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Mak'n BP in TN!

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by CANNONMAN, Feb 8, 2019.

  1. CANNONMAN

    CANNONMAN member

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    I used to make my BP in NM. Very dry and hot. Easy to corn and store. Now I'm in TN. is around the 50's and the humidity is up around the 70% to 95%. I make 2.2kg batches. but I don't know how to address the temps and humidity here. I think more BP was made on the East cost then West as I look at history. So my guess is that there is a very successful weather receipt. I really don't want to corn and dry inside. So if you have thoughts, please share. PS, the larger cannons use 6oz per shot so it goes pretty quick.
     
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  2. troy fairweather

    troy fairweather Member

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    I think some of the biggest powder houses where by the costs of England back in the day. Do you have any videos or threads on making the bp, I have always wanted to make it since we can't buy it here in New York.
     
  3. arcticap

    arcticap Member

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  4. TheOutlawKid

    TheOutlawKid Member

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    Cannonman, there are a lot of us that make bp and have posted a wealth of info on the castboolits forum. On the bp portion of that forum the first main sticky is a posting of over 100 pages spanning over years with great info. Are u using a die to make hard compressed "pucks" of powder to be broken up , corned and screened to seperate size? If not i highly recommend u get a hold of Fly on there and get one of his dies...they are amazing quality and more than fair priced. Im in south texas and right by the gulf coast so its hot n humid down here...the humidity seems to help my green meal stick together better when im compressing it in the puck die...others sometimes have to mist their green meal a little to help with the puck making..no neef for that in humid weather....and no need for binders either such as dextrin or red gun. Check it out on the castboolits sticky
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2019
  5. CANNONMAN

    CANNONMAN member

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    I have made my own puck dies but don't use them because of the amount of BP I go through. I corn through a diamond shape screen This shape works really well. If you have ever seen cannon powder it's very similar. I do use dextrin. I might be making a bit much of the humidity thing, I keep working on it and let ya'll know what I come up with. I would offer you a trade of some sort, TheOutlawKid, I'll make you a BP Puck die in trade of... what ever you come up with BP associated. The puck dies I make are three part. a "cup" you choose the diameter and depth. Something like 2" deep 3" wide. This has a removable base to it. And a ram. Put the base in the cup, add your paste BP, place ram on top and squeeze. a vice works and I've seen people use a floor jack with the die up against the bumper. Time and pressure are your choice. When done they basically clink and you could make wind chimes outta them. Then grind to the "F" of your choice. This works very well for rifles and pistols. Too much time for cannons. But fairly simple for me to make. If you want one. let me know. we'll work something out. Mostly, thanks for your heads up. I appreciate you.
     
  6. noelf2

    noelf2 Member

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    Delete
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2019
  7. TheOutlawKid

    TheOutlawKid Member

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    CANNONMAN, thank you that is a very generous offer. Im interested in your die design, would you be able to show me a pic? Currently i use one of Flys dies, not sure if you have seen them but theyre only two peice....a sleeve and a ram made of solid high quality billet aluminum. But im always interested in new items for making bp. Currently im in the process of making ball mill media...instead of using lead balls a lot of us have started to get 3/8ths or 1/2inch copper pipe and cut them into about 3/4 - 1 inch long and filles them with a hard alloy lead. Milling with these copper lead filled cylinders makes a better quality bp mix than the standard hard lead balls. I had a set but someone stole my small ball mill with the copper cylinders in it from my back yard....so im back to putting my set up back together.
     
  8. ilbob

    ilbob Member

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    are there any legal restrictions on making BP?
     
  9. noelf2

    noelf2 Member

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    I always thought that corning = compressing, drying, grinding, screening. If you are only wetting the meal powder, and screening, I don't believe that is "corning". It is just ricing or screening and is way less bulky than corned powder. I corn my powder using Fly's puck die for revolvers and pistols, but I just use screened powder for rifles and shotguns. No use corning if there's plenty of space for bulky powder.
     
  10. TheOutlawKid

    TheOutlawKid Member

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    Yeah corning is exactly what u said...while just wet "screening" is usually just called screening...or screened black powder. Atleast thats how me and my other fellow bp making friends go by. Only bp made by compression in dies etc and broken into the F granulation of desired size is called corned bp. As far as legal restrictions...its legal to make just not to sell without a license. Im no lawyer or any type of ATF representative so dont take my word as legal advice...BUT that is the consensus on all the research ive done.
     
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  11. noelf2

    noelf2 Member

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    Besides what OutlawKid said, there may be local ordinances.

