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I would really like to get into blasting but I dont know how. I have researched on the web but I havent come up with much. Is there anyone here that is into blasting and can tell me how they have learned the trade?
You are going to have to get on with a blasting company as a drillers helper and work up from there. You just don't get a blasting ticket you need so many hours working for a blasting contractor then go to school to get your ticket.
My Grandpa on my moms side of the family did this for a living for a long time. He has been dead for probably 25 years now from lung dust. All the bad stuff you breath doing it. From what I hear he was one of the best at it for where he lived and who he worked for. I guess you have to know how to place the stuff to make the dirt and rock go a certain way. I know one story I heard a new guy started and wanted to blow up a side of a mountain. My grandpa said if you set the charge that way you going to risk hitting a house not far away. Well the guy would not listen and landed a boulder in the front living room of the house. As to what kind of license not sure and am not sure if one was needed that far back. He did okay but was not rich by any means at it.
Here in B.C. blasters are in demand because we have so much rock to deal with when digging. A guy starting out as a blasters helper will make minimum 20 dollars per hour. A experienced man with a ticket is prolly pushing 40 per hour.
Dad and I used to do blasting I started out drilling when I was 14 and dad delt with the dynamite. We did a bunch of blasting on our own property and from that I learned this isn't the trade I want to be in. Its physically demanding your covered in dust you can get sillicosis from breathing the dust. You have to be super carefull when working on and around blasted rock because its sharp as a razor blade. Working with the blasting caps is dangerous because they can do some bodily damage. Dynamite itself isn't dangerous unless is old and runny or it has a cap inserted into it.
Its up to you I would get a job with a blasting contractor and you can see what the job is like.
I worked in a coal mine some time ago. One of my learned skills was drilling the face, packing it, running wires and running like hell when it was time to set-er-off. Is it something I would want to do again....NOT! If I was so inclined for that kinda wildcatting, I would look up Red Adair and his crews in Texas and learn to put out oil fires.........that is where the risk/reward ratio is equaled out.....Learning to just blast rock and such....quite frankly, the odds for a long quality life are not in your favor. Gravel Rat hit on a good point....lung disease. It is real, it is more common than not, it is deadly......in my opinion, smoking cigs is less dangerous than drilling or blasting or mining.....
If memory serves me right you need 10,000 logged hours apprenticed with a licensed blaster before they'll even look at testing you thats my area though.
Best bet is to help out on a drill crew (long hours and plenty of dust) and lug boxes of dynamite all over the job site,many don't make it over the summer as they quit to go to a call center were you can be in an air conditioned room and stare at skin all day.
Over the winter I was running a Deere 450 setting blasting mats and digging away muck (blasted rock) front the blast site and did a few hours with the driller and its not the job for me.