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 Post subject: Star Rolling Tutorial?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 21, 2015 12:10 am 

Joined: Mon Aug 10, 2015 5:36 pm
Posts: 100
Hey all

I'm doing a few bits and bobs at the moment and finally I got a chance to test out my new roller and my own skills at rolling stars in a machine (Ken's invention).

I have viewed about every tutorial on YouTube I can find, read everything I can find on all the various forums and I thought I had a pretty good handle on the basics and enough to at least make a start. All this has been acquired over the years while not having a rolling machine and I've just been using cut and pumped stars so far. I want to progress to rolled because I can see that the irregular shape of cut stars affects the way they spread and spoils the break on my shells. I also want to be able to use crackle cores and colour changes etc.

So I knocked up a batch of Veline Red with about 9% Red Gum and 4% Dextrin. Had my misting spray all primed with 80% water/20%(max) Meths. It's a very similar formula to the one I use for basic cut rubber stars as they are called so I've used it a lot.

To make life easier I actually harvested some great little crackle stars from a Fireworks International Crackling Snake which I presume are your typical Bismuth trioxide dragons egg with a layer of prime. They are about 1mm in diameter and perfect spheres, not too smooth so should pick up comp well.

So I popped a couple of spoonfuls into the roller, got it spinning. Gave them a very accurate and small spray fine mist of water/alc right on to them. Then gently and slowly added some comp directly on to the stars. I waited...waited more...very little pickup at all.

I could see they were damp but nothing.... I tried more comp but nothing. I tried more misting but this just ended up making the comp too wet and stick to the drum.

I tried more batches and variations on amount of misting...amounts of comp but no luck.

I'd really appreciate some tips that I may have overlooked. Other things I've considered are:

My comp is supposed to be an easy one to roll with but I have not overly milled the chemicals but they are well integrated. I understood that too fine is harder to roll.

The crackle stars should be a good starter and a bit of a cheat.

My mister is very fine atomiser type but lacks a bit of accuracy as the spray is quite wide but I get right up close. It delivers a very small amount at a time.

I'm not sure if I am using enough cores to start? Does it help to really load up the roller?

Is the plastic of the drum too "sticky", I was thinking about an upgrade to a stainless steel bowl I found.

Suggestions will be gratefully received.



 Post subject: Re: Star Rolling Tutorial?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 21, 2015 12:28 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 09, 2015 1:43 am
Posts: 1001
"A couple of spoonfuls" is not a decent batch-size to get rolling properly. (it CAN be done. It requires exquisite skills! <G>)

The weight of the mass of the stars must overcome the compaction pressure necessary to 'pound' the composition into their surface. Otherwise, it merely seeks the most-attractive surface onto which to bind; which, unfortunately, is usually the drum, rather than the stars.

BTW... they are NOT "wet enough" until something starts to "stick". Then, what it sticks TO depends upon the force exerted by the stars on the vessel.

Those who've rolled a lot tend to make really LARGE batches of just "cores", and roll them up to some smaller or equal diameter to their smallest required stars, then dry and save them for later. (marking as to color and effect is beneficial, here!)

If you do not have a large-enough mass in the roller to begin with, you will not successfully roll good cores or good stars.


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

 Post subject: Re: Star Rolling Tutorial?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 21, 2015 11:55 am 
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Joined: Wed Jul 10, 2013 8:24 am
Posts: 2587
Sparky first start with mustard seeds, take a tea spoon full that’s a level one by the way and place in the drum, start the roller and mist spray in front of the cores, now observe are they sticking or clumping? If not add a small amount of composition then walk away let the roller do the work you will find that the cores will start to pick up, now another light spray in to the drum not directly at the moving mass I may add should get you there.

Once the stars have grown to around 5mm it’s plain sailing:

Changing the drum won’t help it’s an art but you will get there.

 Post subject: Re: Star Rolling Tutorial?
PostPosted: Fri Nov 10, 2017 12:28 pm 

Joined: Wed Sep 20, 2017 1:39 pm
Posts: 25
You could replace the Red Gum with Phenolic Resin and leave out the dextrin aswell. Then use the Phenolic for both fuel and binder. Use Alcohol as solvent, just pure alcohol.

In my opinion, rolling stars using Phenolic Resin is much easier then using dextrine.

Another option is to use bigger cores. Bigger cores makes it easier to roll. You could use Pepper corns. Although mustard is much cheaper, you can start learning with some bigger cores and later on move to smaller ones.

EDIT: Sorry, didn't see that this topic is older then 2 years

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