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In Need of some Feedback.....


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I received a response to the email that I sent........


That pic was definitely not photoshopped - do you really think thats dynamite in the photo? I couldnt tell WHAT it was honestly. That shelf is right smack next to the front door of the cabin, had to walk right by it several times. Now I've got the heebeejeebees!

I asked further......Can you tell me a bit more about the interior composition i.e. wood chips/sawdust/cardboard etc.or anything else you "observed" about them?

I didnt inspect them other than to take that pic and wonder what they were. I'll go through my pics again from that trip and see if I have any that show that shelf better

With that said, any more thoughts on this guys?


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I cleaned up and burned about a 1/4 case of 8" sticks of 1937 vintage dynamite that was in much worse condition than those in that picture. Most of the roof and one wall were gone on the old garage that is still standing in Secret Pass, just off Hwy 68 to Bullhead. One whole wall was stacked 5 high and 8 long with dynamite boxes, the gentleman had made bins out of them and they were full of pipe fittings and what not. I salvaged all the boxes and they are now stored in my junk building in Chloride.

$30 bucks apiece is what I sell them for. I salvaged quite a few late 20's and 30's car parts. Also stored in Chloride are quite a few old wooden dynamite boxes from the Eagle mine in Gilman Colorado.

They are packed full of old bottles and mining trivia, carbide lanterns, blasting cab tins, carbide tins, candle holders.


Back to the subject at hand............Darn good fake photography. :unsure: :bek082:

Here is some 50 year old sticks of dynamite, notice the folding on the ends of the sticks. Not like the modern sticks of dynamite that you have seen in the past 30 or 40 years. What say Ole 29er...Bob,

you have used a few of the old 8" sticks with a wood pulp binder as have I.



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The things that I noticed, were, the thing that looks like an old paint can, it's shadow goes back toward the wall, and the shadow of the small glass jar goes to the right, not toward the wall,..


Yep, it looks like there is more than one light source, like in a studio or something.

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Ok...all things said about the "photo" being staged, photo-shopped or painted, I must ask this from all that responded regarding a rate of decay under circumstance i.e. climate and temperature.

I do know that nitro glycerin as a liguid becomes very unstable as tempratures rise if let to stand, thus the need to be kept cool.....to stabilize it to a degree and used in the form of dynamite it was mixed with a wood pulp/sawdust/clay binder as Paleface points out, and always stored in a cool place.

All of you pointed out that the nitro would leak out on the wood shelf and begin at some point to form crystals of nitro, with the wood shelf being porous by its nature, where could one expect to find this crystal formation (top or bottom of a shelf such as this considering age)....and....at what temperture when such leakage occurred due to high temerature, where would these crystals have the best chance to survive (top or bottom of the shelf) before dropping to the cabin floor due to weather conditions?

If lying undisturbed for years on said shelf, exposed to high desert temps during the summer (leaking) and rain/snow during the desert winter what would happen? Would rain wash away any crystal formation on the shelf?.....How strong is the nitro crystal bond?.....and....Why do growing nitro crystals pose a higher threat than the liquid itself?

I'm going to take this one step further. The person that posted the pic is a member of a group of people that are "tight lipped" about the places they explore....and I understand their concern.....because to many of these places are dissappering. As an outsider...I'll ask if I could be included on their next trip to the site to take photos and make my own observations.


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Lets say for the sake of discussion that the picture

was real. First the crystals are just an indicator ,it is

what may be puddled underneath,that may give you


The coldcream jar and other container would worry

me more than the dynamite. The jar could be full of

blasting caps or some really nasty chemicals.

The cylinder thing is a jack ram kinda like a porta


Dynamite is a generic term ,and not all so called

dynamite is the same. Several outfits made dynamite,

and lots of small powder companies used different

recipes because of patents and cost.

Some of the cheap farmer stuff sold at hardware

stores was ammonium nitrate,with a small dose of

nitroglycerin. Some of the good stuff had copious

amounts of Nitro and other chemicals.

The dynamite laying on the shelf spread out like it

is in the weather is most likely pretty safe.

If it was a box out of the weather with a few layers

of dynamite noticable crystals and oily looking spots

around and on the box that would be a different


The bottom line is unless,you know explosives,who

made it,when,type,or really feel lucky,DON'T TOUCH IT.

