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Wanna be a "Rock" star? Easiest way to pick rocks!

1000 Views 16 Replies 13 Participants Last post by  texican
I consider myself to be a tightwad... I don't spend money recklessly. For years, I've picked rocks out of the ditches on my road, to use in building projects. When the oil companies haul iron ore for their roads, there's an occasional large rock or boulder in the load, that gets bladed off into the ditch. I'd pick it up, or chain it and drag it home. Few times I had to get the front end loader to snatch it out and haul it home.

Over a period of four or five years, opportunistically 'picking' I had what I considered a good pile of rock. One day I halfway 'mapped' out the square footage, and was shocked, in that my pile would cover maybe a 10' x 8' wall. :bored: Ouch. All that work, and not much to show.

I discovered one of the local construction yards sold sand, gravel, lime, and all grades of rock. I'd hauled several 2 ton loads on my trailer, and filled in holes on my road. One day I went to the far side of their 'yard' and saw they had a monster pile of rip rap (rock the size of baseballs up to kitchen sink size...). Asked the clerk next when I left how much they got for it. 30$/ton. Went home and did my figuring... it was a great deal, imho. Went back, after unloading my trailer of SB-2 gravel. Lucky, the loader guy, asked how much I paid for, said a ton, he said in his broken English, no, not how much I paid for, but how much I 'wanted' :D. Told him to fill it up... Figure I got close to 3 tons of rock on the trailer. Drove slowly home.

Generally, it takes me two days to unload it all by hand.

.....now, to the point of the story.....

IF, someone were to give me the exact same rock (btw, it's a mixture of diorite and limestone/diorite interface) for free, and I had to load it, I'd pass. It takes just as long to load as to unload. The 30$ I pay for the entire load is cheap, when you consider they 'load' it for you. I figure the rock is free, and I'm paying for the loading.

If you check around with construction firms that build roads, and sell to the public, it's well worth the money to get your rock thissaway. I'm still tight as a drum, but sometimes a little money spent is well worth it.
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I know what ya mean. I'd love some rocks for borders, etc, but we have to BUY 'em here! I pick 'em up when I see 'em too.

Patty
That is why you see all those rocks on the side of the road around here. I could pick up enough to build a house with and a barn and other buildings around here on the side of the road but it is hard work. Gota love those that work in the rock mines around here and make all that money by getting rocks for building with.
My trouble is I love to explore the old logging roads and running the river in my lund. I keep spotting "perfect" rocks I just can't live without. Can't tell you how many times I've wrenched my back or nearly sunk my boat. My pathway to the necessary room consists of gravel from the beach, flat rocks from the logging roads and round rocks from up the river. All hauled little bits here and there. I'da definitely bought 'em all if there'd been a seller.

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well texican, as a farmer of stoney ground, i have to pick it outa the fields!! started building a stone wall around the farm house, looks great !
NICE walk to the "cabin" Gramma!
I LOVE that path.
NICE walk to the "cabin" Gramma!
Yep, that is nice. I'd do something with that little cabin though. Anything like that around this place gets some sort of door and a few chickens as residents.;)
My exBIL is a good stone mason. He lives near the shores of the St. Marys River, the place that connects Lake Superior to Lake Huron.

When he was building his new house, he wanted whole stones for his floor to peak fireplace and split stones on the chimney's outside, with a four foot band of cut stone around the house and garage.

Day after day, he'd slide two canoes into the water, paddle to a shallow spot and he'd gather stones, filling both canoes. Then he'd paddle to shore, load the stones into his trailer, drive home and unload the trailer.At least a third of the stones he brought home didn't "fit" for one of several reasons. Those stones line the flower garden.

This project worked out so well he split a type of sandstone and lined the walls of the basement Recreation Room.

Near thne hose are many rocks, too discolored to use in construction. He laid up those stones on each side of a nearby stream, dry stacked. He also formed a stone stairway.

A "normal" person would have had a few dump truck loads of stone deliverd, but that's the way he does stuff.
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Oh, trust me, I'd much rather be able to load up at the 'source'... but here in E Texas, there aren't too many rock outcrops (read: none) where you can simply pick till your hearts content. Folks will dig into hillsides with front end loaders digging crumbly iron ore (mainly iron rich sand which will turn into dust with a little movement), and ledges of iron ore (hematite) will sometimes pop out.

