Explosives: Tree stump removal

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Marketing of identical stuff under different names is one of my favorite things to bitch about. I've often compared the contents of general insecticides or fungicides with specialized products such as for roses. Often the contents and concentrations are identical (if they are all the same brand) but products for a particular plant are often priced as 2 or more times the cost of general purpose one is. In some case the contents are the same but the specialized product is at a much weaker concentration but is still 2 or more times the cost of the general purpose product.
You are also right about the blasting, that should be anyone's last resort (and might be) if they don't know what they are doing.
Michael Baugh wrote:

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Thats not correct. Smokeless powder is not an explosive, it burns very fast and when it is confined has explosive properties due to the rapid expansion of gases. Blackpowder, on the other hand IS explosive and needs no confining to make it so. A hand full of smokeless powder can be touched off with a match and will only burn, admittedly very fast and you may loose some eyebrows, but a hand full of blackpowder would take your hand off when a match touched it.
I would not recommend either method.
The most common method and one we used when was working on a pipeline is ANFO.
But trying any of these is unsafe and probably would earn you a comfortable stay in a warm place with 3 meals a day, hospital or jail.
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Yeah, some other comments about anfo at http://www.skepticfiles.org/new/201doc.htm

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Rent a stump grinder. I wouldn't play with gun powder. It can scare you for life and then you'll be blind (or worse) with those pesky stumps still standing. I think it'll cost you about 60.00.
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Buying ammonium nitrate fertilizer and fuel oil is illegal now?
Steve
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No one said buying them was illegal. Using them to create an explosive puts you under different scrutiny.
wrote >

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wrote >

Depends on how much you buy,and your address.(location)
--
Jim Yanik,NRA member
jyanik-at-kua.net
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Sorry, wrong.
_Neither_ smokeless powder (eg: pyradex) or blackpowder are explosives.
["Explosive" being defined officially as when the gas expansion is above the speed of sound.]
The difference between gunpowder and smokeless powder is simply that gunpowder's coefficient of combustion is such that it burns _very_ fast even if uncontained - but still not an explosive shock wave.
How fast depends on the grain size (primarily). Antique firearms usually use FFFFg (very fine) or FFFg (fine). Antique firearms simply don't work properly with coarser black powder.
The only way you can get blackpowder to "go boom" is contain it inside something like a pipe with threaded on ends. Then you're getting the boom from the pipe overpressuring and throwing bits.
Pyradex, when unconfined burns fairly slowly comparatively.

Sorry no. Blackpowder does the "flash, lose eyebrows" trick[+]. Pyradex uncontained is _much_ tamer. More like safety matches burning.
The only way you can get firearms to work with pyradex is to contain it to build pressure, then it burns much faster. Blackpowder burn rate doesn't depend nearly as much on pressure.
If blackpowder was an explosive, you couldn't make rocket motors with it. You couldn't use it in a firearm (it's a little late to find that out now ;-)
The chinese started flying blackpowder rockets around 1000AD.
Kids fly model rockets with blackpowder motors (ordinary ESTES model rocket motors) every day.
I fly amateur rockets (I'm certified to motors that can throw a 25 pound rocket 3000' up). While the fuel grains themselves aren't blackpowder (AP actually), we used blackpowder to pressure-eject the recovery system (usually a parachute).
If blackpowder was explosive, the rocket would come down in itty bitty bits. Which can ruin your whole day.
We generally don't use pyradex (despite it being a lot easier to get these days) for ejection charges because when used as we use blackpowder, it produces gas too slowly. To use pyradex, you have to try moderately complicated containment methods that let pressure build up high enough to get the burn rate fast enough, and then let the pressure out without blowing a hole in the rocket.
[+] A friend of mine lost his eyebrows and got a free facial peel from the flash when he got a little too close to a teaspoon of gunpowder set off in a dish. The dish survived. Only slightly melted. If blackpowder was explosive, the dish would be in itty bitty bits. My friend survived just fine too. Lost some acne scars in the process... Some people pay a lot of money for that process... ;-)

Do note that getting ANFO to work _properly_ requires care in selecting ingredients (beyond simply the right chemicals), mixing ratios, etc. McVey tried for quite a while before he got it right.
Secondly, ANFO is difficult to set off. One of it's great attractivenesses is that it's very stable and safe to handle. If you light it, it just burns. Like the fuel oil it contains. You need a pretty violent shock - a blasting cap (or even a stick of dynamite) - to make it detonate. ANFO is great for large scale application. They carry it around in pumper trucks on large quarry sites, and just pour it down the holes. Insert blasting cap, insert a wad of something to seal the hole, and fire the cap.
For a onsey-twosey remove stump job, hiring a contractor to come by with a couple sticks of dynamite is a lot more effective.

