Cut stars are the simplest and easiest stars to make. They are generally also the cheapest. One can make large quantities of cut stars in a short space of time. Cut stars can be made with or without special tools or equipment. Cut stars can be used in:
Small cut stars can also be used as cores for making round stars. These are typically small cubes with sides about one eighth of an inch in length. Cut stars are not the best choice for Roman candles. For those, round or cylindrical (pumped) stars are better.
There are a variety of different ways to make cut stars. Some use a frame specifically designed for cut star making. Other simpler ways dispense with frames entirely. Both methods are discussed here.
The materials needed to make cut stars are dependent on the formula used and on the formula of the prime if a prime is used. The most popular type of prime used is meal powder, which is black powder in fine powder form rather than in granules. It is generally recommended that stars be primed. An exception to this rule is chlorate stars, which usually do not need priming, and are rarely primed with black powder.
Some kraft paper is needed to line certain types of star frames. One gallon zip-lock bags are useful if one is mixing just one or two pounds of star mix.
Another useful material is a roll of waxed paper, the type normally found in the kitchen.
The barest minimum one needs to make cut stars is:
- mixing bowl
- mixing spoon or spatula
- rolling pin (if a frame is not used)
- scale for measuring quantities