Author Topic: Plug and feathers help please?  (Read 2961 times)

Offline mole02

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Plug and feathers help please?
« on: August 08, 2014, 07:23:02 pm »
Hi all, just wondering if anyone can give some advice please? Need to delicately remove some mudstone roof, appx 2 feet wide and anything from 3-6 inches depth.
Caps will do nothing, Snappers will cause too much damage and bang..forget it.
What size P & F's do cavers generally use and where can they be purchased?
Also what length should drill holes be to take off as much roof as possible and does this depend on feather length?
For 2 feet wide, how many P & F's would you advocate using, 1, 2, 3 etc?
Sorry for so many questions, I know it's about trial & error, but thought I'd ask for a head start.
ps, the length of the roof could run a considerable distance?
Many thanks in advance, Mark

Offline bograt

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Re: Plug and feathers help please?
« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2014, 07:29:39 pm »
My experience of P&F is what size hammer are you using, and what swing is available?
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Offline TheBitterEnd

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Re: Plug and feathers help please?
« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2014, 08:00:04 pm »
I have some of these:
http://www.amazon.com/Wedges-Shims-Pkg-Sets/dp/B00383GNCU/ref=sr_1_1?s=hi&ie=UTF8&qid=1407523672&sr=1-1

The company, Trow and Holden do a range of sizes but the 1/2" work fine for splitting limestone with holes at about 3" centres. Depending on your drill/battery you could probably use something bigger and space them further apart and the feathers may last longer on the bigger sizes.

If you order from them, beware that the Royal Mail will sting you for about £7 on top of the tax, however the strong pound at the moment probably makes the overall price reasonable.
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Offline mole02

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Re: Plug and feathers help please?
« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2014, 08:37:08 pm »
Great stuff, thanks for the help and advice 'TheBitterEnd'
I'll give these a try. I'd have probably just tried a couple of P & F,
so much appreciated!  :thumbsup:
Mark

Offline Les W

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Re: Plug and feathers help please?
« Reply #4 on: August 08, 2014, 08:38:51 pm »
Wasn't somebody on here producing plugs and feathers a while ago?
I'm a very busy person

Offline graham

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Re: Plug and feathers help please?
« Reply #5 on: August 08, 2014, 08:51:14 pm »
Wasn't somebody on here producing plugs and feathers a while ago?

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Offline Simon Wilson

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Re: Plug and feathers help please?
« Reply #6 on: August 09, 2014, 12:24:11 am »
It's very cheap and easy to make your own plugs and feathers. I've use 'proper' plugs and feathers and they are great but the ones I've used need a 1 inch hole. My home made ones are just as good and can use any size hole so you don't need to drill big holes.

What you need is a cold chistel and two steel strips. I happen to have a supply of steel strip from my work. Some is 10mm by 2.5mm and some is 16mm by 2.5mm.

Cut several lengths of 10 x 2.5 about 80mm long. Buy a few 1/2 inch cold chistels. Drill a 12mm hole, put two strips in then pound a chistel in between them with a lump hammer. They are so cheap you can carry half a dozen of them and drill a line of holes. You can break off big lumps or break up big boulders.

The 16mm strip I have works well with a 3/4inch cold chistel. When the steel strips are a bit too mangled you just throw them away and make some more.

Offline mmilner

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Re: Plug and feathers help please?
« Reply #7 on: August 09, 2014, 06:30:57 am »
What you need is a cold chisel and two steel strips. I happen to have a supply of steel strip from my work. Some is 10mm by 2.5mm and some is 16mm by 2.5mm.

Cut several lengths of 10 x 2.5 about 80mm long. Buy a few 1/2 inch cold chisels. Drill a 12mm hole, put two strips in then pound a chisel in between them with a lump hammer. They are so cheap you can carry half a dozen of them and drill a line of holes. You can break off big lumps or break up big boulders.

Forgive my ignorance, but my club just drill holes then drive in a point chisel to split rocks. What difference do the strips (feathers) make exactly? Must be a good reason for using them I guess.


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Offline Simon Wilson

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Re: Plug and feathers help please?
« Reply #8 on: August 09, 2014, 07:12:47 am »
Driving in a chistel works but the strips direct the force more in the plane perpendicular to the taper of the chistel and they also greatly reduce the friction. It's also a good idea to make sure the cistel is narrower than the hole. I've used a half inch chistel in 12mm hole and it works. Strips and a half inch chistel in a 14mm hole is better. I got the hole size wrong; for a half inch chistel and the strips use a 14mm drill.

Offline Simon Wilson

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Re: Plug and feathers help please?
« Reply #9 on: August 09, 2014, 07:50:08 am »
Proper plugs and feathers are best for splitting rock but good ones are hard to come by and made for large drills. My method is cheap and cheerful and better than a chistel on it's own.