HOW TO DRILL A WATER WELL ON THE CHEAP!
(PAGE 1)



( Hold your mouse pointer over the pics to see the details of construction)
I got an horrific water bill last month and decided that it would be more than worth my while to go "off the grid" and go back to well water
to irrigate my veggies and my orchard.
I figured a simple 6 inch hole drilled down about twenty to twenty five feet would do the trick. I am fairly handy with water witching and with a couple of welding rods I located what I know is an underground stream that comes down from a glacial reservoir.
First, I built a rig from scrap iron. Bed rails and an old iron pallet in my case! The idea was to build a frame(drill rig) to lift the engine and trannie to lift/turn/drop the drill bit/auger/pile driver. A glorified post hole digger if you will. At my age such an off the shelf machine would be a quick way to break what is left of my bones! Also the cost of such machines is prohibitive for what you get!
I had a one ton electric hoist and a chain winch laying around and so I loaded the hoist up to the top of the frame, about ten feet high, with a spot to load the chain hoist as well (if needed) for pile driving through the rocks.
The engine and trannie plate was originally to go on one angle iron support with the simple rollers shown in the picture. However one set of rollers proved to be quite unstable and so I put in a second (stronger) set of supports with stronger wheels (lawnmower). Much more stable and doesn't tip and stick now. (Not in this picture) The rear axle is an old Honda car jack and some golf cart wheels welded to the steel pallet. I can crank it up to move it and lower it into position for drilling. The front axle was a whole new story! See front axle pic!
TAMERLIN


STAINED GLASS
( Hold your mouse pointer over the pics to see the details of construction)
By now the whole rig was starting to get pretty heavy and moving it became the next concern. I had the back axle in place but lifting the front necessitated inventing an axle that could not only rotate to steer the thing, but also cantilever up and down to connect it to the hitch height on my tractor. I had an old axle on a hitch kicking around and welded a differential bearing to it. That, combined with a railway carriage type connecting iron bar that could be dropped in or lifted out to disconnect it, solved my rotation(steering) problem. However lifting the hitch then required using a pivoting motor mount (for a belt driven compressor) to provide the up and down movement. I added a removable adjustable stop to limit the up and down movement when travelling!

Building this drill rig project from scrap items I had laying around precluded working to a set plan. I simply started off with the pallet and worked from there. I would add something and then work out what went next and where! Yes I did make a couple of wrong turns but overall it has (so far) worked out the way I wanted it. I did actually buy a new auger and also a spare engine from one of my very generous neighbours at a reasonable price. Also spent about fifty dollars on welding rods but overall (so far) I've kept the price down to a couple of hundred dollars!



( Hold your mouse pointer over the pics to see the details of construction)
The transmission I got from the same neighbour. He had a dead lawn tractor and only wanted the wheels from it. So we dragged it home and I stripped it down to get the transmssion. The trannie hooks up via a belt to the engine and reduces the speed to the drill bit and increases the torque. It has a built in gearbox which allows me to not only select the speed but also enables me to drop it into neutral when I'm changing the drill rods without having to stop and start the engine. It also gives me a reverse gear as well for reversing the bit if it gets jammed. I'm working on a "rock bit" built from old leaf springs(reasonably durable, easy welding and grinding plus extremely cheap to replace). It will definitely require the reverse gear! More on that later !
STAINED GLASS