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Drilling into river rock?

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Forum topic by rivergirl posted 09-18-2010 02:33 PM 13517 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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rivergirl

3201 posts in 2304 days


09-18-2010 02:33 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question drill-driver drill press rustic arts and crafts

What type of bit/process would you use to drill into river rock? I don’t have a drill press- so will need to use the trusty vice and big Milwaukee drill. I live on the river, and have all that free Pennsylvania Allegheny river rock so I thought I could turn the rocks into some projects but need to drill like tiny holes for say inserting hardware for cabinet pulls- bigger holes for making candle holders etc. (Free is my mantra..) Thanks!
Also for attaching hardware to rock- epoxy you think?

-- Homer : "Oh, and how is education supposed to make me feel smarter? Besides, every time I learn something new, it pushes some old stuff out of my brain."


16 replies so far

View helluvawreck's profile

helluvawreck

23189 posts in 2332 days


#1 posted 09-18-2010 02:48 PM

Check this search out, rivergirl

You might need a small drill press. You could get a table top drill press. They’re not that expensive. :)

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View patron's profile

patron

13538 posts in 2807 days


#2 posted 09-18-2010 02:55 PM

any hardware store has ‘tapcon’ screws ,

http://www.sierraanchors.com/TapconAnchors.html

(i like the ‘hex head , easier to drive)
the blue ones
in various sizes
in a package
they have a masonry bit included
(dedicated sizes for screw size)
just drill hole (make slightly deeper than screw length ,
and clean out dust) .
insert screw once ,repeats will break the bond .

and yes epoxy is good for glueing .

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View richgreer's profile

richgreer

4541 posts in 2540 days


#3 posted 09-18-2010 03:02 PM

Drilling goes much easier with a hammer drill – preferably a heavy one. My hammer drill is the only corded drill in my shop.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View Raftermonkey's profile

Raftermonkey

560 posts in 2379 days


#4 posted 09-18-2010 03:23 PM

I second what Rich and David said. Hammer drill and masonry bit.

-- -Zeke- "I hate to rush off, but I gotta go see a man about a log"

View helluvawreck's profile

helluvawreck

23189 posts in 2332 days


#5 posted 09-18-2010 03:30 PM

rivergirl, if I’m reading you correctly, you want to make craft type items with small rocks (forgetting about the candle holder for a moment).

I also assume that these would be something that you want to sell on some sort of regular basis. You mentioned holes for pulls and hardware. These sound like small holes. I would look around on that search and see what other people use if you want to be efficient and do it on a regular basis. I don’t think that it would be too expensive to be set up pretty well for it.

If you just want to make a small number of pieces here and there then what patron and rich have said would be perfectly sufficient.

Start out simple and if you like what you see then step it up a notch. A small table top drill press is not that expensive and it looks like they have the right types of bits that will drill hundreds of holes. Also the small drill press would also be a useful addition to your woodworking hobby.

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

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hairy

2384 posts in 2998 days


#6 posted 09-18-2010 03:51 PM

Here’s how it’s done without power tools. This is really old school. Don’t try this if you’re in a hurry. The upside is it can be done anywhere.

http://www.answers.com/topic/star-drill-design-engineering

I see these at flea markets going for very little money.

-- stay thirsty my friends...

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hairy

2384 posts in 2998 days


#7 posted 09-18-2010 03:52 PM

oops! I see you’re doing tiny holes. sorry.

-- stay thirsty my friends...

View patron's profile

patron

13538 posts in 2807 days


#8 posted 09-18-2010 03:58 PM

also here

http://www.inlandlapidary.com/results.asp?search=Wire+Drills+/+Plated+Burs&source=1

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View souichiro's profile

souichiro

369 posts in 2811 days


#9 posted 09-18-2010 03:58 PM

I would agree with helluvawreck on this one. If you’re wanting small holes in small things, #8 or #10 screws, or 1/4” metal inserts…. then small masonry bits and a drill press would be the way that I’d do it. You could make a cheap (or free) jig/clamp using some boards with v-slots cut in them. To hold the irregular shapes tightly, and safely away from your hands. A hammer drill would more than likely break a 2” rock. Then you could even try urethane glues, something like gorilla glue. Rocks are porous, and I bet it would hold up very well. I have been amazed at what that stuff can do.
But yeah, a drill press…...it’s one of those tools that you think you don’t really need. And then you buy one and wonder what did you do without it. True and plumb holes make a bit difference, and you’ll just never get them with a hand drill. Plus, you can go as slow as you like with a drill press. Something that I would think is beneficial with drilling into rocks.

