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Books on How to Make Fireworks


Buy Introductory Practical Pyrotechnics, Best of AFN, BATF-Explosives Laws and Regulations


Skylighter offers dozens of books on the art and craft of making fireworks and other pyrotechnics to help you learn to make fireworks. Here you can find fireworks making classics by Ron Lancaster, Takeo Shimizu, Ellern, Kentish, Tenny Davis, and Weingart. You can also find more modern pyrotechnic books by Perigrin, Dave Bleser, Bill Ofca, Sponenburgh, and the Kosankes. There are directories of fireworks sources, reprints of older books with fireworks making projects, even copies of fireworks journals. More fireworks making resources. For a beginning fireworks maker, the list below may be bewildering. If you're wondering where to start, click here.


We are always looking for new books on making fireworks. If you know of any you think we should consider, please let us know.

 
Item No. Description Unit Price Qty
BK0181


Where do you find one list of fireworks sources for the whole world? Right here in the first directory of worldwide fireworks information. Lists names, addresses, phone/fax, personnel, and operations of more than 800 companies in 40 countries. Shipping wt. 3 lbs.
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ea. $86.00

BK0180


The North American Fireworks Trade Directory is the "bible" of the fireworks trade. Listed in it are all known US fireworks manufacturers, importers, distributors, wholesalers, supplies vendors, consultants, clubs, and special effects suppliers. Contains company names, contact names, addresses, phones, web sites, email addresses, and locations, cross referenced by state. 200+ pages, spiral bound. Shipping wt. 3 lbs.
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ea. $55.72

BK0005

By Lloyd Sponenburgh
If you want to learn how to grind your own materials faster and efficiently, or to simply make better black powder, this book's for you. This 66 page manual contains plans, bills of materials, tool lists, and clear, step-by-step instructions for building a homemade, yet durable and high quality ball mill. Also included are sections on grinding media and casting your own lead media. 7 illustrations, 6 photographs. Shipping weight 2 lbs.
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ea. $46.14

BK0016


One of the best collections of fireworks making projects in existence. And a bargain. Get the whole set of 6 AFN's for 15% off. Shipping weight 8 lbs.
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set of 6 $231.83

BK0009


Over 45 how-to articles on chemical & Black Powder, Tools & Equipment and how to make various fireworks condensed from American Fireworks News that are still current. You can still find the chemicals and supplies you need to complete these projects. One of the best hands-on pyrotechnic manuals you can get. 88 pages.
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ea. $45.46

BK0010


More than 150 basic and advanced how-to-do-it articles condensed from American Fireworks News that are still current. You can still find the chemicals and supplies you need to complete these projects. One of the best hands-on pyrotechnic manuals you can get. 200 pages. Shipping weight 3 lbs.
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ea. $45.46

BK0011


139 more how-to articles that appeared in American Fireworks News between 1990 and 1995. In general, the content is a bit more advanced than Best of AFN II. Great stuff on rockets, compositions, chemicals, fusing, electrical firing, and much, much more. The AFN II & III books are simply the best buy in the world--there is nothing out there that is as jam-packed with useful, practical fireworks making information. 198 pages. Shipping weight 3 lbs.
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ea. $45.46

BK0012


Released in April 2000, this book in the "Best Of AFN" series contains more than 150 how-to articles that appeared in American Fireworks News between 1996 and 2000. 36 articles on stars and small devices (including our favorite on making Blue & Orange Go-Getter stars); 16 articles on rockets; 13 articles on chemicals and ingredients; 34 articles on displays and electrical firing; plus many, many more. As usual, this latest AFN book is a great bargain. Shipping weight 3 lbs.
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ea. $45.46

BK0013


Just released in the fall of 2005, this latest book in the "Best Of AFN" series contains almost 170 how-to articles that appeared in American Fireworks News between 2000 and 2005. Contents include: 18 articles on advice & small devices, 56 articles on star making, 19 articles on aerial shells, 19 articles on rockets, 19 articles on fuse, ignition & black powder, 12 articles on indoor & special effects, 8 articles in a special quick match section, and many others. As usual, this latest AFN book is a great bargain. Shipping weight 3 lbs.
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ea. $45.46

BK0014


Published in the summer of 2011, this is the 6th book in the "Best Of AFN" series with 177 how-to articles that appeared in American Fireworks News between 2006 and 2011. Contents include: 49 articles on advice & small devices, 24 articles on star making, 10 articles on aerial shells, 12 articles on rockets, 17 articles on fuse, ignition & black powder, 6 articles on indoor & special effects, and many others. As usual, this latest AFN book is a great bargain. Shipping weight 3 lbs.
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ea. $45.46

