How to build a firework mortar rack

how to build a firework mortar rack

Consumer Fireworks Display: Mortar Racks, Fusing Techniques

Jul 27, In this video, I show how I make my 30 shot fanned and 30 shot straight mortar racks. I like 30 shot racks because I can still carry them by myself (fully lo. Stand your mortar rack up on its base (see figure C). Screw one of the /2 x 23 plywood side rails to the base and end boards as in figure D. Once the lower side rail is screwed in place, attach one side of the upper side rail flush with the top corner of one end board as shown in figure E.

View cart. Consumer Fireworks Display: Mortar Racks, Fusing Techniques Introduction This article we'll be looking at the construction of mortar racks from which to fire artillery shells during the show, and some techniques for using various fuses to attach devices together for the display. Mortar Racks Mortars are the tubes with plugged ends that fireworks shells, comets or mines are fired from.

Mortars can be made of HDPE plastic, fiberglass, paper, or in some special cases, metal. The mortars need to be secured in an upright and safe position.

Here are a couple of shots of some of the large guns that were buried for shows and competition at a recent Pyrotechnics Guild International convention. Buried Mortars at a PGI Convention photo by Mike Hrnciar Often, especially with smaller guns, the mortars can be securely held in place in racks, either perpendicularly or at an angle. The racks can be constructed of metal, wood, or a combination of the two. One is a fan rack, and the other holds the guns straight up and down.

Brian has glued and screwed the rack together. The swing-out feet hold it in an upright position. When using this rack, I drill holes in the feet and drive spikes through them and into the ground to keep the rack from bouncing and falling over. Skylighter PL Mortar Rack with HDPE Guns As you can see in the photo of the PGI racks above, wooden racks can also be held upright by attaching them together with lengths of wood 1x3s, or by pieces of plywood attached to both ends of them.

In either case, screws or nails are used to keep the whole assembly upright and rigid. Care must be taken to avoid driving fasteners into the mortars. In pyro this is known as a "bad-thing. That way, if a rack happened to come loose and fall down, it would not be firing toward what are the best potatoes for roasting uk crowd. Here is another way to secure wooden racks.

Screw-eyes are installed into the rack ends, and rebar pins are used to hold the racks in place. Both ends of the racks are supported in this manner, and racks can be erected end-to-end with only one pin between them. Wooden Racks Secured with Screw-Eyes and Rebar Pins No matter what method is used to erect them, once the racks have been assembled, they ought to be secure enough to withstand a healthy kick with a how to make a bath towel cakes. Fusing Devices in a Mortar Rack In this section I'll be referring to and using the various kinds of fuse shown in the photo below.

Each one serves its own purpose and has its own unique burn-rate. The burn rate of a roll of any particular kind of fuse can vary. So it's a good idea to cut 10 inches of the fuse off that roll and time it with a stopwatch as it burns to determine its exact burn rate.

Fuse Burn Rates American Visco 2. In the rest of this article, I will refer to quickmatch, and you'll know you can make substitutes for it with the fast-Visco or fast-fuse as described above. Hand Firing So, I have filled 6 tubes in my rack with an artillery shell, comet, or a mine. If they are to be hand-fired, the shell-leaders fuses can simply be left hanging out of the guns, ready to be lit one at a time with a propane torch.

These shell leaders are fast-Visco fuse, and I'd expect a burn rate of about 4 inches per second, which will produce about a 3 second delay between lighting the fuse and the shell launch. A shell of this size will take about seconds to rise in the sky and display its starburst. So if I light the next fireworks fuse immediately after the first shell has launched, and so on, I'll get a nicely paced series of bursts that lasts a total of seconds.

If the shell fuse leaders are a bit on the short side and threaten to drop down into the mortars, they can be held in place with a little masking tape. Be sure the shells are all the way on the bottom of the guns, though, to insure proper height when they are launched.

A shell that's not seated solidly on the bottom of its mortar can become a "low break," which, in turn, can cause fires or injuries. Fireworks Shells Loaded in a Rack and Ready to be Manually Fired Fast Chain Fusing But, let's say I want all of these shells to launch at the same time at some point during how to start a conversation with women show or at the end of it the "finale". In that case I'll chain them all together with a length of quickmatch.

Chaining shells simply means attaching their fuse leaders together in a series. If the shells are chained together with quickmatch, and then the end of the quickmatch is lit using a piece of Visco or an electric match, once the flame hits the quickmatch the shells will all ascend skyward in quick succession. This is done as follows: Cut a length of quickmatch as long as the run of mortar tubes containing the shells, plus about a foot.

Always use a razor blade or anvil cutters to cut fuse, never scissors. Red, Waterproof Quickmatch, GN Pierce the quickmatch wall with an awl where each shell leader comes out of the top of the mortar, making sure that all the layers of match pipe are pierced and you can see the black match inside.

Punch a Hole All the Way Through to the Black Match Put a fresh diagonal cut on the end of the shell leaders with a razor blade in order to expose the powder inside the leader. Insert the shell leader into the quickmatch for an inch or so. Use masking tape or aluminum foil tape to secure the shell leader into the quickmatch. I really like the aluminum foil duct tape with the peel-off paper backing.

