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Removing 15' of Limestone

Discussion in 'Mining/Aggregates' started by Tom12Ga, May 27, 2015.

  1. Tom12Ga

    Tom12Ga Member

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    Hello,

    I've got a fair bit of experience with heavy equipment but zero time when it comes to limestone removal.

    I've recently purchased a small (20 acre) farm in Kankakee County. Last Saturday, I brought my backhoe over and dug a series of test holes, hitting limestone consistently at a depth of 2.7 feet (based on my grade rod).

    The plan that I have is two-fold:

    1. I intend to get down to a depth of about 15 feet, so approximately 12' of limestone. This will allow me to have a full basement for my new house.

    2. I've also seen a few natural swimming ponds that were incorporated into cut limestone. Perhaps I can leave a shelf of 12 feet between my foundation and the pool.

    I thought about using a Cat 963 or 973 to strip the soil down to the top of the limestone.

    Once that's accomplished, I am stumped as to the best way to accomplish the two tasks listed above. Ideally, I would like to cut out the limestone in blocks, so that I could use some of it on the house that I will build.

    Which equipment or steps would you recommend? Do I need to blast to get started?
    Also, the smaller saw setups that I've seen (on YouTube) are run on rails but I don't know if this method is practical.

    Btw. Vulcan runs a quarry less than a mile from my farm, so I am sure that there's a lot of limestone going down.
     
  2. qball

    qball Senior Member

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    Drill and blast. you will spend way less drilling and blasting...
     
  3. kshansen

    kshansen Senior Member

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    If you have a lot of stone to "dispose of" might pay to contact Vulcan they might be willing to take it for no charge. Now if they were real nice they would trade you for some processed stone in return! Cutting out blocks might be a bit more of a project than you want to do! Think it would involve drilling lots of small holes and driving in wedges to crack the stone free. Then you need some way to carry the slabs.
     
  4. td25c

    td25c Senior Member

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    why so deep ?

    On a project like that we would compromise on depth & wall hight .

    Probably dig / bust down to 8 foot total depth . Spread about a foot of # 11 chips in the floor and hand dig footing in the chips allowing a few inches of buffer between the footing and limestone .

    Go with an 9 foot wall and allow 2.5 to 3 feet above existing grade . Could be allot of issues on this type of job . Can you bust out a gravity drain for the Basement ?

    Septic tank & system ?

    Allot to think about .

    We have done this and used a 330 Cat hoe with buster and My Hyhoe excavator with rock bucket . Also had an IH 175 crawler loader to help haul out .
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2015
  5. Dickjr.

    Dickjr. Senior Member

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    Depending on what you have at your disposal as far as equipment needs , I'd would recommend two hydraulic excavators , one smaller with bucket and one as large as you can afford to rent with at least a 5000 lb hammer more like a 7500 or larger. Hammer it out and use the other machine to load trucks to haul to a free dump site unless you need fill else where.
     
  6. stumpjumper83

    stumpjumper83 Senior Member

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    dynamite.... is your friend. Figure out the house footprint, increase by 10' and blast her. and any deep utility lines should be blown too. Dynamite is cheaper than hammers
     
  7. tylermckee

    tylermckee Senior Member

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    drill and blast would would be the fastest, probably cheapest. Hammering rock is a slow process, especially going down that deep.

    Why so deep? We typically have ~11' of basement wall and footings, gives us 9' ceiling height in the basement. It depends on the site, but if possible can you use the spoils to raise grade around the house so you only have to dig 6-10'
     
  8. monster76

    monster76 Senior Member

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    10696367_533699900100645_9002092701658458955_n.jpg

    This is prety much how its done down here to cut the slabs out i stole this pic from a buddy of mine who does natural stone masonry
     
  9. Tom12Ga

    Tom12Ga Member

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    Monster,

    Can you (or anyone else) let me know what I'd need to do this process? (I am speaking of after having removed the 2.7 feet of dirt.

    Note: I also own 3 semis with aluminum drop deck trailers, so once I get to the point in the pictures, moving it for cutting shouldn't be much of a problem.

    Thanks.
     
  10. Tom12Ga

    Tom12Ga Member

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    Tyler,

    The footprint of the house is 78' X 102' and there's plans for a deeper basement with no windows due to the prevalence of tornadoes.

    There's no utilities in the back but there is a 4" medium pressure natural gas line + AT&T in the front of our field (about 100' away from the front line of the new house).

    My biggest concern with blasting is that I'll impact the salvage of the limestone. I actually want to cut a bit of it up for the front of the house.
     
  11. monster76

    monster76 Senior Member

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    Yea man np give me a call tomorrow during the day and ill explain how to do it 7863872321 but so you know you will need a 12" bucket on your backhoe to do it
     
    mikebramel likes this.
  12. Delmer

    Delmer Senior Member

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    mikebramel likes this.
  13. Tom12Ga

    Tom12Ga Member

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    Delmer,

    I just spent the last 40 minutes looking through what that guy did in Colorado. Definitely overkill, as far as I can tell.

    For the readers that want to get an idea of what I'm putting up, here is the front elevation of the house.

    North_Elev.jpg
     
  14. Tom12Ga

    Tom12Ga Member

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    First of all, thank you for the many helpful thoughts.

    My initial idea was to use the 963 to strip the 2.7 feet of soil, then potentially use a rocksaw to make parallel passes at a 2-foot to 30-inch width.

    Any warnings or suggestions if it sounds like I'm on the right track?
     
  15. monster76

    monster76 Senior Member

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    Problem with 2 ft deep cuts is when you pull it from the bottom its going to be un even and you get thin slabs that tend to break easy after they get finsihed id rather dig them out to atleast 3 ft in height in 2 to 3 ft of width so when you get your raw slab you have more material to work with on a finish cut
     
  16. Dickjr.

    Dickjr. Senior Member

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    It must be easier to get hold of dynamite in other parts of the country. I can remember in the early 80s seeing dynamite at the local hardware store for three or four bucks a stick. The problem with blasting around here , you need a license , and then usually you end up repairing drywall and foundations on every house within 5 miles, if you caused it or not. They don't actually use dynamite around here even when blasting. Its a powder mix with a detonation cap. Ever so often the cap will end up in a load of rock , which makes me uneasy even though its been blown. It would be a good idea to talk to a local geo tech about this. They should be able to guide you as far as how hard the rock is and the best way to cut it and get the results you want. A large Vermeer rock trencher may end up being the way to go. Looks like its going to be a fine home.
     
  17. Oxbow

    Oxbow Senior Member

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    You may consider leaving a bit of your soil to cover the limestone in order to provide a more hospitable platform to work off of (less teetering around with an excavator). I have never worked with limestone, but I suspect that the surface will not be perfectly level.
     
  18. ben46a

    ben46a Senior Member

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    Hiring a blasting contractor will be the way to go. The cap rock (top layer) generally comes out in large slabs especially in residential blasting when big collars are used on the shot. If you allow ten feet all around the foundation and a 15 foot depth (plus 3 feet for subdrill) you'll be knocking at 12,000 ton of rock, so it should leave you a fair bit to cut. Up here they charge about 5 bucks a cubic yard to drill and blast. Customer supplies an excavator if required for mats and stone for stemming. They drill and do the rest. Best thing about using a contractor to do it? They take on all the liability. Having said all that the proximity to a gas line will be a game changer, but a blasting contractor will know all the rules in that department.
     
  19. farmboy555

    farmboy555 Well-Known Member

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    Your going to need to get a trench for a drain to get the water away from the footer's etc
     
  20. mikebramel

    mikebramel Senior Member

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