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Old 11/26/03, 01:54 PM
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Fairborn, Ohio
Posts: 89
Smile [WELL] Drilling my own Well

I search the forum and couldn’t find anything on drilling my own well. I would like to do this so it stays private. I have seen the commercial home drilling rig but was intrigued by a friend I was helping a few days ago when we were using a gas powered post hole digger. I am a very mechanical person and why buy it when it’s so much funner to make it myself. Has anyone done such a thing? Any ideas or forum links would be greatly appreciated.

Bob in Ohio
Old 11/26/03, 02:30 PM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 376
It depends on a lot of factors. If your water table is high and the soil is sandy then drilling your own well is not that big a deal. Find out how deep neighbors wells are. If a shallow well will work where you are you can buy a "sand point" in either 1 1/4" or 2" for under $100, then you drive the well by placing the sand point on one end and a cap on the other end of a length of pipe. drive it down with a driver ( a larger piece of pipe with a cap on one end and handles welded to the side). Lots of work but you just keep adding pipe until you get to the water.
Another method I've heard of involves jetting water down the length of the pipe.and forcing the pipe into the opening created by the force of the water. This method requires that you have a large source of water on hand and a way to pump it like a pressure washer.
When commercial well drillers drill a well they force mud down the sides of the drill pipe as a lubricant and it firms up the walls of the well so they can remove the drill pipe and insert the well pipe.
I hope this helps, good luck.
Old 11/26/03, 06:57 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Northern Wisconsin
Posts: 799
If you're handy, you could no doubt build some sort of well drilling rig similar to the Deep Rock Well Drilling Rig. The big question is "WHY?". The Deep Rock Rig is pretty much worthless junk.....unsuitable for well drilling in most conditions.

A friend of mine purchased the Deep Rock Rig and started drilling. He went down about 20 feet before he hit hardpan.....and the Super Duper Deep Rock drill bit turned into mush. Repairs & repeated attempts saw the same result.
The Deep Rock Well drilling rig would function far better as a boat anchor than something to procure water. Deep Rock = excessively overpriced junk.

I admire the person that is self sufficient and a "do it yourselfer". There are times when even the most ardent do it yourselfer must throw in the towel.

The advice given to you was sound. Ask around to find the water level in your neighborhood. Perhaps you can make do with a sand point.

I have never heard of anyone sing the praises of a Deep Rock type homeowner well drilling rig.
Old 11/26/03, 10:58 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Whiskey Flats(Ft. Worth) , Tx
Posts: 9,101
one potential problem that can pollute the water zone that you want to utilize. If your zone is at a depth of 100 feet and you Drilled thru another zone at say 50 feet ...........and it is POOR Quality................You have to SEAL IT OFF with cement and pea gravel. Otherwise, the unwanted zone at 50 feet will gravity flow along the outside of the casing down to your good zone at 100 feet. This process is called "Communication"......and it is also the reason that MANY experienced well drillers screwup an otherwise good well that should produce good, potable, drinkable water. Most all folks that end up with Bad Tasting water really don't have a clue as to the real cause of the Screwup. This is especially true when their neighbors are getting good water out of their well.......fordy......... :no:
Old 11/27/03, 09:21 AM
Case's Avatar  
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 74
Unless you have non-rocky soil with a stable and dependable year-round water source close enough to the surface that you can drive or jet a well point to it, you're kidding yourself about drilling your own well.

And when Hoop says the Deep Rock rig is "pretty much worthless junk" he's almost right -- almost, because the fact is it's totally pure junk and a joke. Been there, done that.

Portable water well drilling rigs cost a hundred grand and up and they're what it takes to get the job done right. You're not likely to build one that will.

If you want seriously dependable water break out the wallet and hire an experienced local driller to dig you a good six-inch well.

Otherwise, you might have fun playing in the mud, if you enjoy passing time that way.
Old age and treachery will always overcome youth and enthusiasm.
Old 11/27/03, 05:52 PM
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 71
Drill in rock cheap?

Cable tool. Tried and true. Got a rig I bought with a load of tools for about 2 grand. You have to be a good bargain hunter and have a little luck to get one that cheap. If you want a faster method, rotory. Got about 50 grand in that rig. Deeprock? No rocks and close water----always one on ebay. FB
Old 11/27/03, 07:04 PM
Alice In TX/MO's Avatar
More dharma, less drama.
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Texas Coastal Bend/S. Missouri
Posts: 30,594
Well drillers pump "mud" (drilling fluid) down the INSIDE of the pipe, and it flows back up around the outside of the pipe to the surface. Just thought I needed to clarify that detail.

The person who explained communication between zones did a great job. This can be a serious problem if you are in an area with salty or oily strata.

You need to do a LOT of talking with old timers about the area and water and water tables and drilling before you try this yourself.
* * *
"No great thing is created suddenly." ~Epictitus
Old 11/27/03, 11:47 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Carthage, Texas
Posts: 12,322
I've got a deep rock rig. Drilled my own, and five other wells, to pay for the rig, and make some easy cash. Water table is 80 to 120' deep, rarely any rock beds. If I hit rock, I pull out, move over and start again. Make my own bits, weld hardened steel on the homemade bits, and add carbide to the edges.

