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Author: Subject: Life after detonation
Yamato71
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[*] posted on 6-4-2015 at 18:57


Hi everybody,

Did you miss me? Sorry, I haven't checked in in quite a while. I used to receive email notification when there was response to my thread, but I guess that feature has a shelf life. I've since rechecked the box.

I'm doing just fine. I've gotten on with my life and can't complain too much. My missing left hand still hurts with phantom pain and my reconstructed right hand hurts like sin because it's still full of glass shrapnel. I depend on daily pain medication that allows me to function somewhat normally. I just hate that I have to depend on medication. Oh, another little irritation that bothers me, I have to change my sheets every few days because tiny shards of glass work their way out of my skin while I sleep. Four and a half years after the accident and I'm still shedding glass. Sheesh!

Thanks for wondering how I'm doing.
I'm better.
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[*] posted on 6-4-2015 at 19:27


Glad to see you're still about-

Sent you a U2U a while back, before realizing you had gone on hiatus, regarding the NC lacquer bound Copper thermite mixture mentioned in relation to the ETN based initiation of special effects devices. Was worried you'd had some legal or medical complications-

I have known people with accidentally embedded glass shards before. "The gift that keeps on giving"!




Rapopart’s Rules for critical commentary:

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4. Only then are you permitted to say so much as a word of rebuttal or criticism.

Anatol Rapoport was a Russian-born American mathematical psychologist (1911-2007).

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[*] posted on 9-4-2015 at 03:56


I read sometime, that mines with glass powder was used in Vietnam- sensitive explosive in small packs. (I still have some iron in my leg, but it does not bother me)



Women are more perilous sometimes, than any hi explosive.
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[*] posted on 2-11-2015 at 19:49


I have just read your story for the third time. Yet again, it hits home and makes my heart sink. It made me think about all the times I’ve had an accident or was just simply negligent and could have very well lost my eye sight, been dismembered, or suffered severe burns. I’m so fortunate and grateful to be in the condition that I am in today. I enjoy experimenting with explosive materials and I can only hope that my fascination with such things won’t lead to my demise. I’m a lot more cautious in dealing with energetic materials than I ever was before. Thank you for sharing your story.

[Edited on 11/4/2015 by Spirit of Niter]




"If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it?" -Albert Einstein
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[*] posted on 4-11-2015 at 17:42


It is a well-known fact that in China,a lot of brands are completely fabricated and BS,that is because fabricating a brand in China would carry serious legal consequences (Either death penalty or imprisonment,I am not familiar with Chinese laws),and so manufacturers find a loophole in that law by making a knockoff brand and replicating the product,which tends to turn out to be of lower quality than the original product. The reason I am telling you that is that you, and I speak to everyone reading this, should always look at the brand markings carefully, and possibly avoid Chinese-manufactured glassware, I don't know whether it is the most likely to be a knockoff or just personal bias or simply hearing about those types of brands more often,but it is better to be safe than dismembered,though it is too late for the OP of this thread.
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[*] posted on 6-11-2015 at 23:22


It's now been a few days past 5 years since Yamato71 had his accident. I occasionally think about this story and wonder how he's coping. Hopefully recovering as well as can be hoped for with such serious injuries.



Where there is a will
there is a way.

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Yamato71
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[*] posted on 1-12-2015 at 23:35


Yeah, it was a somber anniversary for us too. Thanks for remembering. I just turned 62 last week and I couldn't be better. I still find myself reaching for a doorknob, or trying to hold a door for a lady, only to have her lose her composure when either A. I forget that there's no hand there and end up jamming the bony stump of my left wrist hard into the still closed door, or B. She notices instantly that I am "disabled" and damn near bowls me over trying to get ahead of me so she can open the door for ME. Neither option is pleasant, but A is downright satanic. I wish I could describe the sensation that overwhelms my nervous system when my stump hits upon a hard object. Try to imagine that mind numbing pain you get when you smack your elbow into the corner of a desk. Now multiply that by about 65 and you're getting close. It is a sensation that whole people luckily will never experience. Direct traumatic stimulation of a main sensory nerve is not only not supposed to happen in everyday activity, it's damn near impossible for somebody with all the pieces they were born with to do that. It happens to me maybe 3-4 times a month. When it does, the pain is so debilitating that I sometimes just stop breathing.

What are some of the other subtle ways that ETN changed my life, hmmm... let's see.

Doorknobs.

