A book for beginners?

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Locky Smith
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A book for beginners?

Post by Locky Smith » Sun May 28, 2017 12:03 pm

Can anybody recommend a book for beginners please?, and I mean beginners. I would like to learn the basics of pyro chemistry but I didn't even study chemistry at school. Something that ideally would explain the basics of what things do, and what things I shouldn't do.
Thanks
Locky

Rob.L.
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Re: A book for beginners?

Post by Rob.L. » Sun May 28, 2017 12:52 pm

I'm not sure of a specific book as I have immersed myself in the subject generally. In fact one book alone would be an incomplete picture and you may end up frustrated.

My main thrust is general inorganic (chemistry without carbon!) and I always start from the most basic level.
A great deal of pyrotechnic chemistry is fairly easy to grasp while a whole sector to this day remains veiled to us.

It is good to get a general chemistry background which can be done by using primary and secondary school books. The reason for making it broader is that if you can grasp the underlying ideas in simple form then you will quickly be able to use those ideas or rules to vary a set process to suit your curiosity.
Remember, pyrotechnic chemistry is only based on the same set of rules that all the stuff around you is based on.

I regularly go back to the most basic school level books in order to keep myself up to speed.

Books that take a popular view of everyday materials are a good introduction or easy read style books on the periodic table of the elements. A good deal of books from the 1950s and 60s provide a wonderful window into experimenting.
Combined with the internet you have the world at your feet!

Look up chemistry tutorials on youtube and combined with your reading there are many talented young teachers on there. Tyler de witts videos help me immensly. see link.

https://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&rct=j ... vDE1bfspFA

Hope that helps.

Once you have a basic understanding and a familiarity with the language used you will find that specifically pyrotechnic matters will make much more sense and seem less daunting.

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Pyro-Gear
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Re: A book for beginners?

Post by Pyro-Gear » Sun May 28, 2017 1:14 pm

Takeo Shimizu and Ronald Lancaster I would recommend, there is a strange line between chemist’s and Pyro technicians.

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Lloyd
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Re: A book for beginners?

Post by Lloyd » Sun May 28, 2017 1:46 pm

I'm with Rob L. on 'basics'.

There aren't any books in the general realm of "Amateur Pyro" that purport to teach much basic chemistry, except for the error-filled, unsafe "IPP". I wouldn't recommend that to any beginner.

So... what's left? Well... not much in the pyro venue, so you go to general chemistry knowledge. Jr. High and High School Chemistry books are probably the best place to get a footing (or refresher) in basic Chemistry.

Once a practitioner has gained some knowledge, Shidlovskiy is a treasure-trove of more-advanced insights and theories. The Wizard's Formulary is a bounty of applied theories, with not a single one of them explained! <grin>

Lloyd
"Pyro for Fun and Profit for More Than Fifty Years"

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Boophoenix
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Re: A book for beginners?

Post by Boophoenix » Sun May 28, 2017 2:56 pm

Locky, I've been in the same boat for years. I slowly pick up peices here and there.

I'll never forget a very eye opening conversation with Lloyd sitting in his shop on oxidizers that hit me like a piano from the sky. It was a very simple thing, but he gave an example I had some familiarity with by associating the flame and chemicals to an oxy acetylene torch. Although very rutimentary it was a huge step for me.

I'm still very chemical illiterate, but that simple association merged some of my understanding of fuel air ratios from a lifelong fascination with fire with that of granular and powdered chemicals I hadn't wrapped my head around yet.

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richardh08
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Re: A book for beginners?

Post by richardh08 » Tue Aug 08, 2017 10:17 am

While idly browsing, I chanced on this thread again.

A lot of books on pyrotechnics, such as those mentioned earlier in this thread, are excellent and contain plenty of detail about specific compositions and firework types, without necessarily giving much insight into the chemical principles.

Two books that concentrate more on the chemistry are 'Chemistry of Pyrotechnics' by John A Conkling and 'The Chemistry of Fireworks' by Michael S Russell. For a beginner, I'd recommend the second of these two, if only because (in the UK, at least) it's a lot cheaper! Unlike the Conkling book, it doesn't contain any specific formulations, but it provides a good basic coverage of the chemical and physical processes that govern how fireworks behave. To quote the first paragraph of the book's preface:

' This book does not claim to be a definitive text on fireworks and the fireworks industry. It is primarily an introduction to the basic science of fireworks with particular emphasis on the underlying chemistry and physics.'
Even when I'm wrong, I'm convincing.

