Boulder breakdown with plugs and wedges

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Old 12-01-20, 08:14 AM
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Boulder breakdown with plugs and wedges

I have a couple of large landscape rocks (small boulders) that I had dug out and need to get rid of. They are heavy. See pic (I included a 16oz. bottle of water for size reference).



I think the way to go is to break them down. I believe this can be done with plugs/wedges/feathers/shims. (I was looking at these). What tools do I need? Do I need a rotary hammer to drill 1/2" holes in the rock, or can I get by with a hammer drill? I currently don't have either. I have a 4 lb. sledge, and what looks to be a 10 lb. sledgehammer. I have what looks to be some masonry/concrete chisels (see pic), there might be more around. Input appreciated.


 
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Old 12-01-20, 08:19 AM
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Offer them up on Craig's List for free, a lot less work!
 
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Old 12-01-20, 08:26 AM
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Offer them up on Craig's List for free, a lot less work!
I don't know if you are kidding, but I did exactly that right after I dug them out. I wasn't surprised that there were no takers.
 
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Old 12-01-20, 09:01 AM
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Why do you want to break rocks? You will still have the same amount of rock to dispose of after you spend a hundred+$ on tools to break them. If you want to split them just for fun you'll need a rotary hammer, appropriate sized bit, feather & wedges and a hammer.
 
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Old 12-01-20, 09:40 AM
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Why do you want to break rocks?...If you want to split them just for fun..
(???) Alternate suggestions for getting rid of these?
You will still have the same amount of rock to dispose of
Smaller rocks are much easier for me to dispose of. There is also a good chance that some or all of it could be re-used onsite.
after you spend a hundred+$ on tools
1) I don't know what I need (and therefore, total cost) until I get responses here.
2) I may have additional uses for whatever tools bought.
3) Recently purchased, lightly-used tools can have resale or donation value.
you'll need a rotary hammer
Thank you for your input.
 
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Old 12-01-20, 01:43 PM
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I don't know if you are kidding
Nope, any time I want to get rid of construction scraps, rather than burning or throwing away I offer them up. I usually have a half dozen folks wanting to stop by.

Dig a hole and bury them!
 
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Old 12-01-20, 01:52 PM
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Check out this thread by @sgull for some ideas Breaking big rock
 
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Old 12-01-20, 04:46 PM
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Sometimes Craiglist does not work overnight and I see ads there for similar stuff all the time. Sometimes I think people are trying not to have to do the work or go to the expense of disposing of something. Sometimes there are indeed takers.
Yes you can subdivide these. Pilot Dane has the answer if you want to go this route.
And maybe landscape contractors would take them for them. Just cast a big enough net with the publicity.
Are you looking for new tools for Christmas?
 
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Old 12-02-20, 02:50 AM
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Nope, any time I want to get rid of construction scraps, rather than burning or throwing away I offer them up. I usually have a half dozen folks wanting to stop by
.
Same here, which is why I listed these after I got them out. But I wasn't surprised that they did not go. They are too heavy, and they have been painted. It is just common rock.
Dig a hole and bury them!
AFTER these are broken down, I was thinking I might be able to use as fill.
 

Last edited by Remlon98; 12-02-20 at 03:10 AM.
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Old 12-02-20, 03:45 AM
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Check out this thread by @sgull for some ideas Breaking big rock
Thanks. He ended up being able to use a brute force sledgehammer approach. But that is a different type of rock. I don't think the type of rock I have will fracture easily. As the rocks here have been moved on the driveway to within 8-10 feet of the house, I would hesitate to go nuts with the sledgehammer due to any flying debris or an unintentionally released sledgehammer.
 
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Old 12-02-20, 09:01 AM
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Bury as Marq1 suggested or keep trying to give away via Craig's List, Freecycle, etc. Once at my vacation house I had an easy chair in excellent condition to get rid of. I put it outside marked FREE and no one was interested for a week but when I marked it as $5 it went the next day (and they left the money.) Make your stones valuable ("garden/landscape boulders") and someone will want them.
 
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Old 12-02-20, 10:22 AM
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I think keep trying on all the local give away sites. Looks like two strong men could lift the larger one. What is the harm in trying a couple good licks with the big hammer. It looks like you could knock some sides off of the larger one. Maybe drag them farther from the house and cut loose. Work out some frustration. Any chance you could issue a challenge to a strong neighborhood youth? What is a fair price for reducing the big one to three parts?

After a few days on the give away sites maybe you could pay someone to get rid of them. What is it worth to you? Too bad they are painted.
 
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Old 12-13-20, 07:25 AM
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Make your stones valuable ("garden/landscape boulders") and someone will want them.
I did just that. No takers, for reasons stated.
Looks like two strong men could lift the larger one
Two strong men could lift the smaller one. The larger one is very heavy and would not be easily grasped. Would likely need a sling, hoist, or something.
Any chance you could issue a challenge to a strong neighborhood youth? What is a fair price for reducing the big one to three parts?
Ha ha ha, you live in a different time or place than me. The neighborhood youth are lucky if they get out and ride bikes.

For even more laughs, run your idea by your lawyer and insurance company.
What is the harm in trying a couple good licks with the big hammer.
I did just that early this past week. I was out on the drive starting a project car and decided to give rocks a whack while I was warming the car. I did not go nuts, just firm, hard whacks at maybe 75% max strength. After maybe 7-10 shots...



(Actually, I was hitting on the end opposite of where the break occurred). Motivated, I went to resume my work, but noticed a problem:



Oh well, it was old and likely compromised. I picked up a replacement handle last night, To be continued...
 
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Old 12-13-20, 08:29 AM
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Free Whiskey Rocks- "some disassembly required"

Impressive - you've just split diabase / hornfels- one of the hardest rocks on the East coast.

(I just noticed that you're in MontCo, PA, so based on that fine grain, orange patina, and white paint, they're probably "stay on the driveway" landscape rocks.)

In the 1800s they were commonly cut into Belgian block pavers.
In the 2000s, they're commonly split down and then put in a gem-turner to make "Whiskey Rocks"


https://youtu.be/m2JltESSjxU
 
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Last edited by Hal_S; 12-13-20 at 08:54 AM.
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Old 12-13-20, 09:15 AM
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Soapstone (the material that comprises the Whiskey Stones) must be chilled before going into your drink. Simply keep your Whiskey Stones in your freezer and you'll always have a few handy. You only need three Whiskey Stones per glass.
I did not know that was a "thing," but I figured those stones must have some value!
 
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Old 12-13-20, 09:59 AM
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Originally Posted by 2john02458
Originally Posted by Whiskey Rocks
Soapstone (the material that comprises the Whiskey Stones) must be chilled before going into your drink. Simply keep your Whiskey Stones in your freezer and you'll always have a few handy. You only need three Whiskey Stones per glass.
I did not know that was a "thing," but I figured those stones must have some value!
Actually, diabase is MUCH denser and therefore BETTER for "whiskey rocks" than soapstone.
Soapstone is used because it is VERY soft and easy to shape -
There's an prominent outcrop of soapstone along the East Bank Trail of Wissahickon creek, (across from Forbidden Drive) where generations of mountain bikers catching the outcrop with their handlebars has, LITERALLY, cut a linear notch in the soft rock...
 
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