If you come to my house, one of the first things you will notice is.. there are no round doorknobs. They are all lever style. You might remember that my trauma surgeon saved my right hand, but even so, it was severely mangled. I have something that looks like a fat thumb attached to a canned ham where my right hand used to be. Try as I might, it will not close, so grabbing things like round doorknobs is a no go.

Zippers and buttons

My manual dexterity before the accident was incredible. Remember the scene in The Right Stuff where all the younger astronauts showed off by rolling quarters along the backs of their knuckles? I invented that. Well, I knew the inventor's sister, but I digress. Zippers and buttons are no longer part of my world. I wear lots of Polo shirts and tees. When I get a new pair of jeans, they have to go to the tailor first to have the zippers ripped out and replaced by a patch of velcro. I haven't tied a pair of shoes in five years. From now on, it's oxfords and loafers.

There's plenty more little things I miss and little workarounds I've had to come up with, just to be able to function everyday. I have said it before and I'll say it until the day i die, I would much rather have lost a leg than a hand. Hell, make that TWO legs. The one thing I miss more than any thing is a sense of touch. With my left hand gone and very little, if any, touch sensation in my right hand, it's what I imagine blindness to be like for somebody who lost their sight later in life. No longer can I just reach out and touch something to feel it. Not only is it something I took for granted, it's something I never gave a second thought... until I lost it. It really hit me when during a particularly frisky encounter with a female friend, when I playfully caressed her breast.... and felt nothing.


[Edited on 2-12-2015 by Yamato71]
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[*] posted on 6-2-2016 at 18:23


Quote: Originally posted by Yamato71  
I have said it before and I'll say it until the day i die, I would much rather have lost a leg than a hand. Hell, make that TWO legs.

[Edited on 2-12-2015 by Yamato71]


While I know this is of no comfort, I know a guy who has lost a leg (in a similarly traumatic situation as you), and he would agree with this assessment. It frustrates him to be limited even a little in mobility, but he has made up for it a lot in the use of his arms and hands.

Considering how badly the rest of his body was damaged, its really impressive to see what he can still do.

Thank you again for your story, it has been a very good cautionary tale for me particularly, and I appreciate both how frank you are regarding the subject.
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[*] posted on 6-3-2016 at 09:53


The original story reminds me of two instances where I was particularly stupid. A while ago I was attempting to purify something and I had a large beaker full of hot ethanol. I was using an open flame to heat it (for what reason I don't know) and nothing interesting happened for a minute or so. Suddenly it started to violently boil and as I went to turn off the Bunsen burner the beaker cracked. I was left with about 200ml of flaming ethanol on my workbench. My first reaction was to blow on it which didn't exactly work and singed my eyebrows a little. Luckily I came to my senses and grabbed a fire extinguisher before it could spread any more. The second more recent time (and possibly even more stupid) came when I was experimenting with rocket fuels. I wanted something more energetic than KNO3/sugar. I decided that HMTD might work for my purposes. I planned on using it with R candy and a binder. I started with a small batch (<10 grams) and after testing it for sensitivity I was pleased and moved on to experimentation. I was testing its burn rates when I got the ideodic idea to confine it slightly. I didn't want an explosion but you don't always get what you want. 2-3 grams was placed inside paper and wrapped with tape. I lit it (with no hearing protection) and stood back about two meters. The resulting detonation was deafening and I stumbled around with no hearing whatsoever. My hearing did come back and returned to somewhat normal after a couple hours, though I still can't hear as well as before that. Be safe and always think about it before you do something that could hurt you.
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[*] posted on 7-3-2016 at 08:15


Quote: Originally posted by Geocachmaster  
The original story reminds me of two instances where I was particularly stupid. A while ago I was attempting to purify something and I had a large beaker full of hot ethanol. I was using an open flame to heat it (for what reason I don't know) and nothing interesting happened for a minute or so. Suddenly it started to violently boil and as I went to turn off the Bunsen burner the beaker cracked. I was left with about 200ml of flaming ethanol on my workbench. My first reaction was to blow on it which didn't exactly work and singed my eyebrows a little. Luckily I came to my senses and grabbed a fire extinguisher before it could spread any more. The second more recent time (and possibly even more stupid) came when I was experimenting with rocket fuels. I wanted something more energetic than KNO3/sugar. I decided that HMTD might work for my purposes. I planned on using it with R candy and a binder. I started with a small batch (<10 grams) and after testing it for sensitivity I was pleased and moved on to experimentation. I was testing its burn rates when I got the ideodic idea to confine it slightly. I didn't want an explosion but you don't always get what you want. 2-3 grams was placed inside paper and wrapped with tape. I lit it (with no hearing protection) and stood back about two meters. The resulting detonation was deafening and I stumbled around with no hearing whatsoever. My hearing did come back and returned to somewhat normal after a couple hours, though I still can't hear as well as before that. Be safe and always think about it before you do something that could hurt you.

