I'm 21 years old and am the youngest certified blaster at my tunneling company


Comments: 91 • Responses: 33  • Date: 

laruefrinsky16 karma

How many bomb shelters have you worked on, or secret alien facilities for the US shadow-government?

miner_throwaways23 karma

Lmao every subway station in New York has so much concrete and rebar in it it essentially is a bomb shelter and as for the alien facilities I could tell you but of course I'd have to kill you haha

carlinha128910 karma

What certifications did you need to get in order to be able to do your job? Also, is the salary good?

miner_throwaways16 karma

You don't exactly need any certification to do it except the OSHA 10 but if you want to get anywhere you definitely need your blasting liscence, all that requires is a class a good test score and a clean background check, and where I'm at now my work falls under the laborers Union which doesn't really have a pay scale for mining so we're kind of underpaid for the work we do, but once you move up from just being a hand the pay is awesome, I'll probably do 50k by the end of this year

carlinha12897 karma

That's great. Thanks for answering. Also, how is it working in a mine? How are your shifts? Are you close to a city?

miner_throwaways10 karma

I love it, we're actually working on a tunnel as opposed to a mine, I should've have posted that at the top I apologize for not doing so, and I love it, when we're underground it's always 60 degrees F so it's like working in air conditioning, I work swing shift and its a union job so it's usually only 8 hours but it all depends how badly they want what we're working on done, if they really want it done well work 10's, I have done 13 hours though when we were loading and shooting for a big blast

carlinha12894 karma

Cool! Thanks for the AMA, it sounds super interesting as a job.

miner_throwaways3 karma

Yeah I love it I can't see myself doing anything else

MycTyson2 karma

Where do I sign up? Can you get me in? Army veteran, tired of soul sucking IT work for the past ten plus years, looking for a significant change.

miner_throwaways3 karma

First off thank you for your service! There's jobs all over the place, if you want to do it buy a spud wrench, hammer, pliers, small pipe wrench and muck boots and show up at what ever job you want to get in at and just go there like you're ready to work right then and there, if they say they don't have anything for you go back in a day or two, if it's still no keep at it, they'll eventually respect your tenacity and hire you usually, what city/state do you live in? Be warned though, this is not for every one, you've gotta have good problem solving skills good common sense and not be afraid to get dirty and work incredibly hard

f5f5f5f5f5f5f5f5f5f50 karma

Do you get a shift differential?

miner_throwaways2 karma

No which sucks because I work swing shift which is from 3pm-11, I'd be making bank if I did get it

paintball68182 karma

Don't you need confined space training/certification? Im working on a pipe jacking project right now and everyone that goes in needs it.

miner_throwaways1 karma

I've gotten the training but it was a really informal feeling class given by our crazy safety manager, no certification or anything just training

MadaraUchiha_8 karma

What would you say, are the pros and cons working in this field?

miner_throwaways9 karma

Pros:stay in shape, get to play with giant toys all day, get to play with explosives, get to do manly man things all day

Cons: where I work the upper management on the project level here is rather unorganized so things are done kind of backwards and stupid sometimes, like well report to one job site(there are several job sites for every job, ventilation shafts, tbm launch and retrieval shafts etc.) only to find out we need to be at another one, which can be bothersome but I guess I'm just reaching to fulfill the con portion haha Its a great job for me I have no really complaints

MadaraUchiha_3 karma

Great points. Thanks for your insight!

miner_throwaways3 karma

No problem!

onesonesones6 karma

Is Joe Flacco an elite QB?

miner_throwaways4 karma

I'm more of a motor sports kind of guy so I don't have a comment on that haha

forever_youngz2 karma

So who is your favorite racer then?

miner_throwaways6 karma

Huge fan of kimi raikonen, love his personality and he's also a solid driver in formula one and all the other stuff he does

AstoundLoL5 karma


mining lvl?

miner_throwaways2 karma

If this is for the game I think it is I can mine mithril if that tells you anything haha

LordHylar5 karma

What got you interested in underground construction work?

miner_throwaways9 karma

discovery channel, history channel, shows that'd have them doing tunneling on it, I'd watch them pretty often because it looked wild being that far underground, and just how crazy it is that human beings can create a massive cavity in bedrock miles and miles long was crazy to me I wanted to be apart of it

