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Author: Subject: Woo hoo, I built a working ball mill!!!
evil_lurker
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Woo hoo, I built a working ball mill!!!

I'm pleased with myself. I now have a working 2 jar capacity ball mill, that I am working on adding a metal grinder to.

Unfortunately I'm stuck using some stupid cylinders made from steel rod as grinding media until I can get some proper steel balls.

My dream of making phosphorus just got a little bit closer!

Will post pictures later.
dumbphuck
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white phosphorus

I never did a dicussion board before. I share your burning desire to make my own glow worms. I know you are too familiar with brandt and how he did it.
seems people are convinced that this method is impracticle. why?
I'm not a chemist by any means, nor an engineer. aint the sharpest tool in the woodshed. but I excell in diehard persistance. dammit!
now if basically a caveman accidently made white by distilling piss, it just seems that it cant be that hard. I believe I can pull it off just as he did 300 years ago.
people may think i'm wierd for gathering 5 gallon ozarka bottles of piss. and I will have to do in the country. and of course the furnace will have to be concieved then built. so! history not chemistry books on this one. blacksmiths, and blowpipes, maybe glassblowing. gigantic bellows. whatever.
but the fact remains. primitive methods were used in the first productions. whats all the hubub about?
I am dumbphuck. so, do you know of any attempts at re-enacting the fateful piss distillery done by Mr.Brandt. and why Im the only idiot considering it
Saerynide
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Anyways, I look forward to seeing your pics evil_lurker

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BromicAcid
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You're not the only one considering it dumbphuck, just one of the few on this board, I have seen other places where the distillation of urine has been disussed at length. Many of us are chemists here so it seems a better idea to us to buy some sort of phosphate and go from there rather then distill down urine (smelly and messy and note the fermentation step is not a necessity) and mix it with carbon and heat at high temperatures to furnish phosphorus.

As for the ball mill, which specific reaction are you eyeing to make phosphorus evil_lurker? The purpose of the ball mill being to intimately mix the reactants and lower the reaction temperature I would assume.

Personally I think I need a ball mill, I have to keep grinding things with my mortar and pedestal and it gives me blisters. Specifically I would like to make a heated ball mill, you know, where I could take a flame directly to the drum, that way I could ball mill and dehydrate boric acid at the same time to give some truly anhydrous boric oxide. Or ball mill some of the ferrous sulfate I bought from a gardening shop, I swear it's as hard as a rock, I can't even crush it. And I'm sure I could find other uses for a ball mill.

Shamelessly plugging my attempts at writing fiction: http://www.robvincent.org
evil_lurker
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I'm using the ball mill to grind down aluminum turnings so I can proceed with the sodium hexametaphosphate, aluminum, silicon dioxide reaction, and to grind and intimately mix sulfer and carbon to make carbon disulfide as a solvent for the white P.
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Ball mills

If you can build your own ball mill for cheap that's great ! Personally, I like the lapidary rock
tumbler. A few years ago I bought a Lortone QT-12(12-LB capacity) tumbler and it's quiet.
If you buy a tumbler, stay away from the "vibrating" types unless you like noise. I have
one of those that I used for cleaning bullet casings and it's a noisy beast ! BromicAcid,
I've never seen a tumbler that can be heated while in operation although I understand
your desire for wanting one. I too, have some mortars and pestles(including a nice, large
glass setup) that's great for very small quantities but puts blisters on my hands with any
hard materials. Besides, in my experience they're useless for metal powders. Evil_lurker,
before I found reasonable prices on ball bearings I bought large steel slingshot ammo
from Walmart as my milling media. Look around on eBay or may I suggest http://www.bocabearings.com for reasonable prices.

From opening of NCIS New Orleans - It goes a BOOM ! BOOM ! BOOM ! MUHAHAHAHAHAHAHA !
evil_lurker
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Here are a few things I have learned:

If using rubber garden hose for a drive roller you will get LOTS of slip. This was cured with some very old belt dressing, the type used by antique tractors and impliments. Its not so much slippery as it is sticky as hell.

