This project involves the conversion of a 4 hp gasoline-powered post hole digger to a rotary drilling rig for geological survey and water well drilling purposes.

Please note that I DO NOT HAVE PLANS for this drilling rig.

Complete plans for a similar rig are available at

The Team Prepares To Drill....

This is the powerhead, the "heart" of the machine.

The rig breaks down into easy-to-transport items.
Standard 1" plumbing pipe (not pictured) is used as drill stem.


On one occasion, our crew drilled down 30 feet and pulled up a core sample of clay. The second time,
(shown here) we drilled down 12 feet through a difficult broken formation and pulled up a cored rock sample.

Water is injected down the drill pipe with a
2 horsepower gasoline-powered pump.

Two different drill bits were used, a tungsten
carbide soil bit, shown here (for softer
formations such as soil, shale, or clay),
and a diamond tipped coring bit (for harder
formations such as sandstone or limestone)

Sources For Some Parts

Water Swivel, medium formation bit, clay bit:
Post Hole Digger, winch: Home Depot
Pump: Grainger
Clear Suction Hose: Kansas City Rubber & Belting (816) 483 8580
Coring Bit (for drilling holes in concrete floors) Kel-Welco (913) 831-2300

Read about the first well drilled in the United States - The Ruffner Brothers Well

Return To Main