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When nitro-glycerin dynamite starts to weep, that is the nitro-glycerin sweating out of the binding agent and thru the paper wrapper. The liquid then dehydrates to a crystal on the surface of each stick. The liquid that manages to seep to the bottom will pool if it is confined. If not, it will vacate as will any other liquid present. Years of rain & snow migrating in the same manner would dilute the table top, underside and the floor. If it soaked thru the floor and into the soil after having been diluted over a long period of time, I would not be afraid to walk on it. Those sticks probably have done their weeping, crystalizing, vacating and have been diluted so as to be nothing but rotten paper and binding agent.

(As I have stated before........ DYNAMITE in any condition needs to be respected. If that is indeed a true picture of an existing situation, then the proper authorities should be contacted and let them decide what to do.)

Not sure what you mean by (....Why do growing nitro crystals pose a higher threat than the liquid itself?)

The crystals and the liquid are one of the same. They are both concentrated nitro-glycerin that is free from a binding agent.

Here is some really scary dynamite, wipe your fingers across one of these and then snap your fingers and you won't leave any more fingerprints with that hand.



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Hi Paleface....thanks for that pic....looks just like the stuff I separated and blew up....just the pic

now scares me but back then just plain dumb and (lucky)......

some really great information coming from you and people here should listen up and take heed

as it's always possible for us prospectors to run into some of this at some point in our detecting


on our farm in Eastern Okla. a coal company dug strip mines (strip pits) to extract the coal...

where they started by the highway the pits were 30' deep and the coal itself was 2' thick...as

they progressed Eastward they would use large drills and then load the hole with dynamite and blast..

if not in school I got to touch the two wires together......what a blast....the sticks of dynamite were

about 4" in diameter and 2' long....they would put about 10-15 of these sticks in the hole with a

ram rod since the hole was horizontal instead of vertical.....after the blasting took place the big

drag line would remove the loose dirt and shale....the bucket on that drag line would hold six pickups

stacked two deep.....we had so much shallow water on the farm that they had a constant battle with

the flooding...big pumps were used 24 hrs a day....

after the pits were abandoned they provided beautiful clear and cold water....we had the Fish and

Game Dept. stock the pits with Small Mouth and Large Mouth Bass....Crapie and Blue Cat Fish....

a half a mile East where the pits quite on our land they were at a depth of 50'.....many years later

I was SCUBA diving and spear fishing at the 50' level when I found a entire case of those big sticks

of dynamite....someone years before had sat the case on a small shelf in the wall of the pit.....

remembering what the small ones had done to that Pear tree was my motivation for clearing that

hole of water.....don't ask me if they were "weeping" or not....I didn't "stick" around that long....

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This is what I was looking for :whoopie: ....informatiom from others more experienced than myself that have "been there and done that" :wubu:

IMHO, posting to this thread imparts to any new-comer/newbie the importance of exploration safety and the situations one could encounter in doing so!


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For your safety don't any of you "newbies" try anything I did.....I'm just plain dumb lucky that

my ass and fixtures weren't scattered over a half acre.......

best to listen to people like Paleface and Sawmill.....they know their $hit.....and the best part

is their willing to share that knowledge......thanks guys....

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This is what I was looking for :whoopie: ....informatiom from others more experienced than myself that have "been there and done that" :wubu:

IMHO, posting to this thread imparts to any new-comer/newbie the importance of exploration safety and the situations one could encounter in doing so!



You said a mouth full about the improtance of exploration safety. The average person off the street has no idea of the dangers that abound around old mine sites. Anyone taking up the hobby of prospecting should acquire some basic knowledge of these dangers. I personally think that all dealers that sell prospecting equipment should provide free brochures on the subject. All BLM offices and State mine inspector offices have these free brochures.

This link to abandoned mines and related subjects is from the State that Sawmill calls home. It is a well put together piece of information and well worth the reading. Not long and drawn out, just straight to the point. Every rockhound, relic hunter, prospector, and anyone else that is into old mining photography or just everyday exploring the hills kinda person, should have some understanding of the hazards they may face.

:hmmmmmm: Even smarty pants like me that think they know it all, need a reminder once in awhile. I learn something new every day, trouble is, I seem to forget several things that I learned in the past. :bek082: :;):



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Guest Potholes Bob-NM

Shiny black jar lid without a bit of dust showing...can't even keep the top of my computer that clean after three days!...It's a phoney balogna :laught16: :laught16: !


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