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  1. #1
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    Homemade Black Powder - Anybody try it?

    Alright, reading up on this biochar and charcoal retort stuff, there's reference to being able to make stuff of high enough quality for Black powder (on a blacksmith forum).

    Now, I'm guessing this is mostly the smoking vs non smoke variety. I was finding more information from a diy fireworks forum about possible variations that affect burn speed.

    So, has anybody here made their own powder? How hard is it to naturally source the other ingredients? Or are they so cheap, just buy Them?

  2. #2
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    One ingredient isn't all that easy to find, but it is available. The charcoal is easy to make in a retort, either outside or in the wood stove. Ball milling the stuff is the absolute scariest part and where most accidents happen.

    There is lots of excellent info on some of the fireworks sites.

    http://www.amateurpyro.com/
    Used to be a good one with friendly helpful people, they do get a bit snotty when people are talking about less than safe procedures or mixes, they are trying to keep people safe. May I suggest you read the accident threads before proceeding.

    You should probably peruse NRCANs site for the legalities involved in manufacturing BP.

  3. #3
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    Thanks! I just running a few possibilities down to ground and this was an offshoot. If I'm going to go to the trouble to make a retort, it may as well give me as many options as possible. Heat exchangers and electricity from one are also something I'm looking at. And a biogas digester to drown the charcoal in "tea" as well maybe. I've got some room to spread these things out and make an assembly line feature maybe. Maybe have the digester help start the retort, both maybe power a ball mill and other mixers, etc, etc.

    It appears I have the favoured wood for BP quality charcoal in abundance. So that started that vein, along with looking at a signal mug and a firework enthusiast coming back to the area. And being able to make my own powder easily, might get me down the muzzleloader route.

    As for NRCan, I'll follow the rules, but it shouldn't be illegal depending on batch size, etc. And just being able to have fine ground high quality charcoal available for others to use is likely where I'll see the best stopping point for that line. And the ball mill to at least do that stage seems very doable, and safety concerns for future steps can be looked at then as well.

    I see some of this as coming together this year, BP production would be next year earliest. So plenty of time. Just want to do some pondering, and as much pre building R&D as possible.

    The wheel has always been invented and improved upon before I get involved, so why spin mine?

  4. The Following User Liked This Post By SIR VEYOR

    Hillbillyreefer (05-07-2017)

  5. #4
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    Wow, that'll be quite the setup.

    For charcoal I use a paint can with a dozen or so holes punched in the lid, placed in the wood stove with a low fire burning. Once the gases coming out the holes no longer burns I pull the vessel and let it cool in a snow bank. For larger quantities a 20gallon barrel is used in the outdoor firepit, same method except for the snow bank.

  6. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hillbillyreefer View Post
    Wow, that'll be quite the setup.

    For charcoal I use a paint can with a dozen or so holes punched in the lid, placed in the wood stove with a low fire burning. Once the gases coming out the holes no longer burns I pull the vessel and let it cool in a snow bank. For larger quantities a 20gallon barrel is used in the outdoor firepit, same method except for the snow bank.
    How long does your charcoal last vs say Kingsford? And does yours come out sounding glassy?

    I figure I want to do at least a cord at a time to make it worth my while. And with room to try it, why not? Especially as some of the options are more labour intensive than material or money needed. Wood waste I got a plenty, mostly still growing. Manure isn't hard to get. An agricultural college isn't too far away if I want to hire cheap consultants or see if they can get funding and use my place/stuff to do it at.

    Digester can be a cheap little IBC, lots of stuff can be arc welded up from rusting farm crap. And big item days on spring cleanup can turn up all kinds of stuff for the "maybe I can use it pile". My main rule is to have a spot not really visible from road or neighbours decks, and nothing leaking crap to spoil the ground.

    And with my work rotation, it's a few days project or nothing.

  7. #6
    Senior Member Waterloomike's Avatar
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    Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add 'within the limits of the law' because law is often but the tyrant's will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual.

    Thomas Jefferson

  8. #7
    Senior Member R&R Rancher's Avatar
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    Paging BSD. BSD, please pick up the white phone.
    In spite of all of man's grandiose achievements, he owes his continued existence to six inches of topsoil and the fact that it rains.

  9. #8
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    Kingsford? Are we making BP or ribs?

    Glassy? It does make a unique sound when rubbing it together, glass rubbing on glass would be a good description, yes.

    Making charcoal a cord at a time? I'd highly recommend you start smaller, but have at'er go big or go home. I'm not sure how much feedlot waste you will have to process to get enough nitrate to make BP out of a cord of charcoal, but it's going to be a SUBSTANTIAL amount. Good charcoal will be the least of your problems if you plan on getting your nitrate this way.

    May I suggest baby steps with this project. You are taking on a pretty big project, that is probably illegal, to obtain a product you can buy for $20/lb.

    I'd suggest you do a shitload more research. If you have neighbors close enough to worry you that they might be able to see your operation, you probably shouldn't be making BP. Especially if they are close enough to see from their decks. Making BP in cord of wood quantities? That's effin' mentally deficient, especially if you live in an urban setting.
    Last edited by Hillbillyreefer; 05-07-2017 at 07:41 PM.

  10. The Following 2 Users Like This Post By Hillbillyreefer

    Dewey Cox (05-07-2017), Plinker 777 (05-09-2017)

  11. #9
    Senior Member Joshua13's Avatar
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    All this sounds very cool. I just got into reloading. Now I've found I can cast my own bullets. If I could make mine own BP that would be very cool.

    Sent from my E6560T using Tapatalk

  12. #10
    Senior Member FALover's Avatar
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    cookin' up a batch of fun (and pasta)

    Can I Hear A Ramen!!!

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