[Coral-List] Underwater Drill

Charles Boch boch at lifesci.ucsb.edu
Wed Feb 21 12:49:27 EST 2007

Hi AJ and everyone,

I have used a simple pneumatic drill (about $10) from Harbor Freight 
Tools (www.harborfreight.com) in my field work for coral restoration 
methods.  You have to buy a hose connector but that is cheap as well.  
These drills will last as long as you take them apart (relatively 
simple) and oil them after each use (which you should do with any tools 
like this). My suggestion is to buy two and have one as back up.  
Additional note, as I also recall, the drills go through air like a 
pony bottle so bear it in mind.

Hope this helps,


University of California Santa Barbara

On Feb 20, 2007, at 6:23 PM, Tupper, Mark (WorldFish) wrote:

> Dear A.J. and list,
> I have used a hand-held drill to mount eye bolts into dead coral heads.
> It was a pneumatic drill from NAPA, available from any NAPA auto parts
> store for about $100 (I purchased a higher-end drill hoping it would be
> a bit more rugged than the cheaper models). My drill lasted 2 years
> rather than 2 days. I found that the trick was to NOT soak it in
> freshwater after each use. Instead, soak it in diesel (yes, diesel)
> overnight, then remove the casing and oil all the internal parts. One
> other advantage of a slightly more expensive drill is that it may be
> more powerful and efficient. I was drilling 1/2 inch holes 6-8 inches
> deep, just as Kristen reports, but I could get about 7 or 8 holes
> drilled with one 80 cubic foot tank. I think that once dead coral heads
> have been worked over by various boring organisms, they might be easier
> to drill than solid concrete. Just make sure you use a good masonry bit
> - standard drill bits are meant for wood and won't get the job done.
> Cheers,
> Mark Tupper
> The WorldFish Center
> Penang, Malaysia
> -----Original Message-----
> From: coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
> [mailto:coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov] On Behalf Of Kristen
> Hoss
> Sent: Tuesday, February 20, 2007 7:36 AM
> To: Hajime Kayanne; aj.martignette at comcast.net;
> coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
> Subject: Re: [Coral-List] Underwater Drill
> A.J.
>   Vone Research has used inexpensive (about $30.00) pneumatic drills
> from Home Depot attached to the low pressure side of the regulator 
> which
> was then attached to SCUBA tanks to drill holes in cement underwater.
> The tank does not last long; however, we were drilling 1/2 inch holes 6
> to 8 inches deep. It took a tank that held 80 cubic feet of air to 
> drill
> 3 holes of that diameter.  We cut an inflator hose and clamped a quick
> release valve onto it with a hose clamp and attached that to the drill.
>   The drill will only work 1 to 2 days, and should be soaked in fresh
> water after use in salt water.
>   If you would like further assistance, please feel free to contact us-
>   Kristen Hoss
>   Vone Research
>   Pompano Beach, FL
> Hajime Kayanne <kayanne at eps.s.u-tokyo.ac.jp> wrote:
>   Dear A.J.
> If you still want to drill underwater by using a hand-pneumatic drill,
> You may refer to:
> Adachi and Abe (2003) "Air drill" for submerged massive coral
> drilling. Mar. Tech. Soc. J., 37(2) 31-36.
> Best wishes,
> Hajime
> At 1:25 PM +0000 07.2.14, aj.martignette at comcast.net wrote:
>> I have to drill some holes in pilings for large bolts that will be
>> used to mount water quality sensors. I would like to avoid having to
>> drill them with a hand drill. I know that you can use a pneumatic
>> drill hooked up to a scuba tank. I was wondering if anyone had
>> details on a setup they use and any modifications that are needed to
>> the drill.
>> Thanks
>> A.J. Martignette
>> Research Assistant
>> Marine Laboratory
>> Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation
>> 900A Tarpon Bay Rd.
>> Sanibel, Fl 33957
>> _______________________________________________
>> Coral-List mailing list
>> Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
>> http://coral.aoml.noaa.gov/mailman/listinfo/coral-list
> -- 
> Hajime Kayanne
> Dept Earth & Planetary Science, Univ Tokyo
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