BK0030


The Best of the Firemaker is a summary of five years of state-of-the-art research in pyrotechnics by Larry Homan. Larry is one of the industry's most devoted and knowledgeable practitioners. From 1996 to 2001 Mr. Homan published a journal devoted to expanding the general knowledge of fireworks. The journal was appropriately named "The Firemaker". This book is a summary of the best of those issues. 239 pages. Shipping weight 3 lbs.
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ea. $45.41

BK0017

By Ian von Maltitz
Fireworks maker Ian von Maltitz' down-to-earth, practical new book shows you how to make good, fast-burning black powder for use in fireworks that can equal or exceed the effectiveness of commercial black powders. Von Maltitz is a fireworks maker. The book contains chapters on safety, chemicals and black powder ingredients, making slow powder, making fast powder, milling powder, the CIA method, different versions of black powder, inexpensive black powder, alternative methods for manufacturing black powder, and testing your powder. Also included are appendices covering the Goex plant in Moosic, Pennsylvania. Commercial specifications for black powders; recommended lift charges for shells; historical manufacture in England, France, and the US. 160 pages. Published in 1997. 8-1/2 x 11, perfect bound, illustrated. Shipping weight 2 lbs.
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ea. $45.46

BK0018

By Ian von Maltitz
After Ian wrote his first book on Black Powder Manufacturing, he decided that there was a lot more to the subject than he had covered. So he started again. The excellent result is this new book, published in May 2003. If I had to have one book on small scale black powder making, this would be it. There is an incredible amount of meat packed into this book, far too much to be able to touch on here. Topics include: street-smart safety tips from somebody who's obviously learned the hard way; using the right ingredients; a critique of various ingredients and alternatives including in-depth discussion of different charcoals and an effectiveness comparison of many different woods; entry level black powder; why granulation is important and when it isn't; making charcoal different ways; tuning your BP for greater speed including more on pressing and granulation; a realistic discussion of the CIA method; comparison of various milling methods; a chapter just on ball milling including discussions about different media, wet and dry, and mill speed; "turbocharged black powder"--how to make the fastest (most efficient) possible powder; making black powder on a shoestring--where to get cheap ingredients--arghhh; the chemistry of black powder; alternative black powders; powder testing; historical testing methods, particularly eprouvettes; modern testing methods; and much, much more. This is a must-have book for any black powder maker. 8-1/2 x 11, softcover, 208 pages, profusely illustrated. Shipping weight 2.5 lbs.
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ea. $55.14

BK0020

By Tenney L. Davis
Originally published in 1941-1943, this book contains both Volume I and Volume II. Although primarily aimed at chemists and students of explosives, Davis includes much on black powder and fireworks. In addition, there are chapters on smokeless powders, high explosives, detonators, and primers. Well illustrated, many photographs, numerous pyrotechnic formulas. 490 pages. Softcover, 5-1/4 x 8-1/4 inches. Shipping weight 3 lbs.
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ea. $63.54

BK0023

By Thomas Kentish
Some of the most detailed descriptions and drawings of fireworks devices ever published. There are chapters on roman candles (extensive), rockets, stars, wheels, gerbes, tourbillions, saxons, serpents, shells, aquatic fireworks, girandolas, lancework, tools, formulations, and too much more to list here. A classic: originally published in 1878, this is a newer edition republished by American Fireworks News with revisions. 129 pages, about 200 illustrations. Shipping weight 1.5 lbs.
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ea. $47.75

BK0025

By George W. Weingart
A unique version of George Weingart's classic (1937) book on making fireworks. This edition was published in 1996 and contains dozens of illustrations, tables, and formulas for making every kind of firework imaginable. Though many of the formulas and chemicals are considered outdated today, this book is still a valuable addition to any pyro library for its details on construction and techniques. What makes this edition unique is a section containing a fascinating correspondence between Weingart and Orville Carlisle, credited with being the inventor of the toy rocket. An invaluable book and a necessity for every serious fireworks maker. 136 pages, soft cover. Shipping weight 2 lbs.
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ea. $50.18

BK0015


"The Ultimate book of Fireworks Hints & Tips" is a collection of some of the best fireworks making tidbits ever compiled. All of these tips orginally appeared in the newsletter, American Fireworks News, during the last 25 years. Good stuff for experienced and beginner fireworks makers. Shipping weight 1 lb.
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ea. $24.97

BK0034

By Bill Ofca
This is a collection of pyrotechnic safety essays written by Ofca for American Fireworks News over a period of ten years. Useful for experimenters and professionals alike, Bill's book's discussions on safety touch on all the important issues of making, handling, and shooting display fireworks. Includes bonus essay on how to make a beautiful golden spider web shell. 8-1/2 x 11 inches, 90 pages. Shipping weight 2 lbs.
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ea. $52.52

BK0037

By Dr. Takeo Shimizu

"Fireworks: The Art, Science, and Technique" by Takeo Shimizu is a must-have book for any serious fireworks maker. It is considered by many to be the most important fireworks-making book of all time.

