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Star and Comet Tools

Star/Comet pumps in General

One of the most basic pyro tools is the star/comet pump. There are only about 3 basic ways of making stars for shells: cutting, rolling and pumping. Each has their advantages and disadvantages. Pumped stars offer you consistent size so they all burn out at the same time, giving a professional look to the shell. Unlike rolling stars, pumps are easy to operate and require no special skill.

In general, stars are called comets after they reach 1" in diameter. Comet stars have their use in specialty shells such as palm tree shells, tracers, and of course stars in large shells (8" and larger).

Comets are also great items just shot from mortars.

All star plates, as well as star and comet pumps from ⅜" and 2" now have Nituff coating!

Premium Star Gun

Premium Star Gun

Many star comps won't perform properly if the star is placed on the ground and ignited; most of the time all you see is a pile of ash. The star needs to fall through the air for the full effect to be seen. Star guns are especially valuable when making crossette stars to check burn time and break charges, saving much time building a shell and having poor performing stars.

There are 7 tubes on each plate. Sizes are for ⅜", ½", ⅝", ¾", 1", 1⅛", and 1¼" diameter stars. Each tube is 116" diameter over the star diameter and 9 times the star diameter in length.

Each tube is drilled for visco fuse. All tubes are welded to the base plate by a certified welder (no chicken poop welds on the units). All tubes are D.O.M. (drawn over mandrel) inside finish; there are no weld seams for the star to catch on like guns using common water pipe. Coated with rust-proof paint. Available in different colors.

ProductStockPrice
Premium Star Gun 190-0 $127.00
Premium Star Gun 190-112 $57.00

Star Plates

Star Plates

If you need to produce a lot of uniform stars of the same size, we've got the tools for you. Our star plates are machined from heavy aluminum plate and made to last. The 316" and ¼" plates have pins made of stainless steel; these are what we call core stars to roll bigger stars. All the other plates have aluminum pins. The stars they produce are great for aerial shells, Roman candles, cakes and more.

Free with every new order: We will send you the DVD, Star Making Troubleshooting. It gives a thorough look at techniques and answers all your frequently asked questions. We will also include a set of spacers.

Download the instruction sheet here (176K pdf file).

ProductStarsStar SizeStockPrice
Star Plate72316" 189-316 $296.00
Star Plate49¼" 189-14 $279.00
Star Plate49⅜" 189-38 $299.00
Star Plate49½" 189-12 $349.00
Star Plate35¾" 189-34 $389.00

Custom Star Plates

Custom Star Plates

Custom star plates are also available. Shown here is a star plate to produce 3mm stars. The stars are then used as seeds for rolled stars. This particular star plate was custom made for a Swedish pyrotechnics company.

Email us for a custom quote

Star Pumps

Star Pumps

A simple tool consisting of a slotted aluminum sleeve and a pinned plunger. To operate, retract the plunger till the pin clears the slot, press the pump into damp star composition till full and simply eject the star. All star pumps are Nituff-coated. Custom sizes are available.

ProductStar SizeStockPrice
Star Pump½" 211-12 OUT OF STOCK
Star Pump¾" 211-34 $46.00
Star Pump⅞" 211-78 $53.00
Star Pump1" 211-1 $64.00

Comet Pumps

Comet Pumps

In general, the construction is similar to star pumps, but comet pumps are longer and have heavier sleeves. Operation is also similar to the star pumps with the exception that the star composition may have to be rammed with a mallet to properly compact the material and prevent crumbling after drying. All comet pumps come with Nituff coating. Custom sizes are available.

ProductStar SizeStockPrice
Comet Pump1⅛" 208-118 OUT OF STOCK
Comet Pump1¼" 208-114 $99.00
Comet Pump1½" 208-112 $109.00
Comet Pump1¾" 208-134 $129.00
Comet Pump2" 208-2 $139.00

Extra Large Comet Pumps

Extra Large Comet Pumps

Similar in construction to the comet pumps, with the exception that the plunger is drilled and tapped because the coater needs to have a place to hang onto the plunger while dipping it in the tank for the Nituff coating. Since these large comets require several tons of pressure to compact the material, a hydraulic press is recommended for their production. These pumps are sized so the finished comets can be directly shot from 3, 4, 5, and 6 inch mortars. This produces a truly spectacular sight. All extra large comet pumps come Nituff coated.

Note: When ordering the 4½" or 5½" comet pumps, please allow at least six weeks for delivery since they are not kept in stock and must be made to order.

Tracer Forming Inserts: The set consists of 3 inserts that go in the 2½" comet pumps, with radii that fit 5, 6, and 8" shells. The inserts have a dome shape that presses into one end of the comet, making a cavity. The radius of the dome fits the shell perfectly so that there is full contact with the shell for maximum strength; this way, the tracer stays with the shell instead of flying off upon launch.

ProductStar SizeStockPrice
Extra Large Comet Pump2½" 232-212 $189.00
Tracer Forming Insert2½" 232-212T $97.00

Cavity Pumps

Cavity Pumps

This unique star pump will form a star with a generous cavity in one end. After drying, this cavity is filled with a different star composition. This presents all sorts of interesting possibilities, such as pumping the star from a glitter composition and after drying, filling the cavity with a color composition (red, green, etc.)

Such a star gives the impression of a red or green star leaving behind a glittering tail. The possibilities and combinations are endless, but I'll leave the rest up to you. All cavity pumps are coated with Nituff. Custom sizes are available.

Note: A word of caution on these pumps. The two compositions used in each star should be compatible with one another.