The ideal jar size if using 6" PVC pipe is approx 8-10 inches in length for 50 3/4" steel balls. If grinding metal turnings one needs all the weight they can get. Also mixing some 1/2" and 3/4" media seems to do a better job than each size alone.

It helps to add in inside the jar two strips of a 1/2" PVC pipe that has been carefully split in half with a saw. The strips prevent the balls from rolling and slippling instead of tumbling increasing efficiancy.

Do not use the green sewer pipe if one can help it. The strips will not stick for crap. I tried bonding with regular pipe cement and epoxy resin and it did not work.

Ideal drive speed for the jar size above is 2" pully on a 1750 RPM motor, 6" pully on the drive shaft, 5/8" diameter shaft size with rubber hose on the outside.
Lambda
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Good rubber shafts for the ball mill !

Inkjet printers, laser printers, yes even daizywheel printers and matrix printers, they all have one thing in common that will benefit powder grinders. A nice condom soft rubber paperfeed shaft. Specially designed for the soft grippy touch needed to feed our needs. Laserprinter paperfeed shafts are actually designed for pyroboys, as they have a good diameter for a strong grip and length, and to give thousands of hours of grinding pleasure, they are ballbearingd. To make things easyer, they have a cogue attached, wich may be driven by the motor in the same printer.

Using cogues and powder together may prove to be a fatal combination. Proper shielding, lubrication and above all, prevention of fine powder dust leaking from the drum or floating through the air must at all times be prevented and carefully monitored. Tidyness is essential and regular inspection and service of components a must. These machines are best operated remotely, and out of harmes way, animals included of course.
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Twospoons
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I'll add my 2 cents by mentioning the cheap 5 litre pressure sprayers (garden shop) that make fantastic milling jars. My mill is built from two photocopier rubber rollers and a geared AC motor, with a pressure sprayer as a jar. Downside is the sprayers are made from HDPE, and it is impossible to get glue to stick. To force the media to tumble, not slide, I put three wooden rods through the jar, top to bottom. The end result is spectacularly successful.

[Edited on 30-5-2005 by Twospoons]
Oxydro
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How loud is a ball mill? Ok, not a question with an absolute answer, but the point is, I have a basement apartment, will the noise likely disturb the landlord upstairs?

I think I'll make it along these lines, if I do:
Gizmology.net Ball Mill

"Our interest's on the dangerous side of things" -- Browning
Lambda
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How loud is a ball mill ?

Depending on your milling balls (lead, brass, steal-ballbearings, wood, stone etc,) and your container (wood, steal, plastic etc.) it can be quite noisy at times.

It should be clear however, that when milling sensitive pyrotechnical mixtures, that steal and other sparking metal combinations are out of the question. Materials, if used together that cause static discharge, like plastic on plastic must allso be avoided.

Milling pyrotechnical mixtures is so dangerouse, that these opperations are done remotely, AND CERTAINLY NOT IN THE CONFIND SPACE OF A BASEMENT, NEVER !!!

One way to deminish the sound dramatically would be to put your milling jar in a bigger container, and filling up the inbetween-space with cottonwol, stonewol or any other material used for hous-wall and roof isolation.

Please advise yourself on this subject by reliable literature, and not by websites of suicidel freaks, who are tired of living !

There are many good sorces out there:

T. L. Davis
Fedoroff
Urbanski
G. W. Weingart
Shimuzu
etc.

http://www.xsorbit2.com/users/apcforum/index.cgi?board=High_...

Don't touch "the black books" and other dangerouse "anarchists" crap-books. The "black books" were written for people that were expendable.

 Quote: This milling machine will be so quite, that you will be able to hear an ant pissing on cottonwol !

[Edited on 13-6-2005 by Lambda]
International Hazard

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Rubber

My tumbler barrel is rubber and even with the slingshot ammo and ball bearings rolling around the
operation is very quiet.

