View Full Version : This is extremely dangerous....

07-07-2011, 07:19 PM
New signature test. Heard this somewhere and couldn't resist putting this in my sig on a DIY forum. :-)

Duane Degn
07-07-2011, 07:27 PM
Good idea!

I researched how to make nitroglycerin once. The instructions I had (from several sources) said to use lead pots. So I made a couple of lead pots. It was a lot of work. My mother thought I was being so artistic.

After much effort I had 10ml of nitroglycerin in an emptied shotgun shell. I was so anxious to see if it actually worked I set it off behind our house while my mother was at home.

Very bad idea! How did I not think that the incredible noise that seemed to rock the valley wouldn't be noticed by her?

07-07-2011, 08:26 PM
Now, I have to ask.... how do you make nytroglycerin? :)

EDIT: A Google search turned up this: http://www.textfiles.com/uploads/nitro.txt
It appears that it takes several hours, and you have to attend it for 75% of those. :-O

Duane Degn
07-07-2011, 09:18 PM
You mix while adding "the ingredients" very carefully. The temperature has to stay "within a certain range" as "the ingredients" are added and you have to be very careful not to create a shock while mixing. The lead pots, I found out later, are so the energy of any bumps are absorbed by the soft lead.

The nitroglycerin floats on the surface as it is created. It then needs to be washed by pouring it into a larger lead pot with lots of water. The water should "have a swirling motion" (I think those are the words) imparted to it before the nitroglycerin is poured into it. The nitroglycerin sinks to the bottom. You need to retrieve the NG with a pipette. Dump the dirty water and rinse the NG several more times (otherwise the impurities make it breakdown).

I got into chemistry because I liked to make things go "boom". The NG cured me of that desire (the "boom" part, I still finished my degree in chemistry). I'm just very glad to have both hands and all my fingers. I could have easily been seriously maimed or killed making the NG.

I did write the directions up in my technical writing class. I've had several requests for copies. I haven't and don't plan to start, given out copies.

The NG could go off if the mixture was too hot. If the mixture gets too cold the NG freezes. NG is more stable frozen but a combination of liquid and frozen NG is even less stable than than when it's in it's liquid form.

I don't see NG used in TV shows or movies much any more. They always exaggerated how unstable it was. I threw a very small vial off a roof and the vial just broke. I made sure and burned away any remaining NG (it does not go off just with a flame).

Hitting a fraction of a drop, on a paper towel, with a hammer is interesting. You can feel the blast against your chest and your ears ring for a while. That was kind of fun. It would make a great "cap gun" if you could get the amounts correct.

When my brother tried hitting some NG with a hammer (he didn't believe it was really NG) the blast made the hammer bounce back up an hit him in the head (not so hard as to make it bleed or anything but it did hurt).

I ought to add this all took place in international waters away from any government's jurisdiction (wink, wink).

As I said, the NG cured me of wanting to make things go boom.

It is still hard to talk about the actual NG test. The idea was to use a carpet tack against the shotgun shell primer. It turns out carpet tacks are too sharp to detonate a primer. I had a hard time controlling my shaking hands after removing the carpet tack from the pierced primer with 10ml of NG on the other side of the primer. I really like having hands. Lets talk about something else.


@AFT, I'm not worth your time. Really, I promise.

07-07-2011, 09:45 PM
If you boyz like playing with NG, here's a must-see movie for ya: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Wages_of_Fear

07-08-2011, 01:51 AM
You two have extinguished my desire to attempt to make NG. For the risk involved it simply isn't worth it. I don't know what I would do with it, anyway. Maybe blow up some apples or something? Actually, that would be pretty cool, if you put a small portion in a fruit of some sort and threw it at an object.... Hmmm....

Nah, I'll find something safer to play with. Like thermite! :-)

07-08-2011, 03:00 AM
Wages of fear is one of the classics of cinema.
Back home , in Czech , there was a joke going around at the time.
“Capitalists French have Wages of fear, we communists got fear of wages.”
Vaclav .

07-08-2011, 02:31 PM
Let's not invite Darwin to the party....


07-08-2011, 04:37 PM
@Vaclav: Nemluvim Cesky! Praha is the greatest!

07-13-2011, 01:22 PM
It's good you've given up the thought of making NG. Back in the 1700's leading into the 1800s, astronomers used shiny polished Speculum Metal to machine a telescope mirror. This later was switched to glass which required a silver coating to make it reflective. The first formula to silver a mirror was very dangerous, employing a kind of nitro ingredients for deposition of silver nitrate. As you can already guess, if the temperature went too far beyond 60 deg. F., it would be followed by an enormous explosion. There were several armless astronomers who were unable to complete their telescopes during that era. Nowadays we deposit a thin layer of aluminum electrons in a vacuum chamber which is much safer. I was planning to silver a large telescope mirror, but luckily I was advanced an allowance and ended up with professional aluminization with a silicon dioxide coating.

Peter KG6LSE
07-16-2011, 04:32 PM
the worse I ever did was fill a 50 gallon trash bag with acetylene and O2 . lit and fuse ad RAN . it was funny as it set off EVERY car alarm in the hood .

but was traceless as its just a bag .

07-16-2011, 04:43 PM
Yea I imagine that had a pretty good boom.


07-16-2011, 07:10 PM
One of my high school classmates liked to do stuff like this. One day he got an old heavy oak chest, put a bowl in the bottom full of shredded aluminum cans and lye, sealed it up with a long fuse running through the lid and ran. The lye and aluminum made hydrogen gas, and when the fuse burned into the chest the resulting KABOOM could be heard for several blocks. He told me he was never able to identify any bits of wood or hardware that he could conclusively say had been part of the chest, or of the bowl.

He had a plan to fill balloons with hydrogen and launch them with timed detonators, but perhaps fortunately he graduated from high school before he could put that plan into effect.

Oldbitcollector (Jeff)
07-17-2011, 12:53 AM
Careful there gents... certain keywords are kept track of.. (Hi F.B.I.!)


07-17-2011, 02:56 AM

We were all in the early days of our youth, all just juveniles. And surely the statute of limitations has come and gone. But we also don't want to pass such bad ideas onto other youths.

I believe I will delete my previous post.