WARNING AND DISCLAIMER:  If you are underage, then consult with your parents or guardians before attempting any of this.  You are on your own - I'm not responsible for your actions or harm you may bring to others because of your actions.  Making the items described below  can result in injury or death to you or people in your vicinity. Some things mentioned here may be illegal to make in your city, county, state, or country so check the laws that apply to you before you attempt anything described here. These notes are not complete on purpose. If you are reading them and new to pyrotechnics, then you are making a mistake. Stop now - this page is not for you. Get a beginning book on fireworks (see Skylighter or American Fireworks News (very quick shipping)  for a start) and read up. You can't make any of this work without more information so read up or join a club or ask someone to help you.

Making a Fountain from a Thread Cone

This was inspired, in part, by a Passfire message by John Reilly. Thanks, John!

Composition used was RP with +20 Titanium and +16 Charcoal. Don't tamp sensitive fuels - press them instead

These cones are from eBay and were thread cones. They have large openings so they need to be necked down. The cone on the left is doubled up (two cones glued together). That is what we will use for the final product.


Make a mold from some cement and a container (in this case a piece of scrap PVC). Wrap a cone in plastic tape and/or grease it. 


When the cement sets, release it. The mold isn't necessary for charging the cone but it acts as a handy holder for drying


Nose piece. put the cone on this, tamp  in 3/4" of clay, add comp (press if it is a sensitive mixture), add backing.

Picture of doubled cone and clay nose

Some wood tools to press with - these are not horribly precise but note the middle tool has a hole to accommodate the nose core.

Bottom of cone after pressing composition in. It is sealed with a fiber board seal and hot glue (a nice use for that mold we did earlier is to hold the cone while all the glue sets).

Click on the image and see the cone burn out quickly! ..but even with that it was three times as high as the $4.00 commercial version. Just needs a bit of tuning .. yeah.. that's it.


A Whistle Fountain


Here are five 5/8" whistle rockets and two 1.4g mortars. The mortars are fused to pop just as the whistles finish. The whistles are 'left-overs' from the whistle tests. See: rockets/whistletests.html 

The mortars and whistle mounts are securely fastened to the heavy base with glue and screws. The whistles are set in at an angle and hot glued in place. The whistles are quick matched.

Click on the above image and see the action. The quick match popped when it ignited and I jumped out of my shorts!


Fountain Formulas
Borrows Heavily from John Glasswick's Gerb Formula Article

Do not tamp any of these. You can hand press them damp and let them dry (takes a few weeks) or you can press them in a hydraulic press. Mr. Glasswick hand presses them dry and they seem to work for him - I would be uneasy with that - especially if I was mixing different effects. Start with chokes that are 1/2 the diameter of the tubes for these mixes.

 Chemical Red Yellow Orange Green Blue (rec.pyro) Blue-Green (Chertier) Lime Purple Turquoise
Red Gum 8 8 8 8     8 10 7
Charcoal           16      
Parlon 18 18 18 18     18 20 14
Magnalium 18 18 18 18     18 20 14
Titanium 13 13 13 13     13 15 11
Zinc Dust           45      
Strontium Nitrate 43 28     25
Sodium Nitrate 18 15     1  
Potassium Nitrate           39      
Barium Nitrate 25 43     42 36
Cupric Oxide (black) 10   10 18
Stearin         20        
Shellac         5        
Potassium Perchlorate     25
Ammonium Perchlorate         65