This edition was revised and released in June 1996. Along with Rev. Ronald Lancaster's book, it is one of the two most important books on current methods in the craft of fireworks making. Topics include fireworks arrangement and art, the science of fireworks, ignition, combustion, flame colors and temperatures, flame color adjustment, spark phenomena, smokes, oxidizers, color agents, combustion agents, examination of most fireworks chemicals and their properties, smoke dyes, other chemicals, binders, papers, explosives and fuses, mixing chemicals, making all types of stars, loading compositions, pasting with paper, fuse manufacture, drying methods, bursting charges, colored flame compositions, silver compositions, fire dust compositions, twinklers (strobes), flare and smoke stars, flash, whistles, hummers, comets, falling leaves, flowers, waterfalls, chrysanthemums and other shell construction, comets on shells, lancework, mines, candles, drivers and saxons, toy fireworks, fireworks and display management, and safety. Hard cover. Shipping weight 3 lbs.
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ea. $128.77

BK0040

By Lloyd Scott Oglesby
Oglesby details the theory of glitter production and then shows you how to make your own glitter mix formulations and add glittering effects to make glitter stars, glitter comets, glitter rockets, glitter fountains, and other glitter effect fireworks. Oglesby discusses why fireworks crackle, glitter, and strobe--all thought to be related phenomena. 82 pages, 22 tables, 35 photos, 20 formulas. Shipping weight 2 lbs.
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ea. $49.97

BK0019

By Jack Drewes, Joel Baechle, the Passfire
This is small, but thorough book shows you how to make charcoal yourself. Everything you need to know is covered: materials, tools, building a kiln or retort, selecting wood, setting up the furnace, cost estimates, and much more. If you want or need to make charcoal, this book will put you on the right path. 48 pages, softcover, 5-1/2 in. by 9 in. Shipping weight 1 lb.
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ea. $29.94

BK0042

By Garry W. Hanson
If you have children who are interested in fireworks, or if you want to involve your kids in your fireworks activities, this is a great new book for you and them. This book shows 2nd to 5th grade level children how fireworks are made and used in a commercial display. It has many excellent color photos with text explaining: black powder and how it's made; making stars and inserts; assembling shells; fuses and fusing; creating displays and loading mortars; and electrical matching and firing. 32 pages, 40 color photos. Shipping weight 1.5 lbs.
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ea. $39.54

BK0045

By Tom Dimock
Girandolas are flying horizontal wheels. They are some of the most spectacular fireworks being made today. Much of the interest in girandolas in the United States today is owed to Bill Kimbrough's adventures in Mexico and learning the craft from the Mexican masters. Tom and Bill have both entered girandolas in competition at PGI conventions in recent years. This book is the result of the work that Tom has done in learning the craft of making these spectacular devices. Tom covers making the frame, the drivers, special effects to add to the wheel, construction techniques, ignition, fusing, timing, launching, and sources of supply. This is an unusually well done book for a self-published pyrotechnic manual. Many excellent and clear photographs and diagrams. There is a lot here. Invaluable and unique, this is an excellent companion book to Tom's video on Girandola Construction. 8-1/2 inches x ll inches. 50 pages, softcover. Shipping weight 1 lb.
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ea. $41.52

BK0050

By Tom Perigrin
This book was written by a chemistry Ph.D. and longtime fireworks practitioner. It was created because the author felt there was just no book that was understandable, current, complete, and safe enough for beginning fireworks makers to start with. The book starts the reader out with the simplest projects and gradually moves to more advanced devices. There is a "build" to the sequence of projects in this book: each project incorporates into it what the reader has learned in earlier chapters.