PompousRichGuy4 karma

What is the cost per foot to drill under land versus under water? You may not be able to answer this but is a bridge over water cheaper than than doing a tunnel under that same body of water? To make it easier to answer, I'll add that the length of the bridge or tunnel would be over a mile in length.

miner_throwaways5 karma

Over only a mile yeah I'd have to agree with ivortheengine, I think the cost of the boring machine up front maybe close to the cost for the bridge, anything over a mile though I'd say you're better off with a tunnel, but at the same time I'm no engineer I'm only basing that off of work experience

dsolomo3 karma

Can you talk about the stunt they pull in one of the "Ocean's" movies where they tunnel under a casino to cause a massive earthquake?

miner_throwaways3 karma

I just looked it up and from my understanding its just a tbm, tbm's don't disturb anything on the surface, we're going under people's houses and highways and so on and so forth and nobody even knows we're there, even when we drill and shoot all you'll hear is a a rumbling, it sounds like thunder

beefstick863 karma

*What precautionary measures are taken to prevent someone from being trapped?

*Do you fear being trapped?

*What is the furthest underground you've travelled?

*Do you only work with men or are their women in this field?

*What is your weapon of choice if you had to fight 100 ninja pirates?

miner_throwaways2 karma

As far as I know that's not really a concern because were in good solid rock and the tunnel is 20 feet in diameter so they're more concerned about people being crushed by falling rock than trapped by it, and to deal with that we put in rock bolts and this heavy duty 1/4" mesh to catch the loose stuff. I can't say I ever have been worried about getting trapped The deepest has been 250ft below the surface and 8 miles into the tunnel Hmmmmm... That's a good question, meeee would probably be a katana, gun would probably be for fairness' sake an aa-12 otherwise a Gatling gun and just cut them down haha

bearkin13 karma

Are you into hard rock at all? Or heavy metal?

miner_throwaways4 karma

Man I don't even know what heavy metal is anymore, people can't seem to agree what is and isn't metal anymore, I like slipknot, trivium, all that remains and bands like that, I'm actually really big into music so a like most of everything

larrrr2 karma

How come a automated machine cant do your job ? Whys tunnelling so expensive?

miner_throwaways2 karma

The reason it can't really be automated is because of how many skills this job requires, welding, oxy acetylene cutting, drilling, water control, running all of our utilities, Laying rail, running equipment, fixing equipment, the reason it's so expensive is because there's essentially two phases to a tunnel project, deconstruction and then the construction of the final product, the final construction only takes about a year and is pretty much just pouring concrete and laying rebar, the boring of the main tunnel and blasting of the smaller tunnels is 3/4 of the project and for that you need supply lines, air for our tools, water for our tools as well, discharge line the the water in the tunnel is pumped out through, and you've got to lay rail road as well to run the trains on that carry materials and men in and out, the majority of what we do isn't even apart of the final product, yeah that's why it's so expensive haha sorry if I rambled

crypticlazr1 karma

Im a Rockhound/ Wanna Be a Geologist one day. What are the best workable materials you have found, and what are the best specimens you have found? Anything Museum Worthy?

miner_throwaways1 karma

I've got some decent crystals with minimal cracks in them about the size of a fist, idk if they'd look impressive in a museum though, when we find them all we usually carry on us that can get them out is a hammer and a spud wrench and it ends up destroying what ever we do get out of the cluster

jak-o-shadow1 karma

I use injectable applied membranes(Acrylics) to stop active water intrusion into tunnels and dams. Got anything I can seal for you guys?

miner_throwaways1 karma

Nah man haha were lining the tunnel now with concrete and that holds the water back

cornishbrooksy1 karma

Hey fellow tunneller (British guy working in Hong Kong underground tunnels/station boxes for the last 5 years)! What projects have you worked on so far over there (stations, water, road...and so on)...what is your most interesting one so far?

miner_throwaways2 karma

I'm only 21 haha so my entire career thus far has just been the one project I'm on now, so I don't have anything to compare it to personally, it's pretty simple compared to other projects I've heard of, it's a sewage over flow with 3 drifts and 2 y's the total distance bored was probably 11 miles or so, what do you guys call a sledge hammer over there? We have the dumbest trade names for things here, like a sledge hammer is a double Jack lmao, a shovel is a muck stick which does make some sense but what's weong with shovel lmao

spicypepperoni1 karma

Have you seen any evidence for the existence of Crab People?