Yes always think to the worst cases scenarios...and eventually asking here before acting may be good anyway...




PH Z (PHILOU Zrealone)

"Physic is all what never works; Chemistry is all what stinks and explodes!"-"Life that deadly disease, sexually transmitted."(W.Allen)
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[*] posted on 5-11-2016 at 00:10


I almost made it through the whole day last Thursday without remembering that it was the sixth anniversary of the day I joined the amputee club....almost. The past year, like the previous five, was a string of highs and lows. I finally accepted the fact that my eardrums were never going to heal and got fitted for a pair of hearing aids. Why the hell didn't I do this years ago?

My most memorable moment of year six in the club was a horror show.

I had stopped at the grocery store on my way home from work last March to pick up some odds and ends for our neighborhood St. Patty's Day party. As I walked along the soft drink aisle, I spotted a shopping cart with the cutest three year old red haired girl riding in the cart just watching the world around her with complete fascination. Her mother, an auburn haired beauty herself, appeared to be in her mid to late 20's. Mom had her back to me trying to choose which soda to bring home when it happened.
Just before I passed her cart, the little girl raised her hand and gave me a cute little wave hello. I raised my hand to wave back, but without thinking, raised the stump of my left wrist instead.

Instantly the child exploded with the loudest, most terrified shriek I have ever heard. The sight of a stump where there should be a hand was something hideous to her that she had never seen before, her little three year old mind just couldn't comprehend the sight. Her terrified response stopped me cold. I wanted to reach out and comfort the child and tell her it was alright, but I never got the chance. The little girl's terrified screams triggered an instant defensive response in her mother that I think surprised both of us in its ferocity. Before I knew what happened, the mother tore into me with both arms and fists flailing me while she screamed "YOU BASTARD! WHAT THE FUCK DID YOU DO TO MY BABY?" She was doing the same thing I would have done had the roles been reversed, so I didn't dare try to fight back. She wasn't really doing any physical damage, but we were both about to be thoroughly mind fucked.

It seemed to me that the attack lasted for hours, but in reality it couldn't have been more than fifteen seconds. The commotion drew a crowd almost instantly and the language coming from that tiny red haired lady was so unbelievably coarse and fast that I couldn't explain to her what had happened. Luckily, another lady who had witnessed the entire episode stepped forward, grabbed the young mother by her elbows and shook her until they locked eyes. "Mam! This gentleman did not touch your child. She saw his missing hand and it frightened her, that is all that happened!" "You are assaulting this innocent man. Stop it this instant!"

For a long second or two nobody moved, then her eyes darted down to my missing hand and up to my eyes. I must have looked pitiful, like an injured puppy because she immediately broke down, sobbing. Before I could react she rushed up to me, wrapped her arms around the back of a perfect stranger and buried her sobbing face into my chest wailing "I'm sorry!, I'm sorry!, I am SO sorry!" The entire time, the little girl sat in the cart wailing. I did the only thing I could do. I slipped my right hand onto the nape of her neck, gently pulled her face back to my shoulder, gave her a tiny little kiss on the top of her head and said "It's all right, you did what any new mother would have done if she thought that someone had hurt her child. You didn't hurt me, no harm no foul. Now I think you'd best dry your eyes and get your baby calmed down. I'll be fine." I lied.

We were both horribly shaken up and just needed to get out of there.
I haven't seen her or her child since.

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[*] posted on 5-11-2016 at 01:30


That could have gone so much better. I think you handled yourself well in the circumstances. Still, it was one of those awful moments that knocks the stuffing out of you.



If you are interested, take a look at the latest offering from sum_lab:
A primer on metals and non-metals with at least one novel experiment.
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[*] posted on 5-11-2016 at 07:54


You should write a book about your experience or partial fiction/novel...your writting skills seems very good to me...but I'm not a native English speaker...



PH Z (PHILOU Zrealone)

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[*] posted on 11-11-2016 at 11:58


I think him writing a book with his experienced would greatly help others who've suffered similar injuries.