From opening of NCIS New Orleans - It goes a BOOM ! BOOM ! BOOM ! MUHAHAHAHAHAHAHA !
Lambda
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Graphite inpregnated Rubber for the pro (electricaly conductive)

My tumbler was also made of rubber, for the final stage in mixing. They sell this kind of tumbler in stone and mineral stores for polishing stones with an added abrassive powder.

To make aluminium powder, I used the steal tumbler with brass balls. It scared the birds out of the trees when it was on !. I allso added some stearic acid (~5%) to coat the aluminium powder, and opend the tumbler from time to time to let it react with the air. As a starting point, I used finely snippered aluminium foil, as what you would expect if made from a coffee grinder.

[Edited on 14-6-2005 by Lambda]
chemrox
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ball mills continued

I wanted to add that I got a small, water tight rock tumbler from Harbor Fright (how I spell it) for ~ $20 and picked up some 7/8" balls at a bearing shop for ~$1.50/ea.

I should have posted this in the old thread:

I was going to delete and re-post but there was already a reply. I will post to the appropriate thread in future.

[Edited on 7-12-2007 by chemrox]

"When you let the dumbasses vote you end up with populism followed by autocracy and getting back is a bitch." Plato (sort of)
evil_lurker
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Mood: On the wagon again.

Be sure to order some spare belts, as mine broke one after about 3 days of use.

I'm using 1/2" alumina spheres in mine.. seems to work pretty good, but I think it would be better to use a mix of 1/2" and 3/4" high carbon balls.

Snag a set of those pocket scales too... they are accurate to .1 g and suitable for lots of stuff. Mine works like a charm.

http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnu...

I have a couple pumps on order too, I'm going to see how the 190gph and 258gph pumps work on my recirculating sump... I think that the 258 gph model is going to be the answer as it supposedly has a 6' head which should be sufficiant.

http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnu...

http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnu...

Hell for $5 more one could get a 528gph unit... which has a 7foot head. http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnu... [Edited on 7-12-2007 by evil_lurker] Not all chemicals are bad. Without chemicals such as hydrogen and oxygen, for example, there would be no way to make water, a vital ingredient in beer. chemrox International Hazard Posts: 2953 Registered: 18-1-2007 Location: UTM Member Is Offline Mood: LaGrangian Are you recirculating water for your condensers? If so why did you choose submersibles? If so are you cooling the water through a radiator? I'm considering these as water conservation meaures. I think the energy demand involved is much less the water otherwise wasted. I'm planning on used motorcycle radiators. They would have circulated oil so the corrosion shouldn't be much of an issue. "When you let the dumbasses vote you end up with populism followed by autocracy and getting back is a bitch." Plato (sort of) evil_lurker International Hazard Posts: 767 Registered: 12-3-2005 Location: United States of Elbonia Member Is Offline Mood: On the wagon again. This is sump v.2.0.1 Its a bilge pump powered off a 12v battery designed as a livewell aerator, with an old CPU cooler fan on top blowing on the water. Surprisingly it will keep the temp of the water damn near ambient just by evaporation. The pump puts out 330gph, which is more than sufficiant... it probably pushes 10-15 feet or so of head. Surprisingly it also uses very little power... I know a large deep cycle marine battery will easily last 12+ hours on a chage. And its cheap!$20 at walmart.

I'm hoping to have the new system set up without the pump, CPC quick disconnet fittings for both the sump and my condensors (so I don't have to take off the hoses for , and norprene tubing for less thermal dissipation (for when I want to use ice and make it last longer) and an overflow for when the ice melts and I want to add more.

Not all chemicals are bad. Without chemicals such as hydrogen and oxygen, for example, there would be no way to make water, a vital ingredient in beer.
Nick F
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My 2 cents on ball mill construction: try to find an old tumble dryer in a scrap yard (I got one when my parents got a new one, but I bet you could find one in a scrap yard with the motor still working). Disconnect the heater and fan. Make your milling jars out of drainpipe and endcaps, et voila! Depending on the capacity of the tumble dryer's drum and the size of drainpipe you use you could probably put 3-5 jars in at a time, giving you the option of simultaneousy milling several reagents.

