View Full Version : The latest hillbilly contraption..

02-12-2008, 11:40 PM
Hey guys! Finally got the golf ball esculator out of the shop (pics after we get it up and installed later in the year).
A mining company approached me to build them an extra heavy duty core splitter. They cut the drill cores into lengths then break them down the middle with these machines. They can then tell what's in the rock that may interest them.
The regular core splitters are light duty with a 12 ton jack. Most are made with 1/4" thick angle iron. This brute is made with 3"X3"X3/8" angle... 1 3/8"X 3" cross beams and heavy plate die holders. The jack is a 20 tonner. I've talked them into trying an air jack but haven't got the mount made for that yet.
I also built a roller bearing guide setup for the sliding knife holder.
The dies... top and bottom. The core lies in the bottom "V" groove then is split in half with the top knife. Also shows the roller guide setup.
Some pretty heavy stuff
But, but.. you can't machine stuff like this on a mill drill...can you?

02-13-2008, 12:10 AM
Looking good,should have built two thou,it's nearly a small bending break;)

02-13-2008, 12:15 AM
Darin.. LOL! Funny you should mention that. They like this one so much...they are now talking about having me build another, wider one that uses two sets of dies lined up side by each.
Getting a healthy chunk of change for this one. The bigger one will be even bigger $$$ of course :D

tony ennis
02-13-2008, 12:51 AM
lined up side by each.

My father is the only other person I have heard use that phrase.

Does your core splitter have a safety mechanism? Looks like an excellent limb remover.

02-13-2008, 12:55 AM
Tony... I'm not finished it quite yet. It will have flip up guards that cover the cores and blades. The core material (ok...rocks)can shoot out at a pretty high velocity and needs to be contained.

02-13-2008, 04:21 AM
Use some 1/2" Lexan so they can see what's happening. They will have some at one of the glass shops in town that repairs ROPS canopies.

What color are you painting it?

02-13-2008, 07:59 AM
We used a similar compressive tester to take concrete cylinders to their yield point, or further if your hand wasn't fast enough to release the pressure before the 6" cylinder exploded. A lexan guard would probably not be a good idea, as our door was 1/4" steel and it had some dents in it. It was always getting pounded, so visibility would be short lived.
The hydraulic ram was registering about 6 to 7 thousand psi on that six inch cylinder, before the cylinder broke, so it does take some hp to make one break "rocks". 28 day old cylinders often went above the capacity of the machine, but we just released them unbroken, since we just needed to be sure they were strong enough.
David from jax

02-13-2008, 10:05 AM
Lexan has greater impact resistance than steel for the same thickness. Instead of shattering or tearing it deforms. Lexan with Marguard finish is highly scratch resistant too. I've been working with 1/2" Lexan lately and there is no way that some rock will break through Lexan sheet that thick. That's why it is used in the ROPS (Roll Over Protection System) canopies on heavy equipment.

Note added: Don't underestimate plastics. Delrin also has greater impact resistance than steel.

02-13-2008, 10:10 AM
Looks good - as usual. I built a shop press with a similar configuration. I've noticed that the return springs raise hell when a tight bearing breaks loose. Don't know quite what they're doing but today looks like a good day to put some steel between them and my face.

02-13-2008, 10:12 AM
Install some automotive shocks.

02-13-2008, 10:38 AM
I was walking away from a punch press when something whined by.. a 1/4 bolt, spit out and stuck in the 3/4 plywood wall.

Just something else to worry about as I use my 50 ton press.

02-13-2008, 12:37 PM
Torker, looks real good. I'd say they'll be happy. One thing about the coil springs, you might want to run some steel cable through them like on a garage door spring so if the end breaks it won't slap somebody in the head.:eek: In this day and time, you got to do what you can to cover your butt.

02-13-2008, 03:53 PM
When I first looked at the title I could have sworn it said Hillbilly Contraceptive. :D This may do the trick for that as well!

02-13-2008, 04:20 PM
Hardly a hillbilly contraption in my opinion. I think it looks very well made.

