March 22, 2018
It's been one hectic (and isolated) winter what with ice storms, road closures, doctors' appointments, website changes, et cetera, et cetera. Without loading you with down with details, it's enough to stay that the store is open once again, and of course we welcome your business. See you soon!
March 03, 2018
The weather is still nasty in Schaumburg, but we're determined to make something. For now, we can punch out chipboard discs. We hope to have the rest of the store up after we've completed some necessary appointments.
February 15, 2018
The website repairs are about 90% finished, but another problem has come up: the weather. Winters in Wisconsin are COLD, especially in an uninsulated barn that offers zero protection against the frozen north wind and which just happens to be the place where we craft all our fine tools. We're sorry to keep inflicting you with all these postponements, but we do our best work without frostbitten fingers.
Thanks again for your patience, as we light another match and huddle around it....
January 30, 2018
We're still working on updating the ordering system, which hasn't been helped by a thunderstorm and corroded phone lines that have knocked down our internet service. We're pretty sure we'll be able to take internet orders within a week, but we can't guarantee anything. As for accepting user reviews and offering gift certificates again, well, one thing at a time....
January 28, 2018
Anyone who's ever done home renos, road building, or, for that matter, fireworks construction, knows that these things always take longer than expected. So it is with website upgrades. Without boring you with a bunch of nasty details, we have to perform some major behind-the-scenes updates to make our site safe enough to accept credit card transactions. The requirements are pretty tough and they keep getting tougher as the crooks get smarter. You can read more about the specs at https://www.pcisecuritystandards.org. At the moment, we've got most of the website back up, and we hope to be able to accept internet orders in a few more days. In the meantime, we're still making tools and we can still take orders over the phone.
We're really sorry to put you through all this inconvenience, but we think you'd rather have the website down for a while than have some credit card thief living it up on your hard-earned money.
Thanks for being patient with us.
January 19, 2018
We're making some upgrades to our website security, and so we might experience some downtime. These outages shouldn't be more than a few hours, and we hope to be finished in a few days. So if you get a blank screen or an error page, please be aware that we know about it, and that we'll be getting service back ASAP. Thanks for being patient with us.
January 12, 2018
The holidays were begining to wear us down, so we're going back to work. If you need to make some fireworks, then you've come to the right place.
November 29, 2017
It's holiday time, which means we'll be closed for a while. But we won't be totally out of a action; as usual, any outstanding orders will get fulfilled. And as always, we wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year for you and yours.
August 14, 2017
We had a great time at the convention, saw a lot of old friends and admired some beautiful works of fiery art. And now we have to get back to work.
How can we help you?
July 7, 2017
Naturally, we have to close the store and stop taking orders until we return on the 14th, yada yada. But if you did send in an order in the last few days, we'll be sure to fulfill it.
May 17, 2017
We've acquired even more thin paper, so now all the different diameters and thicknesses of discs are back in stock. Happy ordering!
March 29, 2017
We acquired some more thin paper, so we've put the most popular thin Chip Board Discs back in stock—namely, the 1" and ¾" discs. The rest of the thin ones are still out, but you don't need any of those, do you?
March 11, 2017
We are temporarily out of stock on all the thin Chip Board Discs, since we've run out of 1⁄16" chipboard. We will order some more, but we want to wait until we can order some thick material as well (saves cost that way), and that will be a while—after we've sold some more thick discs (hint).
January 5, 2017
A new addition to our star gun line-up. Our heavy walled tube is welded to a ⅜" thick base. The tube is 11 inches long and has an over-size inside diameter to fit a 1½" inch star for testing. We have 10 of these in house. It will be offered on a first-come first-served basis. Painted red and drilled for a ⅛" visco fuse. This is just one tube on one base.
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 1⁄16" 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.
|Premium Star Gun||190-0||$127.00|
|Premium Star Gun||190-112||$57.00|
December 19, 2016
We're closed to give ourselves (and you) a holiday. We'll be back in business on Jan. 6, 2017. Until then, have a Merry and a Happy.
December 12, 2016
The fireworks banks sold out in two days. Sorry 'bout that.
December 9, 2016
Just in time for Christmas, we've fired up a fresh batch of Fireworks Banks for your use and/or enjoyment. Perfect for saving up for gifts or stashing surplus fruitcake.
October 28, 2016
There's good news today! Rich is hard at work again, and has managed to bring the ¾" Whistle Rocket back in stock, along with the rest of the Strobe Rocket Kits. As for the Premium Star Gun, the ½" Star Pump, and the 1⅛" Comet Pump, he's working on them.
We've even got some of the Fireworks Banks out of the kiln. They just need a coat of paint and they'll be ready for sale.
October 25, 2016
We just thought you'd like to know, we've brought back all the Special Tube Supports. Now we're going to work on some other stuff.
October 18, 2016
We worked like beavers to finally get the Precision Time Fuse Cutters back in stock and ready to be sold. Make the most of this opportunity!
July 27, 2016
Once again, we're going to the PGI Convention and we need to prepare a bunch of products. So once again we'll be closed for a while. See you in Indiana!
July 13, 2016
Rich is back at work, but only for about 3 hours a day. It will take some time for his body to catch up—about 3 months, the doctors say. That means we might not get your orders out as quickly as we'd like. We'll let you know as soon as your order ships out.
Thanks for being patient.
July 4, 2016
Rich is feeling a lot better now, or at least good enough to work. He may not be his usual spry and speedy self, which means some of your orders might take a little longer than usual to arrive. But they will arrive, you have our word on that. And we'd like to thank you all for being so patient with us, and for sending us so many nice cards and flowers.
July 1, 2016
Rich is back from the hospital with a brand new pacemaker. But the surgeon says it will take a couple of months to get back to feeling great again as the wires settle in so they won't break free. Yesterday he went out to the barn and worked for 2 hours, but he's still weak. We want him to slowly work back into things.