Contains projects on making black powder, black match, quick match, fountains, drivers, rats and pigeons (line rockets), lances, set pieces, sparklers, tourbillions, cut stars, mines, aerial shells, girandolas, star pumps, comets, round stars, roman candles, star plates, and Clark's Giant Steel Fountain. There is an excellent set of appendices that explain the chemistry and physics behind fireworks including what gives fireworks their color, what makes them explode, etc. 203 pages. 50+ photographs and illustrations and numerous tables. Shipping weight 2 lbs. How to begin making fireworks

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ea. $71.94

BK0065

By John D. Lippy, Jr. and Edward L. Palder.
Originally published years ago in, this is primarily a book of magic tricks using chemicals. There are chapters on Chemical Magic with Liquids; Luminous Paints; Dry Ice; Invisible Inks; Luminous Inks; Flash Paper; Fire Magic; Fire Eating; Magic with Slates; Chemical Cocktails; Chemical Stunts; Professional Magic; Chemical Jokes and Novelties. The pyrotechnic chapter (Fire Magic) includes colored fires and flames; starting a fire with water and ice; an exploding hammer; serpents' eggs; snakes; burning ice; self-lighting candles; candles won't stay lit; lighting a cigarette with ice and more. A fascinating book full of fun stuff for everybody. 164 pages. No longer in print, this is a photocopied version. Shipping weight 1 lb.
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ea. $31.62

BK0069

Various Authors. Edited by Kurt Medlin

The PGI Anthology, Volume I, is a collection of 116 articles on making fireworks published between 1998 and 2010 in the PGI Bulletin.

The PGI is The Pyrotechnic Guild International, the largest club in the world for fireworks makers and enthusiasts. The book is over 400 pages in length and contains projects and articles covering basic fireworks chemistry, stars and garnitures, shells, rockets, tourbillions, set pieces, and question-and-answer articles on a wide variety of firework subjects. It is extensively illustrated with line drawings and photographs in both color and black-and-white, including step-by-step tutorial articles on a number of projects. The PGI Anthology lists numerous new and unique formulas, taken from actual use.


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ea. $74.97

BK0070

By A. A. Shidlovskiy
Originally published in 1964 in the USSR, and subsequently translated to English by the US Defense Department, this book is still one of the most frequently cited pyrotechnic references. It contains a wealth of information on both civilian and military pyrotechnic and fireworks devices. This new third edition, published in 1997, has been called "the single best scientific text currently in print on the chemistry of pyrotechnics...an absolute must for anyone wanting to take a scientific approach to pyrotechnics" in a recent review. This is a book for advanced or scientifically inclined fire workers. New and extensive index, 272 pages, soft cover. Shipping weight 2 lbs.
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ea. $99.86

BK0073

By Bill Ofca
Bill Ofca's controversial and unique book that tells the truth about what everyone involved in display fireworks needs to know. What fireworks are; how to pick the site; the meaning behind NFPA 1123; what, why, and how fireworks regulations affect displays, permits, land sites, barge sites, ocean beach sites, safety, dishonest practices in the trade, fund raising, insurance, how customers should pick a display company, how to bid for fireworks displays, how to evaluate and investigate a display company, and much, much more. 8-1/2 x 11 inches, 138 pages, illustrated, and indexed. Shipping weight 3 lbs.
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ea. $58.74

BK0076

By Joel Baechle
Out of print until recently, Joel Baechle's unique book was written by one of the most knowledgeable pyro chemists in the industry today. Originally designed to be an accompaniment to his seminars of the same title at the 1989 and 1998 PGI Conventions, Pyrocolor Harmony has evolved into a very useful reference for serious students of the art of colored pyrotechnic displays and of colored flames, particularly in stars and comets. A number of excellent star formulas are included as well as Robert Veline's superb colored star system. This latest edition has a lot of new information added since the original, 1989 version. Shipping weight 2 lbs.
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ea. $63.54

BK0078

By Donald J. Haarmann
New and updated 1996 Edition. Containing 2,600+ pyrotechnic formulations, this is without a doubt the most complete and exhaustive collection ever published. Includes formulas for every imaginable type of firework and pyrotechnic device; including dozens of formulas for every color, including fireworks recipes for purple, blue, red, gold, green, silver, gold, and dozens of variations in between. You'll find formulas for flash stars, crackle, glitter, strobes, and waterfall fireworks. On the minus side, there is no narrative or how-to information with any of the formulations. A no-brainer reference for any serious pyrotechnician to own, but definitely not a book for beginners. 155 pages. Shipping weight 3 lbs.
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ea. $65.94

BK0100


Over the years, Pyrotechnica has proven itself to be the foremost magazine devoted exclusively to the display and building of fireworks. Buy the whole seventeen-volume set and save $177.40. Shipping weight 7 lbs.
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set of 17 $653.94

BK0101


Articles on cut star making, zinc stars, the use of lead dioxide in pyrotechnics, flash powders, "Reactions" (letters from readers section). 20 pages. Originals no longer available; photocopy reprint. Shipping weight .5 lbs.
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ea. $6.95

BK0102


Full text of Dr. R. M. Winokur's "The Pyrotechnic Phenomenon of Glitter." THE book to get if you want to make glitter compositions. 46 pages, 4 plates. Originals no longer available; photocopy reprint. Shipping weight 1 lb.
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ea. $20.96