miner_throwaways2 karma

Only unfamiliar very well dressed and well groomed men coming and going but my boss just said they were higher ups

LorneArmstrong1 karma

i operate a Lull, it's a heavy piece of machinery.have you ever seen a big bulldozer? it's a big machine like that is only it has tires and does all kinds of different things

what do you think about before you go to sleep?

miner_throwaways1 karma

Usually about how much sleep I'm going to get like how many hours haha, and yeah I've actually ran this mini lull we have to move stuff in the tunnel, it's like a little forklift go kart haha

OlieRendch1 karma

What are your thoughts on the idea that underground construction and tunnelling cause earthquakes elsewhere?

miner_throwaways1 karma

Unless you fire a massive shot on a fault line I don't see it causing earthquakes, tbm mining is minimally disruptive and when we do blast the most we've ever used was 700lbs of dynamite which isn't anything compared to surface mining, we actually use seismographs near where were blasting on the surface to make sure the blast doesn't disrupt anything up top

cornucopiaofdoom1 karma

Have you ever wanted to sing this while working?


miner_throwaways2 karma

Any time we get on a drill and shoot cycle I sing that loud and proud lmao the guys I work with think I'm a nut, it's a real high energy atmosphere when you start running drifts(smaller tunnels branched out from the main tunnel) everybody starts to act real crazy haha

rishi131 karma

What you use for blast ? Is it rdx ?

miner_throwaways1 karma

Nah it's dynamite fired with non electric caps

someone_stole_mine1 karma

As an expert, how dangerous is it for an amateur to build their own underground tunnel/bomb shelter on their property? What would be your speculation on the failure rates for amateur tunnel builders, and how many people have buried themselves trying?

miner_throwaways2 karma

Something of that nature can be done two ways, dig a big hole and set up the forms for the walls pour them and then sort out the roof maybe a heavy plate or something? Or you could dig it and put up ground support as you go, the proper way to do it is to use ground support every couple of feet but I feel people are inclined to be lazy and use it less often and have it cave in on them, idk how many people actually do build their own shelters I've never thought about it because it'd be insane for just one person to do it, I'd assume a pretty high failure rate

yotehunter4221 karma

What's the creepiest thing that's ever happened to you related to mining? If nothing, what about a scary situation?

miner_throwaways2 karma

Idk uhhh well me and my buddy who was chuck tending for me were drilling out a shot once and this guy walks up, looked like an inspector or engineer wearing a full respirator so we couldn't even see his face and just watched us for about and hour not saying a word then checked the depth of one of my holes then left. We tried to make conversation and all we got were nods of acknowledgement pretty much, still have no clue who he was, I guess that's pretty weird haha

ihateslowdrivers1 karma

Is your favorite video game Dig Dug?

miner_throwaways2 karma

Nah homie mine craft, no but my favorite game is probably fallout, I'm crazy psyched about fallout 4, it's the game that made me spend the money on an Xbox one haha

deadlytiger39601 karma

ever found any cool ancient artifacts (pottery, arrowheads, carvings etc.) or geological (fossils, bones, crystal formations, etc.)?

miner_throwaways2 karma

YES! Tons and tons of little fossils, mostly imprints of shells and plants, there's a lot of fools gold in the top layer of the bed rock here, I've got a good collection of that and there's veins of what I was told is calcite everywhere, like a brownish crystal, they come in various shades

jomean1 karma

Seems like you're in NYC... What Union covers this type of work? 731?

miner_throwaways1 karma

It's not nyc, and I can't tell you where I am because it's the only project in the state, and I had to sign a non disclosure agreement when I started but the laborers Union covers the job, which is silly because all they do out here is highway work so the pay scale does not suit tunneling

chrisdazzo1 karma

As someone who used to work for Caterpillar (very recently), I've reported on how poorly the mining sector is doing. How have you seen the decline and gradual resurgence of available work affect your work?

miner_throwaways2 karma

Eh no, tunneling is a different beast in my opinion, there's always jobs springing up where ever you could want to go pretty much, I know a couple coal miners that actually will validate what your saying regards to that, that's why they started tunneling

astrowayne1 karma

Have you ever done any tunnels below bodies of water? Also have you met anyone who has been shot out?

miner_throwaways1 karma

Under a river haha that's about it, and a couple guys I know have hidden behind machines way to close to a shot just because they don't feel like walking the 1000 feet to the safe distance