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

  1. #21
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    SSGOldfart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GhostHawk View Post
    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.
    I'd think they are to big to heat shock but freezing water is easier anyhow JMO
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  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by SSGOldfart View Post
    I'd think they are to big to heat shock but freezing water is easier anyhow JMO
    And you can drink the wine while you are waiting for the water in the rock to freeze...

  3. #23
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    It's still below freezing, get a good hammer drill and start boring holes... then go into the house and get some water.

    Don't worry about drilling cold rock, worst case is you'll split it. Best case is you'll make the holes and the rocks splits after you water it.

    Also, use warm water, that way you fill the hole before it freezes. One inch holes, 6-8 inches deep, space them 6-8 inches apart. I know, it sounds like a lot of work, but with a good hammer drill and a good bit, you'll be surprised how fast it goes, minute or two per hole tops.

    What you really want isn't cold weather, you want the freeze-thaw cycles you get in spring... this is the perfect time to start this. Once you start getting freeze-thaws, make sure the holes are full every night. Broke up a lot of big rock this way... Happy rock splitting!

  4. #24
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    When drilling masonary one brand comes to mind Hilti next best is Bosch.
    Rotohammers and SDS, not screaming hammerdrills.
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  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by DCM View Post
    When drilling masonary one brand comes to mind Hilti next best is Bosch.
    Rotohammers and SDS, not screaming hammerdrills.
    Correct sir, my mistake. Folks I discuss these things with normally (actual card carrying MASONS) wouldn't be caught using such inferior tools... and a huge thumbs up on the SDS drive instead of a normal drill chuck. And yes, mine is a Bosch, and it's almost as good as a Hilti.

  6. #26
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    Rent an electric jack hammer and go at 'em. Get them to a smaller size or contact the local gravel producer who might take them off your hands if you took some donuts over and got to know him.

  7. #27
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    Landscapers have been known to pay very good money for large rocks. I would talk to several to see if you could sell them. If that doesn't work Alfred Nobel invented a way to safely handle nitroglycerin. It makes little rocks out of big ones.

  8. #28
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    Do you want to move the rocks or not?

    Your call.

  9. #29
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    Most suggestions so far have involved a lot of deep holes, fellas this is rocks he is talking about not concrete! Those holes would require a jackhammer and while one of the electric versions would probably work even it would be slow going, he would be in for a nearly impossible task trying to do that with a simple hammer drill and masonry bits! Also the problem with giving them away (had the same problem and tried that!) is that usually where there are a few boulders such as that then they are also all over the area, sort of like trying to give away snowballs in Alaska. The problem here is the holes, once those are in there then the rest of the problem is fairly simple and even that water and dry wood plug works a lot better than folks might imagine but it depends on the type and composition of the rock. I got rid of some of mine with Goex BP after drilling holes in them but I managed to only loosen a few chucks on the larger ones with that method, while I still had the jackhammer and compressor rented I got in touch with a buddy of mine and we solved the problem with 4 sticks of Dupont High Drive! That option might be a lot harder to pull off today than it was 22 years ago when I had the boulder problem but any way a person looks at it these things are not simple to deal with, digging holes and buying them may very well be the best method.

  10. #30
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    cut em in half with come 8mm mauser ammo that stuff tears up rocks , but it may take a few thousand rounds ha ha
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  11. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldred View Post
    Most suggestions so far have involved a lot of deep holes, fellas this is rocks he is talking about not concrete! Those holes would require a jackhammer and while one of the electric versions would probably work even it would be slow going, he would be in for a nearly impossible task trying to do that with a simple hammer drill and masonry bits! Also the problem with giving them away (had the same problem and tried that!) is that usually where there are a few boulders such as that then they are also all over the area, sort of like trying to give away snowballs in Alaska. The problem here is the holes, once those are in there then the rest of the problem is fairly simple and even that water and dry wood plug works a lot better than folks might imagine but it depends on the type and composition of the rock. I got rid of some of mine with Goex BP after drilling holes in them but I managed to only loosen a few chucks on the larger ones with that method, while I still had the jackhammer and compressor rented I got in touch with a buddy of mine and we solved the problem with 4 sticks of Dupont High Drive! That option might be a lot harder to pull off today than it was 22 years ago when I had the boulder problem but any way a person looks at it these things are not simple to deal with, digging holes and buying them may very well be the best method.
    I don't know what material the rock is but if it is not granite it will drill easier than concrete.
    The holes do not need to be more than about 4-5" deep.
    All he needs to do is create a fault line and the rock will break there.
    these rocks could be drilled, filled with water and plugged in one day easily and the next morning they WILL be in two halves.
    This is not ROCKet science (pun intended). Men have been quarrying rock for many thousands of years with only the simplest hand tools. It truly is not hard to split rocks.
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  12. #32
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    Old timey way to move them is to build a sled. If your tractor can't lift them, can it pull them.?? Build a sled, load sled with the rocks, pull/tow wherever you want to.