The stuff sticks like crazy, will not gradually come loose over time, and is fireproof. Cutting and Inserting Shell Leader into Quickmatch Use string to tie the fuse chain down to the rack between each mortar. I like waxed string for this purpose. It makes "threading the needle" with it a breeze. This prevents the first shell from yanking the chain as it is launched, which might pull the rest of the leaders loose from the chain.

Tie Fuse Chain to Rack at Each Mortar Warning: In the past, some folks have used a staple gun to staple how to build a firework mortar rack chains to the tops of wooden racks. More than once, the stapler has created a spark which has ignited the chain and instantly sent shells skyward. This has killed or seriously injured some people. Don't use a staple gun to secure flammable fuse, nor use one anywhere near pyrotechnic compositions.

The nifty thing about this fusing method, and the following ones, is that they can be applied to fusing rockets set side-by-side in launch tubes, or to fusing cakes laid out in a field or on a piece of plywood.

A whole show can be laid out, fused together with a combination of these methods, and fired by lighting one fuse or firing one electric match. Maybe I want that nice second delay between the shells' firing that I spoke about earlier. Maybe I want a different delay time, but I want to fire the shells in a chain as in the section above. How can I build that delay in between each shell in the chain?

This is a fascinating explanation of "old-time" chaining methods using quickmatch, paper buckets rolled tubes of kraft paperstring, spolettes and regular time fuse. It's a valuable addition to my pyro library. In the photo above, there are about 3 inches between the center of each mortar. If I run one of the Visco fuses down the line instead of the quickmatch, and attach my shell leaders every 3 inches, then I will get 3 inches of delay between shots.

That's more than I want, but that might work in some cases. That's more like it. I could go with that, although it's a bit more of a delay than I really want. To use Visco for a chain, simply tape the end of each shell leader alongside the Visco fuse as it runs along the tops of the mortars. The two fuses must be parallel to and touching each other for at least an inch of tape. Then tie the chain down to the mortar rack as shown above. Don't try to run the shell leaders into the Visco chain at a right-angle.

You'll get poor or failed ignition that way. It incorporates sections of cross-matched time fuse, or hand-rammed spolette fuses. This is done as follows. I want 1. I then tie a bucket on each end of the cross-matched time-fuse pieces, with the knots just to the inside of the pieces of cross-match.

Tie the knots very tightly so that hot gasses cannot escape the bucket and transfer over to the next one before the time fuse has burned through. Making Buckets and Tying Them onto Cross-Matched Time Fuse Now it's just a what is cardamom oil good for of making a chain of these bucket time-delays, in similar fashion to the chains that were made above.

The first bucket in the chain has a piece of quickmatch coming into it from the ignition source, and a piece of quickmatch coming out of it into which the how to make an event flyer using photoshop shell's leader is tied or taped. I don't want a delay before this first shell's fuse is ignited. This first bucket also lights the first time-fuse delay element.

It's easy enough to clip the buckets a bit shorter with scissors as necessary. It's just important to avoid cutting into the cross-match with the scissors, and to leave enough bucket so that the knot can be tied without any blackmatch protruding beyond it. How to build a firework mortar rack the chain assembly, it can help to tie each delay down to the rack before assembling the next link in the chain.

This helps to insure that the quickmatch pieces leading to the shells are long enough, and are routed away from each other and away from the mouth of a previous mortar, which would lead to a premature ignition. This same type of chaining using time fuse, can be used to link box-cakes to each other. Let's say I start with the ignition of a cake that has a 30 second burn time, and I want to overlap the next box 5 seconds into the first cake's time. I'll put a 25 second delay time fuse and buckets at the ignition point of that second cake.

On and on, this type of show can be assembled. Join The Fireworks Club Sign up to receive our newsletter and exclusive discounts! Email address. Sign Up. Added to your cart:.

DIY Firework Launcher Plans

Apr 03, In this video, I am constructing a 10 shot mortar rack. Materials:2"X3" by 1 foot (2) - Sides of the frame2"X3" by 2 foot - Base of the frame1"X4" by 27" (4). Use string to tie the fuse chain down to the rack between each mortar. I like waxed string for this purpose. It makes "threading the needle" with it a breeze. This prevents the first shell from yanking the chain as it is launched, which might pull the rest of the leaders loose from the chain. Tie Fuse Chain to Rack at Each Mortar.

Summer, and firework season is right around the corner. This rack is easily made with some simple tools including a circular saw, a drill and hole saw.

Always make sure to select the highest quality lumber and pre-drill all screw holes! Exterior decking screws are recommended as they have a much higher shear strength as well as superior corrosion resistance to interior drywall screws.

We have reviewed many rack designs and although this one is a little more complicated with the drilled mortar holes than the standard base and rail design it is superior and will outlast individual spacers. Do not allow children to use fireworks without adult supervision. When purchasing fireworks from US Fireworks, you agree to indemnify and hold harmless US Fireworks from any and all legal consequences arising from the purchase, storage or use of fireworks and other pyrotechnic materials.

China Fireworks Factory. Skip to content. Do it yourself consumer mortar rack plans. Posted on. This entry was posted in Safety and tagged Consumer mortars , Fiberglass mortars , How to build a mortar rack for fireworks , Mortar rack designs. Bookmark the permalink. Diwali Essentials: sparklers! Diwali Essentials: festival of lights fireworks!

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