Meanwhile, Claudia has a summer cold. We expect to be closed for a little while longer.
May 24, 2016
We just got a huge order for chipboard discs, and we need to go back to Schaumburg on the 5th. We don't want any orders coming in while we are away, so we have to close up the store for a while. Really sorry about that.
May 16, 2016
Rich is still getting ready for his new pacemaker. He went to Loyola hospital where they did the TEE test, and later they shocked his heart to try to get the two upper chambers to pump together. He was down to Portage hospital on Thursday because he picked up a virus and needed medicine. They had to check with his heart doctors to see if they could give him something, which they were able to do. His operation will be on June 7th, unless they change the date (again).
In the meantime, we can make Chip Board Discs.
April 18, 2016
It seems that when you reach a certain age, there is no such thing as a "routine medical procedure." Last March, Rich was scheduled to get new batteries for his pacemaker. But there were some complications: his blood was too thin, and they decided to replace the whole unit. Now the doctors have to get his defibulation under control before they can put in the new pacemaker. They need to look inside his heart to see if they can place all the leads, which they're going to do on the 29th. They have to laser out the lead he now has, but that won't happen until they are ready to put the new lead in. What this all means is that we still don't know when we can re-open. All we can tell you is to be patient. That's what Rich is doing.
March 29, 2016
Rich needs to undergo a routine medical procedure. It's not serious, but at his age, everything takes longer than expected. And the long weekend hasn't hurried up things, either. We'll be re-opening the store as soon as Rich is ready to get back to work.
March 15, 2016
We're taking a short break, but we'll see you next month. Until then, have a Happy 🍀 St. Patrick's Day!
January 3, 2016
The Tracer Forming Insert is a long overdue addition for my 2½" comet pump. Each has been made by an N.C. machine. The set consists of 3 inserts that go in my 2½" comet pumps. 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.
Sold in sets of 3 units, with radii that will fit 5, 6, and 8" shells. These will not be hard coated. Each is metal stamped on the bottom to indicate the shell size. I have 20 sets ready to ship. This may be a one-time offer.
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.
|Extra Large Comet Pump||2½"||232-212||$189.00|
|Tracer Forming Insert||2½"||232-212T||$97.00|
December 9, 2015
Just a heads-up to let you know that it's that time of year when we close the store for a couple of weeks—namely, the weeks between December 15 and January 15. So if you want to spend your Christmas making fireworks, you'd better order now. And for everybody else, whatever you do on Christmas, make sure it's merry and your New Year even happier!
See you in 2016.
(Readers with good memories will recall that we said we'd reopen on the 11th. But that was before Rich came down with a nasty head cold, and needs time to recover. Besides, we didn't think you'd want him to be coughing and blowing his nose over your brand-new tools.)
November 22, 2015
Yes, the ever-popular Premium Star Guns are back and ready to be bought. And each one has been individually painted by Claudia. Get 'em while they're hot!
November 19, 2015
You guessed it, we're doing the Thanksgiving thing again this year. Lots of relatives, lots of food, lots of dirty dishes, no orders between Nov. 21 and 28. Hope yours is just as happy.
October 9, 2015
All the Case Formers are back in stock (or will be by the time you read this).
As any reader of our catalogue knows, some of our tools (such as Star Plates and Rocket Kits) come coated with Nituff. Here's a short article that tells a bit more about what Nituff is, how it's applied, and what it's used for.
September 4, 2015
We're going on a short Labor Day holiday on the 5th and returning on the 14th. We hope you can be patient until then.
July 28, 2015
July 26, 2015
A few of our star pumps are back in stock: the 1" Cavity Pump and the Crossette Star Pump in the ever-popular ¾" and 2-½" sizes. But it's anybody's guess how long they'll stay around, so you'd better order yours today to avoid getting frustrated.
June 28, 2015
Here's one more reason to be glad you're living in the USA: From August 5 to 14, if you order a product from us, and if it's being sent to a US address, then we will pay the postage. That's right—whether you're sending to California to the New York Island, to the Redwood Forest to the Gulf Stream waters, postage is absolutely free. (Fine Print: This offer does not include FedEx shipping. Nor does it cover the cost of shipping any of our 290-pound rocket presses. We're being generous, not insane. As for non-US addressees, well, maybe some other year.)
June 1, 2015
If you've been longing for some Special Tube Supports, then your waiting days are over. Rich has caught up on the back orders, and will be putting some of these on the shelf.
May 17, 2015
We're in the middle of switching over to a new credit card processor. Our customers shouldn't notice any difference—the order form will look the same, and orders will go through as they always have. However, during the changeover period there might be a few times when the credit card order system doesn't work, or the site might be down for a couple of minutes. If that happens to you, then please be patient; we'll try to get service back as quickly as possible. If you don't want to wait, then you can still place orders over PayPal or on the phone at 608-297-9402.
Thanks for being patient.
April 18, 2015
We said we'd re-open the store on April 18, and by golly we did it! A few items are still out of stock, but there are plenty of other fine tools to choose from. So have a look around. You'll be glad you did.
March 28, 2015
We've noticed that, as we get older, we gradually lose our ability to meet self-imposed deadlines. So it is with our promise to re-open on April 7. It turns out Rich needs to make 15 new special supports, and he can't crank them out as fast as he used to. He's also one of those old-fashioned, hidebound types who just will not accept modern ideas about hurried and shoddy workmanship and a business model whose operating rule is, "If it breaks we'll sell you a new one!" What can you do?
So we have to stay closed for a little while longer, but we promise we will re-open the store on the 18th.
If we don't forget.
March 19, 2015
Starting March 25th, we'll be spending Easter with the kids and their kids. Naturally (and unfortunately), we won't be filling many orders. Don't despair, though; we should be hopping back to work on April 7th. In the meantime, we hope you have your own happy holidays.
