Don't use a Dremel tool...


PDA






RNB65
August 11, 2008, 12:31 PM
... on a cannonball. :p

Here's a follow-up on a local story from a few months ago. Dude blew himself up with a Civil War cannonball. Call it a self-inflicted accident/lack of common sense.

http://www.inrich.com/cva/ric/news.apx.-content-articles-RTD-2008-08-11-0191.html

Spark ignited deadly cannonball explosion in Chesterfield

Monday, Aug 11, 2008 - 11:01 AM Updated: 12:00 PM


An investigation by federal explosives experts concludes that a Civil War relic hunter killed by an explosion in February was cleaning a 9-inch cannonball when a spark ignited the ancient ordnance.

The investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms found that 53-year-old Sam White was working on the cannonball in his Chesterfield County driveway with a grinding tool.

The tool ignited gunpowder residue, which exploded the shell. The blast killed White and sent a portion of the cannonball one-quarter of a mile away and through the roof of another Chester home.

Bill Dunham of the ATF said today there was evidence the shell had been made inert, but there was still enough explosive powder within its chamber to explode.

If you enjoyed reading about "Don't use a Dremel tool..." here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
Dgreno
August 11, 2008, 01:12 PM
I was still living in Chesterfield when that happened. The ATF also found and detonated (controlled) a lot more inert rounds at the landfill in Chester. The guys house was essentially a bomb waiting to go off because of all the old ordinance he had.

jak67429
August 11, 2008, 01:16 PM
Sounds like a candidate for a Darwin award.

CBS220
August 11, 2008, 01:21 PM
Explosives can be dangerous to play around with.

Old explosives are dangerous to play around with!

FourTeeFive
August 11, 2008, 01:26 PM
http://web.archive.org/web/20070513155756/www.samwhiterelics.com/services.cfm

The guy certainly seemed to be into what he was doing. He either got careless or made a very bad mistake.

jrfoxx
August 11, 2008, 01:26 PM
Bill Dunham of the ATF said today there was evidence the shell had been made inert, but there was still enough explosive powder within its chamber to explode.
Well, if it had explosive in it, and was able to detonate, then it wasn't inert was it? And these guys are supposed to be the experts.:banghead:

:D

FourTeeFive
August 11, 2008, 01:28 PM
Well, if it had explosive in it, and was able to detonate, then it was inert was it? And these guys are supposed to be the experts.

That must come under the ATF technical heading of "sort of, kind of, almost, but not quite inert".

moooose102
August 11, 2008, 01:32 PM
well, just proof that ALL of us make mistakes from time to time. unfortunatly, this guy paid for his mistake with his life. sad. i hope his children were grown.

foghornl
August 11, 2008, 01:32 PM
Yeah, like a hornet's nest is inert untill you hit it with a rock from 10 feet away....


Never mind HOW I know....I just know

quatin
August 11, 2008, 01:32 PM
Bill Dunham of the ATF said today there was evidence the shell had been made inert, but there was still enough explosive powder within its chamber to explode.

Obviously someone did a bad job of making the cannon ball inert. I doubt someone would live to 53 with a habit of grinding live cannon balls.

1911Tuner
August 11, 2008, 05:20 PM
I don't trust any "old" ordnance...especially the explosive type.

About 30-35 years ago...in Stuart, Va I think it was, but I can't remember for sure...there was a guy who moved into his great-grandparents' old home place. His grandfather had also lived there, and his sons after him all followed almost 150 years of tradition. They wanted to keep the farm in the family...so each took the previous tenant's place after inheriting the property.

About a week after moving in and setting up housekeeping, he was rummaging around in the attic, inspecting the various artifacts and the past 3 generations of family history...when he came across a .58 caliber "Richmond" rifle-musket that was stashed away in a far corner and well-hidden by other items of interest.

Being a black powder enthusiast and avid shooter...he took the rifle to his workshop, and pressed a fresh musket cap onto the nipple just to see if it was clear...and when he dropped the hammer, a 500 grain Minie' went through the side of the outbuilding where he'd taken the rifle...and through one wall of a barn over 75 yards away, bouncing off the opposite wall and landing in a stable complete with horse. The horse wasn't injured...

As near as he was able to determine, the rifle had been stored loaded and ready to fire...sans cap...for something in the neighborhood of 110-115 years.

Be careful with that old stuff. Some of it still has a lotta "bite" left in it.

CHEVELLE427
August 11, 2008, 05:34 PM
Yeah, like a hornet's nest is inert untill you hit it with a rock from 10 feet away....

or you bring one in from the winter cold and place it in a warm basement.

Weezy
August 11, 2008, 05:45 PM
I am the only person in this room professional enough to place spark-generating power tools next to unstable ordinance.

jlday70
August 11, 2008, 06:54 PM
Black Powder never loses its potency....I don't care how old it is, if it is black powder and it is dry it will burn. if it is contained it will explode.

Jdude
August 11, 2008, 07:23 PM
Weezy:You rock on with your bad self. I'll be somewhere else.

Old Grump
August 13, 2008, 01:54 PM
This is why they make brass brushes and cleaning solvents. We don't know what was going through his mind but he wasn't ignorant, just careless and nobody is immune from that.

IllHunter
August 13, 2008, 02:00 PM
I'll be 54 intwo weeks, I hope this rash of stupid will be gone by then.:eek:

Cosmoline
August 13, 2008, 02:01 PM
There were earlier threads on this so please check before reposting. The same arguments were raised there, as well. This was a freak accident arising from the particular kind of shell he was dealing with, not a case or recklessness. Don't get paranoid or buy into the fear mongering

John Wayne
August 13, 2008, 02:45 PM
So does this guy count as a casualty of the Civil War?

myrockfight
August 13, 2008, 02:49 PM
I feel bad for the guy. I'm sure most would consider him an expert. Only he and God knows what he was or wasn't thinking.

MT GUNNY
August 13, 2008, 05:16 PM
I always thought that a cannon ball was just a projectile!!

MIL-DOT
August 13, 2008, 07:16 PM
(quote) " So does this guy count as a casualty of the Civil War?"

I would say Yes. If so, the next question is "does he get awarded the purple heart "? :D

Regolith
August 13, 2008, 07:52 PM
... .

If you enjoyed reading about "Don't use a Dremel tool..." here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!