How to drill boulders for fountains?

Clovers

LawnSite Member
Location
Colorado
I am looking to offer some custom boulder fountains for my customers this season.

Can anyone recommend the appropriate drill to get this done? I am currently looking at a Bluerock 8" core drill to allow me to bore 2" through the rocks and maybe a give a shallow 4" (1"-2" deep) depression at the top to stop geysering.

It seems like core drills are the best bet for a larger hole. I see people using sds hammer drills for smaller diameters (maybe up to an inch) but was under the impression a larger hole was critical. Especially when sleeving it with PVC. The 2" should allow a 1 1/2" pipe in it.

I am open to recommendations. Currently I don't see myself drilling deeper than 4' but it's always nice to have more capacity.

This setup will need to add extensions to the bit which is only 14" max.

Is it critical to have this mounted on a stand?
Do I need a tilting stand or will a fixed stand work just as good to add extensions?

I was thinking of either mounting the stand to a plate attached to my skid's forks and position the drill over the leveled boulder or use a scaffold with a custom plank on it to mount over the boulder.

Any thought on set up or experience with the process would be appreciated.
 

Hayduke

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
Oregon
Sounds like a lot of work for little profit unless you are selling a lot of boulders. I just take mine to a fountain supply store and they drill them out for me. They have some way to drill in a curved fashion so the hole comes out near the side at the base, not at the bottom, which makes plumbing them much easier. I have no idea what type of tool they use.
 
OP
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Clovers

LawnSite Member
Location
Colorado
That we be great if any such location existed. We are a couple of hour from any place that would perform such a task. We do have lot's of boulders available. Price is almost free.

From a business perspective I think it makes sense? We are doing the install so that helps, and I think that being able to offer a fully custom fountain to my customers will be a great selling point. They can even go to the pit and pick the rock that speaks to them.

The idea of having the hole pop out a couple of inches from the bottom is great. That is one good reason to go for a tilting stand.
 
OP
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Clovers

LawnSite Member
Location
Colorado
That is a very cool idea. I think that for a 2" core drill, the idea would not function so well.
At this point I am looking for ideas on how to mount and set up the drill and or stand to position over a boulder to allow for bit extensions to be added without moving the drill.
 
OP
C

Clovers

LawnSite Member
Location
Colorado
Once I get it set up I'll show a couple pics. No basalt drilling as of yet. We have a town called Basalt here but honestly most of the rock I have available is granitic. I have been trying to source some sandstone surface boulders and will continue in that effort. We have a couple of gravel pits/quarrys local that provide a large selection of boulders. This benefit is they are cheap. Driving hours to get boulders will get expensive.

Need to pour a little slab to set up my drilling rig on and then it's time to see how this thing works...
 


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