ProductStar SizeStockPrice
Cavity Pump½" 209-12 OUT OF STOCK
Cavity Pump¾" 209-34 $53.00
Cavity Pump1" 209-1 $76.00
Cavity Pump1⅛" 209-118 $79.00
Cavity Pump1¼" 209-114 OUT OF STOCK

Crossette Star Pumps

Crossette Star Pumps

These stars require a little extra labor to compete, but well worth the labor for the return of such a spectacular show. As they are ejected from the shell, they burn as a common star would, after a few seconds they explode into 4-5 pieces filling the sky with color and light.

The tool is similar to a common star pump. However, the finished star has a cross-shaped cavity, which is loaded with a break charge. This cavity is then closed with a cardboard disc. The end and sides are then covered with a couple turns of Kraft paper. The opposite end is left bare, as it will be ignited by the break charge of the shell. As the star travels through the sky, the star burns toward the break charge, fire spits into the fuse hole (formed by the pump) and into the break charge, which bursts the star into 4 pieces. These stars add a lot of fullness to any shell. The stars can also be shot from mortars. Comes with complete instructions.

Rich developed this modification back in 1976, after seeing too many round crossettes going off in the sky with only half the stars breaking apart. After spending months figuring out all the angles and testing different configurations, he came up with this pump to make sure that when the star opens, it now pops into 4 equal parts.

Shown is a crossette pump with removable pin. It's easier to operate, with the added advantage of being able to change the star length with optional spacer rings.

Download the instruction sheet here (239K pdf file).

ProductSizeStockPrice
Crossette Star Pump¾" 150-34 $88.00
Crossette Star Pump1" 150-1 $99.00
Crossette Star Pump1⅛" 150-118 OUT OF STOCK
Crossette Star Pump1¼" 150-114 $105.00
Crossette Star Pump1½" 150-112 $129.00
Crossette Star Pump1¾" 150-134 $132.00
Crossette Star Pump2" 150-2 $139.00
Crossette Star Pump2½" 150-212 $249.00

Optional Spacer Ring Sets

Optional Spacer Ring Sets

The rings are used with the above crossette pumps to provide you with the means to vary the length of the stars. Simply place one or all of the rings around the plunger between the removable pin and the sleeve. This will allow you to change star length to compensate for different effects or burn rates.

ProductComet SizeStockPrice
Optional Spacer 3 Ring Set¾" 390-34 $12.00
Optional Spacer 3 Ring Set1" 390-1 $14.00
Optional Spacer 3 Ring Set1⅛" 390-118 $14.00
Optional Spacer 3 Ring Set1¼" 390-114 $15.00

Cut Star Frames

Cut Star Frames

This is a proven and quick way of making large quantities of stars. The aluminum frame is machined to assemble and disassemble quickly. The operation is simply to spread a thin layer of prime in the bottom of the frame and add the damp star comp spreading out to fill all the corners. Top off with prime and press into damp star comp. Star comp is now primed on 2 sides.

Disassemble frame and cut comp into strips then into cubes. Prime the remaining sides and put stars aside to dry.

A tip to keep the star comp from sticking to the table is to spread a sheet of a new product from Reynolds Aluminum called RELEASE NON STICK aluminum foil. This stuff really works.

Available in the sizes listed below.

ProductStar SizeStockPrice
Cut Star Frame⅜" 204-38 $56.00
Cut Star Frame½" 204-12 $58.00
Cut Star Frame⅝" 204-58 $67.00
Cut Star Frame¾" 204-34 $70.00

Extraction Sleeves

Extraction Sleeves

When pressing stars using a star pump do you find ejecting the star from the sleeve a problem? These ejection sleeves will pay for themselves time and again. Just place the pump in the recess and press down to eject the star. Extraction sleeves are machined from solid aluminum and available for all standard star, crossette, and comet pumps.

Note: Other sizes are available.

ProductStar SizeStockPrice
Extraction Sleeve½" 215-12 $18.00
Extraction Sleeve¾" 215-34 $24.00
Extraction Sleeve⅞" 215-78 $28.00
Extraction Sleeve1" 215-1 $31.00
Extraction Sleeve1⅛" 215-118 $38.00
Extraction Sleeve1¼" 215-114 $55.00
Extraction Sleeve1½" 215-112 $65.00
Extraction Sleeve1¾" 215-134 $68.00
Extraction Sleeve2" 215-2 $77.00
Extraction Sleeve2½" 215-212 $99.00
Extraction Sleeve3½" 215-312 $124.00
Extraction Sleeve4½" 215-412 $182.00
Extraction Sleeve5½" 215-512 $242.00

3 in 1 Pumps

3 in 1 Pumps

Our 3-in-1 comet pumps offer a great variety of options for the comet enthusiast.

The 3-in-1 comet pump comes with 3 interchangeable tips. The first tip is a crossette tip used for making large crossette comets. The second tip is a plug, which is inserted into the plunger for making standard comets. And the third tip is domed to create a cavity in the comet, which is intended to increase the burn area.

The pump also has an added feature of graduations being machined directly onto the pump for easy length reference. Holes are drilled along these graduations for a pin to be inserted. After the pin is inserted, the plunger can then be pushed down till the pin contacts the top of the sleeve, and then excess composition can be trimmed from the bottom of the comet.

The 3-in-1 comet pump comes Nituff-coated.

The comet pump comes complete with all 3 tips, wrench, and pin (not shown).

ProductStar SizeStockPrice
3-in-1 Comet Pump2½" 234-212 $315.00
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