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Thread: Have to Break Up Boulders - Any Experiences with Boulder Buster & It's Cartridges?

  1. #1
    Boolit Master



    MUSTANG's Avatar
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    Have to Break Up Boulders - Any Experiences with Boulder Buster & It's Cartridges?

    I have a large pile of Boulders that were excavated when digging out the foundation/crawl space at our Montana House, which were never disposed of, but were simply piled adjacent to the house by the previous owner. I have to relocate/dispose of them. I have been using our small John Deere Tractor and front end loader to pick up the smaller boulders, roll them, or drag them with a chain to a storage pile about 200 yards from the house. Come spring melt; the last of the small boulders will be moved.
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    I am now approaching the challenge of the large boulders, some of which are 4ft x 4ft x 5ft. Knowing the cost of contracting to have someone come and move them/haul them away is going to be quite expensive, I have been looking at alternatives. I considered 10,000 year old technology of heating them with a fire and fracturing them with a sledgehammer or water quench, but that is going to be very time consuming/hot work/lots of fire wood or charcoal. Of course there's always the drill a hole and hammer with wedges.


    I found two items I was wondering if others might have experience with and can provide recommendations. One might be considered to be firearm related (Boulder Buster), the other is a chemical expansion process with a few different manufacturers/distributors such as Dexpan. A diagram of the Boulder Buster "Firing Apparatus":

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    See links:

    Boulder Buster -
    http://www.boulderbuster.ca/
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?x-yt-t...yt-cl=84503534

    DexPan -
    http://www.dexpan.com/dexpan-how-to-...-breaking.aspx
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KgOt...yt-cl=84503534


    The Boulder Buster looks like it would be more enjoyable as it goes "Bang", but the DexPan looks as if it would be as effective but slower and probably less expensive. The Boulder Buster supposedly uses either a rimfire or a shotgun style round. Literature indicates the cartridges will not chamber in firearms.



    Thoughts from others on reducing/moving boulders?
    Mustang

    "In the beginning... the patriot is a scarce man, and brave and hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot." - Mark Twain.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master

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    On the big boulders you should have drilled deep holes and filled with water last fall, Pluged holes. when water freezes it expands. May have broken them up with little to no work. Advertise them in a freebees add someone may want them for driveway markers or something and haul them away for you.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    Old technology, drill holes in a line around boulder, whittle VERY DRY white oak or hickory plugs.
    Fill holes with water. Drive wooden plugs tight into holes. Overnight the plugs swell up with the water. Come back the next morning and move the two halves of Boulder. This works extremely well, you will be suprised. With the modern corded and cordless hammer drills you won't have to work hard.
    Lab
    Life is so much better with dogs!

  4. #4
    Boolit Master leeggen's Avatar
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    Talk to the local sheriff and see if his men would like to break them for a few dollars in the jail account? You might be surprised. Check with local contractors to see if they want the for free to use in landscape on houses.
    CD
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  5. #5
    Boolit Master GhostHawk's Avatar
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    I agree with Country Gent, mother nature breaks rock all the time with just water and cold.

    If you heat them up then try to shock them with cold you run the risk of flying rock shards.

    Try to spot the direction of the grain, work with it, holes in a line with the grain.

    And you have Labradigger1's idea for a plan B.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    There are some folks that would pay good money for them rocks.
    Otherwise divide and conquer with one of the methods above. Water aint just for drinking.
    "Don't worry what they think. In the end it is not between them and you, it is between you and God."

    Je suis Charlie!


    "You won't know until you Actually try it"

    "The impossible just takes longer."

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  7. #7
    Boolit Man
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    Bury them or use in landscaping or rent a bobcat with a jack hammer attachment.

  8. #8
    Super Moderator & Official Cast Boolits Sketch Artist


    RP's Avatar
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    You could put them back in the ground I noticed a front end bucket on the tractor. I know its a pain to dig with one but it can be done just a thought.
    Reloading to save money I am sure the saving is going to start soon

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    Feathers and wedges. We had some huge ones at work. Contractor came in and drilled a bunch of holes and used feathers and wedges to split them into managable disposable chunks. The feathers are nothing more than large "L" shaped pieces of metal that are inserted into the holes across from each other and steel wedges inserted in between the feathers. Then beat the snot out of the wedges with a sledgehammer starting at one end and working down one hole at a time. Then start all over where you first started. Sooner or later (hopefully sooner) the force of the wedges in the holes will cause the rock to crack. I worked in a tank farm so the use of open flames and energetic chemicals was frowned on by the NYCFD. Frank

  10. #10
    Boolit Master KYCaster's Avatar
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    When it comes to drilling holes in rock.....anything more than ~1" dia. X 6" deep gets old really, REALLY fast.

    For any freeze/expansion method to break your 4X4X5 rocks, you'll need at least six holes no less than 2 feet deep. I doubt that you or any of your neighbors have anything that will do that.

    Consider the cost of rental equipment and time involved, you're money ahead hiring somebody to haul them off.

    Jerry
    Buzzard's luck!! Can't kill nothin', nothin'll die!!

  11. #11
    Boolit Master


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    Get out the steel core ammo and have at them. Thats how I break them up. Takes a while, but it is fun.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master leftiye's Avatar
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    Place them along a property line you don't want the trucks, or four wheelers going through.
    We need somebody/something to keep the government (cops and bureaucrats too) HONEST (by non government oversight).

    Every "freedom" (latitude) given to government is a loophole in the rule of law. Every loophole in the rule of law is another hole in our freedom. When they even obey the law that is. Too often government seems to feel itself above the law.

    We forgot to take out the trash in 2012, but 2016 was a charm! YESSS!

  13. #13
    Boolit Bub
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    I have used products like Dexpan before and it works great. Just like the website shows.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master

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    1) Drill hole in boulder.
    2) Pour into hole 3-4 oz gunpowder.
    3) Insert cannon fuse into powder.
    4) Pack newspaper over powder.
    5) Pour liquid wax over newspaper to seal.
    6) Fill remaining hole with hydraulic cement.
    7) Wait 7-10 days.
    8) Light fuse.
    Political correctness is a national suicide pact.

    I am a sovereign individual, accountable
    only to God and my own conscience.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master huntrick64's Avatar
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    Stack them up in a circle and fill with dirt for a nice looking "raised bed" garden. Use them someplace in the landscape since you have a loader. Get creative and you will have something unique.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    I like the feathers & wedges idea the best.
    Drilling holes and adding water will work but I agree that it will take a lot of deep holes and a lot of drilling.
    Using explosives to split them would be more attractive if they weren't so close to the house.
    All of the suggestions of moving for use somewhere else on the property ignore the fact that the OP CAN'T move them because they are too big.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Petrol & Powder View Post
    I like the feathers & wedges idea the best.
    Drilling holes and adding water will work but I agree that it will take a lot of deep holes and a lot of drilling.
    Using explosives to split them would be more attractive if they weren't so close to the house.
    All of the suggestions of moving for use somewhere else on the property ignore the fact that the OP CAN'T move them because they are too big.
    Swollen wood plugs serve the same purpose as the feather and wedges, big difference is wooden whittled plugs and water don't cost anything. Less hammering as well.
    Lab
    Life is so much better with dogs!

  18. #18

  19. #19
    Boolit Man
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    When Hannibal crossed the Alps . . . He built fires around them, and when the rocks were hot . . . He poured wine on them. He also used elephants to move some of them . . .
    "An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life"

    Hamilton Felix, Beyond this Horizon by Robert Heinlein

  20. #20
    Boolit Master
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    Seems like a waste of good wine......

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