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  1. #1

    Feb 2006
    3

    removing boulders

    I have the opportunity to work on a project this summer that involves cleaning out a potential "glory hole". The problem is that the area is in a bowl. Very steep canyon walls on both sides, tall waterfall on one end and a geologic upheaval "about 15 feet" on the down stream side. Boulders as big as vw bugs.
    Blasting is not allowed. Area is too steep to even get large equipment into. Any suggestions?

    I was thinking anti-gravity device but i can't remember where to to get one.

  2. #2
    us
    Oct 2006
    10,390
    2502 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Honorable Mentions (2)

    Re: removing boulders

    Dang you could always fish it

  3. #3

    Feb 2008
    North Pole, AK
    67
    6 times

    Re: removing boulders

    you can try a winch hooked to some type of basket device that you drape over and partially under the boulders to move it. I know its worked for others in the same situation

  4. #4
    ca
    Feb 2007
    Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada
    A Compass Magnum 420 recently brought back to life. And an untested "in the wild" Teknetics.
    512
    3 times

    Re: removing boulders

    Quote Originally Posted by Stryker_FO
    you can try a winch hooked to some type of basket device that you drape over and partially under the boulders to move it. I know its worked for others in the same situation
    If you can dig part way under it, then lift it with inflatable air bags. Try http://matjack.com or other similar industrial air bag companies for ideas on that. I've done similar things with tractor inner tubes with rubber mats laid over them, but not related to prospecting. It might be less a matter of removing the boulders than to lift them enough to brace them while working underneath. Or shift them over out of your way, work the area, then put them back.

    F.
    Quote of Sir Joshua Reynolds': "There is no expedient, to which a man will not resort; to avoid the real labor, of thinking."

  5. #5
    us
    Jun 2005
    The Edge
    315
    3 times

    Re: removing boulders

    Maybe not these exact items but something with the same concept.

    http://matjack.com/index.htm

    http://matjack.com/boulder.htm
    He who made kittens put snakes in the grass.

  6. #6
    us
    Dec 2005
    Eugene, Oregon
    Fisher CZ5, White's GM VSat
    4,095
    123 times

    Re: removing boulders

    A come-along, cable, and lots and lots of blocks (pulleys). All I've ever used. Its slow, but be patient and above all else be extremely careful! It's real easy to get hurt doing it. There is a book out there called Miners Boulder Winching Handbook, its very small, only 10 pages, but it covers all the math you'll need for winching boulders. Its put out by IJS enterprises. copyright 1986, reprinted in 1990.


    Click image for larger version. 

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  7. #7
    us
    Jun 2006
    Out in the hills near wherendaheckarwe
    WHITES, MINELAB, Garrett
    4,150
    2684 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

    Re: removing boulders

    As Jeffro said come a long is the best bet. You can never have enough snatch blocks (pulleys) in my book Don't have the catalog with me here but A&B prospecting out in Mesa Az. has a ready made steel cable sling. Mine cost around $60 bucks (I think) used it to pull large rocks out of a ravine in california, was a lot safer than what I'd been doing prior. Couldn't find a safe place to tie off so used the draw bar on the jeep. Funny thing was I was using the come a long for about half an hour before I thought Hey stupid why don't I just pull them with the jeep?!?! Sun must have got me that day :P If you can't find A & B let me know & I'll PM you the info when I get to my catalog.

    Oh! the around $60 price I quoted you is from memory and about 10 years ago, might have gone up a bit?
    I know it's here, just need a bigger coil!

    I think I know what my last words will be....
    "Hold my beer and watch this!"

  8. #8

    May 2005
    St. Louis, missouri
    5,802
    4394 times

    Re: removing boulders

    i agree with the comealong idea. sounds like you have a long trip into this area so the least amount of equipment you haul in and the lighter it is the better. id use some chain link fence as a wrap for the boulders. its cheap and lasts a pretty long time. and then a good comealong or better yet one of those big hand operated winchs(i forgot the name of it)

  9. #9
    ca
    Feb 2007
    Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada
    A Compass Magnum 420 recently brought back to life. And an untested "in the wild" Teknetics.
    512
    3 times

    Re: removing boulders

    I've used and seen others try to use those cheap comealongs with little 1/4" diameter cables from china, that I shiver at the thought of anyone accidentally buying and trying to use one for something like this. The OP did say:
    Boulders as big as vw bugs.
    and I don't think I'd be recommending anything with less than a half inch cable to winch that with.

