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The Pyro Gallery

In addition to our regular line of pyro tools, we often make special tools on order. This section shows a few of these projects.

Click any thumbnail for a larger image.

Doug Mills at Iowa


Doug Mills does fireworks and really enjoys them.


He uses one of our presses and 6# tooling to create items like these.


He went to IA this fall to shoot off some ordnance.


People were just amazed at how high they flew.


He says he uses Rich Wolter's press and tooling, and that made all the difference.

Two More Videos

Screen cap of doit_2013av launch

Dave Ferguson desgined this 37-motor rocket at the WPA Do It Convention in Hawthorne, NV. Its elevation / apex was 600 meters (2,000 feet) according to the simulation. The motors weighed a little less than two pounds each when they were lit. There was a total of 37 pounds of black powder in the motors. The rocket was about 12.5 feet tall, 14 inches in diameter, and it had a 12 inch shell on the top. The shell totally shattered the rocket so that no piece weighed more than about 14 ounces coming down. You can download a 10M MP4 of it here.

Here's the launch from a different angle.

The rocket was launched about 1.5 miles north of Hawthorne, Nevada. The four rocket men are Dave Ferguson, Al Stahler, Andy Munios, and Bob Myers. All members of WPA. Shaun Harmon, who took the video, is a member of Search and Rescue that just happened to be at the right place at the right time.

Click here to download the full-sized version.

The 19-Motor Rocket


We didn't build this monster, but someone used our tools to make it. Here's the business end, with 19 (count 'em) motors primed and almost ready.


Here it is ready for launching somewhere in the American desert. We'll give more details when (if) they become available.

And here it is screaming off to tickle the sky. As you might expect, the builder is rather reluctant to give his name and address to the Internet, at least until he's sure he hasn't set off any sirens in foreign countries.

If you can't see the video, then you can download it here (it's 4 megs).

Special Tube Supports


A collection of Special Tube Supports ready for shipping out.



Custom Rocket Press


Overall view of press. This press is fully described over here.


View of pressing platform and pressure conversion gauge. Note adjustments for stage.


Side of press showing the pressure gauge.


How the hydraulic cylinder is attached to the top plate of the rocket press.


Back side of the rocket press, showing the new 3" cylinder over 10 tons.


Part of the hydraulic piston.


Valve controls.


View of adjustment steps for pressing stage.


One horsepower motor and pump (110 volts).


Custom made ¾" star plate for rocket press.


Rich testing the press.


This picture shows the front with the door that has the covering on it before it's shipped out.

Special Star Plate




You can change the plunger to give 3 different effects.


The Charcoal Crusher


Commissioned by Robert Westfall to break up charcoal lumps from his Retort. Helical grooved, the stainless steel rollers pull the charcoal lumps to the center of the rollers crushing them as they are pulled through.


The rollers are adjustable from two to zero inches.


Constructed of heavy aluminum blocks. All fasteners are stainless steel. Crush rollers run on bronze bushings and are driven by #35 chain. Chain tension is maintained by an adjustable idler sprocket.


Interchangeable sprockets mounted to the crank handle change crusher speed to suit the conditions.


This unit will be delivered at the 2009 PGI Convention in Mason City, IA.

Three-Piece Rocket Tube Clamp


Think you can make one of these?

I got a call from Steve LaDuke with an idea for a different type of tube support, one with 3 leaves to be held in place by tapered rings. Steve and I talked about different ways to machine this as he is also an accomplished machinist. This idea stuck in my mind for a couple of months as to how to machine this from a solid bar, cut it apart into 3 leaves and still maintain a round bore to support the tube.


Cutting the blank into 3 pieces leaves the inside and outside diameters triangular in shape. After cutting all surfaces it had to be remachined. With most of the details finally worked out it was time to give it a try.


Five and a half hours later it was finished: made for a 1 lb. NEPT 6½" long tube. All leaves are interchangeable and the bore and O.D. are true round, NOT triangular. There are 3 stainless steel tapered rings to hold the 3 leaves together. Steve LaDuke tried the sleeve, pressing to 8000 PSI. It worked perfectly—no sticking of the rings, no distortion.


This is not something I'd like to make on a regular basis, since boring the small I.D. through its extra length was slow at best.

—Rich Wolter

Pottery from Claudia

Claudia displaying some of her works of art

Richard works with steel and Claudia does clay. Here is a sneak preview of her recent creations which will soon be offered on the Pyro Art page.


Salad plate


Gravy boat and napkin holder


Cereal, ice cream or soup bowl


Mugs for coffee, tomato soup, Ovaltine, or any other liquid you care to imbibe

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