I went to the second session of pyro school today. When I signed in, the secretary asked who I was. I said Fox. “Oh! You’re the funny one!” Evidently I made an impression last time…
Today we practiced matching and not the OK Cupid kind. Match, also known as quick match, is an insanely fast burning type of fuse that burns at up to 300 feet per second. It is used to ignite multiple fireworks simultaneously or nearly so. Typically used for finales or large set pieces, it can be spliced and branched almost like wire.
Info and diagrams of match and fuse connection methods are here
The segment on matching ended early, about 15 minutes before lunch. Larry, our instructor, was wondering aloud what we should do until then. I waved my hands in the air and yelled “Tell us some stories!” much to the amusement of the class. He gave me that sideways glance of his and said “Okay….”
He proceeded to regale us with tales from his 54 years of professional fireworks experience. Among them were the time he created a mushroom cloud for a show on the Hanford Nuclear Reservation using artillery powder, flash powder, and gallons of gasoline. Another involved Boy Scouts, a bonfire, and flashpowder, and I can’t remember the last one but it sure was great. After finishing, he looks at me and says “Satisfied?” I wanted to say “YAY! Thanks uncle Larry!” but settled for a simple yay instead.
During lunch, I showed a few people pics of the pyrotechnics and flame effects at Burning Man. Drug fueled hippie orgy music festival my hot ass…
After lunch we learned just what a pain in the ass it is to transport fireworks. It was taught by a different instructor that talked like a fucking sailor, salty motherfucker…
Then we got to the good part. The Live Shoot! We were able to shoot a 1.75 inch and a 2.5 inch shell. Because I’m somewhat of a teacher’s pet, I got to shoot 5 or so… I brought my hardhat, which has a nomex hood built in, and a pair of safety glasses, both of which make me look dead sexy as you shall see…
So get this. They call me forward, place a big splodey shell in my hand, and tell me to walk downrange and light it with a road flare. Didn’t have to ask me twice! The folks on the mortar line were friendly and very helpful. They went over the sequence of loading, ignition, and protective posture. Basically, you lower the shell into the tube by the attached match, assume the proper firing stance, remove the fire-retardant match cover from the end of the match, wait for the firing cue, light the sucker up, and lean away with your back to the mortar until it blows the shell into the sky. Y’all know me. I love me some explosions! Standing next to a 2.5 inch shell launching is a hell of a bang that you feel with your whole body. I loved it!
We received certification of participating in a live fire shoot of which I need three to be able to take the state test to acquire my license. I have another live fire next weekend that involves many more shells.
Here’s the obligatory pics…
The first part in the series: Blowing Sh*t Up For Fun And Profit
Dude, that looks awesome! HUGE fun eh???
By commenting here, do I get put on all the lists you must be on?
I can’t wait to see what this leads to. And you won’t ever need to buy a ticket again.
Fun story. Thanks.
You were just put on another list for commenting…
Speaking of tickets, did you get one for this year through CB? I just got a directed ticket yesterday!!!
See you out there…
Are you sure the secretary didn’t say “Oh! You’re the sexy one!”
looks like a BLAST! I’m thinking of finding someone or a class around the Reno area that teaches how to make a flame puffer (?).
have fun see you in August…
Are you sure the secretary didn’t say “Oh! You’re the sexy one!” ?
looks like a BLAST! I’m thinking of trying to make a propane puffer (?) but need to find someone or a class to teach me how. As I really don’t want to set me head on fire.
See you in August 🙂
Well hello my dear! You can build one, I have faith in you.
This is funny. I can actually smell the testosterone through my computer screen..lol!