    I also make what I call "shotgun powder". By weight, 4 parts saltpeter to 1 part charcoal. Made the same way as black powder, screened or corned. Sparks won't set it off reliably, but fire will.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2019
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  12. CANNONMAN

    CANNONMAN member

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    I'll try for some pics. I cast my own lead milling balls from a mold I made from a high grade plaster and used 1" ball bearings for the size. I used typeset lead and over some 6years have seen little wear. The third piece of the puck die is a removable floor. If your puck gets stuck you can tap it out from the bottom of the die. I made them and then never used them. I want to someday but I only have on .50 flinter pistol and am excited to build a long rifle - some day. In all that spare time I keep storing up. The dew pt. is 25 with relative humidity of 70% and a temp of 50f. Crap conditions for drying, screening, corning and shooting BP, cuz it's also raining later this week. Is the idea of filling copper to have sharp edges? Never heard of this idea. Always open to learn new stuff. There was a pt. where lead poisoning was a concern. This I thought was a bit much. stuff called gloves and mask if you want them. Chicken used to be thought to be requisite of its own cutting board and knife. Sorry, off track. Anyway, if you decide you want one, PM me. happy to share
     
  13. noelf2

    noelf2 Member

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    I think the idea is to have more crushing surface. The flats of the ends of the copper pieces and the length of the pieces themselves, versus the tiny contact points where round ball hits round ball (or container wall). I've never had a problem using home cast hard lead .60 round balls in my mill. I once used nickels, but, round ball is better, and I needed the money. Lead filled copper pipe chunks might save some time to get the end result, but so far I haven't been in a real hurry.
     
  14. TheOutlawKid

    TheOutlawKid Member

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    Heres a pic of the media im trying to explain. It actually makes a better mixed meal and does the job faster than using round ball. Its not my picture but the end result is the same. Its the best media ive used thus far SQrdaJ6l.jpg
     
  15. noelf2

    noelf2 Member

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    I suppose one could do the same thing with old used up shotgun shell brass. Take off the plastic and fill the heads with lead. 20 gauge would probably be best for smaller mills, and 12 for larger. hmmm:cool:
     
  16. arcticap

    arcticap Member

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    I misread this at first and thought you meant filling the steel bases and not the plastic part of the shell with lead.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2019
  17. Officers'Wife

    Officers'Wife Member

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    When I was making powder with the windmill, since my "ball mill" was a long piece of PVC pipe I had a certain unnamed idiot that shall remain my brother cast 3/8" diameter rods out of hard lead then cut them to about 1 1/2 inch length with good results. I rarely had problems with humidity save on rainy or foggy days and usually an open jar of lye in the drying chamber soled the problem nicely. Lye is more hydroscopic than charcoal and will cause the charcoal to "surrender" a portion of it's moisture.
     
  18. damoc

    damoc Member

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    Just to add to what others have said I think while legal to make but not sell in small batches there may also be some legalities about transporting. Like tannerite it may be mixed and used on site but not shipped or transported to other locations.
    but im also not a lawyer.
     
  19. CANNONMAN

    CANNONMAN member

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    Hey OW! Great to have you! I've missed ur repartee. I also knew you'd bring sage thoughts to the matter at hand. A DRYING CHAMBER! Awesome! and an anhydrous kicker! UR awesome! Did knot know about the lye. Probably better than an electric hair dryer. HAhahahaha. While I got you getting your dander up with me - thinking of the past fun we had - I've got 1K SqFt that's a vault. 10x10x10. other than a dehumidifier or a ton of an anhydrous do you have thoughts? Thanks for the above. that solves the problem with ease. Is the windmill still making aluminum flake? And what are your thoughts about ball vs rod for milling? Oh, to anyone who does not know OW. This is a special lady. If she says it, it's worth the listen. Temp 70f. humidity 70% to be screened for cannon. 2.2Kg batch. This will take 26" X 11' for drying space. I'll now tent this. How much lye in what type of container would you suggest?
     
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  20. TheOutlawKid

    TheOutlawKid Member

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    Ive used the large buckets of silica gel crystal kitty litter as a dessicant. Its the best to use...same stuff thats in them little packets they put in shoe boxes, electronics etc. Its very inexpensive, easy to reuse and will suck out the moisture out of any item in an enclosed space. If a little packet the size of a fast food salt/pepper packet works to keep the moisture level in check in a shoe box imagine what a cup of it can do. I use it to "dehydrate" my ingredients before i put them in the ball bill. Works great..even if its really humid or even raining outside. I just put the items im dehydrating in a bucket and put a cup or two in a small cloth/burlap sack and toss it in the bottom of the bucket and put the lid on the bucket. I even used the silica gel kitty litter to make water glass to use as a glue for paper cartridges...but now i just use nitro glue. Anyways...a huge bucket of pure silica gel kitty litter is very cheap...i got mine for 6 or 8 bucks. Make sure to get the unscented pure silica gel. My buddy puts a cup of it sitting on the bottom floor of his gun safe. And nice to meet you Officers wife, ive actually come across your postings while doing searches in the forum...cannonman was not exagerating when he said you are a wealth of information.
     
  21. Officers'Wife

    Officers'Wife Member

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    Keep in mind the largest batch I would attempt would be about 500 grams, the idea of 2 kilo in a ball mill is a bit over my risk tolerance. That large of a chamber I believe I would go with silica gel as it can be reused. As the OutlawKid mentioned kitty litter would work well. Rod vs ball depends on the mill. On the longer body used on the windmill the rods work better as round ball tends to migrate to one end or the other. It's also a lot easier to remove the rod from the product than ball.

    The certain unnamed idiot that shall remain my brother has taken over the mill permanently. He has a market for the aluminum powder and it's not in my nature to put hobby above profit.
     
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