February 24, 2015
We're pleased to announce that we've received a batch of ¾" Roman Candle Star Pumps from the coaters and they're ready to go to a good home. Also, all of our Star Plates are back in stock. Any takers?
January 16, 2015 UPDATED
You asked for it, and we produced it—FOUR new sizes of Chip Board Disc. They come in diameters of ⅝, ⅞, and 2¾". They are perfectly round, and the 2¾" model comes with an optional, individually-punched hole at no extra charge. Order yours today! (Actually, you'll have to wait until next week when we re-open the store, but you can spend the intervening time planning to do it.)
December 7, 2014
Once again it's the time for baking pies, hanging ornaments, wrapping gifts, and closing the store. We'll be taking orders until the 15th, and then it will be home for the holidays for the rest of the year and a bit beyond. We'll re-open on the 25th of January, or maybe sooner if we get bored with all the holidaymaking.
Merry Christmas, everyone. And don't forget the Happy New Year.
December 1, 2014
We called a technician who came over and gave the computer a kick in the hard drive, and now we're back in business. Thanks for being patient with us.
November 30, 2014
We have to stay closed just a little bit longer while we grapple with a balky computer. We should be back in business by the 4th.
November 13, 2014
It seems we're not THAT busy, so we've partially re-opened the store to offer Chip Board Discs to those who want them. UPDATE, November 19: We've brought back all the sizes, including the 3, 3½, 4½, and the ever-popular 5½". Meanwhile, Rich will be finishing up a bunch of other tool orders. Happy Thanksgiving!
November 9, 2014
Thanksgiving is not the best time to be delivering bad news, but we didn't have a choice. We've got turkeys to stuff, pies to bake, and backed-up orders to fill, so we have to stop taking new orders for a few weeks. We'll be back on December first.
The second unfortunate item is, we're no longer offering the optional funnel and rod for the Bottle Rocket Kit. They're a pain to make (Rich works in steel, not plastic), and they are available on many other sites.
July 9, 2014
We've been busy preparing and building up stock for the PGI's "Iowa Thunderstorm 2014" Convention to be held in Mason City between August 9 and 15. That means we have to close our online store for a few weeks (until August 18th), but we'll be very much in business at Mason City, IA. Maybe we'll see you there!
April 14, 2014
We are going to Schaumburg to visit the family for Easter. We're leaving on the 16th and getting back on the 22nd. We'll still accept orders during this time, but your goods might take a few extra days to get to you.
March 16, 2014
Rocket Tube Waxing Kits
Thanks to David Forster for testing and recommending a solution to a problem that has plagued rocket people for years. In the American Fireworks News, David Forster suggests that, to increase reliability of your rocket motors, you use a paraffin wax treatment. He has confirmed the value of this technique, ultimately achieving nearly 100 pounds of peak thrust on a 1-pound black powder rocket.
We are offering a basic kit that contains an aluminum rod, a plastic handle, one pound of paraffin wax, and a felt dauber for rockets.
|1 lb. Rocket Tube Waxing Kit||¾"||120-1||$30.00|
|2 lb. Rocket Tube Waxing Kit||⅞"||120-2||$30.00|
|3 lb. Rocket Tube Waxing Kit||1"||120-3||$30.00|
|4 lb. Rocket Tube Waxing Kit||1¼"||120-4||$36.00|
|6 lb. Rocket Tube Waxing Kit||1½"||120-6||$37.00|
January 20, 2014
January 4, 2014
We hope you all had a wonderful holiday time with a better new year in the offing. As for us, we've been busy fighting off colds and making Star Plates. This one was a one-off job: it has 49 ⅝" aluminum pins with Nituff coating, and it goes for $350 to the first person who asks for item #189-58.
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 3⁄16" 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.
We've also made some new 8 oz. Black Powder Rocket Kits. See you in 10 days....
December 7, 2013
We've been putting our holiday time to good use by restocking some much-missed tools, including the Star Gun. They come in red and orange. And they're still a bargain at $117 each.
And now we have to go work on some rocket presses.
November 23, 2013
Claudia has started baking, Rich is wrapping presents, and once again we hold our annual tradition of closing for the holidays. We'll be taking your orders again on the 14th of January, but in the meantime we wish you all a wonderful Christmas season and a prosperous New Year. You all deserve the best quality products and service we can give you, and we look forward to serving you again in 2014 and beyond.
September 14, 2013
Due to popular and incessant demand, we have made 10 more Precision Time Fuse Cutters. Then, almost as immediately, we sold 3 of them. Then we made 7 more. These new batches of cutters come without Nituff coating on the spindle. We didn't see any need for it, and leaving it out lets us offer you a lower price.
Precision Time Fuse Cutter
For pyrotechnicians who need absolutely accurate shell and effect timing. This precision time fuse is cutter-copied from a design by Tom Rebenklau who inspired this tool with his roundel rockets.
The fuse length is precision-measured by a ⅜" diameter brass measuring screw that has 32 threads per inch.
Each turn of the aluminum handle increases the fuse length by 1⁄32 of an inch or fraction thereof. It's great for roundel shell effects or indoor pyro effects etc. A red oak covered aluminum handle holds a double-ended utility knife blade. As the fuse is cut, it's held against the brass adjusting screw and supported along its length for a square cut. The tapered shape of the cutoff knife packs the powder core to limit powder lost during handling. After cutting the fuse, touch prime the ends with N.C. lacquer and meal powder.
|Precision Time Fuse Cutter||162-0||$298.00|
August 29, 2013
If you recently tried to order some 3-inch Chip Board Discs, and were dismayed to see that they're out of stock, know that your worries will be at an end soon (ar at least within 3 weeks). We'll be getting a new shipment of cardboard on the 17th of September, which will allow us to bring back all the larger-sized discs.
Hang on 'til then.
August 20, 2013
We might have missed this year's PGI convention, but some of our products got there. That is, many of the exhibitors used our tools to build some amazing fireworks and win a few trophies. If you'd like to see who won this year, and who did it using our tools, you can find out by downloading the annotated winners' lists from our testimonials page.