Yes, you could consider it junk. BUT, it did what I wanted it to. You get what you pay for. Cost 1/3 of what the driller would've charged me. Successful drillings, and still have the rig and parts. Didn't want a 50k rig, that might take a tad bit more work to pay it off, plus getting permits, which I avoid if at all possible.

I wasn't trying to get rich, drilled for friends, neighbor, and parents. Parents got off scot free, others I gave a base rate of $100 for showing up, and would work until I hit water that suited them. If it produced, $200/day extra to completion. I gave them wells for under $500. Neighbor had a pro drill a deep well for $5000, but the water had too much sulfur in it, was killing his Christmas trees he raises. He was more than happy to have an unlimited sweet water well for 500$.
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Old 11/28/03, 10:12 AM
In Remembrance
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 1,600
This is a story related to me by a farmer in my area, he was in his 60's back in late 1970's when he shared a little of his childhood with me.

Back when he was a young boy his Dad used Rail Road Ties to build a Tripod. He then took a Rail Road Rail and sharpened it. The Model A was backed up to this rig and the back tire removed. Using a rope, he fastened to sharpened rail road rail up throught the tripod and around the back wheel of the car. He slipped the casing over the rail. The boys took turns pushing in and releasing the clutch. This caused the rail to pound its way into the earth and the casing would then slip down into place. He raised the rail to add another casing when needed.

When they ran into rock, they would pull the all then casing up and out, then drop a stick (or half) of T.N.T down into the hole and begin the process all over again. The rail road rail needed to be brought up and sharpened frequently.
This method did take quite awhile to do but back then was the only way to get a well put in. He said that their first well was about 200 feet.
Old 11/29/03, 05:18 PM
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 71

Mud is not always used. In my area I have never even seen a rig set up to handle it. If your in good rock it's not needed. Dirt and gravel require mud and sometimes to drive casing as you advance down.
Old 12/01/03, 12:50 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 38
I have been looking for the same type of information on drilling your own well; here are some links that I found:

Looks like they are along the same lines as what Farmer Brown & Westbrook mentioned.
For the first one hundred years or so, our nation was lead by surveyors and we did very well, and then the lawyers took over, now look where we are. Don’t believe me take a look at Mt Rushmore, three Surveyors, and some other guy. (For you Lawyers that’s: Washington, Jefferson, and Lincoln)
Old 12/01/03, 01:33 PM
Posts: n/a
I have driven a point down 17' and I can't pound it anymore more. The water table is about 15 feet and we do have some water but not enough to get and consistent flow. We empty the well out while pumping out 2 gals out then have to wait about an hour to start pumping again.

We are using a sledge to pound down 1.25” steel pipe, and got down about 17 feet and ran out of steam. Any ideas for getting down farther without killing myself? Work smarter not harder.

And thanks for all the great information so far!!

Old 12/01/03, 02:09 PM
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 39
Deep Rock outfits

I always thought i wanted one, and then the neighbor got one. Well it turned out that he went down 30 and broke the bt. So they got a diamod bit. Went down so far at another place and broke it and that was that. Soon after he left, and then she. A few of the neighbors went over to see if they had left anything f value behind. I took all the sections to the drill and an casket vault (concrete). another neighbor took the engine and tower, I used the sections as fence posts ansd most of them are still standing, and that was oer 20n yrs ago. I wish the guy who heard how the old timer did it would tell it again as I dont get how he got power from the wheel of the T to the sharpened railraod iron. If e welded a pulley o the other end of the iron then he could only go down to the ground leveland then have to weld more iron o and relocate the pully
IM Bill 46, blonde 5 8 blue 200 muscular, athletic, tanned, toned for the age, libra Divorced since 88, kids all gone and grown 3. Small farmer grows mkt garden and field corn, oats, and hay. have 50 some chickens, had hogs last year, have had goats, rabbets, geese, turkeys. Hobbys gardening, Medieval reecreating. Do-did heavy weapons fighting, which means in armour. Collect farming antiques, but only to use, not to collect dust generally, n between Tulsa and Okc. Good luck in your search.
Old 12/02/03, 08:57 AM
In Remembrance
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 1,600

I wish I could tell you more about the rail road tie, rail and the old model T...but I was a young woman then and just enjoying the farmer's memory of his childhood and some of the history of the our valley. Now I wish I would have asked lots of questions. After that he talked about how to preserve watermelon in a hole in the ground all winter using lots of straw.

Old 12/03/03, 11:41 AM
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: South West MI
Posts: 932
To use a vehicle to lift the weight jack it up and put an empty clean rim on and run the vehicle at a slow rpm. Put the rope around the rim once and pull on the rope. The vehicle assist lifting when you put pressure on the rope. let pressure off the rope to drop the weight. Repeat repeat repeat repeat. Pretty easy once you get the hang of it.

Old 12/03/03, 01:27 PM
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 208
For the person with the 17 well. You might be able to make a cavity to collect water by sending a pipe down existing well and jetting water. The over flow should come up around the sides of smaller jet pipe bringing up dirt. This might help you get your pipe deaper and will create a small reservoir for water to collect. Might not be safe to drink being that shallow.
Old 12/04/03, 08:18 AM
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Fairborn, Ohio
Posts: 89
Thanks for all the great info when the weather warms up i'm going toi have to try shooting water down the pipe. I was thinking of taking my pressure washer and adapting the nozzle to fit on the end of the pipe and send water down at 3000psi. Thanks Agian!

Bob in Ohio
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