Locky Smith
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Re: A book for beginners?

Post by Locky Smith » Tue Aug 08, 2017 10:23 am

That sounds like the one. Thanks Richard

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richardh08
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Re: A book for beginners?

Post by richardh08 » Tue Aug 08, 2017 6:33 pm

No problems, mate. I hope you find it useful..
Even when I'm wrong, I'm convincing.

sambo
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Re: A book for beginners?

Post by sambo » Mon Aug 14, 2017 11:06 pm

I have a copy of Conkling I would be happy to send you. If you're in the vicinity you'd be welcome to take a look through my collection of books. I have Bill Ofca's techniques in fire which I think is indispensable in many respects but I think the best thing is for you to just have a gander at what I have and see what you like.

Sam.

Locky Smith
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Re: A book for beginners?

Post by Locky Smith » Tue Aug 15, 2017 8:29 am

Thanks Sam, I'm quite literally up to my neck in pyro atm. I'll be in touch soon.

Yus
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Re: A book for beginners?

Post by Yus » Mon Jan 20, 2020 5:41 pm

What is difference between 1st and 3rd editions of Fireworks: The Art, Science, and Technique by Takeo Shimizu?

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richardh08
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Re: A book for beginners?

Post by richardh08 » Wed Jan 22, 2020 10:09 am

Given that there hasn't yet been a response to this question, I presume that nobody on here knows the answer - I certainly don't, as I only have a copy of the third edition. But are you aware that there is now a fourth edition?

A quick rummage through the interweb thingy has revealed the following partial information:

Date pp. Edition
1981 XXX 1
1988 336 2
1996 344 3
XXXX 390 4

I couldn't find the page count for the first edition (or the publication date of the fourth) but both the third and fourth editions clearly contain additional material, and I suspect that is likely to be also true for the second, but I don't know what most of the additions are. However, I've found out that the fourth edition contains 3 new, previously unpublished appendices:

"Color Producing Mechanism of Flames of Nitrate Compositions without Magnesium"
"Fireworks at the PL Festival"
"Studies of Japanese Senko Hanabi"

I hope that helps.
Even when I'm wrong, I'm convincing.

Yus
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Re: A book for beginners?

Post by Yus » Tue Feb 04, 2020 6:02 pm

Thank you, Richard.

Yus
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Re: A book for beginners?

Post by Yus » Wed Apr 01, 2020 9:13 am

Anybody know if http://www.jpyro.co.uk/ is working? I would like to buy some articles there. Thank you.

Ben Lambert
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Re: A book for beginners?

Post by Ben Lambert » Wed Apr 01, 2020 11:59 am

Wow, homepage still has a mention if PDC fireworks. For those not familiar with PDC, he is currently at the protection of the British Prisons after sexually abusing his children.

Yus
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Re: A book for beginners?

Post by Yus » Wed Apr 01, 2020 12:50 pm

Ben Lambert, What are you talking about? Who, Dr Tom Smith?
Jpyro is still working, pdf files are available?

Ben Lambert
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Re: A book for beginners?

Post by Ben Lambert » Wed Apr 01, 2020 1:36 pm

No, not Tom Smith. PDC fireworks in UK

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richardh08
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Re: A book for beginners?

Post by richardh08 » Wed Apr 01, 2020 2:50 pm

Yus,
As far as I know, JPyro hasn't published anything new for quite some time and I think the site is now effectively an archive for existing publications. I got a couple of papers from them about a year ago, so it was still working then, but a lot of links were broken - and possibly still are. I had real problems trying to do it via the website and eventually had to get in contact with someone at Carndu (who now manage the site). I've no idea if this still works, but the person I dealt with was Avril DiPalma (avril@carndu.com). She was very helpful.
Even when I'm wrong, I'm convincing.

Yus
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Re: A book for beginners?

Post by Yus » Wed Apr 01, 2020 5:17 pm

Thank you, Richard! I will contact she. As I know they sell papers by using paypal. I have planned to create account where to buy necessary articles.

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