August 19, 2013
We will no longer be offering the Quad, Deluxe Quad, or Gang Pumps. Some of them have been out of stock for a while, and they are just too difficult to make. Rich would rather concentrate on making Star Plates.
August 09, 2013
It is now possible to buy an Optional Spacer Ring Set for 1-inch comets.
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.
|Optional Spacer 3 Ring Set||¾"||390-34||$12.00|
|Optional Spacer 3 Ring Set||1"||390-1||$14.00|
|Optional Spacer 3 Ring Set||1⅛"||390-118||$14.00|
|Optional Spacer 3 Ring Set||1¼"||390-114||$15.00|
August 06, 2013
We've restored a couple of pumps that had been missing in action for too long: the ¾-inch Star Pump, and the equally-missed ¾-inch Crossette Star Pump. And we expect to have the 2½" comet pump back from the coaters any day.
July 17, 2013
After a lot of thought and weighing of pros and cons, we have decided not to attend this year's PGI Convention. There are a number of reasons for this decision. Among them are a van that would need some major engine work to make it to Pennsylvania and back, a setting that might not be the best for Rich's uncertain state of health, and, as always, a huge backlog of orders to fill. Most importantly, we think we can serve our customers better by keeping the store open and available to everyone, rather than just those at the Convention.
So if you're going to the Convention, we hope you have a great time, and we will see you when you get back. And if you plan to place an order with us over the summer, we'll be here for you. Either way, we wish you all a wonderful Summer of '13.
July 11, 2013
We've made a few more Premium Star Guns. They might stay available for a while, or they might not. The only way to be sure of getting one is to order one (subtle hint). (OK, not so subtle hint.)
However, it's not all good news today. We've had to raise the prices of some of our smaller (1¼" and below) individually and hand-punched Chip Board Discs to $10 per 100. We're really sorry to impose this on you, but we need to cover the increasing cost of elbow grease and Ben-Gay. We thank you for your understanding.
May 9, 2013
We have some old news and some new news. The new news is, Claudia's foot is feeling a lot better. She still has to use crutches, but at least she can fulfill orders and punch out discs. Which brings us to the old news: You might have heard how we had to stop selling the Chip Board Discs. And you might have not heard how, a month later we changed our minds (with a little encouragement from our customers). Well, to set the record straight, we have resumed selling the Chip Board Discs and will continue to do so for as long as there is breath in our bodies. See for yourself: order some Chip Board Discs today, and watch what happens. (Hint: You will receive a bunch of Chip Board Discs in the mail.)
April 25, 2013
The answer is, yes we can, but it will cost you.
If you want a longer rammer with any 2lb., 3lb., or 6lb. rocket kit, then we have to charge you an additional $25 to pay for the extra labor and materials. Take our word for it, adding and machining four more inches of aluminum is not as easy as you might think.
April 15, 2013
That backlog is bigger than we thought.
We hoped to have all our back orders cleared away in two weeks so that we could re-open the store on April 19th. It turns out we were just a little too optimistic. So we've had to push back the re-opening date to the 22nd. We thank you extra hard for your extra patience, and hope to see you next week.
April 5, 2013
We're closing the store for two weeks so we can concentrate on filling a tremendous backlog of orders. While it is nice to be popular, it can also be a strain. Claudia has been having nightmares about the disc puncher breaking down, all the stamps disappearing, and legions of oversized order forms marching through the door to the tune of "The Sorcerer's Apprentice." We thank you for your understanding. We'll be back in a couple of weeks.
March 28, 2013
To help you get the most out of your Hybrid-Universal Rocket Kit, we are now enclosing with each order a CD with a video made by the legendary Steve Laduke back in 2001. It features Steve describing the Universal-Hybrid Kit and giving detailed instructions on how to build rockets with it. If you listen carefully, you might also hear Rich's voice.
March 8, 2013
Previous customers are already familiar with this handy gift item that is (usually) included with every order. (I say "usually" because sometimes we run out. I have just ordered another 125 pens, along with 2 packages of ink refills. Unfortunately, they won't get here for another 3 weeks. If you run out of ink before then, you can use a Zebra 4C-Refill, available at Staples.)
We have been giving out these light-pens so that customers can look up inside the rammers to see if there is any comp left behind, so they can get it out before going on to the next step of making rockets. If you don't get all the comp out, you can bend the rammer or spindle when using a rocket press.
So if you do purchase anything from us, and you find something extra in your package, don't worry. It was a not a mistake and you won't be billed for it. It's just our way of saying "Thank You."
March 7, 2013
Last week Claudia was walking her dog through the snow when something snapped and hurt like blazes. She tried to ignore it for a while, but finally decided to have it X-rayed. The upshot is she has a broken bone, and will be wearing a cast and using crutches for the next few weeks. It also means your orders might not be shipped out as quickly as we'd like. We know you will understand and sympathize during this trying time, and be assured that your tools will be packaged and sent out as fast as Claudia can hobble to the post office.
February 24, 2013
We have just made 7 all-aluminum, Nituff-coated star plates which we're offering on the basis of first ask, first get. Once these are all sold they will not be offered again.
|Product||Stars||Star Size||Number Remaining||Price|
|Star Plate||289||3mm||4||$295 + S&H|
January 3, 2013
Due to overwhelming demand, we will resume selling the ever-popular Chip Board Discs, just as soon as we re-open the store on January 14th.
December 4, 2012
We have two pieces of good news, and two more pieces of bad news. We'll give them in pairs:
Good/bad news item #1 is, Rich Jr. is a brand-new father! And now he's so busy washing diapers that he can no longer help his poor old mother punch cardboard. That means that, for the foreseeablee future, we will not be selling any more chipboard discs. We might resume sales next year. We'll let you know.