BK0103


Articles on electric spreader stars, mixing pyrotechnic ingredients in a ball mill, chemical abstracts, book review, flash powder (part II), "Reactions." 26 pages. Originals no longer available; photocopy reprint. Shipping weight 1 lb.
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ea. $13.96

BK0104


Review of Dr. Shimizu's "Feuerwerk," use of lead nitrate in pyrotechnics, ammonium perchlorate red stars, titanium sparklers, designing the "ideal" firecracker, chemical abstracts, "Reactions." 30 pages. Originals no longer available; photocopy reprint. Shipping weight 1 lb.
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ea. $20.96

BK0109


George Plimpton's "Tribute to Jimmy Grucci," Part I of A. Fulcanelli's "Traditional Cylinder Shell Construction," Part II of Kosanke's "The Physics, Chemistry, and Perception of Colored Flames," Jim Wommack's "Roadside Stands to State Fairs: Fifty Years of Fireworks," book reviews, "Reactions," and classified ads. 64 pages. Shipping weight 1.5 lbs.
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ea. $57.78

BK0105


Strobe light pyrotechnic compositions, book reviews, a biography of James Cutbush, making a rocket wheel, aluminum flash powders, "Reactions." 44 pages. Originals no longer available; photocopy reprint. Shipping weight 1 lb.
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ea. $20.96

BK0106


Full text of Dr. Shimizu's "Studies on Blue and Purple Flame Compositions Made with Potassium Perchlorate," R. Winokur's "Purple Fire," "Reactions," "Pyrographs." 32 pages. Originals no longer available; photocopy reprint. Shipping weight 1 lb.
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ea. $20.96

BK0107


Part I of Dr. Kosanke's "The Physics, Chemistry and Perception of Colored Flames," Troy Fish's "Green and Other Colored Flame Metal Fuel Compositions Using Parlon," Maltese pyrotechnics, book reviews, "Reactions." 44 pages. Originals no longer available; photocopy reprint. Shipping weight 1 lb.
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ea. $40.25

BK0108


Shimizu's "Studies on Strobe Light Pyrotechnic Compositions," how to read triangle diagrams, book reviews, "Reactions." 44 pages. Originals no longer available; photocopy reprint. Shipping weight 1.5 lbs.
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ea. $42.00

BK0110


Reverend R. Lancaster's "Some Observations on Firework Manufacturing and Safety Concerns," Wommack's "Those Were the Days -- A Fireworks Photo Album," T. Shimizu's "Studies on Microstars," Dr. A. Shidlovskiy's "A Brief Historical Sketch of the Development of Pyrotechnics in Russia," J. Taylor's "Determination of Height of an Explosion in the Air," F. Lienhard's "Rocket Stability," book reviews and "Reactions." 64 pages. 4 plates. Originals no longer available; photocopy reprint. Shipping weight 1.5 lbs.
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ea. $57.78

BK0111


Out of print for years, this issue contains: Part II of A. Fulcanelli's "Traditional Cylinder Shell Construction" expertly illustrated, covering muti-break, multi-function, and complex Italian style shells (reason enough to buy this very important issue of Pyrotechnica); Sulcuk Oztap's "The Pyrotechnic Whistle and Its Applications;" Emmanuel Camilleri's "A Maltese Fireworks Photographic Exhibition;" K. L. and B. J. Kosanke's "Electrical Firing of Musically Choreographed Fireworks Aerial Displays;" book reviews. 84 pages. 11 plates. Shipping weight 1.5 lbs.
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ea. $64.74

BK0112


Peter Budarick's "The State of the Firework Art from the Viewpoint of a Firework Artist," T. Shimizu's "Studies on Firefly Compositions (Aluminum-Charcoal Type)," S. Oztap's "The Pyrotechnic Whistle and Its Applications," E. Camilleri's "A Maltese Fireworks Photographic Exhibition," K. and B. Kosanke's "Electrical Firing of Musically Choreographed Fireworks Aerial Displays," editorial, book reviews, and "Reactions." 84 pages. Shipping weight 2 lbs.
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ea. $68.34

BK0113


T. Shimizu's "Tribute to Dr. Alex Hardt" and "Studies on Mixtures of Lead Oxides with Metals (Magnalium, aluminum, or magnesium)," S. Oztap's "The Pyrotechnic Whistle and Its Applications, Part II," J. Barkley's "Chinese Multitube Fireworks Design and Construction: The Parachute Battalion," Dr. C. Jennings-White's "Some Esoteric Firework Materials," Barry Sturman's "The Knox Pyroballets, 1988," J. Clayre's "Japanese Hand Made Cracker Units," book reviews, "Reactions." 68 pages. 4 color plates. Shipping weight 2 lbs.
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ea. $79.14