Yamato you do have a literary skill to you.
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Yamato71
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[*] posted on 13-11-2016 at 08:44


Thanks for the suggestion. To be honest, the thought of writing a book has never occurred to me. I'll give it some thought.

Y71
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[*] posted on 13-11-2016 at 08:55


Thanks for the suggestion. To be honest, the thought of writing a book has never occurred to me. I'll give it some thought.

Y71
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[*] posted on 13-11-2016 at 10:10


Definitely write a book about the Before, the Event and the After.

You certainly have a good story-telling style.




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[*] posted on 14-11-2016 at 01:56


Y71, wow sorry to hear of your terrible accident; 5 years. I can't say I know exactly what you went through, but I know something of it. I saw this extended post and resisted reading it, but did, and decided it's time to tell someone of my experience. Over 10 years ago I was filtering an organic peroxide on a sintered glass filter...I know I know!
Familiarity can breed contempt for these sort of things and the old saying 'It's not if, but when!' can be quite true for EM's. And this was something I'd done a hundred times but mindful of the fact of should the worst happen- then better make the quantity small. And even though the total amount was less than 5g let me assure you less than 5 grams does some terrible damage.
The Flash bang effect where the mind just shuts off the stimulus, was instant, a flash and the weird dissociative sensation of being conscious in a cloud of white light and silence; the sensation of a high powered slap on my thumb was a jet of gas piecing the flesh and smashing the bone, but other than that I have no real way of telling how long I was stultified. A high pitched whine became apparent as the scene faded back in. The ringing became somewhat painful, and the realisation of something bad happened, how bad, I'm still numb I have no idea?
Shit! Check breathing! Ok! Hands! Fuck.... fuuuuck! my left hand was peeled open like a banana at the webbing between the thumb and hand, and was really messed up but little blood.
I'm the type of person I found out that stays really cool under fire, no panic, just 'lets sort this shit out'. I made my way to the phone and called a close friend, with some difficulty dialing the phone. Rather calmly, I don't know why I was a model of calm and asked ever so politely ' Do you think I could trouble you for a lift to the emergency room I've kind of had a bit of an accident.'
'Are you Ok?'
'Yeah...If you could come over fairly quickly well that would be cool, kind of in a bit of pain'
'Sure!...' said with a slight sense of imposition, but what could I do, I wasn't going to be anything other than cool about the whole thing.

45 minutes later which seemed an eternity, my mate parks his car out the front of my house with casual precision. Gets out, forgets something, and casually fumbles around looking for whatever it was that needed fixing or finding.
For Fuck's Sake get in here! I wanted to scream, but if I let my shit go then there's a shitload to deal with and that hasn't happened so far; I'm coping with it. No real pain, shock's a good thing at this point.
But when my mate came in, his eyes said it all, it was serious. I didn't have to say anything, but tried reassure him i'm ok. I'm the one with the fucked up hand and I'm making sure he's alright. He drove like a maniac but a controlled maniac and keeping him calm was good for both of us at that point.

I won't go into the rest of the hospital and healing, but was glad when the doctor asked do you need anything for the pain? And casually and rationally said ' I'm Ok for now but the shock is going to wear off soon and I'm going to be somewhat less calm than I am now, do you think you can administer something fairly strong to anticipate that? But it was starting to throb by now and didn't feel at least bit guilty asking.
'I'm surprised you haven't asked for anything already' he said said fairly matter of factly and walked off to get something for me. The Pethedine was a relief, mentally and physically I could just let my shit go and not have to hold it together. ' What the hell were you doing?' he asked as he jammed a syringe full of the good stuff into a canula.
'We only see this sort of injury in war'
'Well!' I began 'I needed to use a charge to form some metal domes.....' I was fucked up on some heavy dose of peth by this stage and trailed off, the rest a blur. I never saw that doctor again, he never knew what the hell I was going on about.

I haven't spoken about my little ordeal before, I only had an occasion a few years afterwards where I could explain to someone else who would or could understand.
I was on a sales excursion with my wife who then worked repping for a scientific instrument sales and consumables job, and one day this took us to an explosives manufacturing facility. One of the facility scientists had some fingers missing and I asked ' What was that from?'
'Lead Azide 'he said with a dry sense of cognisance, I knew immediately that he had at one time made crystals far too big and shouldn't of handled them, and said ' what? , no dextrin?'
'Yeah!' he said with a laugh 'was actually planning on using gelatine but didn't.'
'Organic peroxide...'and held up my left hand.
'Not bad. You were lucky.' he noted as my hand had aside from a pretty ugly scar through the webbing and a fat thumb where the tissue grew back after being blasted open, had healed reasonable well. ' You should see the Director, he's got a few fingers left on his left hand and his right hand is pretty damaged.'