The 2nd good/bad news is, we have a new computer! We also have a backlog of orders which we would like to finish by Christmas, so we'll be closing the store from December 5th to January 14th. We're sure you'll find somewhere else to do your Christmas shopping, but if you can't, you might consider one of our lovely gift certificates.
See you in 2013.
November 29, 2012
Our old computer, which has served us well and faithfully these many years, has finally gone to its reward. So we gave it a decent burial and went shopping for a new machine. The guy at our local tech store (who owns the only computer store in a 40-mile radius, and knows it) said he would be able to upload all our old files, customer data, and passwords to our new computer by December 5th. Or later.
The upshot is, we are accepting orders, but it may take us a day or two to find out about them. We have to check our emails on someone else's computer, which is not as easy as it sounds out here in the wilds of Wisconsin. If you absolutely, positively, have to get in an order, then we suggest you phone it in (at least that's still working). Otherwise, you can simply be philosophic about these unavoidable delays. We should have everything running smoothly by December 5th. Or later.
November 16, 2012
We will be closed for Thanksgiving holidays until the 26th to visit family and friends. Any orders in house will going out either on Monday the 19th or after we get back.
October 13, 2012
We've put a bunch of items and sizes back in stock, including the half-inch Powder Scoop, the ¾" Lead Media Mold, and too many more items to list here. Have a look around the site and know that we're working toward that day when the only thing you won't find are those OUT OF STOCK notes.
September 14, 2012
Our Special Tube Support now comes in 3 more sizes: 2, 4, and 8 ounces.
August 20, 2012
We had a great time at the convention (Thank you!) and now we're back home cranking out new tools and filling new orders. We've got quite a backlog, so if your order takes longer than usual to ship out, it doesn't mean we've forgotten you. It just means someone else is screaming louder.
June 22, 2012
It's that time of the year when thoughts turn to barbeques, beaches, fireworks, and business conventions. Once again we're getting ready for the PGI convention, and once again we have to close the store to make ready. We'll be re-opening on the 20th of August, but don't despair—if you got your order in before today, we'll still send it out. And if you're going to be at the convention, you can still buy from us. Do you have a request? Write to us at and we'll do our best to have it for you at the convention. (Perhaps you might want one of our Rocket Presses. We have 2 of them for sale.)
Have a great summer!
June 20, 2012
We have some bad news for our foreign friends. Our government, in its unfathomable wisdom, now demands more information and paperwork from us when declaring purchases from outside the USA. Information that used to be provided over the phone now has to be presented at the government office, in person, for each and every order. The upshot is, we now have to charge an extra $10 for non-US orders. We're really sorry to do this, and we're working to change it. In the meantime, we appreciate your understanding and indignant letters to Congress.
June 7, 2012
If you enjoyed the pictures of the Custom Rocket Press in our Gallery and wished you had one of these babies to call your own, then now's your chance. Rich will build your very own Custom Rocket Press, with the same high quality and attention to detail you've come to expect. We should advise you, this won't be cheap and it won't be done in a day, but it will be worth it.
June 5, 2012
Now you'll never get caught without a paddle again. This new chemical mixing spatula will save you a heap of wear on fingernails and ATM cards.
Are you tired of pushing the chemicals through the sifting screen with your hands or credit card?
Look no further. This hard wood contoured paddle fits your hand so you don't get tired. Makes sifting the chemicals a breeze. Easily crushes caked chemicals through your screen while keeping your hands out of the chemicals.
The paddle is made of hard wood maple and sealed with a clear gloss enamel finish.
|Chemical Paddle||230-0||OUT OF STOCK|
April 11, 2012
March 19, 2012
We've restocked the store with a whole boatload of formerly absent tools, including the ¾" and 1" Crossette Star Pumps, the ½" and 1" Cavity Pumps, the 1¾" Comet Pump and for good measure, the Rocket Cone Formers.
Rocket Cone Formers
These rocket cone formers produce pointed headings for your rockets. The complete cone is formed from 2 separate pieces of Kraft paper. The first is formed from a circular piece of Kraft paper, which is taped together while on the rocket nose cone former. A template is used to cut the second piece of paper that is later wrapped around the rocket head former and taped. After the two pieces of Kraft paper are formed they are assembled into the completed head as shown.
The rocket nose cone former and the rocket head former are sold separately. The rocket nose cone former is universal and can be used with any rocket head former. The rocket head former is sold in 3 different sizes and comes with the appropriate template for the given size.
|1 lb Rocket Head Former w/Template||185-1||$78.00|
|2 lb Rocket Head Former w/Template||185-2||$82.00|
|3 lb Rocket Head Former w/Template||185-3||$84.00|
|Rocket Nose Cone Former||185-0||$67.00|
How long they'll stay on the shelves is anybody's guess, so you'd better get in your order before the competition can.
January 8, 2012
Happy New Year! And we're as eager to get back to work as you are, so we re-opened the store a little sooner than planned. Rich is working on those 3⁄16" Star Plates right now....
December 21, 2011
We will be closed until January 9th so that we can enjoy the Christmas season with our families. We hope you all have a wonderful holiday, and we look forward to hearing from you in the New Year.
December 13, 2011
It's that time of year again, when we're frantically rushing to fill orders and stockings. So if you place an order after the 15th, we might not be able to ship it out until next year, after we get back from our family on January 4th. As always, patience thanked, understanding appreciated, and we hope you make the most of the holidays.
Merry Christmas, everyone!
October 28, 2011
We've kept you waiting long enough, and now we'll be pleased to take your orders. We've not only brought some old products back in stock, such as the Time Fuse and Spoulette tools, but we're also pleased to introduce a new line of jewelry from our very own Becky Wolter. So check out these and other fine products on the site; we know you won't be disappointed.
The tool you're looking for does not exist. Yet.
