Knowledgebase: Instruction Manuals
2.5" Ball Shell Kit Instructions
Posted by Kevin Rath on 01 November 2011 07:50 PM

Material list:

  • paper ball shell casings
  • safety glasses
  • black powder
  • razor knife
  • tissue paper
  • stars or inserts
  • masking tape
  • plastic baggies
  • hot glue gun
  • string


Cut the time fuse approximately 1" to 1-1/2" for a test shell to check timing.
This may vary depending on the quality lift charge.

Split one end of the time fuse to expose the power core.
Insert the time fuse through the hole in the ball shell casing, with the split on the topside of the hemisphere.
Hot glue the fuse in place. After the glue dries you can tie a clove hitch knot around the time fuse to help keep it in place.
Split the other end of the time fuse and place a couple small pieces of the paper fast fuse in the core of the time fuse and tie in place.

Take your stars and place in the shell casing, placing them along the wall of the shell working from the bottom of the shell to the top.
Take tissue paper and place over the time fuse. Fill with black powder coated rice hulls (burst charge).
You can also add a gram of flash to help with the break.
Fold the tissue paper over the burst charge and tape in place to keep burst in place.
Repeat this step with the other casing.
Mate the 2 halves together. Use a strong masking take to hold it together and ready for pasting.

Pasting the shell
Now measure out your tape.
You want the strip to go from the time fuse to the bottom of the shell.
Keep the time fuse pointed up for reference.
Start pasting one strip at a time over-lapping the previous piece of tape in half until you cover the shell.
Turn the shell so the time fuse is now 90 degrees from where you started and repeat the pasting process again.
Turn shell another 90 degrees so the time fuse should be pointed down opposite from how you started.
You can use a roll of masking tape or some other type of tube to use as a base to protect the time fuse. Repeat the pasting.
Turn another 90 degrees and complete one more pasting cycle.
Set shell aside and let dry for a few hours or even a day or two then come back and repeat the pasting steps again.

Lifting the shell
Weigh out 3/4 to 1 ounce of your black powder. Place in a plastic baggie.
Place the end of your leader fuse into the bag and tape securely.
Tape the lift bag over the time fuse. You can do two things for this step.
Take a small paper dixie cup (the ones you have in the bathroom).
Cover the lift charge with the leader fuse sticking out the top of the cup and tape in place.
Then tape the fuse to the side of the shell and you are ready to go.
You can also take Kraft paper and tape it around the lower portion of the shell covering the lift charge leaving your leader fuse sticking out.
Cut some slits in the paper and tape over the lift charge.
Tape the leader fuse to the side of the shell.

For more information check out these books and dvd's:
Star Making DVD's
Round Stars and Shells Book

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