On my place, I have high ground which breaks suddenly off into the swamps... Right on the edge of that 'break', if you dig, you'll get large roundish boulders of loosely cemented sandstone. I've got those boulders around my current home (and the future one)... But, you can't just pick em... you have to have heavy equipment to obtain em. When I dug my lake, we kept uncovering volkwagon size boulders... I'd push em out with the dozer after the regular operator'd gone home for the day. First time he returned and some boulders were on 'high ground' he asked how they got up there... I smiled and said they were afraid of drowning and had got themselves out. He showed me where to fill up the dozers hydraulics as it had a slow leak... and told me please don't kill myself.
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Around here when the pioneers were building stone houses, they found the stone in the riverbed 5 miles away just naturally split into nice, even, 12" thick chunks when they cut it. So they'd cut facer stones out of the river bed in August when the water was low, pile it on the banks, and take them home on sleds in the winter to put on the house next spring. Pretty well all the stone houses here are like that.

Rented a new farm off Dad's cousin this spring, 5 year lease, rent-free. Couldn't afford to pay rent on it because of the stones... hasn't been worked for 40 years. We had to get an excavator in for two days to pick the biggest ones (off 50 acres). Most of the ones he dug up were 6' in diameter or better, sitting right at the surface. Got at least 30 of them, plus a whole bunch smaller, and left the ones we can get ourselves with the loader.

Right next to this farm is a 70 acre field the local tile operator tiled about 10 years back. Had just bought a new Bron tiling machine, I think there were about 40 in the world at that time. The summer he tiled this farm, his sales rep came out to see what was going on, because he had gone through more points that summer than all of their other clients worldwide... combined. Including three in one week on this farm, which was unheard of. Nothing unusual for him, that's just the joys of working on the south edge of the Canadian Shield. He still buys almost a third of their worldwide sales of new points every year just for his one machine.
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In my area you can find rock outcroppings everywhere. Most of them are sandstone but some are Arkansas hard stone the kind that you can build sharping stones out of. About 30 miles away there are 6 rock dealers that have about just everything. If I were to build something I would not buy from them because of the price. I would go out and collect them from the side of the road.
when I saw this thread I was thinking about picking rocks out of a freshly tilled field. What a miserable job
Around here when the pioneers were building stone houses, they found the stone in the riverbed 5 miles away just naturally split into nice, even, 12" thick chunks when they cut it. So they'd cut facer stones out of the river bed in August when the water was low, pile it on the banks, and take them home on sleds in the winter to put on the house next spring. Pretty well all the stone houses here are like that.

Rented a new farm off Dad's cousin this spring, 5 year lease, rent-free. Couldn't afford to pay rent on it because of the stones... hasn't been worked for 40 years. We had to get an excavator in for two days to pick the biggest ones (off 50 acres). Most of the ones he dug up were 6' in diameter or better, sitting right at the surface. Got at least 30 of them, plus a whole bunch smaller, and left the ones we can get ourselves with the loader.

Right next to this farm is a 70 acre field the local tile operator tiled about 10 years back. Had just bought a new Bron tiling machine, I think there were about 40 in the world at that time. The summer he tiled this farm, his sales rep came out to see what was going on, because he had gone through more points that summer than all of their other clients worldwide... combined. Including three in one week on this farm, which was unheard of. Nothing unusual for him, that's just the joys of working on the south edge of the Canadian Shield. He still buys almost a third of their worldwide sales of new points every year just for his one machine.
WHEW! that stinks
Well, here in North central Mass, I have enough rocks for everyone. All you have to do is come get them. I swear they multiply on thier own.
Every one of the farms around here has a pile of rocks picked from the fields. So rocks are free for the taking just gotta ask but of course you do have to load your own. I do it all the time.
Well, here in North central Mass, I have enough rocks for everyone. All you have to do is come get them. I swear they multiply on thier own.
There you go, rubbing it in... must be nice to be rock poor...:rolleyes:
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