October 18, 2011
We said we'd re-open on the 25th and we meant it, at the time. But it's taken longer than we expected to rebuild stock, plus we have to handle some special orders. So our latest date for re-opening is the 28th of October—and this time we mean it.
The good news is, the Star Gun is back in stock.
September 26, 2011
We hate to keep you waiting longer, but we have to keep you waiting longer. The "store" is now going to stay closed until October 25th. We have managed to rebuild some items (such as the ⅜" Star Frame) but we still have a lot more stock to replenish. We're really sorry to stretch your patience like this, but which would you rather have: a store that's closed, or an open store with empty shelves?
September 19, 2011
Unfortunately, you'll still have to wait until October 5th to order any of these. But cheer up, we should have even more products ready for you by then.
September 14, 2011
The store is closed until October 5th, but that doesn't mean we're taking it easy. We need to process a huge backlog of orders and rebuild our stock. Any orders we received up to today will get filled, but the rest of you will have to wait for a while.
We're really sorry to leave our loyal customers waiting like this, but that's the price of being popular.
August 21, 2011
We're back from Fargo. Had a good time, if a little slow, and we're glad to be home again and accepting orders. Thanks for waiting.
July 29, 2011
Rich will be at the PGI convention in Fargo, ND which runs from August 6 to the 14th. We have to build up stock for the convention, which means we cannot accept orders until after August 20th. Once again, we're sorry for the inconvenience and grateful for your understanding.
We've had to discontinue making the ⅝" and ⅞" Chip Board Discs since the dies are wearing out and they just aren't economical. However, all the other larger sizes are still available.
We have added a new tool:
The increased loading pressures on rocket spindles make it difficult to remove the spindle from the loaded cases. By removing the base and attaching the spindle puller you can pull the spindle out of the loaded rocket case with ease.
Machined from 6061 aluminum with a knurled grip and two machined flats to grip in a vise for a stuck spindle. Tooling included is a threaded rod, nut, washer, and instructions on how to remove the spindle.
Special Modification on Spindles:
If you have an existing spindle from our tool line we can remove the pins and screw, clean the base and supply a new screw for your rocket spindle (Item 300-CL).
|1 lb Spindle Puller||300-1||$44.00|
|2 lb Spindle Puller||300-2||$44.00|
|3 lb Spindle Puller||300-3||$44.00|
|4 lb Spindle Puller||300-4||$71.00|
|6 lb Spindle Puller||300-6||$82.00|
It's Easter, so we're hopping over to IL for some family time and dinner with the kids. We'll be back on the 27th.
The rare and much-desired Star Gun is back in stock again, but for how long is anybody's guess.
And now for the bad news: We've had to discontinue making the plastic Tube Support sleeves. Rich works better with steel, and they don't always come out round. However, there are other suppliers, which you can find on our Resources page.
Happy New Year! The holidays are over for the moment, and we're back in business. Orders are being accepted again, and you can spend those gift certificates. Thanks for waiting, and we wish you all the best for 2011.
We had to temporarily close the store sooner than expected, thanks to all the Christmas cooking and baking (and cleanup!) we have to do for the extended family. Rest assured, we still plan to be accepting orders again after January 3rd.
We will be closed from the 20th of Dec. to the 3rd of Jan. 2011 to spend time with our family over the holiday season. If you have an order in the house we will try to ship it before Dec. 20th.
Granite Falls Arts, Inc.
Richard & Claudia Wolter
Our Thanksgiving break has ended. We've bidden the last lingering relatives a fond adieu, digested the remaining cranberries and washed up the dishes, and now it's back to work and eating leftover turkey sandwiches. The store is open, the cart buttons are working, and we await your pleasure.
The ¾" Gerb (181-34) and ¾" Star Plate (189-34) are back in stock and ready for you to get creative with them.
We are spending Thanksgiving week with our family from November 20th to November 30th. During this time the store will be closed, and will not accept any orders.
Thanks for your patience, and we hope you have a great Thanksgiving with your own family.
The 1 lb. Case Extenders now come in thin wall and thick wall versions. The prices and internal diameters are the same, so please make sure you select the right one for your project.
Our well-earned vacation has come to an end, and we're feeling rested and refreshed and ready to fulfil orders again. So now when you click any "Add to Cart" button, your order WILL get added to the cart.
Thank you for being patient with us, and we hope your summer was even better than ours.
We're back from the convention, and what can we say? There will be better ones. It seems nobody wants to light fireworks in the rain. At any rate, we're still busy with back orders and personal matters, but we will resume accepting orders on the 23rd. In the meantime, we hope you all are enjoying the sun while it lasts.
We will be closed to build up stock for the PGII convention which runs from Aug. 7th to the 13th. We will be back in business to serve you on Aug. 23rd. Until then, we cannot accept any new orders. We are sorry for the inconvenience, but we really need to concentrate on the convention and we're still not getting any younger.
More good news: the Shell Spiker and all the Whistle Rocket Kits are back in stock. So now your 4th can be extra noisy.
We're back from Schaumburg. If you sent anything before then, please know that we are processing all orders as fast as humanly possible.
We need to go back to Schaumburg for a week. We will be gone from April 17 to April 24. As usual we will ship out any orders after we return in the following week.
We have produced a new size of coated star plate. Only
two are one is available. Once they are sold, they will not be offered again. call to place your order.
|Product||Stars||Star Size||Stock||Price||# Available|
Here's the perfect gift for that hard-to-please pyrotechnician on your shopping list: A Gift Certificate good for reducing the price of any of Rich Wolter's high-quality pyro tools.
The Certificate will be emailed to your recipient, who will then be able to instantly credit its value toward their purchase. Certificates have no expiry date, can be bought in any dollar amount, feature your personal message, and can be easily created on this page.
We're taking a much-needed vacation on December 15th. All orders sent to us will be processed when we return on January 15th.
We hope your holidays are just as happy!
The ½" Star Plates are back from the coaters and back in stock. We also have two new plates in 3⁄16" and ¼" sizes.
