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5" Pillbox Shell

by Kyle Kepley

This article explains how to make pill box stars and then produce a typical 5" color shell with them.

Autopsy: 7" Red Lantern Shell

by Kyle Kepley

The secrets of the elusive lantern shell is revealed in this commercial shell autopsy.

Corning Machine

by Kyle Kepley

Build this corning machine for granulating black powder.

Sunflower Tourbillion

by Michael Fales

This article explains how to build a 1/2" I.D. tourbillion with paper wings similar to the consumer item sold under the same name.

The Passfire website has been around since 2001 and has been providing high quality online publication of pyrotechnics related articles for over 14 years now. Passfire articles are known for their professional quality illustrations and detailed descriptions, giving you everything you need to know in order to reproduce the items being described. Most articles fall under one of the following categories:

Build This X: detailed description and material list for building a specific firework project.

Tool Tip: blueprints, CAD drawings, 3D models and detailed assembly instructions for building the tools used to make fireworks.

Technique: demonstration of a process used in making fireworks.

Design Notes: more general analysis and explanation of construction or technique.

Autopsy: dissection and analysis of commercial product to see how it works.

Accident Analysis: examining accidents to learn from other peoples mistakes in the hopes of preventing future reoccurrence.

Class C Corner: review of consumer fireworks items

Many accomplished amateur pyrotechnicians relied on Passfire for valuable information in their learning years, and Passfire has introduced many innovations to the hobby pyrotechnics community over the years. Ideas such as the tire star roller, shell press, corning machine, using puffed rice as a burst charge filler, coffee filter paper for falling leave stars, using wood hardener as a tube hardener, centering large ball shells on top of girandolas, vacu-form hemi molds, the maltese driver rammer and many other ideas and techniques have been either first published through Passfire or directly invented by Passfire. By joining Passfire you help insure that future innovations continue to be published, and that you will be among the first to receive such information.

There seems to be a trend among new pyro hobbyists to rely on forums as their primary source for learning. This is a mistake and an inefficient use of time, as forums are unstructured and filled with diversions, debate and participants of unknown qualifications whom the beginner will not be able to distinguish from an expert. Forums are difficult to search and do not provide information in a controlled, logical format the way well written articles do. Forums are for those who already have a handle on the basics to further discuss the details, but are inferior and sometimes even dangerous for acquiring the basics.

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