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Mine Exploration Forum

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Author Black powder blasting any info?
mikebee62

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Black powder blasting any info?
Posted: 07/04/2010 17:31:36
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Does anyone on here have any experience blasting with gunpowder?? I know it is used in slate quarrying. what to use as stemming and initiation. Tried it once years ago, made a big bang, blew out the stemming and left the rock in one piece !!!

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scooptram

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Black powder blasting any info?
Posted: 07/04/2010 17:37:18
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we used safety fuse and stemed the hole with first some paper stamped down with a brass bar then slate dust on top again stamped down with a brass bar and hammer then light fuse and retire to a safe distance Laugh

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mind that rock OUCH
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Ty Gwyn

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Location: Lampeter

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Black powder blasting any info?
Posted: 07/04/2010 17:40:30
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Was your drill hole angled enough,with not to much of a holt?

Even Gelignite will blow back if the hole is to straight.

Clay makes good stemming
IP: 92.28.188.93
Dean Allison

Joined: 13/01/2008
Location: Northumberland

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Black powder blasting any info?
Posted: 07/04/2010 17:45:31
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They still use it in quarrying? I am surprised I would have thought they used modern safe explosives. Didn't realise black powder was still used at all IP: 90.203.50.151
scooptram

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Black powder blasting any info?
Posted: 07/04/2010 17:47:26
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no angle on the hole just plop the hole into the slate and pop off comes a big lump

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mind that rock OUCH
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Ty Gwyn

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Black powder blasting any info?
Posted: 07/04/2010 18:04:55
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Yes,but surely you have a loose end for it to break off from

Even an Heading,you have to bore Vee`s,then straightening the holes slowly from the Vee`s
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mikebee62

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Black powder blasting any info?
Posted: 07/04/2010 18:12:27
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Thanks for the information, I know Black powder was used in slate quarry's because high explosives shatter the slate,not sure if it still is? when I was at CSM I was told the best stemming material is water!! , but not much good with black powder or horizontal holes!!

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Morlock

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Black powder blasting any info?
Posted: 07/04/2010 18:17:17
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If the shot is blowing out and leaving a 'socket' the diameter to depth ratio is wrong or the stemming is unsuitable.

Edit: Or too little powder.
IP: 86.29.236.46 Edited: 07/04/2010 18:19:01 by Morlock
ditzy

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Black powder blasting any info?
Posted: 07/04/2010 20:27:19
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ask mr c sure i have heard him talk about it at the pub

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im the ditzyest ditzy in ditzy land
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Ty Gwyn

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Black powder blasting any info?
Posted: 07/04/2010 21:29:03
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Morlock wrote:

If the shot is blowing out and leaving a 'socket' the diameter to depth ratio is wrong

How do you mean?

A 4ft or 6ft normal drill is the same diameter

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Morlock

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Black powder blasting any info?
Posted: 07/04/2010 21:47:05
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Ty Gwyn wrote:

Morlock wrote:

If the shot is blowing out and leaving a 'socket' the diameter to depth ratio is wrong

How do you mean?

A 4ft or 6ft normal drill is the same diameter



I was thinking small, like a hand drilled hole to split a boulder, in effect a stemming canon.
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derrickman

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Black powder blasting any info?
Posted: 07/04/2010 21:58:33
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black powder holes would normally be quite short, maybe 2ft or 3ft, look at the photos of hand-drillers and you will see the length of the steels they are using.

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Morlock

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Black powder blasting any info?
Posted: 07/04/2010 22:01:35
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derrickman wrote:

black powder holes would normally be quite short, maybe 2ft or 3ft, look at the photos of hand-drillers and you will see the length of the steels they are using.



What sort of diameter?
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Manicminer

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Black powder blasting any info?
Posted: 07/04/2010 22:19:49
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Dean Allison wrote:

They still use it in quarrying? I am surprised I would have thought they used modern safe explosives. Didn't realise black powder was still used at all

It's a good way of splitting the rock. The modern way is to overcharge the holes with explosives and blow the lot into small bits with most ending up on the tip and not as a product Roll Eyes

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mikebee62

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Black powder blasting any info?
Posted: 07/04/2010 22:37:49
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That was my original idea, to use small scale black powder blasting for collecting mineral samples. splitting the rock rather than shattering it along with any crystals!! Thumbs Up

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Graigfawr

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Black powder blasting any info?
Posted: 07/04/2010 22:44:30
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mikebee62 wrote:

Does anyone on here have any experience blasting with gunpowder??


Whilst I've never blasted with blackpowder, I have 24 years experience of black powder ordnance. Lessons learnt: it is easily spilt and incredibly easy to ignite: be very careful!

Seem to recall reading that over-compaction due to over-ramming stemming is potenetially a problem as unlike high explosives which evolve their own oxygen, blackpowder relies on the air trapped between the grains - over ramming it risks there being insufficient oxygen for complete combusion.

Bickford safetly fuse will make the process safer and more certain.

Specify blasting grade powder, not firearm grade powder. Blasting grade has much larger grains; I presume this helps trap the right amount of air despite hammering the stemming into place.
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mikebee62

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Black powder blasting any info?
Posted: 07/04/2010 22:57:17
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Thank you for your very interesting reply, I had not thought about the oxygen issue!!, makes perfect sense!!, I do recall that mining powders were course grained now you mention it, I was thinking along the lines of the more powder you pack in the better, but as you say it needs to burn rather than detonate!!, many thanks again, mike

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mikebee62

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Black powder blasting any info?
Posted: 07/04/2010 23:05:26
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I forgot to mention, I am planning to use electric igniter's so I will be well away from It !!! , I have read a lot of accounts of the dangers of black powder blasting , a lot more dangerous than high explosives!!!

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Morlock

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Black powder blasting any info?
Posted: 07/04/2010 23:06:12
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mikebee62 wrote:

Thank you for your very interesting reply, I had not thought about the oxygen issue!!, makes perfect sense!!, I do recall that mining powders were course grained now you mention it, I was thinking along the lines of the more powder you pack in the better, but as you say it needs to burn rather than detonate!!, many thanks again, mike


The oxygen for the reaction is supplied by the mixtures potassium nitrate content (75%). Smile
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mikebee62

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Black powder blasting any info?
Posted: 07/04/2010 23:22:40
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Yes you are right as well!!, I have a friend in Cornwall who does
black powder shooting , he reckons that even modern powders
cant get the power achieved in Victorian times whether this is true I dont know!! Confused

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