Wiggletail

  stoper

Hand rotated cc-11 Ingersoll rand  stopehammer

 Stopers are  rock drills that are design to drill vertical and near vertical holes. The  early  type of these machines are better known as wiggle tails. The drill does not rotate the bit and it has to be rocked back and forth with the handle to create a round hole. While rocking the machine, a stinger (air cylinder) extends from the lower portion of the drill pushing the drill upward creating the hole. During drilling the machine shakes a lot giving it the name wiggle tail. The commonly used wiggletails in Bisbee were the Ingersoll Rand cc-11 and the Waugh. C-11 is available in the dry and wet versions. A wet version is on exhibit  at the Queen Mine Tour and is one of the earliest drills with a water intake for dust control and in removing cuttings from the hole.  The introduction of water greatly increased drill bit life, reducing cost and had great benefits miner’s health, machines like this one quickly replaced the dry drilling machines.  The dry version did not use water, lacking dust control, clouds of dust are generated when drilling. Miners breathing in the dust develop the lung disease silicosis (miner's lung) which can be debilitating or fatal. Dry drill machines were thus given the name widow maker s because of the operator’s short life span.  The miners that developed the disease were referred as having been “dusted” . The Waugh is a dry drilling  machine and felling into disuse by the 1920's.

           Stopers are used mostly for drilling vertical and near vertical holes in raises and stopes, though there setups to drill horizontally with them. All hand rotated stopers are given the name wiggle tail because during drilling the machine shakes a lot. Henry Hernandez  used a wiggle tail in a stope he was mining in the 1960’s, he said the drill steels kept plugging and the pressure to the stingers was hard to control .  Pete Oller remembers the surveyors using them to drill holes in the back for survey spads. He said that they used the wiggle tails because they were  easier to use for accurate placement of the drill hole for the survey  spad.

   Wiggle tail stopers were replaced with auto rotating stopers which are still used in underground mines today.

Waugh  wiggletail stoper

Ingersoll rand catalog circa 1940’s

CC-11 being used in the Junction mine circa 1940's

Parts list for CC-11 Dry version

Parts list for the wet version of a CC-11

References

Henry Hernandez 2010, pers. comm., 5 March

Richard Graeme IV 2010, pers. comm., 8 February

Richard Graeme III  2010, pers. comm., 2 February

Pete Oller 2010, pers. comm., 2 March

Ingersoll-Rand  catalog, March 21,1941, PS-5450.30, Sheet No. 1

Ingersoll-Rand  catalog, Febuary 19,1937, PS-5450.30, Sheet No. 1

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© 2013 by Doug Graeme