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Did anyone else have a mis-spent youth and experiment with weed killer (sodium chlorate I think) and sugar to make an explosive ?

 

One of my child hood mates was a bit of a maniac with this stuff.  We used to put it into sealed tobacco tins or copper pipe (with one end hammered down, and a stone in the other).  Light a short fuse and run like hell.  The copper pipe was a basically a cannon. If it did not blow up the stone was propelled at some velocity. 

 

I lost touch with him years ago - I hope he is still in one piece.  Another kid in the village where I grew up, destroyed an old World War 2 air raid shelter with a similar but much larger concoction.  He ended up in the Royal Navy. 

 

I hope there are not similar characters in LM.  Much too picturesque to be blown up. 

  

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Guilty as charged, lots of daft things ranging from amplifying the power of a firework by putting them into a hole bored in a potato to concoctions involving the contents of old car batteries in a five gallon barrel and a spark plug. One of my friends blew himself through the side of an asbestos garage building his own fireworks. Then there was the hairspray powered swede cannon. That was quite impressive!

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29 minutes ago, Gopher said:

Did anyone else have a mis-spent youth and experiment with weed killer (sodium chlorate I think) and sugar to make an explosive ?

 

One of my child hood mates was a bit of a maniac with this stuff.  We used to put it into sealed tobacco tins or copper pipe (with one end hammered down, and a stone in the other).  Light a short fuse and run like hell.  The copper pipe was a basically a cannon. If it did not blow up the stone was propelled at some velocity. 

 

I lost touch with him years ago - I hope he is still in one piece.  Another kid in the village where I grew up, destroyed an old World War 2 air raid shelter with a similar but much larger concoction.  He ended up in the Royal Navy. 

 

I hope there are not similar characters in LM.  Much too picturesque to be blown up. 

  

I think LM is quite safe:

1. WW2 hasn't happened yet so no air raid shelters.

2. PC Plod is talking to the shop owners to find out if sugar has been sold to the local kids.

3. There's no buses on/under bridges the gunpowder vans might pass under/over

 

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45 minutes ago, Gopher said:

Did anyone else have a mis-spent youth and experiment with weed killer (sodium chlorate I think) and sugar to make an explosive ?

 

One of my child hood mates was a bit of a maniac with this stuff.  We used to put it into sealed tobacco tins or copper pipe (with one end hammered down, and a stone in the other).  Light a short fuse and run like hell.  The copper pipe was a basically a cannon. If it did not blow up the stone was propelled at some velocity. 

 

I lost touch with him years ago - I hope he is still in one piece.  Another kid in the village where I grew up, destroyed an old World War 2 air raid shelter with a similar but much larger concoction.  He ended up in the Royal Navy. 

 

I hope there are not similar characters in LM.  Much too picturesque to be blown up. 

  

 

Now you've done it....

image.png.6a524213285a144f541195dcd3d79f8a.png

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Posted (edited)

My Dad, who was normally very careful, seemed to go mad on fireworks day.

His favourite one was the penny banger which with his brother(my uncle of course) would see who could get the loudest and most unusual effect.

we had bangers -

in tins

gullies

drains

water(fuse sticking out)

copper pipes (mortar)

and many other things I have forgotten expect for the best one

banger tied to a rocket with the fuses entwined so lit together, boy when that went off that was loud especially if you timed it right with the rocket explosion.

All very strange for a Dad that was always promoting safety to us kids!!!

 

 

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12 minutes ago, dseagull said:

 

Now you've done it....

image.png.6a524213285a144f541195dcd3d79f8a.png

Just in case any NKVD agents try to infiltrate the village in order to find out what's inside the crate...

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There was a long steep hill near where we lived and the trick was to wind a piece of rag through the rear wheel spokes of your bicycle, soak it in lighter fluid, petrol or whatever was handy, light it and pedal off downhill at full tilt.

Other daft tricks were stuffing a petrol soaked rag into the bottom of a cast iron drainpipe, it made an eerie and deafening roar when lit.

Sticking bangers in cowpats and plumber's smoke tablets thrown in phone boxes, various aerosol can stunts and of course, nobody ever got hold of any fog detonators, honest!

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3 minutes ago, Nick C said:

Just in case any NKVD agents try to infiltrate the village in order to find out what's inside the crate...

 

image.png.193a8d0566ffac5576b3527ed49c5c5e.png.81ceecde9de92f01f0e42c2edd847a59.png

 

Your name will go on the list also. What is it?

