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What metal do people use to throw up sparks with their lowriders?

I've always thought that it was magnesium, but I've heard that titanium is used. It seems titanium would be mucho-expensive for what it does. Does anyone know anything about it? If I find anything with a reasonable price, I may make a project about it. Thanks, Bran.

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Sedgewick179 years ago
Usually when you are grinding metal it is the harder metals which will give you the most sparks it also depends on how fast you are going. Titanium gives off a ton of sparks, but I am not sure if the road will be able to stand up to something so hard which will give you less sparks. You might want to try carbon steel with the rod at a 45 degree angle so there will be more surface contact. I have never ground magnesium , but it sounds kind of soft to me. What are you going to use to feed the rod to the surface of the road?
Bran (author)  Sedgewick179 years ago
I found the idea at a halfbakery-type place, but it wasn't real refined. Basically, it said to get a metal plate and attach it to the underside of your shoe. When you cycling, you can drag your feet to throw up sparks. Of course, the idea has some flaws, but it interested me and I thought it'd be cool to see if it did work. I guess the plate would just be attached to my shoe, and I push my foot against the ground whilst going approximately 15 mph or so. Using a rod, I'm not so sure.
I would hate to think what would happen to your leg if you hit a pot hole. I think it would be better if you hinged a small gauge carbon steel rod to the frame of your bike and a extension spring to the rod and another forward part of the frame. Sort of like a kick stand in reverse. This will keep the rod in contact with the road and save you and the bike from damage.
Actually catching your foot in a pothole isn't too bad but it's not the safest thing if you're in traffic or some such. Maybe even just a hinged piece of bar with a small mass on top near the end, that means it'll be simpler to attach but will stop sparking and bounce up a little when bumps are hit.
Bran (author)  Sedgewick179 years ago
Ah, good idea. I'll see what I can do. Thanks for all the help!
Let me know how it turns out.
CameronSS9 years ago
If you want huge amounts of sparks, you could try mischmetal. It's the metal they use in lighter flints-an alloy of cerium, lanthanum, and a few other rare earth metals. Expensive, though.

No, I don't know where to get big pieces.
Sedgewick179 years ago
What are you going to use for the spark a welder or do you just want to use friction?
Bran (author)  Sedgewick179 years ago
Yeah, friction. I'm planning on dragging it across pavement in much the same style as cars do.