  13. #33
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    We moved some big logs and rocks by digging a tunnel under them and wraping a cable around them several times the tractor hooked to the cable and roll them a long process but you can roll a lot more wieght than the tractor can slide or pick up. The early egyptions used a copper blade and abrasive slurries to cut rocks.

  14. #34
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    Just put a Sign out front.... boulders $2000.00 each.. set back a few days and someone will figure out how to steal them !!!
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  15. #35
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    About how close are these "pebbles" to the house? If you decide to go the "KA-BOOM" method I hope you remember that with about every type of explosive there will be secondary fragmentation. If you do go this route ask about "Blasting Mats" where you get the "KA-BOOM" supplies. Just a thought. Robert

  16. #36
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    I'm with Hickory. You can easily drill them then use fast powder like Bullseye and a fuse or electric ignition to fracture them.

    A local friend of mine used to be able to buy dynamite as he had a small farm but the government changed regulations so he had to get some form of permit and pay a fair bit. he only had a couple of large boulders to break up so I suggested a 20 ga. hull full of PB since i had some (about 100 grs.).

    I gave him a "loaded" hull and told him how to make a simple electric ignition system using a car battery. Other than that pretty much as Hickory describes.

    He drilled a hole, inserted "loaded" hull with ignition wire in it and cord attached, sealed up over top then poured in some concrete and let it set. A couple days later he connected the battery to the ignition wires and set the charge off. He said it made a nice "CRACK" and the boulder split.

    After he bought a pound of Bullseye and took care of the rest.

    Cheap, easy and a bit of a fun factor as well.

    Longbow

  17. #37
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    Hey Mustang, have you tried anything yet?
    Life is so much better with dogs!

  18. #38
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    The ancient romans quarried much of the rock used to build Rome with line of wood wedges driven into rock that were then soaked to expand them. Their version of the hammer drill was pretty crummy compared to modern ones. I think water expanding as it freezes is worth a shot, if it does not work you already have holes for one of the methods that go boom.
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  19. #39
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    I remember seeing a setup for cutting granite where they had a loop of abrasive material that was driven by a small engine on a cart moving away from the material as it cut through it to keep the loop tight.

    This is a pretty big version of what I had seen before.
    http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j...85076809,d.cWc

    A pressure washer and PVC pipe would get you a hole under it without too much work.

    Then again I like the selling them idea. Call a sand and stone outfit in your area and I bet they will come get them for free.
    Last edited by jmorris; 02-01-2015 at 02:26 AM.

  20. #40
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    Interesting post! If you are going to break them up . . . from my geology classes in college many many years ago . . . remember that rocks have "cleavage" - some rocks, depending on metamorphic, sedimentary, etc. have one way cleavage and some have two way cleavage . . just like a piece of tree stump has one way cleavage which is by the length with the grain, not against the grain. If you can determine the cleavage of your boulders, it will help you plan your strategy on how to split them up.

    I don't know what is in your area as far as parks, etc. but many years ago (I live in lower Michigan which is glacial formed, I uncovered a number of large boulders as I was building my building in town which I used as a custom millwork/woodworking shop. Since we were digging footers for block foundation and leveling to pour a slab, the only thing we could do is dig them out and set them to one side. They set there for quite a few years until I asked the town council if they would like them to put in their park. They placed them as barriers to prevent some off-road vehicle traffic and were very happy to get them - the had the DPW move them. It added to their landscaping - helped them as well as me.

    Or - they came from the ground - maybe you could get someone with a backhoe who could dig a deep hole and push them in and back fill over them - then haul any extra dirt away? Whatever you do . . it's going to be work for sure! Best of luck to you and let us know how/what you end up doing!

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