Did you have to use anything especially hard for the die portion? I figure the rock samples are going to be pretty abraisive. Is that holder replacable (other than removal with a smoke wrench)?:D

Edit-- one other thing might help make it even more "finished"-- a couple of lifting eyes. Handles might be an alternative, but I am guessing its a ball buster!


02-13-2008, 05:45 PM
but I am guessing its a ball buster!

That didn't stop them putting lifting handles on my Land Rover. It only weighs a bit over 2000 lbs. :rolleyes:

02-13-2008, 08:15 PM
Guys! Thanks! Wow! The engineers came today. Brought a big wooden box of drill core. Really nice looking quartz.
We put the first piece in the splitter... still not done so no guards yet. OMG... standing off to the side and crank up the 20 ton jack. Geezuz...the rock explodes like a stick of dynamite. Very impressive. They love this thing.
But they really loved it after I put my 20 ton air/hydro jack in it.
Absolutely smashes that tough rock with a push of a lever. The thing is incredible!
Guarding... I'm really glad I got to try this before designing the guards. The rock flys out of this at unreal speeds. Flew across the shop and hit the walls HARD! Most fun I've had in ages.
BTW... the dies are specially hardened dies from some other type of machine. Just have to remove a couple bolts and they pop right out.
The guards will take some thought. They need to be tough as hell after what I saw today.
But like all guards they have to be easy to use and not get in the way when they are trying to position the samples.
I'll have to kick around some of your ideas as well as do the "Stare at it til something comes up"
Anyway...they are really happy with their new machine. They took a dozen pics of it and sent them off to the head office up north.
Of course... now I'm workin them to order a bigger (more pricey) unit :D

02-13-2008, 08:53 PM
Russ,they make some clear poly material thats flexibe like rubber,kinda like those clear strap walk through doors,but thicker.Being flexible might do better at catching shcrapnel without breaking,just an idea.

02-13-2008, 09:04 PM
I would go with the lexan like Evan said, that is some tough sh*t and it is easy to work with.

02-13-2008, 09:48 PM
Ahhhhh---just what type/kind of mineral are these people looking for? From what depths?

Keep these guys interest up, maybe trade some fab work for a box of 'nice', interesting cores. Slice off 16-18 inch lengths with a diamond bladed chop saw, center drill with 3/8 inch bit, then polish. Makes some interesting table lamps, when fitted with dark shades and mounted on brass, SS, copper, or whatever bases. Very interesting cores are pulled during copper searches around Superior, AZ.

Good conversation pieces, especially when the observer learns where/how/depth the core came from. Every heavy duty oil company in Houston used to have one or two in every conference room.

Big bux on eBay?


02-14-2008, 12:55 PM
The mental image I have of a bunch of guys standing around a shop, busting rocks and dodging projectiles - it makes me think of Mythbusters, or better - Survival Research labs.

Ditto on the notion of guards. I've worked with Lexan, and it's easy to work and quite sturdy. If you "weaken" it (by say, cracking) it's also easy to tell.

What about a thick sheet of that clear, rubbery plastic stuff they use for "curtain" doors in warehouses? That's also pretty tough and resistant to breaking. Well, ok, it wouldn't stop a bullet, and you'd probably have to frame it like a window to keep things from "sneaking under".

It's great to make cool stuff and get paid for it. Nice work, Russ.


02-16-2008, 11:56 AM
Hey guys! Finally got this finished. Been a pretty slow process. I herniated a disc in my lower back and am really crippled up so slow is the word ....LOL!
The finished product! (BTW...the other yellow gadget on the top is a spare jack adapter for the airjack)
Got the guards all figured out...
These where a bit of a challenge. They had to swing out like a gull wing door to clear the jack. This one doesn't look bad but the air jack sticks waaaay out.
I went with 1/4" plate for obvious reasons. I may line the things with some of the materials you guys suggested but will try this for now.
These swing right out of the way so the operator has good access to line up the next core. The guards also clear the pans they use to collect all the debris.