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Making Cylindrical Stars

Cylindrical stars are both the easiest to make and the most common. They are essential for Roman Candles, as they have to be sliding fit in the tubes. They are also fine as the garnature for rockets, mines and shells.

These are some 15mm red chlorate stars drying on a glass plate.

The way the composition is mixed varies somewhat (see individual formula) but the principle is that a little liquid (water or alcohol or a mixture) is added to the mixed dry powder. This is then stired until it turns into a crumbly mass. Most formula do not want to be wet and sticky, so add a little solvent, mix well and test - you can add more, but you can't take it out again!

Pull back the plunger of your star pump and push the tube into the mix, give it a good squish to make sure it's full!
Now release the plunger and put the tube down on a flat surface - I use a glass plate as it's easy to clean. Push gently agaist the plate. This will ensure the mixture is consolidated with no voids.

Now list the tube and gently press the plunger down. The star should pop out of the end. If it's very sticky, it might need pushing off the pluger end with your finger. If it needs priming drop it straight into a small bowl of dry prime, fish it out with a plastic spoon and set to dry on a glass plate.

Depending on the composition it may take anything from a day to a week to dry. A little gentle heat helps but not from a naked flame and not too hot!