These are mainly used for making core stars which are then placed in a container with other composition and rotated to cover the star with a different color, making them as big as you want.
We've been working hard to get some items back in stock. All of our 3½" and 2½" Comet and Crossette Pumps are available once again, and the Shell Spiker has returned after a long absence.
Extreme Performance Whistle Rocket Kits
These whistle rockets were developed with the help of Jim Biersach. We started with a clean slate and the goal of seeing how much performance could be achieved with whistle mix. Starting with an extremely long spindle, we had nothing but chaos at the beginning. Gradually shortening the spindle after each test, we finally settled on a spindle length that gave a bullet-like performance - nothing but straight flight, with no rocket lay-over. Initial take off is like trying to watch a bullet. This is a real winner!
The kit comes with a stainless steel spindle and aluminum base. 4 oz and 8 oz kits come with 2 rammers, while 1, 2, 3, 4, and 6 lb kits come with 3 rammers for proper length and a steel puller. We also recommend that you use a Spindle Puller with this tool.
Jim Biersach recently made a 4 oz. Extreme Whistle rocket using a 3-ton Arbor press. It flew like crazy. Needless to say, he was excited.
|4 oz Extreme Whistle Rocket Kit||½"||3½"||262-04||$73.00|
|8 oz Extreme Whistle Rocket Kit||⅝"||4"||262-08||$82.00|
|1 lb Extreme Whistle Rocket Kit||¾"||6½"||262-1||$98.00|
|2 lb Extreme Whistle Rocket Kit||⅞"||6½"||262-2||$103.00|
|3 lb Extreme Whistle Rocket Kit||1"||7½"||262-3||$106.00|
|4 lb Extreme Whistle Rocket Kit||1¼"||8½"||262-4||$163.00|
|6 lb Extreme Whistle Rocket Kit||1½"||10"||262-6||$195.00|
All of our Star and Comet Pumps are back in stock. Thanks for being patient.
The welder has finished making more copies of this popular tool, so you can order yours today.
We just returned from the PGI Convention, and had a great time meeting customers and fireworks fans from around the world. So many people loved our products that we temporarily ran out of a few items.
- The Star Guns are all gone. Rich said he wasn't going to make any more, but he now says he has enough leftover material to make a couple more of them. We shall see.
- The 4 non-standard size Star Plates have all been sold. Rich might make these a regular product in our catalogue.
- The ½-inch Star Plates, along with the 2-½ Comet, Crossette, 3 in 1 Comet Pumps are also out of stock. We will have new ones available as soon as possible.
So you see, we have a lot of work and planning to do. But right now we have to get busy and fulfill the orders that came in while we were away. (So many people just couldn't wait!) Please be patient; we haven't forgotten any of you.
We will be attending the PGI Convention which runs from August 8 to 14. We have to do a lot of preparation work before then, so we won't be able to fulfill any orders until we return on August 20th.
We thank you for your patience, and hope to see you at the convention!
We made a few upgrades to protect our customers' personal information. Our site has been independently evaluated and certified as meeting the stringent requirements of the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS).
Among other changes, we moved to a new host and upgraded our secure page to a more robust 256-bit protocol. You might not notice any difference; however, if you have bought anything from us before, you will probably have to resubmit the Hold Harmless Agreement when making a new purchase.
Also, the security seals on our Order Page look a little different:
Our site was safe before. Now it is even safer.
We've moved the website to a new host and upgraded our security pages. There might be some downtime or occasional glitches while we get settled in, so patience and understanding is always appreciated.
We're going on vacation to beautiful, sunny Schaumburg, Illinois and will return on June 2nd. Naturally we won't be able to fulfill any orders until we get back, and of course we appreciate your patience during this time.
Your wait is over: We've made some new #1 Time Fuse Tools which you can order right here.
And if you're curious to see how we make these tools, check our gallery to see some pictures of our sprawling, ultramodern manufacturing complex.
Due to popular demand, we will soon be offering Hybrid Black Powder Rocket Kits in 4lb and 6lb sizes.
We can't give an exact date yet. Production was halted when Rich spent a couple of days in the hospital with a bleeding ulcer. He is feeling fine now. And he has received more than enough get well cards.
(Updated August 16)
Here's a special offer: four Star Plates in three different sizes.
|Product||Stars||Star Size||Stock||Price||# Available|
|Star Plate||72||3⁄16"||189-316||SOLD OUT||0|
|Star Plate||49||¼"||189-14||SOLD OUT||0|
|Star Plate||25||1"||189-1||SOLD OUT||0|
These plates might be featured on our regular product line. We will let you know.
We will be entertaining guests during the Easter holidays between April 10th and 15th. Any orders placed during this time will be processed after the 15th.
March 13, 2009
We've made a lot of one-of-a-kind tools over the years, and you can see some of them on our new Gallery Page.
March 11, 2009
Regular visitors might notice that we've made a few changes to the site and added some features that should make it easier to read and navigate. We've improved the shopping cart so it stays in sight as you move around, rather like a real shopping cart. (If you prefer not to use this feature, just click the Park the Cart button and it will shoot to the top of the page and stay there.) We also wanted to take advantage of the larger monitors being sold today. (When the site was first launched in 2001, a 17-inch monitor was top of the line. Now you cannot get anything smaller.)
As with anything new, there are always some bugs that escape notice. Our hard-working programmer has tried to make the design work for all common browsers, but he cannot be 100% sure it will work for everybody. So if you have a problem with the site, he would really appreciate your feedback. The address is over here.
One thing we haven't changed is our commitment to our customers. You will still get the same high quality, affordable pyrotechnic tools and the same personal attention that you have all come to expect and deserve.
Thank you for your continuing patronage, and we look forward to helping with your pyrotechnic celebrations for many more years.
We have made only 16 of these Star Guns. Once they are sold they will not be offered again.
