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[TowerTalk] Fwd: Tower Problems

Subject: [TowerTalk] Fwd: Tower Problems
From: Hans Hammarquist <>
Date: Fri, 07 Jan 2011 22:23:37 -0500
List-post: <">>
 May years ago I read about an engineer (who else would do something like 
this?) that were splitting rocks with heat. He drilled relatively small 
diameter holes in rocks and inserted an soldering iron. After a short time 
(don't remember how short but something in minutes) the heat from the iron 
expanded the rock and crack it.

Drilling a 1/2" hole in grant with a mason drill is relatively fast (if you 
keep the drill sharp. Done that!) If you drill a number of holes in a straight 
line I believe you can split that rock fast and not without a lot of 
hard/sweaty work. I believe the hole diameter should be a little larger than 
the soldering iron you are using. I don't know how bad it is for the iron. 
(Maybe you should try with something cheap from RS.)

Hans - N2JFS




-----Original Message-----
From: Grant Saviers <>
Sent: Fri, Jan 7, 2011 5:33 pm
Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] Tower Problems

Another way to go is to split the rock with feathers (also called 

wedges).  Check with a local quarry, stonemason, or grave marker outfit 

to see if they will do it.  A series of holes is drilled along the grain 

(expertise needed to find it) and split steel cylinders are expanded 

with the feathers.   They are very hard steel with maybe a two degree 

taper.  The mason hits alternately each one in to the same ping tone and 

eventually without any fuss the rock is cleaved into pieces that a 

backhoe or backhoe with thumb can manage.  Amazingly (to me) you can buy 

"splitting feathers" on Amazon.

Except for the hammer drill with the carbide bit to drill the holes, 

this has been done for centuries.

There is also a technique to freeze water in a line of holes, but I've 

never done that, and it takes special refrigeration equipment.

Of course it is much more fun to watch the local blaster play with 

dynamite, been there also, << 500' from a building.  Is that a law for you?

Grant KZ1W

On 1/7/2011 9:57 AM, Mickey Baker wrote:

> You just need the right equipment.


> You can find someone with an excavator and rock hammer that will make short

> work of this. The rock hammer is a hydraulic jack hammer that replaces the

> bucket on the end of the excavator/backhoe. In your part of the country,

> I'll be that most excavation contractors have one - you can rent one at

> Sunbelt Rentals in San Antonio, but it will take you some time to use it

> safely - hire a pro unless you have a lot of other holes that need digging.


> snip



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