Very unsafe. The prison term is when you manufacture explosives without a license. Or store it without a LEUP. Plus violating local ordinances about permits etc.
[As I understand it, and perhaps still even now, I'd merely need to go to the Ontario Provincial Police, say "I want to blow up three stumps at this address at such and such an address", they give me a permit (if they think what I'm doing is reasonable), which gives me permission to purchase the appropriate number of dynamite sticks, and then I can set the stuff off myself as per the permit. Without having a "license" per-se. But the SO won't let me, so I've not gotten to test my understanding... ;-)]
--
Chris Lewis, Una confibula non set est
It's not just anyone who gets a Starship Cruiser class named after them.
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In the common context, explosive means it burns rapidly. There are probably several different legal definitions of explosive.
Anyone who want's to see the difference between smokeless and black powder only needs to lay out a line of each and touch each off with a match. However, the burning of unconfined powder is quite different from compressed powder. If you want to see dramatic differences put the same amount of blackpowder in a rifle and compress one load then try it without compression. Or, put it in any other container and then watch what happens. There is a reason that you use a ramrod with black powder even when the ball will roll down the barrel. And if you reload cartridges, you know that blackpowder reloads are compressed and with smokeless powder there is often a lot of space between the cartridge and the bullet.
The statement that antique firearms use 4F and 3F is incorrect, pistols, small rifles, and flash pans use the finer grains. 2F is often used for larger bore rifles.
You don't need pipes for blackpowder or smokeless powder to go boom. Paper tubes work just fine, e.g., fire crackers.
Chris Lewis wrote:

((much deleted to save space))

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As in when a cartridge in a gun is supposed to fire, and the "cork" (lead) pop out through the barrel, but doesn't and causes the gun to "explode"?
As when a blackpowder M-80 is put into a mailbox, and the door doesn't "pop" open to relieve the pressure, but the mailbox is destroyed?
Things explode all the time although they have a relief channel.
Where did you go to explosives school? I think you should ask for a refund. What state do you live in? (other than the state of confusion) I want to avoid that state in my travels.
Steve
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What a very strange question. You're describing explosions of devices. The cartridge, the M-80. And you're describing associated devices being damaged. The gun doesn't explode, it is damaged by the 'exploding' cartridge. The mailbox doesn't explode. The 'relief channel' is designed into the device, such as the gun, But let mud get into the barrel, and watch the force get vented otherwise. The door of the mailbox doesn't have to open. The box may or may not be deformed/damaged by the M-80, with or without the door opening. In fact, the box could be damaged by the localized explosion, even with the door open. I'll not tell you where I got my training with explosives, but I can tell you that they've been in business for a long time, and that their training is frequently called upon to change someone's lifestyle. I will again endorse the choice of using stump rotting chemicals, and ignoring you.

"pop"
refund.
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As I said in an earlier post, true explosives do not need any confining at all to do their damage. Think about it. Does a stick of TNT need confining to explode? No. Will it do damage if just laying on the ground? Yes. You can enhance the damage by tamping it into the blast hole, but it is not necessary. C4 explosive needs no confining and can be molded to whatever suface you wish to destroy. It can be shaped to do more damage. If you had a flat piece of C4 and scooped out a depression in it, oddly enough that depression is where the most damage will be done. Smokeless powder that is used in modern firearms is NOT an explosive. If you burn small arms ammunition the majority of the cartridges will not detonate, they will rupture relatively harmlessly and burn. ANFO is also a true explosive that needs no confining. And it is perfectly legal to buy the components, just like blackpowder and smokeless powder, and perfectly legal to use any of theses for their intended purposes, but it is absolutely not legal to use any of them to make an explosive device.
Have fun
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Precisely.
In fact, there's a similar trick you can play with TNT sticks. Let say you want to punch a hole in a rock. Take three sticks of TNT and prop them up as a "teepee" above where you want the hole. Fire all three at once. The shock waves reinforce each other and punch a hole straight down.

Similarly, black powder as used in antique firearms is NOT an explosive either.
If it was, the gun would simply explode in your face, REGARDLESS of whether there was a bullet in front of the charge or not.
--
Chris Lewis, Una confibula non set est
It's not just anyone who gets a Starship Cruiser class named after them.
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snipped-for-privacy@nortelnetworks.com (Chris Lewis) wrote in

A crude 'hollow-charge',using the Monroe Effect,like RPG warheads.
--
Jim Yanik,NRA member
jyanik-at-kua.net
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (bighead) wrote in

There's LOW-ORDER explosives,and high-order explosives. Big difference,mainly in how fast the explosion travels.
Disclaimer;I'm not an expert.
--
Jim Yanik,NRA member
jyanik-at-kua.net
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Firearm misfires will readily breech carbon steel and blow your face off. It happens. Gunpowder is explosive under pressure.
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Anything can cause an explosion if it generates gases quickly enough within an enclosed space. Even water, in a BLEVE with a water heater with overtemperature and a failed/nonexistant popoff protection. But it really agravates me to see those 'Hollywood' fires in which a gallon of gasoline, poured on the floor, 'causes' an explosion. Another thing that sets me off is the flashes that are supposed to indicate gunshot hits.
If I were dead set on blowing stumps with gunpowder, I'd make some pipe bombs a little smaller than the hole in the tree. With care about getting powder into the threads.

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Smokeless powder will do the same thing under the right conditions.
Heck, we can get a chunk of wood or ordinary plastic to "explode" by that definition.
Does that make wood or plastic pipe an explosive?
I suspect not.
--
Chris Lewis, Una confibula non set est
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Michael Baugh wrote:

Hi. This week I'm an explosives expert. And you've just described the feeling and effect I get when I pull the gerbil's head out of my rectum. Oooohh. I can only imagine having a tree stump in my ass! Ohh babeee!
--
Christopher a. Bung
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oh.... so YOU are teh one that ended up in the hospital after having the gasses ignited while trying to remove the gerbil, eh?
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