I purchased a couple of fountain tooling sets from eBay, to start experimenting with simple fountains and to test my BP when I get round to making some. I got 3/4in and 1in sets, which comprise a base unit with an aluminium disc which fits the internal diameter of the tube, and an upright spindle to form the choke.
The paper tube (I was making a 3/4in one) is placed over the disc so its sits firmly on the base, and then a small amount of bentonite clay powder is poured down into it. Using the hollow wooden dowel it is compressed with a few blows from a mallet which makes the clay powder go rigid. This creates the top choke of the fountain and saves having to drill one out later.
The composition is the poured in a bit at a time and rammed to compact it as necessary until you have the amount required. Then another layer of clay is added and rammed to give your bottom bung. When removed from the spindle you have a nice neat fountain with a choke hole about 1/3 the diameter of the tube inner. A short length of Viso fuse is then inserted in there and voila!
As I’m still very new to this and just itching to test the new tools I didn’t have any home made composition to use, so instead I used the contents of a port fire as my fountain comp. Obviously the effect wasn’t going to be anything special but it would do the job. I’m not sure of the exact composition of my portfires but they burn with a slightly green flame.
Obviously when put into this fountain you’re increasing the burning area, but the choke meant the exhaust was actually slightly smaller than the original portfire diameter. So what I got was a much more intense faster burning version of the portfire, with a much more noticeable green and some very faint drossy sparks coming out. Nothing too exciting but still quite satisfying as this was my first fountain of any sort!
The burn left a build up of dross deposits on the choke which you can see in one of the photos. I guess this would become an issue for longer burns, but in this case the composition didn’t quite fill even half the full length of the tube so it didn’t have a chance to cause too much blockage.
Here is a video of the fountain in action…