I never milled pyrotechnic mixtures together, I milled the seperate chems and then mixed them by hand. My BP seemed identical to commercial stuff to me, so I don't really think that milling mixed pyrotechnic mixtures is worth the risk...
chemrox
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I would be affraid that centrepital "force" would hold the balls against the outside walls of a system like that unless you turn the whole gettup on its side. You're talking mega capacity too. My Harbor Fright tumbler is chugging away. Lurker was so right about the shitty belts. What they are is Chinese o-rings. I got some better, 3.75" o-rings up the street and I've been rolling ever since. I had to move the motor to max stretch and may mill the slots before I'm done adapting the tool but it was cheap, quiet and easy to adapt. What's the problem about balls? Don't you guys have bearing sellers where you live? A dozen 3/4" chrome plated steel balls cost me \$9. The 1" ones were a lot more but I could do the same job quicker with fewer of them. Old glass marbles didn't do much grinding ... and I'd be affraid the weight of slingshot ammo (3/16" balls) wouldn't be enough to grind very quickly.

"When you let the dumbasses vote you end up with populism followed by autocracy and getting back is a bitch." Plato (sort of)
LSD25
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This is probably a llittle off-topic - although it is a ramble, lets let the lurker call it - but, speaking of ball-mills,

There are several documented procedures using ball-mills to prepare nickel-aluminium alloys by mechanical alloying (5 days @ 350rpm under Argon) to prepare 1:1 Al-Ni alloy which is quite difficult to purchase for some bizarre reason.

In the papers I have read on the 'mechanical alloying' technique, they digest the output powders with KOH/NaOH to dissolve the Al leaving a skeletal Ni remnant, although I ain't quite sure why they would want to do that, it shore luks interisten....

Methinks this looks a lot fucking cheaper than Pt/Pd for whatever one might be dreaming of?

[Edited on 22-12-2007 by LSD25]

Whhhoooppps, that sure didn't work
chemkid
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I have read a lot about ball mills now, and made one of my own. I have a bunch of aluminum turnings which are already cut up into .2 to 2 cm pieces (yes that is centimeters, not very fine) Can i simply place these and some steel ball bearings in my ball mill and turn it on? Is that all? I don't want a powder too fine such it explodes etc. Just fine enough for a thermite reaction. Also is the belt that most seem to be using on their ball mills actually necessary? My ball mill is attached directly to the motor. (very high torque and speed motor)

Chemkid

microcosmicus
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The purpose of the belt is to change the rate of rotation. What is important is that the drum
should spin at a rate such that the balls fall down when they get near to the top of their
travel to make for maximum grinding action --- if the balls stay on the bottom, the rotation is too
slow whilst, if the balls are stuck to the sides of the drum, it is too fast. If you have the
correct angular speed, then you are set. If not, you need to adjust it by some means such
as using a belt or gears or a motor speed controller or changing the size of the wheels
driving the drum.
Phosphor-ing
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Skeletal Ni is a catalyst more commonly known as Raney Nickel. It is essentially "activated" Ni by dissolving the Al out of the alloy you increase the Ni's surface area exponentially.

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sdodgen62
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here is my junk ballmill, it's just a popane tank with the top cut out and a massive amount of huge media. and lets not forget the noise, even wrapped in a blanket the noise is alot of db's

hissingnoise
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The scale of the thing isn't apparent; including a coin or half smoked joint would've helped.
Are you making flake aluminium with an open mill-jar?

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 Sciencemadness Discussion Board » Fundamentals » Reagents and Apparatus Acquisition » Woo hoo, I built a working ball mill!!! Select A Forum Fundamentals   » Chemistry in General   » Organic Chemistry   » Reagents and Apparatus Acquisition   » Beginnings   » Responsible Practices   » Miscellaneous   » The Wiki Special topics   » Technochemistry   » Energetic Materials   » Biochemistry   » Radiochemistry   » Computational Models and Techniques   » Prepublication Non-chemistry   » Forum Matters   » Legal and Societal Issues