Special 20: Explosions A to Z

Air Date: November 25, 2012

In this episode the Build Team reminisced about all of the show’s explosions and presented insider secrets while going through the alphabet.

Entry Notes
Audit, Art Record-keeping of the 752 explosions on the show to date, as well as an explosion of paint onto a canvas
Bomb Range A tour of the range and associated facilities, including the vehicle training area, firearms range, and safety bunker
Cement Truck A look back at the “Cement Mix-Up” myth from 2005 and the final blast that obliterated an entire cement truck
Dynamite Revelation that the “dynamite” used on the show is a different, safer explosive designed with an equivalent appearance and energy content
Explosions Comments from Grant and Tory on the characteristics and types of explosions, illustrated by the destruction of a china cabinet using a charge of C-4
Food Glorious Food Remembering various explosion myths involving food. Kari noted that all food items destroyed on the show were well past their expiration date and no longer fit for human consumption.
Grenade A look back at myths involving grenades, especially the “Red Bazooka” myth from 2011 involving a rocket-propelled grenade launcher
High Speed Reflections on the intricate detail revealed by high-speed camera footage, illustrated by blowing up a television set with C-4
Implants The testing Adam and Jamie carried out for the “Exploding Implants” myth from 2004, and the fun they had in the process
J.D. Explosives expert J.D. Nelson’s contributions to the show, and his full-time work with the bomb squad in the Alameda County Sheriff’s Department
Kitchen Appliances and entire kitchen sets destroyed in the course of myth testing
Loud Hearing protection used by the team and technical issues in broadcasting explosions, illustrated by measuring decibel levels of a running lawnmower and a C-4 blast
Movies Testing of movie-based explosion myths
Nothing The dangers that bomb technicians face in repairing/rewiring a device when it fails to explode
OSECO Comments on this company’s rupture discs, which are used on the show to evaluate pressures created by an explosion
Pressure Vessel Explosions caused by buildup of pressure within a container, illustrated by heating a can of shaving cream with a blowtorch until it bursts
Quagmire Complications in tests caused by heavy rain turning the bomb range into a muddy swamp
Rockets Mishaps that have caused rockets and rocket-propelled projectiles to explode during flight or on the launch pad. Includes comments by Grant and Tory on the reasons for the failure of the “Supersize Rocket Car” myth test from 2007.
Safety Highlighted the extensive safety precautions observed during explosion testing. In an unaired scene, Tory (dressed in a full bomb suit) carried a balloon full of flammable gas onto the bomb range, with the risk of a stray spark setting it off.
Toilet Myths that have involved blowing up toilets by various means
Underground Explosions of buried materials, illustrated by setting off a buried charge with a flowerpot full of dirt placed above it
Vehicle A montage of vehicles destroyed in explosions
Water Comments on the different behavior of explosions in water and air, illustrated by setting off a charge within a beaker of water
Xylophone / Yelling Blowing up some xylophones, and the standard yell of “Fire in the hole!” before any explosion is set off
Zenith The biggest explosion to date: “Homemade Diamonds” from 2009 using 5,000 lb (2,268 kg) of ANFO

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