-- Dale, Oregon

View helluvawreck's profile

helluvawreck

23189 posts in 2332 days


#10 posted 09-18-2010 05:17 PM

Thanks, patron, that web site makes me want to go out and make me something out of rocks. My youngest daughter collects all sorts of rocks; my brother has a cabin on a trout stream in North GA and It is full of the prettiest small flat round rocks that you ever saw and they have been polished for hundreds, maybe even thousands of years by the water. Some of them are almost perfect circles and elipses and others look like flat eggs. They must have been formed by somebody that really knew what he was doing. :) Up until now all my brother and I could figure out what to do with them is to see how many times we could make ‘em skip across the water which is a pretty good little hobby in itself. I’ll have to get more creative in my thinking.

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View rivergirl's profile

rivergirl

3201 posts in 2304 days


#11 posted 09-18-2010 07:07 PM

Wow- so much great information! Thank you! If I sell a few of my bigger projects this week I will invest in a drill press. I know i want one, and I need one…. but hate paying for one. LOL. But I could make a ton of rock stuff- I live on the RIVER for heavens sake. So after my candle holder post, some guys had to go make some for their wives… now it seems that perhaps some have been inspired to drill holes in rocks. And Mads if you read this, if you beat me to rock drilling like you did on the tool box I will not be surprised. :) Thanks again everyone, and I will update when the time arrives. :)

-- Homer : "Oh, and how is education supposed to make me feel smarter? Besides, every time I learn something new, it pushes some old stuff out of my brain."

View rivergirl's profile

rivergirl

3201 posts in 2304 days


#12 posted 09-18-2010 07:09 PM

Also helluva- I have found some cool Indian artifacts on the riverbank. Utlitarian tools. I didn’t find them all at once or all in one place, but in the same general location over time. So when you are in the creek beds, keep and open mind- a rock can take many forms. :)

-- Homer : "Oh, and how is education supposed to make me feel smarter? Besides, every time I learn something new, it pushes some old stuff out of my brain."

View helluvawreck's profile

helluvawreck

23189 posts in 2332 days


#13 posted 09-18-2010 07:20 PM

I’ll surely be watching for them, rivergirl, now that you have mentioned it. That trout stream is pretty clear water most of the time. Who knows, I might even find some gold. There’s some people that still pan for gold up in North GA. We had a gold rush in Dahlonega way back when. That’s about 30 miles from the cabin as the crow flies. I don’t think any body makes much any more but it is worth while for some folks as a hobby.

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

8257 posts in 2894 days


#14 posted 09-19-2010 12:24 AM

Hey there, rivergirl,
I drill holes in rocks with a masonry bit. Lot of basalt around here and some neat river rocks. This area used to be a sea bed so most of the rock is smooth like river rock. Lots of petrified wood, but that’s way too hard (too much work) for me.
Anyhow, when you get something made, please post it. I’d love to see what your creative mind can make from a lowly rock.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View Gofor's profile

Gofor

470 posts in 3253 days


#15 posted 09-19-2010 02:59 AM

Altho the drill press may work fine, do not discount the hammer drill. The impact during the rotation is what really makes a masonry bit work well without heating up too much from friction. If using the drill press, a little coolant while drilling, (water dribbled in from an oil can will be fine) will probably greatly extend the life of the bit.

I doubt tapcons will work in something as hard as many river stones like granite, etc, but may work in the softer quartz varieties. You may have to epoxy in the fasteners.

JMTCW

Go

-- Go http://ncwoodworker.net/pp/showgallery.php?cat=500&ppuser=730

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