My wife was now completely shocked, she wasn't with me when it happened, she didn't know that this is what a lot of us did in our younger days. She thought It was just me being an idiot after I explained the scarring; but it was something that a lot of us did because it was interesting. And our exchange took her from her professional world of regulation and rules and left her with the reality that bright people in chemistry are curious and work with energetics as an interest. Away from the sanctified environment of pure bubble wrapped safety in the lab.

But there is life after detonation, it took me a long time to think about getting near a work bench again, there are mental scars as well, but without too much effort, the curiosity to learn comes back and try things again; but for me, there are things I find a little more satisfying to study than EM's.

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[*] posted on 14-11-2016 at 20:33


I take it that happen in Australia Chemetix, did you end up in any legal trouble after presenting yourself to a hospital with a blast injury?

[Edited on 15-11-2016 by NedsHead]
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[*] posted on 15-11-2016 at 01:55


Nope, nothing like that, I think they got the impression it was a firework or something like that. And it was a more simpler time, although, I'm being deliberately vague with the time, there's nothing to be gained from leaving a trail of evidence in this day and age. I guess if there were parts missing there might have been some more questions perhaps.

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[*] posted on 16-11-2016 at 07:51


Interesting story as I had to make more HMTD for my caps, here for some reason drying any thing is a tedious proposition at best and was tempted to vacuum filter it on my fritted funnel.

But When I did the risk analysis first thing on the list was just that! getting it off the frit was just way to high risk a venture, and too much containment in the funnel made it more like a grenade then a filter method. So scratched the idea and here it is 3 days later still drying on the open coffe filter!

Going to be making a temperature gradiated vacuum desiccator for these things to make it berable
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[*] posted on 16-11-2016 at 10:35


Why don't you dry it in the oven?

Just joking haha.

When the weather is cold and hindering the drying process, I just spread primaries out on tissue or paper towel and periodically change when they absorb some moisture. A small fan blowing across the top can help too

A desiccator is great to get the final moisture out of products, just don't put anything in there when its really wet.




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[*] posted on 16-11-2016 at 14:02


Quote: Originally posted by XeonTheMGPony  
Interesting story as I had to make more HMTD for my caps, here for some reason drying any thing is a tedious proposition at best and was tempted to vacuum filter it on my fritted funnel.

But When I did the risk analysis first thing on the list was just that! getting it off the frit was just way to high risk a venture, and too much containment in the funnel made it more like a grenade then a filter method. So scratched the idea and here it is 3 days later still drying on the open coffe filter!

Going to be making a temperature gradiated vacuum desiccator for these things to make it berable

Worst case scenario must always be kept in mind...

Glass shrapnells cut and pierce flesh...hard plastic too...just like metal or wood...in close viccinity

So better think to safer soft plastic beakers...in the case of a bad event...consequences will be less.

With peroxydes, the worst is always to be feared so tiny quantities is a must...
Special care to this since with the cheap price of inital ingredients, one often puts 50-100ml easily into reaction and gets finally 50-200g of final product...what is totally irresponsible (I speak from experience with CTAP although I had no bad event, I was uncomfortable with the amount of crystals it produced)...

[Edited on 16-11-2016 by PHILOU Zrealone]




PH Z (PHILOU Zrealone)

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[*] posted on 17-11-2016 at 15:19


This thread is always a good reminder that the one time expense of a military surplus shrapnel vest, a good ventilator, thick jacket, and a face shield is much less than the expense of getting a new set of eyes, kidneys, or lungs.

I hope the world is treating you better, OP. You should also definitely consider a book. The story and perspective you give is absolutely amazing, although very terrible to have experienced, I would imagine.




“To do good work one must eat well, be well housed, have one's fling from time to time, smoke one's pipe, and drink one's coffee in peace” - Vincent Van Gogh
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[*] posted on 18-11-2016 at 01:10


Shyeah Right! Body armor in this country is a big no no! And yet, you can have all the Kevlar you can get for motor cycle riding; call it armor and you might as well have an M60 and a 1000 rounds of link as far as the law is concerned. Sorry, might be off topic but I hate legal inconsistency, in the face of over reaction.
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