# First Scratch Ignitors

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#### richalex2010

##### Well-Known Member
What about the graphite powder and nail polish that someone had mentioned earlier? Also, my dad just won't let me get BP. He'd be fine with the chemicals and such, I just can't use them on our deck (we just built a 600 sq ft deck... he's in love with it )

#### SpartaChris

##### Well-Known Member
I don't think I am violating any rules here, but if so, then Moderators, please remove this.

Mix graphite (The spray kind. You can find it at Home Depot or Lowes near the key making section) 4 or 5:1 with black powder. Add just enough acetone to make a thick paste and then dip your leads into it. You now have a conductive primer. Dip in your favorite pyrogen and you should be all set!

I have used this with BP igniters and it works fine. I have not yet tried this with Magnelite, but think I will do so pretty soon.

HTH.

-Chris

#### rbeckey

##### Well-Known Member
Chris,
What gap do you use, and how do you keep it consistent?
I am tired of wrapping nichrome!

#### SpartaChris

##### Well-Known Member
I don't remember the number since I eyeball it now, but I took the two largest gaps from my spark plug gapper (I have the metal kind that folds in and out like a pocket knife) and use them together. This has worked for me every time.

-Chris

#### OARJeepr

##### Well-Known Member
Originally posted by richalex2010
What about the graphite powder and nail polish that someone had mentioned earlier? Also, my dad just won't let me get BP. He'd be fine with the chemicals and such, I just can't use them on our deck (we just built a 600 sq ft deck... he's in love with it )
Jake,

Any pyrogen you make yourself is going to be just as dangerous as black powder. Graphite is carbon which is, more or less, the fuel in black powder. Add an oxidizer and you end up with black powder or something similar.

If you like to experiment and research this kind of thing then go for it. Make sure your dad is okay with it too. It can be dangerous, especially for the inexperienced.

If you just want to make cheaper igniters then you should probably buy a small amount of black powder (you don't need much at all). This would save you the headache and danger of doing your own experiments. This really is my recomendation.

If your set on doing your own stuff then get out the chemistry books, check out Richard Nakka's site, and ask questions of some chemists that know what they are doing. I'd try college professor's. You might also surf some chem forums but be careful to verify anything before you try it.

#### richalex2010

##### Well-Known Member
Thanks. The one question that I don't think i'd asked before was if I needed anything to be ably to buy BP or Pyrodex, as well as costs. I've also already got the leads cut (a few 4" and 12" leads, but mostly 8" ones), and I was looking for something basic and something using materials I could get easily. I don't need a conductive pyrogen, just somethingthat will burn well when heated, as I plan on using the Solderless ignitor directions posted earlier, but dipped or double dipped insted of the Copperheads.

#### OARJeepr

##### Well-Known Member
Pyrodex may work. I've never tried it and couldn't tell you where to begin. I do know it is generally not regulated like BP is. The regulations vary in each state and I don't have a clue about VA. Call some gun shops and ask. Honestly if I just needed some BP to make some igniters I would see if another rocketeer would sell you some, maybe a film canister full. That would be plenty for igniters for a long time.

#### richalex2010

##### Well-Known Member
What kind of stores would have BP and Pyrodex? Would an all-around place like Wal-Mart have it (in the gun department)? Or only gun shops?

#### OARJeepr

##### Well-Known Member
Walmart would carry Pyrodex but you'd probably have to go to a gunshop for Black Powder.

#### kgholloway

##### Well-Known Member
BP and Pyrodex would normally be found in gun shops or sporting goods stores like Gander Mountain or Dick's. Pyrodex can sometimes be found in the sporting goods sections of stores like Kmart and Walmart in those states where their sale is not regulated such as Ohio.

Ken Holloway

#### richalex2010

##### Well-Known Member
I'll look there and report back, then. Thanks

#### richalex2010

Reed

##### Well-Known Member
Are You all using the pyrodex for the conductive primer, or to make pyrogen ??

Most pyrogens sold appear to have magneisiem (sp) in them ?
They burn like a sparkler from what I hear.

Can clear nail polish be used instead of pingpong ball solution ?

Where does one get small quanities of powdered magneisiem ??

Thanks,
Slack

#### edwardw

##### Well-Known Member
I used to wrap a wire with 36 ga Nichrome, then I would mix water with pyrodex and dip in that. Worked great for the sugar motors I was flying at the time.

Edward

#### airwolfe1

##### Well-Known Member
SO.....when you make your own ingnitors by dipping them, I understand you can make the dip sollution using acetone, ping-pong balls and BP my questions are:

What type of BP works best?

Is FFFFg or Pyrodex a better choice?

Has anyone ever used smokeless BP such as Reloader-7?

When you grind BP how risky is it?