BK0114


Reverend R. Lancaster's "Some Reflections on Roman Candles," Dr. T. Shimizu's "Investigation of the Pyrotechnic Glitter Phenomenon (Parts I and II)," C. Jennings-White's "Lead-Free Crackling Microstars" and "Blue Strobe Light Pyrotechnic Compositions," K. and B. Kosanke's "Computer Modeling of Aerial Shell Ballistics," Jorge Ferrando's "Firework Manufacture in Argentina." 80 pages. 4 color plates. Shipping weight 2 lbs.
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ea $79.14

BK0115


Peter Budarick's "Thoughts on the Evolution of Firework Art," B. and K. Kosanke's "Lancework -- Pictures in Fire," C. Jennings-White's "Nitrate Colors," Hideo Hitano's "Sensitivity Tests on Crackling Noise Compositions of Magnalium-Metal Oxide," E. McCaskie's "A New Method for the Production of Blue Strobe Stars," Dr. Christina Leeflang's "A Photometric Method of Analysis for Pyrotechnic Color Compositions," book reviews, "Reactions." 68 pages. Shipping weight 2 lbs.
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ea. $79.14

BK0116


Lars Barfod's "Danish Fireworks," C. Jennings-White's "Hygroscopicity and Double Decomposition of Pyrotechnic Oxidizers," R. Wharton and H. J. Slater's "Further Studies of the Noise Levels Produced by Fireworks," S. Partin's "Vibrational Whistle Rockets: A Study of Catalyst Selection on Performance," T. Shimizu's "The Omagari Firework Festival," J. Toker's "Experimental Evaluation of Pyrotechnic Whistle Compositions," Per Alenfelt's "Corrosion Protection of Magnesium without the Use of Chromates," S. Myatt's and R. Wharton's "A Survey of Factors Relating to the Use of Mortars at Firework Displays in the United Kingdom." 72 pages. 4 color plates. Shipping weight 2 lbs.
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ea. $79.14

BK0117


Myke Stanbridge on pyrotechnics in cyberspace, projectiles, tracers, mortar specifications and clearances, shell lifting charges, rocket sizing, shotshell rocket motors, plant gums (including calo resin, yacca, accroides, and red gums); "A Systematic Study of the Performance of Charcoals in Pyrotechnic Compositions" by Roger O'Neill (charcoals are tested in black powder and comets); "Lithium, Boron, and Calcium" by Clive Jennings-White and Steve Wilson (the use of these elements in colored stars, glitter stars, and "liquid colors"); "A Selection of Spot Tests for Qualitative Analysis of Pyrotechnic Compositions" by Steve Majdali (spot tests to detect common pyrotechnic chemicals and compositions); "We Did it Our Way"--The Kimbolton Approach to Large Displays" by Tom Smith (descriptions of very large London and Montreal displays and techniques); "The Flower Pot Fountain: Application of Modern Formulation Techniques to a Classic Effect" by Bruce Blom (how to make the lampblack-based "flower pot effect" fountain, similar in effect to "senko hanabi"); Mike Swisher on "Myth and Misinformation in the Early History of Pyrotechnics"; "A Survey of Pyrotechnic Resources on the Internet" by Kevin Gendron and Jennie Bradford; book reviews. 72 pages. Shipping weight 2 lbs.
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BK0120

By Alexander P. Hardt, Ph.D.
The term pyrotechnics encompasses much more than Fireworks. From space shuttle booster rockets to ejection seats, near-infrared flares, and automotive airbags, pyrotechnics finds many industrial and military uses. The last serious attempt to deal with the full spectrum of pyrotechnics in one volume was Herbert Ellern's Military and Civilian Pyrotechnics, first published in 1968 and later reprinted. In the past 32 years, many works have appeared on the narrower subjects of fireworks and "pyrotechnic chemistry," but nothing with the broad scope of Ellern's book. Unfortunately, Alexander Hardt did not live to see his book published, but he envisioned it as an update of Ellern, incorporating the many advances in research, computer technology, and general understanding of pyrotechnic phenomena that have occurred in the past three decades. In the history of its literature, this is certainly not the first time a work on pyrotechnics has been posthumously published. The very first printed book on pyrotechny, the Pirotecnia of Vannoccio Biringuccio, was published in 1540, after the author's death. The first American work on the subject, A System of Pyrotechny, by Professor James Cutbush of the United States Military Academy at West Point, was published under similar circumstances. The late Dr. Hardt is remembered in pyrotechnic circles for his research and development work during 27 years at the Lockheed Palo Alto Research Laboratory, his numerous contributions to the Encyclopedia of Explosives and Related Items (U.S. Army Armament Research and Development Command), and many other technical reports. In its present form, two new chapters augment the original material of Dr. Hardt: an extensive chapter on fireworks, by Barry L. Bush, and a chapter on the many advances in statistical analysis and computer applications by Dr. Barry T. Neyer, Director of Research and Development at PerkinElmer Optoelectronics and President of Neyer Software. Published in late 2001, the book has a 25-page introductory section, 23 chapters including a glossary, followed by a bibliography and an index along with four appendices. Interspersed throughout its 430 pages are 79 tables, 42 line drawings, and 46 photographs. Shipping weight 4 lbs.
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ea. $158.34

