Unusual Tools in the Explosives Industry – Part 3

This is the third and final part of an article on detonator bench crimpers.

Chilean-manufactured bench cap crimper

Parallel stab ring crimps made by the Chilean crimping tool

Jaw tube removed from the tool housing, shown here on end

The crimping pattern is a little different than that of the du Pont crimping tool, as the photos above show.

The handle requires a much wider “throw” or swing to fully operate, than the one on the du Pont crimper. The swing of the du Pont tool is about 30 degrees, while 2. the swing of the Chilean tool handle is 180 degrees.

There is a detonator insertion depth adjustment provided by a nut and threaded rod at the back end of the tool. This tool can crimp detonators with a maximum length of 3-1/4 inches with the threaded rod removed. The jaw assembly is removable for cleaning out metal debris buildup, and is replaceable.

Debris

The manufacturer offers a kit of replacement parts including a fuse cutter, set screws, Allen key wrench for the set screws, and jaws.

Both tools accommodate short and medium length detonator shells. The du Pont tool accepts shells up to 3-1/2 inches long and the Chilean tool accepts shells up to 3-1/4 inches long.

Both tools accommodate short and medium length detonator shells.

However, extra long types (4-5 inches long) for special blasting applications, cannot be crimped on these tools. The photo above shows a selection of different lengths and diameters of standard and special detonator shells. The maximum depth adjustments will not allow these long shells to be fully- inserted, so that the detonator mouth is protruding out of line with the crimping teeth.

Special-purpose electric detonator shells are manufactured in larger diameters than standard; the maximum jaw width opening of these tools cannot accept the oversized diameters. I had to modify all the jaw teeth on the du Pont crimper to allow for insertion of larger diameter (7mm and 7.5mm) shells.

Similar tools costing about $1,200- $1,800 are offered for sale by Blaster’s Supply and Ideal Blasting Supply, illustrated below.

Similar tools costing about $1,200- $1,800 are offered for sale by Blaster’s Supply and Ideal Blasting Supply, illustrated above.

Blaster’s Supply provides some specifications, (above), in its listing.

The blue tool sold by Blaster’s Supply and Ideal Blasting Supply shown in the above photo, allows for insertion of shells only 1.77 inches long (45mm), maximum, as specified above.

Note that many special-purpose electric detonator shells are manufactured in larger diameters than standard, and the maximum jaw width opening of these tools cannot accommodate the oversized diameters. I had to modify all the jaw teeth on the du Pont crimper to allow for insertion of larger diameter (7mm and 7.5mm) shells.

Author – Bruce B Koffler

Bruce B. Koffler, B. Sc., MCA, is the President of Securesearch, Inc., in Toronto, Ontario, Canada–whose company he established in 1970. He has been an IABTI Associate member since 1982. He was a law enforcement officer for an Ontario Government ministry for 16 years, and instructor/ examiner in several programs for 30 years. He is a certified trainer and frequent contributor of technical articles on explosives, small military ordnance items, IEDs, firearms and ammunition, to police, security and forensic science journals, including The Detonator. He can be contacted by e-mail at: bkoffler@securesearchinc.com or by phone at: 1-800-221-9788 or international at (416) 948-8832