 

Don't tell him your name Pike!

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3 hours ago, KNP said:

My Dad, who was normally very careful, seemed to go mad on fireworks day.

His favourite one was the penny banger which with his brother(my uncle of course) would see who could get the loudest and most unusual effect.

we had bangers -

in tins

gullies

drains

water(fuse sticking out)

copper pipes (mortar)

and many other things I have forgotten expect for the best one

banger tied to a rocket with the fuses entwined so lit together, boy when that went off that was loud especially if you timed it right with the rocket explosion.

All very strange for a Dad that was always promoting safety to us kids!!!

 

 

A minimum of six Benwell bangers (much thinner outer cover than the Standard Fireworks ones) wrapped together using an elastic band, ignite the fuses and throw it as far as you could.   A lad at school got into the weedkiller and sugar mixture theme - one example he dropped into a wc pan in the school bogs - broke the pan clean in half but they never found out who was responsible for that one.  He then progressed to mixtures in various sorts of piping and after a spell in hospital he came back to school minus a couple of fingers.

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The list of dangerous fun things that you could do when young in the fifties is endless. Melting lead soldiers over your mums gas stove in a  saucepan to make nothing in particular, banger guns, bangers in toy aircraft, bangers in drains anything else that you could do with bangers Wells cannon were the best bangers. A thunderflash put under a upturned metal dustbin, you would be surprised how high that can go. Jetex motors. Mixing two different types of toilet cleaner to see what happens. It's a wonder any of us are still here to tell the tale. All the best Adrian. Ps don't try any of this at home children.

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We also used to do the flying fire bucket. Upturn a metal bucket, poke oxy acetylene torch under bucket and fill with gas, lay out a "fuse" of petrol soaked string, light it up and wait for the bang. The bucket goes about thirty feet in the air. We used to do that in the junkyard behind the village garage. 

Plastic buckets are not as effective, you ended up creating a sort of  frisbee with a handle.

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We used to put penny bangers under dustbin lids, the metal ones,  they used to make one helluva a racket. Another pastime was attacking each other with air rifles, using tin foil for ammo, cheaper than pellets and less injury if you got hit. Not many snowflakes in the late 50s and early 60s, except the white ones in the winter.

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Did anyone else have a mis-spent youth and experiment with weed killer (sodium chlorate I think) and sugar to make an explosive ?

 

 

Oh yes I remember it well, I put it down to our chemistry teacher taking us to the Royal institution lecture on explosives!

 

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The old bangers made from a length of guncotton in a cardboard tube were quite slim. With post and wire fences, you could push one through the top hole of the concrete post, and it made quite a snug fit. When it went off, it would take the concrete right off above the hole, and leave the steel reinforcing rods looking like a peeled banana skin. I was always impressed by the power you could get out of such a simple little firework.

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It's surprising how much you can increase the power of an explosive simply by containing it. If you put a banger on the palm of your hand, it will just give you minor burns. Clench your fist around it and it will blow your hand off. 

 

Don't try the above at home!

 

It's also why the explosive shed at a mine or quarry had three foot thick stone walls and a flimsy wooden roof. If the worst happened, all of the force would be directed upwards, protecting the surroundings.

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This thread will be locked by admin soon if it doesn't get a Health and Safety warning in the Thread title.

 

Little Muddle, Warning, trespassers may be KILLED.:scared:

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On a slightly more serious note, 

My first job was in an industrial chemistry Laboratory. We had two fume cupboards either side of  a sink, with a common extractor fan on the lab. roof.  One of my colleagues read of certain gasses being explosive if mixed,--- inevitably suitable liquids were heated in the two fume cupboards, producing the gasses.  Nothing happened so we went for our tea break, followed by a huge bang as the fan on the roof was projected into the air, the sink was also blown off it's fixings depositing a couple of gallons of water on the floor.  As I was very much the Junior' I was not interrogated, but the Senior Chemist was suspended from work for a week for "failing to adequately supervise his staff".   

 

Some years later  newly married, on Honeymoon in Jersey at a hotel managed by a friend of my Father,  we were taken by the Manager for meal at a swank Restaurant where we met one of his friends who happened to own the Quarry on the island.  When I told him that I had technical qualifications, I was asked if I would like to work in Jersey in charge of the explosives at the Quarry!  I did decline the offer much to my wife's relief !  

 

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Very neat job you've made of building those. I've pinched your idea for bracing the sides with scrap plastic.  How do you manage to lose the moulding lines on the buffers so neatly?

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