BK0135

By Dave Bleser
The companion book to Bleser's Round Stars video. Learn to make round shells like a pro. This manual takes you by the hand and guides you into the world of round shell making. Using step-by-step instructions, the author shows you how to make paper hemispheres, how to make round stars, how to select the right burst charge, how to load the stars. 19 photos, 3 drawings, 31 formulas, 58 pages. Shipping weight 1.5 lbs.
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ea. $46.14

BK0150

By Bill Ofca
Bill Ofca, a long-time professional fireworks maker and shooter, has written this excellent series focusing on the craft of fireworks making. Several things set this series apart from other fireworks literature. First, Bill was a professional fireworks company owner for many years. His years of hands-on experience means that each book consists of tried and tested methods that are well illustrated and provided in clear, understandable detail. Second, these books provide a thoroughness, and depth of detail that is lacking in most other fireworks projects books. Third, and most importantly, Bill continually stresses safety and provides industry-accepted, safe ways to construct fireworks. If you are serious about making fireworks, the Technique in Fire series will make an invaluable addition to your store of information. All volumes are 8-1/2 x 11 inches with lay-flat plastic bindings. Buy the complete eleven-volume set and save $18.58. Shipping weight 5 lbs.
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set of 11 $310.76

BK0151

By Bill Ofca
Ofca explains the world of flash: aluminum and other metal powders, their uses and differences. He also explains flash powder, its risks, safety rules; and how to make it. Then he gives simple, step-by-step instructions for making a 2, 3, or 4 inch cylindrical (Italian) aerial salute shells. He covers their history, traditional uses, construction, lifting, shell case rolling, time delay fusing, spiking the shell, shell pasting-in, shell drying and finishing, and final shell assembly. 35 pages. Shipping weight 1 lb.
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BK0160

By Bill Ofca
Bill thoroughly discusses working with potassium chlorate and barium chlorate. The use of chlorates in fireworks is often a controversial one. Bill discusses the history of the use of chlorates in fireworks, who should use them and who should not, the chemistry of chlorates, a review and thorough discussion of the existing literature on chlorates (from Lancaster, Conkling, Shimizu, Shidlovskiy), and chemicals that are compatible and incompatible with chlorates. Bill describes safe procedures to use in screening, mixing, and handling chlorate star compositions. He even includes several proven chlorate colored star formulas. If you have never worked with chlorates before, we strongly encourage you to read this book before using them. If you are an experienced user of chlorates, this book can broaden your knowledge of these potentially sensitive chemicals. 48 pages. Shipping weight 1 lb.
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BK0161

By Bill Ofca
This latest and just written book by Bill Ofca is a comprehensive look into the safety and artistic display value of various grand finale techniques. Bill examines safety for mortar and rack construction, as well as safe ways to set up finale racks for displays. There are discussions about how to budget the display contract dollars for a finale, and what gives a fireworks display an entertaining high artistic value for spectators. Tried and true "finale theme" and set up methods are revealed with plenty of graphics drawings to guide the reader to meaningful understanding. This book is a "must" read for those fireworks display artists who want their shows to give a lasting impression. 39 pages. Shipping weight 1 lb.


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BK0152

By Bill Ofca
Bill shows you how to make chrysanthemum and peony shells that look as good as Japanese style shells. The techniques of small ball shell building are different from building larger ones. Bill covers pros and cons of plastic ball shells; shell design and star color combinations; shell lift charges; formulas for and safe mixing of burst powder; flash bag construction; fusing; shell assembly; glues and gluing; making the lift charge cup; quickmatch shell leader; and mass production techniques. 25 pages. Shipping weight 1 lb.
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BK0153

