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1lb Black Powder Rocket Formula needed

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  • Jared Birk
    Hi Everyone, Robyne and I got our first set of black powder rocket tooling in La Porte last week. We re ready to start pounding, but first have a couple
    Message 1 of 5 , Aug 20, 2012
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      Hi Everyone,
      Robyne and I got our first set of black powder rocket tooling in La Porte last week.  We're ready to start pounding, but first have a couple questions
      1.  Does anyone have a favorite 1lb formula to share?
      2.  What size sticks should I cut?
       
      Thanks!
      Jared
    • Andrew Holcomb
      Jared, For hand-rammed rockets with good homemade charcoal, I d start with this: 64 - Potassium Nitrate (milled fine) 20 - Charcoal (airfloat) 7 - Charcoal (80
      Message 2 of 5 , Aug 20, 2012
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        Jared,

        For hand-rammed rockets with good homemade charcoal, I'd start with this:


        64 - Potassium Nitrate (milled fine)
        20 - Charcoal (airfloat)
        7 - Charcoal (80 mesh)
        9 - Sulfur

        Make sure that your potassium nitrate is ground fine in a ball mill or coffee grinder (not as good), screen the mix together at least 3 times, then wet granulate through a piece of window screen. For the granulation, I use either 10% solution of dextrin in water and add enough of the solution to get it to a workable consistency, or 2% of the fuel's weight in red gum, dissolved in acetone or E-85 gasoline for a faster drying time.

        If you have a good ball mill, you can try the following mix for a better looking charcoal tail:

        60 - Potassium Nitrate
        15 - Charcoal (airfloat)
        15 - Charcoal (ground Kingsford briquettes)
        10 - Sulfur

        Ball mill the nitrate, airfloat charcoal, and sulfur together for as long as it would normally take to make a good BP (4-24hrs depending on your mill), then screen-in the ground Kingsford and granulate the same as above.

        For sticks, 5/16" diameter and 4-ft long seems to be ideal.


        -------- Original-Nachricht --------
        > Datum: Mon, 20 Aug 2012 22:14:06 -0500
        > Von: Jared Birk <pyrobirk@...>
        > An: PrairieThunderPyrotechnics@yahoogroups.com
        > Betreff: [PrairieThunderPyrotechnics] 1lb Black Powder Rocket Formula needed

        > Hi Everyone,
        > Robyne and I got our first set of black powder rocket tooling in La Porte
        > last week. We're ready to start pounding, but first have a couple
        > questions
        > 1. Does anyone have a favorite 1lb formula to share?
        > 2. What size sticks should I cut?
        >
        > Thanks!
        > Jared
      • KJohnsonFargo
        Jared, Here s what I was using at Tom s this spring: 1. Make large quantities of pine airfloat. Cut 1/2 to 3/4 square pieces of pine just short enough to fit
        Message 3 of 5 , Aug 20, 2012
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          Jared,

          Here's what I was using at Tom's this spring:

          1. Make large quantities of pine airfloat. Cut 1/2" to 3/4" square pieces of pine just short enough to fit in a 1 gallon tin paint can (no interior coating). Fill said paint can with cut pine. Punch 1/4" hole in the center of the lid and affix lid firmly. Place in the center of a hot fire and cook until gasses quit coming out. Cool overnight. Grind up charcoal remains in a hand-cranked meat grinder (check garage sales) and discard any uncooked wood or other stuff that won't grind. Ball mill the ground up charcoal for 3 hours and discard any chunks left after this. You now have nice hot airfloat charcoal.

          2. Mix 60% potassium nitrate with 25% airfloat and 10% sulfur. I know this isn't 100%, the last 5% is coming later. Just use this as a ratio. Ball mill this for 1 hour. The remaining 5% is 80 mesh charcoal. When done ball milling the BP, screen in the 80 mesh charcoal. I usually screen it through 3 or 4 times.

          3. Repeat step 2 but this batch will be 75% potassium nitrate, 10% airfloat and 10% sulfur ball milled for an hour and then screen in the remaining 5% of 80 mesh charcoal several times.

          4. "Rice" each batch of BP by spritzing with water until wet enough to just clump up and then press/scrape it through a roughly 30 mesh screen (I made a screen for ricing BP with just ordinary window screen from Menards, it's about the right size). Let the "riced" BP dry in a tray overnight.

          5. Ram your rocket using the 60-30-10 (step 2) until you're at the top of the spindle. After I've done 1 increment of 60-30-10 with the flat rammer, I then switch over to the 75-15-10 hotter stuff for the last 4 or so increments to give it a little more oomph once the core has burned away. You might be able to get away with switching to the 75-15-10 a little sooner, but eventually you'll start getting CATO's. At first I tried spicing up the 60-30-10 a little for better performance, but found that 65-25-10 yielded nothing but bombs on sticks for me. So now I just stick with what I know works.

          You could definitely skip step 3 and just use 60-30-10 for the whole rocket and it would fly fine, I just like to try to squeeze out as much height as I can on these BP rockets.

          I use 3/8" square dowels that are 36" long for my rockets and they seem to work just fine from no heading all the way up to a lighter 3" ball shell.

          Kevin



          --- In PrairieThunderPyrotechnics@yahoogroups.com, Jared Birk <pyrobirk@...> wrote:
          >
          > Hi Everyone,
          > Robyne and I got our first set of black powder rocket tooling in La Porte
          > last week. We're ready to start pounding, but first have a couple questions
          > 1. Does anyone have a favorite 1lb formula to share?
          > 2. What size sticks should I cut?
          >
          > Thanks!
          > Jared
          >
        • tsklebar@daktel.com
          All, I have the Medlin rocket handout I used when we had the build at my place if anyone wants it. Ts
          Message 4 of 5 , Aug 21, 2012
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            All,

            I have the Medlin rocket handout I used when we had the build at my place if
            anyone wants it.


            Ts
          • Hans
            Awesome to see the list getting used for info exchange. Hans
            Message 5 of 5 , Aug 22, 2012
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              Awesome to see the list getting used for info exchange.

              Hans



              --- In PrairieThunderPyrotechnics@yahoogroups.com, Jared Birk <pyrobirk@...> wrote:
              >
              > Hi Everyone,
              > Robyne and I got our first set of black powder rocket tooling in La Porte
              > last week. We're ready to start pounding, but first have a couple questions
              > 1. Does anyone have a favorite 1lb formula to share?
              > 2. What size sticks should I cut?
              >
              > Thanks!
              > Jared
              >
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