The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #9559   Message #950668
Posted By: Rapparee
11-May-03 - 06:13 PM
Thread Name: What did John Henry mean?
Subject: RE: What did John Henry mean?
'Way, 'way back when, when I was making tombstones, we would sometimes have to put holes in granite or marble the old-fashioned way -- by hand. Granted, we used hand-held hammers, but the principles would seem to be the same.

The drill was turned for several reasons, one of which was to even the wear on the drill points and thereby make it last longer between sharpenings. You held the drill, hit it, turned it about 1/4 turn, hit it again, and so on. Marble would cut like butter -- it's considered a "soft" rock -- but putting a hole in an eight-inch thick piece of granite could use up four or five drills (granite varies in hardness).    I never saw a hole drilled by hand in a small, closely grained granite like Swedish Black, but I suspect that it would be a chore for the best of 'em.

Nope, Lep, I learned. I stayed in school as long as I could. Hard work makes me break out in hives and a cold sweat.