After completing my first set of fountain tools, I made a few test fountains to see if they were any good. Here is a video of two of them.
The first is a simple 12g portfire mix with 2g ofadded airfloatcharcoal to give the normal orange sparks you would expect from what is essentially just a black powder mix. The second is another 12g portfire mix with 2g of added aluminium powder (size #40-100), which gives a proper fountain effect of silver and gold sparks.
When I say portfire mix I literally mean the contents of a portfire! I still haven’t finished my ball mill for making black powder so this is a reliable substitute for now.
I was quite surprised that the aluminium produced both silver and gold sparks (or at least that’s what it looked like). Hopefully someone will explain this to me at some point!
The tools worked ok, but there were a couple of small issues I will need to correct when I make my next choke former.
Firstly this one had a tiny lip on the top end of the spindle, caused by an inaccurate bit of turning on the lathe. It was tiny, but unfortunately on each fountain I made it snagged on the way out and pulled off a bit of the clay choke. Not a big problem as the choke was deep enough for it not to matter, but just frustrating that the finished product was neat.
Secondly I think I need to try and taper the spindle a bit to make removal easier. i know other tools you can buy are very fractionally tapered tward the end, but as yet I don’t know how to achieve this. I’m not sure the lathe I use at college can do this and trying to do it by hand would probably look awful.
I’ll investigate and see what options I have, otherwise I’ll have to stick with it for now.
Overall I was very pleased with my tools though, they did the job and the basic fountains looked great, very satisfying!