The idea is to drill holes and fill with a chemical to break down the
Would a manual bit brace do the trick, or would you use a
battery-powered hand drill. What size? Length of bit, etc.? Thanks
For the size and depth of hole you need, read the instructions that should
come with your chemical. The manual method would work, but it'd be a workout.
There are drill bits/extensions that'll get you as deep as you need, and I'd
put them on a corded electric drill motor. If no juice is available, I'd go
with the greatest voltage of cordless I could find. Have fun! Tom
Someday, it'll all be over....
Thanks to all for responding.
The bit was $24 at Lowe's. The cheapest drill to handle it was $89.
(They tried to sell me a drill for $199.) Worst of all, the potassium
nitrate instructions said it would take 4-6 MONTHS to soften the wood
for burning. The internet led me to believe it would take 4-6 WEEKS.
Can't rent a grinder because I have no truck to transport it back and
So it's back to the old method I used for the other stumps: An ax and
a lot of sweat. There are only 3 stumps remaining anyway.
Sure woulda been nice to find an easier method. At age 60, swinging
that ax beats the hell out of my hands and wrist joints.
firstname.lastname@example.org (BroJack) wrote in wrote:
Sounds like the KNO3 method is tantamount to turning your tree stump into
a compost pile, except with industrial strength reagents.
For faster results, you could try drilling more smaller diameter holes
instead of just the one. Most people have 3/8" drills, an 8" long bit is
another story. If you're stuck with a short length bit, you could always
drill a pattern and whack the stump a couple of times to increase the
depth and available surface area. Adding water periodically would
probably accelerate the results, along with warmer temperatures and.
All this being theoretical, never had to do it myself.
Got to go, good luck.
On Fri, 04 Jun 2004 17:20:54 -0600, Dave Balderstone
Actually, I had a stump ground out about 6 years ago in Dallas and it cost us
about 45 dollars for someone to come do it.
Need a good, cheap, knowledge expanding present for a friend?
I was watching a program on the building of the Erie Canal a few years back
and one striking accomplishment I noticed was the method used for removing
tree stumps. They had two huge wheels, looked like about 4 horses high from
the drawing, with an axle between the two. The axle was placed over the
tree stump and a chain was fastened around the axle and then around the tree
stump. Chains were then placed around the wheels and then to a team of
horses and the wheels were pulled forward. The leverage was such that the
stump would easily be removed. It was said that this method was quite
effective for its time.
There's another device I've seen for pulling stumps. It's a homemade gadget made
from a metal tire rim and a piece of I-beam and a couple of pieces of chain.
It's basically a big lever to pry the stump out of the ground with the tire rim
acting as the fulcrum.
I've done this and it's a PITA. A good sized ships auger, 3/4" to 1" in
diameter and at least 6 to 8" in length. I used a 1/2" drill. I doubt
that the typical battery powered drill will do the job with less than 4
to 6 recharges.
Even after you drill the holes and place chemicals in the holes you're
looking at several years for the stump to decompose.
A better method is to drill a few holes, load the stump with potassium
or sodium nitrate and fuel oil. Get it burning below ground and it will
self destruct in a few days. Of course this presumes that there is
nothing else combustible nearby.
You'd be surprised. An ordinary 12V Dewalt drill can do in the neighborhood of 40
holes thru full 2" thick lumber with a 7/8" auger before recharging.
I've also used the same drill/bit to drill series of holes in fenceposts.
Also no problem.
The better quality battery units are quite amazing.
Chris Lewis, Una confibula non set est
It's not just anyone who gets a Starship Cruiser class named after them.
Have you actually done the nitrate bit? I've wondered how
well that works. I used to use potassium nitrate for making
I've heard some where that you can load the holes with
powdered milk -- that's supposed to speed up the rot. I've
never tried that.
Pardon me, as I'm not an explosives expert, but don't nitrates and fuel
oil make a pretty potent *bang* when you light it? Or do you need
something like a blasting cap to create a real explosion?
Along the same lines of thought, though, one could use thermite. A five
gallon bucket with a quart or gallon bucket inside it. Load sand around
the quart or gallon bucket inside the bigger bucket -- prevents radial
spread of the extreme heat generated. Thermite (aluminum powder with
iron oxide) in the smaller central bucket. Light it off with a LONG
With explosives, you must reach the speed of detonation to have an
explosion. Explosives are rated in feet per second, that is, a
mathematically arrived at figure where you could lay out ten miles of the
stuff, and time it from one end to the other. Black powder is slower,
hence, you have seen the trail of gunpowder lit by the bank robbers and all
snaking its way along. Something like 500 fps. That is low order. High
order is in the 24,000 fps and up range.
Many high explosives will burn and not explode. C4 plastic explosive was
commonly burned in small food stoves in Viet Nam.
A story is told in "Yankee Autumn in Acadiana", an account of the Civil War
movement of the North fighting the South as it progressed through southern
Louisiana. A particularly loony soldier would commonly use an unexploded
"Parrott" shell as a cook surface by building a fire next to it. These were
16" in diameter. He would turn it flat side up. Other soldiers would stay
away from his camp. He said it would not ignite. He was wrong, and one
night, it did with him cooking dinner. He was never seen again.
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