make the next batch good.

  3. #6023
    Boolit Buddy almar's Avatar
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    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	imageprimer text.jpg 
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ID:	300690

    not to ruffle any feather but...something to think about. Many of yall have the powder but will you have the primer? I f you think 2+ years of not supplying demand is normal, well bless your heart.
    Last edited by almar; 05-27-2022 at 08:18 PM.
    “It is not enough that we do our best; sometimes we must do what is required.”
    ― Winston S. Churchill

  4. #6024
    Boolit Master
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    Scary, scary stuff...

    Vettepilot
    Last edited by Vettepilot; 06-14-2022 at 11:02 AM.
    "Those who sacrifice freedom for security, have neither."
    Benjamin Franklin. (A very wise man!)

  5. #6025
    Boolit Master
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    @Almar:

    Source on what you posted please?

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

  6. #6026
    Boolit Buddy almar's Avatar
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    its an excerpt from a patent someone posted on another forum, i don't know what patent though. I just meant to make you all aware that being self reliant for things is quite a nice thing and making BP is a great step towards that goal. This stretches beyond topic but making primers have a shelf life is also a very profitable move by manufacturers ensuring a constant high demand. Same thing was done with most products, its planned obsolesce. but they will market it as being "non toxic" or "lead free".

    This is an interesting document for anyone interested in making either primers or different propellants including semi smokeless or smokeless.

    https://www.aardvarkreloading.com/re...%20Oelberg.pdf
    Last edited by almar; 05-28-2022 at 06:34 PM.
    “It is not enough that we do our best; sometimes we must do what is required.”
    ― Winston S. Churchill

  7. #6027
    Boolit Master
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    Thanks Almar!

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

  8. #6028
    Boolit Mold
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
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    16
    At 80 , been around a while. Totally agree wih you guys. Amen. That being said , never made any primers,my bag is caps. Having trouble keepping powder in them. Been using acettone. Thinking of trying nitro ceullose. Any thought on this?

  9. #6029
    Boolit Master
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    I use acetone with a few drops of Nail Polish in it.
    The next batch I make , I will try acetone with a few drops of Duco Cement in it.
    The nail polish works well.
    And I use different colors to mark if they are standard loads or high volume loads.
    And also to mark which priming compound was used , like H 48 or the F 42 mix or just straight prime all mix which is really H 48

  10. #6030
    Boolit Master
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    I tried both Duco, and free clear fingernail polish from SWMBO, both work very well. About 10 drops to 1/2 oz acetone worked for me and primer compound stays put. Had to make some dippers out of copper wire and small pistol primers, to get just the right amount in each cap. Kinda tedious but works great.
    "The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government..... When the people fear their government there is tyranny, when the government fears the people, there is liberty." Thomas Jefferson

  11. #6031
    Boolit Buddy almar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hossfly View Post
    I tried both Duco, and free clear fingernail polish from SWMBO, both work very well. About 10 drops to 1/2 oz acetone worked for me and primer compound stays put. Had to make some dippers out of copper wire and small pistol primers, to get just the right amount in each cap. Kinda tedious but works great.
    i use this method for primers. I like to fill them about half way so you just knock some out a little and it works great.

    https://rumble.com/vfkuw3-homemade-p...g-the-cup.html
    “It is not enough that we do our best; sometimes we must do what is required.”
    ― Winston S. Churchill

  12. #6032
    Boolit Master
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    Well, it seems more are doing this primer gig as well as BP here than might have been realized. Great minds think alike! Cool!

    Guess I'll join ya. Ordered chemicals. Anyone know anything about increasing hours in the day??

    ;~)

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

  13. #6033
    Boolit Buddy almar's Avatar
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    there are close to 1600 members on one of the 2 primer reloading groups on mewe. And this is still very much a new thing. I like it that way though. But if you make everything there is never going to be another shortage.
    Last edited by almar; 05-29-2022 at 05:06 PM.
    “It is not enough that we do our best; sometimes we must do what is required.”
    ― Winston S. Churchill

  14. #6034
    Boolit Master
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    Well, we gotta do something to keep the "powers that be" from manipulating us.

