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Old 11th September 2019, 11:44 AM   #105
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Portugal
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My ignorance of experimental or even theoretical knowledge is overwhelmed by my curiosity ... and nonconformism (in lack of a better term). Furthermore my mediocre english impedes me to understand the following paragraph

Originally Posted by yulzari
...BTW the powder cannot be transported in it's constituents for mixing when needed. That would give you, at best, very bad firework powder. The incorporation of them needs much time and pressure. To get past transport shaking the constituents parts apart corning was developed generations before this war.The powder being pressed under high pressure into solid cakes which are then broken up and sorted through sieves into solid grains which will not break up if well made. It burns better than the earlier powdery 'meal' as the flash can pass through the interstices between the grains...

Note that i was diverting from the specific problematic of Mexican gunpowder both because what i had to (or managed to) learn about it is exhausted and because i found ambiance grounds to bring the gunpowder per se to the table, a subject often mentioned in chronicles ... Portuguese for one . This to say that i am perplex at your technical rejection on the possibility (probability) of gunpowder components (constituents) being taken to spots to mixed in opportune occasions. Does the fact that i am quoting events occurred in early periods (XV-XVII) puts things in a different scenario than in the XIX centuries, a period where discussed Mexican powder problems took place ? The thing is that, i keep reading (or inferring) that such procedure was feasible.

" 1626, June 10, letter of the Governor of Sao Tome, to the king about the state of the island ... warning that in the next contract the contractor would have to bring gunpowder, refined saltpeter, sulfur, aguardente (brandy) and lead to the fortress ".

Now, if he had a need for ready gunpowder, why would he also ask for the three separated constituents ?

On the other hand and later in the XVIII century, Alpoim weaves considerations on how to preserve gunpowder using the 'pćes' system. Pćes translates as breads, as or bread rolls; is this the same you mention as cakes ?

" By spraying the powder with brandy and mixing well, you can mold it into breads that, after drying should be stored in glass vases. Although, according to him, there are those who use vinegar instead of brandy, he prefers brandy, and says, "I and some of my disciples know what it is for, with the Prince's use." The advantage of gunpowder in bread is “it never gets corrupted, even with moisture; It is very good when you grind it in the fires, and you need to be careful in grinding it ".

... And he follows:

" However, it is even better to store saltpeter, sulfur and charcoal ready in the barrels, not prepared gunpowder, “because time wastes it,” as well as being a risk factor. For this, however, it is necessary to have mills to prepare the gunpowder when it is needed ".

Earlier in the XVII centuries in Macao, an interesting passage involving the deteriorated gunpowder problematic may be read:

" In June of the same year (1639), an agreement is made with the Spanish gunpowder maker Joćo de Mosqueira, to repair gunpowder 'danada' (condemned, damaged), so that it can be used again ".
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