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Home-Built "Well-Drilling" Machine
When Les Kendall, Cass City, Michigan, decided to put in a new well about three years ago, he did it himself with a machine he built from spare parts.
"I've done things like this all my life," says Kendall. "If I need something, I just make it."
Kendall's well rig can drive a sand point as deep as 40 ft. if soil conditions are right. In most of Michigan, that's plenty deep if a sand point well is going to work at all.
To make the rig, Kendall mounted a 15-ft. tall derrick on an axle, along with an old 14 hp. single cylinder Wisconsin gasoline engine. The derrick is made in two pieces and hinges at the base so it lays down for transport. When the derrick is laid down, the top half can be taken off and laid beside the bottom half for transport.
At the top of the derrick, an old windmill pump jack, powered by the Wisconsin engine, raises and then drops a hammer - made from a 75-lb. weight - onto a pipe which pushes the well point into the soil. The weight hangs from a cable which is let out as the pipe is driven into the ground or shortened as additional lengths of pipe are added.
A second 75-lb. weight can be added above the first for driving wells in tougher soils.
After making the machine, Kendall drove several wells for himself and friends. Then he sold it to Robert Becker, a friend and neighbor, who told FARM SHOW about it.
"I'd never seen anything like it and thought it was worth preserving," Becker says. While he's used it for only one or two wells, Becker has also taken it to old engine shows where it draws a lot of attention.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Robert Becker, H125 West St., Cass City, Mich. 48726 (ph 989 872-5363.)

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2002 - Volume #26, Issue #3