February 14, 2009
Need to find information/instructions/formulas or share your experiences with like-minded pyrophiles? Check out the blog at Pyrotechnics Hobbyist for links, facts, a forum and more.
Our Pressure Conversion Gauge is now available in five different pressure calibrations from 1,000 to 10,000 PSI. Use these lower-pressure gauges if you work with smaller diameter pyro items where a 10,000 PSI gauge has way too much capacity.
Pressure Conversion Gauges
Strobe rockets, whistle rockets, and other rockets that use whistle mix for propellant require a sturdy press that's capable of pressing with a force of up to 8800 P.S.I. This pressure conversion gauge reads the force that's being applied to the rocket tooling. An added note from Steve Laduke: If you want to know the correct loading pressure of say 6800 PSI on a 3/4" I.D. rocket multiply the square inch area of the rocket (.441 sq. inches) x 6800=2998 is what the gauge should read. That means no guesswork as to what cylinder size your press has and converting that information into useful working pressures for your tooling.
Different diameter rockets require different loading pressures. Simply look up the required loading pressure on the chart provided and place the pressure conversion gauge into your press. Press down on the pressure conversion gauge with the press's ram until you reach the required pressure. Set your press's pressure relief valve at this point and you're ready to go. If your press does not have a pressure relief valve, the reading on your press's pressure gauge is the pressure you would want to press to, to achieve optimum loading pressure on the rocket tooling. This eliminates the time consuming process of mathematically calculating the required loading pressure on your press. The pressure conversion gauge does it all for you.
Be sure to check our Rocket Pressure Pressing Conversion Formulas that show optimum pressing pressures for rockets using whistle type mixes.
I have also listed the actual pressures for both the Black Powder fuels and Whistle Mix fuels for each size rocket, and they are available in this pdf file.
Another tip: If you need a quicker reacting gauge, remove the black cap at the top of the gauge and pour out the glycerin. The gauge will react much faster especially in cooler climates.
This pressure conversion gauge is machined from solid 3" diameter aluminum and is built with Premium VITRON seals and a stainless steel 2½" diameter glycerin filled 0-10,000 P.S.I. pressure gauge. It is then tested for 18 hours at 4,000 P.S.I. for any leakage. The pressure conversion gauge comes completely assembled and ready for use. Each gauge comes with a chart showing the required pressure for various sized rockets.
|Pressure Conversion Gauge||1000||750-1||$124.00|
|Pressure Conversion Gauge||2000||750-2||$124.00|
|Pressure Conversion Gauge||3000||750-3||$124.00|
|Pressure Conversion Gauge||5000||750-5||$124.00|
|Pressure Conversion Gauge||10000||750-10||$124.00|
January 26, 2009
The extra two ¼" star plates have been sold. Due to popular demand, we will soon offer these star plates in our regular catalogue.
January 20, 2009
We rarely, if ever, lose any products in the mail, but just to be safe we insure everything we send. For more information on our guaranteed delivery policy, please see our updated Terms and Conditions page.
January 16, 2009
We've enhanced the Clark's Steel Fountain Kit with a new Fountain Nozzle and Drill Fixture.
Clark's Fountain Nozzle & Drill Fixture
John Sagaria and I designed the nozzle and drill fixture to solve a problem that has plagued the Clark's fountain builders in the past. It puts an end to the blown nozzle that sometimes happens due to high internal pressures. The nozzle support system was engineered to stop the problem of the clay nozzle being blown out of the case upon ignition. The kit consists of one machined aluminum drill fixture that is held in place by 4 bolts drilled through the case and fastened into the aluminum nozzle support. The nozzle support sits in direct contact against the rammed clay nozzle (see picture below).
To ensure correct hole locations the kit comes with a drill fixture machined from a solid piece of aluminum that fits over the end of the case and is held in place by two screws. Four guide holes in the fixture pilot your drill to correctly position the 4 holes that hold the support in place. Each kit comes with 1 aluminum nozzle support which is reusable for your next fountain and 1 drilling fixture. Also included are the 4 screws that hold the support nozzle in place (drill not included). John Sagaria has a video out showing how to use the product.
|Clark's Fountain Nozzle and Drill Fixture||2"||250-1||$130.00|
|Clark's Fountain Nozzle||2"||250-2||$25.00|
|Clark's Fountain Drill Fixture||2"||250-3||$107.00|
The Whistle Rocket Kit has been discontinued. We have replaced it with a new extreme tool for making rockets fly better, faster and higher.
November 15, 2008
We have some tools left over from a custom order, which we are offering on a first-ask, first-get basis:
- Five ⅝" star pumps, for sale at $35 each + $6.75 shipping (US).
- (Sold Out)
Two ¼" star plates. These have nituff bases and stainless steel pins, and make 49 stars. Price $220 plus $10 S+H (USA).
Or call us at 608-297-9402. Once these items are sold, they will not be offered again.
October 20, 2008
The bad news is, we've had to raise our FedEx shipping charges because it costs too much to have them pick up parcels out here in the woods of Wisconsin. The good news is, we've lowered our rates for shipping by USPS Priority Mail.
We use flat rate boxes whenever possible, so your shipping charges will seldom run over $10. For non-US customers, the flat rate is about $10-40 for packages under 20 lbs (9 kg). These charges are based on current US Post Office rates for Priority Mail Domestic and International shipping.
We currently have two surplus boxes of 2½" chipboard discs. These discs are .08" thick. They are plain with no holes. Each box has 1000 discs and is for sale at $25.00 each. This is 2½¢ a disc.
Those customers who don't have a PayPal account can now order products with their credit card.
Need some large Chip Board Discs, but not 100 of them? You can now buy discs in any amount (if wider than 2 inches). Simply specify the number in the shopping cart.
Our Chip Board Discs now have four new hole sizes:
19⁄32" for Precocious Pyrotechnics' spoulette tubes
11⁄16" for New England 4 oz. paper tubes