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From: (Gerald L. Hurst)
Newsgroups: rec.pyrotechnics
Subject: Re: Would this work as a fuse
Date: 30 Dec 1996 09:02:02 GMT

In article <>, The Silent Observer
<> says:

>Wavy Caver wrote:
>> Unless you had a very clean cut, it was almost impossible to light.
>Oh, I forgot to mention -- the standard method of lighting this fuse, 
>assuming you didn't have a sparkler-type "fuse lighter" handy, was to 
>split the end for about 3/8", and wedge in a head cut from a wooden 
>kitchen match.  The flare from this match head taking fire when lit with 
>another match would start the fuse core burning pretty reliably.

That's the truth, Silent. Lighting safety fuse with a single match 
would rate a merit badge at times - stubborn stuff.  The split end
plus matchhead works every time even with paper matches. Fuse lighters
that crimped on the end of the fuse were a sometime luxury. 

Incidently, always check safety fuse to make sure the color is not 
mottled.  If it is, you can bet that it has gotten wet at some time 
and that you are likely to get a hangfire. With clean fuse you can
set your watch by the burn time.

According to good practice one is supposed to use two-minute fuses
(3 ft), but when you are (were) running hundreds of tests, the fuses
on the experimental charges rarely got over 9 inches and you left the 
car or truck idling while you lit them if no boulder was conveniently

I once had a mine owner insist that I use his disclored fuse for a
series of secondary blasts in a demonstration of a shattering explosive.
I got 6 hangfires out of ten shots ignited in fast sequence by hand.
The sun was going down and it fell to me to disarm the charges by hand
without the luxury of waiting for the usual long safety period.

It is situations like this in which one is glad to have learned
to insert the caps loosely into the surface charge so they can be yanked
and dropped on the run. I should have used the past tense in describing
these procedures. Those were the good old bad old days when when regs 
were made of rubber.  Some of us survived them and some didn't. Now we 
who are LUCKY enough to still be among the living are obliged 
retrospective wisdom to say, "Do as I say, not as I did."  

Jerry (Ico)

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