Can you accidently set BP off with the friction of grinding it with a mortor & pestal?

Should this be done outside?

Can AP be ground up and included in the dip to make a hotter burn?

I appreciate your help!

#### Reed Goodwin

##### Well-Known Member
Originally posted by airwolfe1
SO.....when you make your own ingnitors by dipping them, I understand you can make the dip sollution using acetone, ping-pong balls and BP my questions are:

What type of BP works best?
FFFF grade BP works best.

Is FFFFg or Pyrodex a better choice?
If you can get FFFF grade BP, then do it.

Has anyone ever used smokeless BP such as Reloader-7?

When you grind BP how risky is it?

Can you accidently set BP off with the friction of grinding it with a mortor & pestal?
You do run a risk of the BP igniting, though I think the risk is more from sparks or something (use a ceramic mortar and pestal).

Should this be done outside?
Because of the risk if the BP igniting, it should be done in small quantities outside.

Can AP be ground up and included in the dip to make a hotter burn?
The usual choices for a metal in the pyrogen are Mg and Al.
Reed

#### dbarrym

##### Well-Known Member
Originally posted by airwolfe1
When you grind BP how risky is it?

Can you accidently set BP off with the friction of grinding it with a mortor & pestal?

Should this be done outside?
Hate to be the party pooper but you should NEVER grind BP using a stone mortar and pestle. In fact, you should not even try to grind BP at home - even the pros do this with special ball mills (and they blow up sometimes, just the same).

No offense, but it sounds like you should do some more research on chemicals and explosives handling, and/or have your Dad order a commercial kit (Magnelite, Firefox, IgnitorMan, etc).

Much safer in the long run - we'd like to see you around long enough to get your L1/L2/L3 certs!

Barry

#### KermieD

##### Well-Known Member
I used a conductive primer of acetone, ping pong balls and graphite powder and then covered it with a commercially available pyrogen.

I'm with dbarrym on the warning about grinding BP. Bad idea.

#### kilr95ss

##### Well-Known Member
Has anyone ever used smokeless BP such as Reloader-7
Smokeless powder is not as "explosive" as black powder. Smokeless powder need pressure to make it really go boom. Stay with black powder.

Light a pile of smokeless powder and you will get a sparkler effect, do that with black powder and you get a instant flash.

#### MattEx

##### Well-Known Member
"Explosive" is not a property desired for ignition of motors. You want hot and long, not a hot flash.

As for grinding BP, it is very safe if non sparking utensils are used.
Marble mortar and pestles work fine. For added safety, don't do it on a low-humidity day either, to guard against static discharges .

#### airwolfe1

##### Well-Known Member
So if you want to bypass the Nichrome Wire bit and make a conductive pyrogen, you can just add graphite to your composition. Would adding magnesium aid in conductivity as well as increase the heat from the ignitor? How conductive is magnesium?

#### KermieD

##### Well-Known Member
That's what I did, yes. No nichrome bridge wire (I have a really serious case of "dumb thumbs" and soldering nichrome to make ignitors would take me days). Just set the 2 wires (I used 2 strands from Cat5 cable) with a *very* small gap. Melt a package of 6 ping pong balls into 8 oz of acetone. Pour out a small part of that and mix graphite with it till it's sort of a thick syrup consistency. Once done, use an ohmmeter to measure the resistance. It wasn't tough to get a fairly consistent. 1.5 reading. If you're just lighting BP motors, you're done. If you're lighting AP, you'll need to take the 2nd step and dip the motors into a pyrogen once the conductive primer has dried. I honestly don't believe adding Mg to the conductive primer will allow you to bypass the pyrogen for lighting AP motors.

#### SpartaChris

##### Well-Known Member
Originally posted by KermieD
That's what I did, yes. No nichrome bridge wire (I have a really serious case of "dumb thumbs" and soldering nichrome to make ignitors would take me days). Just set the 2 wires (I used 2 strands from Cat5 cable) with a *very* small gap. Melt a package of 6 ping pong balls into 8 oz of acetone. Pour out a small part of that and mix graphite with it till it's sort of a thick syrup consistency. Once done, use an ohmmeter to measure the resistance. It wasn't tough to get a fairly consistent. 1.5 reading. If you're just lighting BP motors, you're done. If you're lighting AP, you'll need to take the 2nd step and dip the motors into a pyrogen once the conductive primer has dried. I honestly don't believe adding Mg to the conductive primer will allow you to bypass the pyrogen for lighting AP motors.
Do you add any BP at all, or just use it like this? Seems like it would work better and be stronger than what I was using!

#### Stymye

##### Well-Known Member
Just too add, be easy with the ping pong mixture thickness ,too much and the igniter may have a tendancy to "pop" rather than flame up.

I've only use the Firefox product but I highly recomend it.