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Volume 5, Issue 2
April, 2005
Accident Analysis:
Accidents: Ball Milling
by Kyle Kepley
Pages: 2
Build This:
5" Pill Box Shell
by Kyle Kepley
Pages: 3
Class C Corner:
Mineshell Mayhem
by Kyle Kepley
Pages: 1
Design Notes:
Shop Design
by Kyle Kepley
Pages: 3
Tool Tip:
Shell Builders Workbench
by Kyle Kepley
Pages: 3
5" Pill Box Shell
1 2 3

Pill box stars, also called box stars, are a unique type of star that burn very brightly for a longer duration than a comet star of the same size. They are usually metal fueled color stars, with long illuminated smoke trails behind them as they burn through the sky. Because of the extended burn time, which results from the paper sleeve around the star that prevents it from igniting on all sides, these stars will droop like parachute flares and are generally fired as single break color shells. This article explains how to make pill box stars and then produce a typical 5" color shell with them.

Formula: John Albert's Green Pill Box

Materials: Tools:
(3) strips 24" long x (star height x row count) + 3-3/4" wide 70lb virgin kraft, grain short (case)   4-1/2" dia. case former
(1) 23" long x (star height x row count)+1/4" wide chipboard, grain short (liner)   Rubber mallet
(3) 24" long x (star height x row count)+6" wide strips 70lb virgin kraft, grain short (paste wrap)   20" long x 3/4" OD dowel or pipe
(1) 36" long x (star height x row count)+10-3/4" strip of 30lb kraft, grain short (outer wrap)   Cross match punch
(4) 4-1/2" kraft or chipboard end disks, 1/8" thick   7/32" drill bit
(1) 2" piece of time fuse or spolette w/3.5 sec delay   Hot glue gun
(1) 3/8" ID x 2-1/2" long pipette (2-3 turns of 70lb kraft)   3/4" pillbox tool (optional)
(1) 5-1/2"" of 4 strand cross match   paper cutter
(1) 1" piece of 4 strand cross match   Scissors
(1) 17" piece of 8 strand black match   Anvil cutter w/length gauge
(1) 30" quickmatch leader  
(7) 5" x 12" sheets 60-70 lb kraft, grain long  
(70) 2" long sticks of black match  
(700 gram) pillbox star composition  

Unmeasured Materials:
flax twine, 2FA black powder, white glue or wood glue, masking tape, wheat paste

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