Ball mill mead question?

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by Sburk1993, Jan 19, 2022.

  1. Sburk1993

    Sburk1993 Member

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    I know you mentioned nickels. What about Penny's since you know they are like a 5th of the price lol. I just can't find if zinc will spark or not when I do a google search

    Correction zinc is non ferrous so I think Penny's would be feasible
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2022
  2. dirt-poor

    dirt-poor Member

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    If those ingredients include their airfloat charcoal, I'd recommend passing on that one item. It would be very convenient to use, but it's made from hardwood, which is great in black powder for fireworks, but too slow burning to be much good in gunpowder. Willow, alder, and grapevine charcoal are three of the best for that purpose.

    Willow and grapevines are hard if not impossible to find commercially, but alder chips, which are used for barbecuing, are available for no big money. Alder is actually classified as a hardwood, but it's not really hard or dense, like oak and hickory, etc. Charcoal made with softwoods such as cedar, pine and others is also a better ingredient in black powder used for shooting.
     
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  3. noelf2

    noelf2 Member

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    I used nickels because they are larger and heavier, and only made from nickel and copper. I'm not sure about zinc alloy in pennies either, but zinc is lighter in weight so pennies will be lighter in mass and have a very thin edge when compared to nickels. If you try pennies, watch out for steel pennies (made during WW2, and rare to find these days, but occasionally may show up if you get a bunch of penny rolls). All that said, nickels work, but not as good as other media mentioned in this thread.

    Regarding charcoal for sporting powder, I plan to be making batches of alder, cottonwood, grapevine, and red cedar in the spring. They all grow on my farm. I have very limited amounts of willow by my creek so not worth messing with. I plan to start making my powder with cottonwood charcoal. Is supposed to be very good, and it's way easier to de-bark. If you want to make some good charcoal for sporting powder, get a bag of cedar chips from a local garden center, Tractor Supply Co., or pet shop (not pine...cedar). The chips make nice little coal flakes that are easy to mill on their own. Pine works too, but leaves a lot more fouling in your bore.
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2022
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  4. Sburk1993

    Sburk1993 Member

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    I was looking for charcoal on Google just to see what was available that I might use. I found a page at Skylighter on how to make your own charcoal. It sounds way too easy to make it so I'm probably not even going to worry about buying any pre-made charcoal. As far as media goes I'm still on the fence. I'll probably use lead the first couple times and maybe get something else .
     
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  5. damoc

    damoc Member

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    I'm going to try some nickels for my next batch I think they may even work better than the hard lead in the wind mill I have. sometimes the heavy lead balls I use don't quite have enough wind to get them started.
     
  6. noelf2

    noelf2 Member

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    I was wondering about the windmill. Seems it would be nearly impossible to maintain an optimum milling speed. It would get there sometimes, but would be mostly too slow or too fast, I would think. If it works and makes good powder, regardless, it's a brilliant idea. I have a creek with a steady water flow. I wonder if a small water wheel would work? hmm...
     
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  7. PWC

    PWC Member

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    IAW the black powder thread on cast boolets site, red ceder is good; same stuff as Home Depot fence pickets. Burn them in a retort for charcoal.
     
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  8. damoc

    damoc Member

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    The good thing about wind is I can just set and forget If it takes a month to finish it will not hurt my feelings I think a water mill would be great I wish I still had the water resources to try it. This old project of mine would work very easily and well to run the ball mill I would just want a dryish environment for the barrel.
     
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  9. mmb617

    mmb617 Member

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    That's exactly what I use. Cedar fence pickets from Home Depot cooked in my homemade gallon paint can retort. The pickets are $4 each and it only takes a couple to make a good supply of charcoal.
     
  10. HisSoldier

    HisSoldier Member

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    For balls I wrote a quick program and ran about 30 5/8" diameter bronze balls in the CNC. Much better IMO than lead. I let them run barely damp for 24 hours. Thumbler's tumbler B model, then press them into pucks at about 5 tons.
     
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  11. Ironhand54

    Ironhand54 Member

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    A friend of mine makes BP. He uses a tumbler and media as described here. The problem is that he can't get the saltpeter fine enough. Any suggestions?

    Ironhand
     
  12. C Younger

    C Younger Member

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    I’ve got about 400 115gr jacketed 9mm bullets that I thought about using for this purpose. I pulled the bullets from some bad hand loads that were given to me and really don’t have anything else to do with them since I don’t reload 9mm.
     
  13. noelf2

    noelf2 Member

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    Ball mill it on its own until it's fine enough.
     
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