Old 07-21-2004, 14:00   #1
Bill Harsey
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Double Load Friday!

When I was logging with my brothers back in the mid to late seventy's we did all of our own road building. This involved falling the timber in the right of way, logging it out with a cat then pioneering a rough road in and clearing the stumps to build a road up to Forest Service specs. We had some big timber up there and this is important because size does matter. Big trees make big stumps. The goal of loading and shooting stumps is to break the stump enough that the corner bit on the road building blade of the cat can move the stump out of the road bed. The general rule for using stumping powder (40% nitro) was to finish loading with one stick of dynamite per estimated inches diameter across the top of the stump. A 40 inch stump would get 40 sticks of powder, a 60 inch stump would get 60. This was simple enough math that even a future knifemaker might be able to figure it out. The problem with shooting was that we had to hand pack in all the dynamite we used, and hand pack out everything we didn't. Somehow my brother and I came up with the concept of "Double Load Friday!". This meant that on friday afternoon we started loading and shooting every stump with a double load of powder so we didn't have to pack anything out at the end of the day. Sometimes these old stumps sat on deep soft soil and that made the job of loading for a good shot harder. It really sucked when we hollered "fire in the hole", hit the switch, heard the boom and walked up to see that stump was still just fine. CONTINUED...(edited for my spelling...)

Last edited by Bill Harsey; 07-21-2004 at 14:23.
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Old 07-21-2004, 14:22   #2
Bill Harsey
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One Friday afternoon my brother and I were working up a tough draw full of this deep soil. To spring a hole for loading the shot we'd punch down between the root webs a hole big enough for one stick of dynamite, put a cap in and place the stick in the hole using the length of the blasting cap wires for the minimum safe distance gauge. I think they were about 6 feet long. This wasn't as bad as it sounds, just throw them across the top of the stump, get low on the other side and touch it off. Now you could fill two or three of these sprung holes with all the powder you wanted and work hard to tamp in soil on top to make the shot good. Doing all this right can result in failed shots because of soft soil and boy did we have it there. It's a lot more work to re-fill a big hole than a small one and this was getting hard. We finally got thru a tough series of stumps in the draw and started up a little slope. About that time we felt fully justified in calling out "Double Load Friday". This would solve the soft soil problem and we'd get to burn some powder. The other rule was to not do more than two stumps in a series. We always shunted off the leads while loading but the more wiring you did, the greater the possibility of something not going right. We'd just loaded 5 stumps in a series, all greater than 60 inches which meant at least 120 sticks per stump. Since this was a much bigger shot than usual we got two hundred feet away, I know that for a fact because that's all the wire we had for the detonator. To be extra safe we parked the cat downhill away from the shot and got behind the blade. About then Dad comes rolling up and asks how we're doing. "Uh, fine Dad, we've got "a couple" stumps loaded and ready to go." Dad says "let's do it". I looked at my brother, he looked at me and there was only one thing to do. wire it up and shoot. That whole damned hillside came apart took off and went skyward. The rigging crew was hiding under logs to get out of the falling rocks and they were a quarter mile away. Dad didn't say a thing. We went over to look at the shot, the stumps had sat on near solid rock and we didn't know it. Nothing went down, it all went up and away. We only had fragments to push out of the way. The crew was cussing us for not warning them and all Dad said when we got home that night was "I finally found something the boys could do good".

Last edited by Bill Harsey; 07-21-2004 at 14:25.
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Old 07-21-2004, 14:49   #3
NousDefionsDoc
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ROTFLMAO!!! Great Story!

Logger's version of a Mad Minute! LOL
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Old 07-21-2004, 15:27   #4
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Great Story ! LOL
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Old 07-21-2004, 16:10   #5
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LMAO! All kids should be made to do manual labor.
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Old 07-21-2004, 16:17   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by NousDefionsDoc
ROTFLMAO!!! Great Story!

Logger's version of a Mad Minute! LOL
My thoughts exactly.

Universal blasting formula? P=Plenty.

TR
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Old 07-21-2004, 20:15   #7
Bill Harsey
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Yes Guy, We were allowed to do a little manual labor growing up! Tr, I like "P" for Plenty, I'll remember that. There was a near miss involved there when we touched off that shot. Dad had drove up within 500 feet with his brand new four wheel drive pickup. He'd parked and walked up to where we had the cat parked at the end of the two hundred foot long detontation wire which now that I think of it was probably closer to one hundred eighty feet long because we lost a little off the end every shot. With just over 600 sticks of dynamite carefully loaded and tamped in good for maximum blast, some very large pieces of stump went flying. One of those chunks, about half a big stump went right by the cat as we watched and square over the top of dad's new pickup. It seemed to crash down the hill thru the timber for about 30 seconds after barely missing the truck. We didn't have to pack any powder back to the magazine that night, all we had left was used in that shot. I think we got assigned back to the high lead rigging (cable logging with yarder) after that. We had more supervision there.
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Old 07-21-2004, 20:25   #8
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Bill:

That is a GREAT story, I am still chuckling at that one.

Terry
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Old 07-21-2004, 20:32   #9
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Your story reminds me of the Ambush Master story where he posted pics of the VERY large explosion and then one of himself standing in the crater.

I am surprised there were no pics involving explosives from the Harsey, AM, and TR rendezvous at Ft. Bragg not to long ago.
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Old 07-22-2004, 09:33   #10
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Great Story!

Reminds me of a highly envolved plot to rid the ranch that we shot on of a Cutter ant mound. AM, Care to elaborate
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