    I have an old cast iron comealong with about a 5/8" cable and I don't know if that would do the job without help.


    F.
    Quote of Sir Joshua Reynolds': "There is no expedient, to which a man will not resort; to avoid the real labor, of thinking."

  10. #10

    Feb 2008
    North Pole, AK
    67
    6 times

    Re: removing boulders

    http://www.crackamite.com/working.html


    you ever look in to expansive chemical rock breakers.. That might help to make stuff smaller and easier to move.

  11. #11
    us
    Dec 2005
    Eugene, Oregon
    Fisher CZ5, White's GM VSat
    4,095
    123 times

    Re: removing boulders

    If you look in the above pic, thats the size of that one. You see about 1/4 of it sticking out of the water. Yes, you need thicker cable for the mainline, but after the pulleys, you can do the actual winching with a standard comealong, just remove sections as you winch them up.

    Like I said, its slow, but it works.

    And yes, you're right, always use rated equipment for what you plan to move. The book I mentioned has weight ratios, cable tolerances, etc. for figuring that stuff out.

    Here's the same boulder, 1/2 sticking out of the water. We built a coffer dam to help displace some weight.

    I can't stress enough, like the above poster- its VERY important to use rated equipment. A snapped cable can take your leg clean off!
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  12. #12
    ca
    Feb 2007
    Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada
    A Compass Magnum 420 recently brought back to life. And an untested "in the wild" Teknetics.
    512
    3 times

    Re: removing boulders

    I watch a website relating to off-roading and one of the things that seems to happen a lot, is people getting stuck, using their winches and failing to drape a coat, or old blanket over the cable while winching. Has to be one of the simplest things to do for safety's sake, but so many just can't be bothered, or don't know any better. I drove tow truck many years ago, (before hydraulics became popular), and even then I knew enough not to do dumb things with cables under high tension.

    I was thinking that maybe I should drag my old comealong out of hiding and shoot a picture of it. Its been awhile since I last used it and its in serious need of a grease job, but its a mean looking old thing that needs a good 4 foot length of pipe to operate. I think I'll have to add that to the bottom of my to-do-list before this coming summers prospecting/nugget hunting trips.


    F.
    Quote of Sir Joshua Reynolds': "There is no expedient, to which a man will not resort; to avoid the real labor, of thinking."

  13. #13
    us
    Jun 2006
    Out in the hills near wherendaheckarwe
    WHITES, MINELAB, Garrett
    4,150
    2684 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

    Re: removing boulders

    Absolutely Correct! Equipment selection is very important the Chinese comalongs WILL fail. If buying a new comealong you have to look at them with the fact that YOUR body parts are going to be in the mix. I have seen a tow truck driver break a J hook off the cable. Put a nice crease in his cab & broke the back and side window. The only comical side to it was watching him chase a van across a large parking lot.

    The chain link fence sounds like a great idea! But the sling I mentioned was bought with my body parts in mind. It's a lot easier to carry just drape it over your shoulder or over the top of your pack. Doesn;t snag on everything you pass by.

    The other thing we haven't mentioned is you can buy a well built comealong & go to home depot or other building supply and buy some larger dia. / capacity cable. Thimbles are a buck or two. Crimp sleeves are a buck or two. The crimper is 24 or 25 bucks.

    A very valid point was made, people kids dogs etc need to be kept at a safe distance
    I know it's here, just need a bigger coil!

    I think I know what my last words will be....
    "Hold my beer and watch this!"

  14. #14

    Jun 2008
    SoCal
    1225X
    3

    Re: removing boulders

    Large plastic barrels work fine and are very durable. Chain or cable can be attached easily without damaging barrels. They can take a beating and no need to patch. The 50/55 gallon size work well. The large holes make it easier to fill with air from your compressor (260/263?). For large boulders maybe 3/4 barrels. Used barrels can be found very cheap. No need to completely lift rocks. Just lift enough to be able to slide the boulders. Normally you move material from one wetted part of the stream to another part of the wetted stream. The weight of the volume of the displaced water is about what you will be able to lift or float.

    Good Luck!

  15. #15
    us
    Endeaver to perservere

    Mar 2008
    Aloha, Orygun
    wishing stick
    1,372
    32 times
    Searching

    Re: removing boulders

    Good of you to point this out Functional. Snapped cables are dangerous!

    I like the float idea too. Just enough to move the rock.

    Nothing stated may be true as far as we know
    Seek professional advice. Some items are limited
    Not available in all states. Illigitimi non carborundum. Carpe oro.

 

 
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