    Please be safe everyone though. In today's maniacal safety conscious world, our home grown efforts would be shut down in a heart beat by a couple of well publicized accidents.

    Freedom? Where!?? I have lived long enough to have kind of seen it once...

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

  15. #6035
    Boolit Buddy DoubleBuck's Avatar
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    Thanks to everyone here and I hope everyone has a reflective and enjoyable Memorial Day Weekend.
    God bless all those in Memoriam. And their families. Thank you to every Veteran on here, for your service and the duty to it.
    I hope we can leave this country in as good condition as it was left to us. These are strange times, indeed.
    God bless you all.
    “When you come to a fork in the road, take it.” – Yogi Berra

  16. #6036
    Boolit Mold
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    Have any of you guys heard of or used any KIKpowder?

  17. #6037
    I used it years ago and liked it in my muzzleloaders. Haven't been able to get it for years.

  18. #6038
    Boolit Man shaman's Avatar
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    It was suggested I crosspost this from a thread I started in the Muzzleloader section:

    I am in the process of ramping up a DIY black powder hobby. This is a long term project. I just got some black willow cuttings rooted. One of these days, I'll have an endless supply of that stuff. My problem is the interim. Right now, and for at least a few years to come, my main source of charcoal is going to be Ailanthus (AKA Tree of Heaven). It's funny, up until this year, I've been cutting and poisoning this stuff and nearly got it irradicated from the property. Then I found out it produces a superior charcoal. Now I'm praying over a few sprigs that showed up last month.

    I'm interested in hearing from the guys who have experience with TOH. Is it better or worse than black willow? Any special hints on processing it?

    Let me give you my intended means of processing and see if you have suggestions:

    I'll harvest before July 1 from stalks that are 1-2 inches in diameter.
    I'll strip bark-- here's where I don't know timing, etc.
    I'll let dry until Labor Day and then cut sections to fit the retort, splitting everything so that I have a max thickness of about 1/2 inch.
    I'll probably start off with a 1 gal paint can retort and process no more than 16 oz of finished charcoal.
    What doesn't get used immediately for BP will be sealed up and stored for rainy days.

    My end goal is to create simple riced BP that will feed my smokepoles indefinitely.

  19. #6039
    Boolit Buddy



    HamGunner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shaman View Post
    Let me give you my intended means of processing and see if you have suggestions:
    Well, I have no experience with Tree of Heaven, but the rest of your procedure sounds like it should work just fine. Most of the experienced posters here have recommend the temperature of your charcoal should stay just under 600 degrees F. for the best results for giving it the least amount of ash as well as retaining the most volatile ingredients for a better burning fuel in the charcoal.

    I tried the rice method the first time I ever experimented, just to see if I had made anything that resembled Black Powder. It ignited fairly well, although I had used some commercial fireworks grade charcoal that I had gotten years ago for making salutes. I tried a burn test running a thin string of the riced powder on a piece of paper that had a folded crease across the middle. The result was very dirty and it actually burned through the paper in many places so it was not very fast burning. I learned that charcoal is very important for making decent powder.

    My use for the BP was mostly for a revolver so corned powder was needed so I gathered up a die for compressing the meal and a ceramic grinder and screens for getting the end product to the size that I needed. I have been regulating the charring temperature of my charcoal and it normally comes out with a slight reddish brown tint to the charcoal. I am very happy with my results so far.

    Sassafras and Red Willow have both given me decent velocities. I tried some Carolina Buckthorn and it gave low ash, but the burn speed was a bit slower. I will be trying some Coastal Plain or (Creek Willow) that grows almost everywhere along creeks and rivers in my area eventually, just for fun, but I think I have some Black Willow located, which is supposed to be one of the better woods. I do not know if Tree of Heaven is growing locally. If it does, I have not located any as of yet.
    RICK
    NRA Benefactor Life Member/VFW Life Member

  20. #6040
    Boolit Mold
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    There is not a proplem, that can not be solved, with an applacaion of high explasives >>

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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