By Bill Ofca
Bill shows you how to make a hard breaking, glittering, brilliant silver diadem that can look as big as an 8 inch shell and as good as any high quality Japanese made shell. Bill discusses plastic ball shell pros and cons; design considerations and color combinations; lift charge weights; safely making burst powder including formula; special bursting techniques for this shell; the star formula and primer formula; burst bag; fusing; special flame transfer match; special 6 inch shell burst bag assembly; hemisphere assembly; star loading; gluing and sealing the shell; lift cups and lift cup board construction for mass production; finishing the shell using Bill's quick lift techniques and leadering. 30 pages. Shipping weight 1 lb.
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BK0154

By Bill Ofca
Bill describes 88 chemicals including complete chemical data and descriptions; compatibility notes; cautions; and fireworks uses. 39 pages. Shipping weight 1 lb.
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BK0155

By Bill Ofca
Producing cut stars, one of fireworks' most basic skills, is thoroughly covered by Bill. This is a great companion book to the Cut Stars video (product #VD0025). This manual describes the different types of stars and their pros and cons in usage; star priming; making chlorate cut stars and special precautions to use; making stars with metal powders; drying stars; general safety techniques for star making; Bill's favorite emerald green, red, blue, yellow, silver flitter and other star formulas; screening and blending techniques; dampening star mixes; details for making tools including a loaf box and tamper; how to make and slice the star loaf; and finally priming and drying. 27 pages. Shipping weight 1 lb.
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BK0156

By Bill Ofca
Imagine the red and blue starburst with 15 scooting silver-tailed whistles descending in tone, and then, Boom!, a gut tingling report followed by a cluster of silver sparks! This patriotic red, white, and blue traditionally favorite shell always gets applause from spectators. Bill shows how to use modern materials and techniques to make this shell including formulas, whistle making, tools, salute making, case rolling, using paper cans, discs, fusing, timing, shell loading, spiking, pasting, final assembly, lift, safety rules, and more. 34 pages. Shipping weight 1 lb.
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BK0157

By Bill Ofca
Bill shows how to make a professional-grade, giant comet with a bushy, dense, 2 foot wide column of sparks several hundred feet tall that hangs in the air at least 10 seconds before fading. You can mount this comet on top of a 4 inch (or larger) shell or fire it as a standalone comet. This report shows you how to solve the problems of large comet design, eliminating their break-up as they leave the mortar. It also shows you how to solve the problem of regulating burn rate so that the comet is completely burned up before it starts to come down. From making the tools to assembling the lift, Bill reveals the secrets of the late fireworks master, Joe Chiarella. Thoroughly illustrated. 31 pages, 20 illustrations. Shipping weight 1 lb.
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BK0158

By Bill Ofca
If you have ever had problems getting match, fuse, spoulettes, stars, shells, lancework, gerbs, or other devices to ignite properly, this should be a useful book for you. Bill thoroughly explains the theory and practice of fireworks ignition. He explains the various kinds of fuse, including how they are made and why and when they fail. Cross matching and thermolite are covered as are electric matches, spolette construction, and special problems. First fires, pass fires, lift, matching aerial shells and whistles, quickmatch delays, star ignition, flash and other burst bags–all are covered. 42 pages, 15 illustrations. Shipping weight 1 lb.
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BK0159

By Bill Ofca
This book will teach you how to add different effects to your shells to make them really special. Even a relatively dull shell can be made interesting with the addition of shell garnishments. Part 1 of the book shows you how make and use comets, including instructions on making tools, and how to marry them to your shells, and formulas for silver and gold comets. Part 2 shows you how to build a whistling "tracer" (with either no tail or a silver tail) or a whistling spoulette. These are sophisticated shell garnishments that will really put professional sizzle in your shells. 46 pages, 22 illustrations. Shipping weight 1 lb.
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BK0175

By Ralph Degn; Revised by William Schmidt
Westech was a pyrotechnic supplies company started back in the 1960's in Utah by Ralph Degn. Ralph wrote a series of "Technical Reports" designed to help amateur pyros learn to build fireworks. These "TR's" as Ralph called them, marked the blossoming of a new era in fireworks making literature. Before that time, very little useable literature had been written in the 20th century about modern fireworks making. Westech has long since passed from the scene, and Ralph has moved on to other things in life. The original TR's were pretty crudely self-published booklets, each one dealing with a single fireworks topic. Many of them had hand-drawn illustrations. Now, Bill Schmidt has "re-created" the TR's using modern computer technology and published them in color in a great new book called the Westech Fireworks Manual. I think it ranks among the most useful fireworks craft manuals ever done. The illustrations are among the best ever done in fireworks literature. I know of no other fireworks manual using color illustrations as profusely as this book. The list of fireworks projects is extensive. Click here for a description of contents. For a more in-depth review, click here. 9 x 11-1/4 inches. 157 pages, soft cover, many illustrations. Shipping weight 3 lbs.
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ea. $105.54


  
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