Sometimes in the world of diamond drilling, it can help to have a few rules regarding what you should always do and what you should never do during drilling operations. We have touched upon a lot of advice in previous blogs, but we thought a short and sweet list would be a great tool, especially for helpers and other people new to the industry. Always do the following
Below is a list of things you should always do on a drill site, either before or during operations. It is by no means exhaustive, but simply a good start on what you should keep top of mind.
Treat diamond bits with care and store them properly
Diamond bits are finely tooled, precision equipment that are expensive and can be damaged easily. Getting the longest life for your diamond tools should always be a priority.
Start a new bit several centimeters above the bottom and spin into the formation.
This way you will have rotational movement before you come into contact with the bottom of the hole. Remember that if you are replacing a worn-out bit, you could be entering a smaller diameter hole with your new core bit. It is important to drill your way in.
Do not go to full ROP until you have drilled 10-20 centimeters (4-8 inches).
Always start gently and ensure there is some core in the bit before applying the full bit weight and maximum rotation speed.
Check all rod joints for leaks.
Leaking rod joints can reduce the flow of water to the bit. They are also an indication of a bigger problem, meaning that the mechanical strength of the threaded joint has been substantially reduced. Using leaking rods will lead to more severe down-hole problems, such as broken rods and lost tooling.
Keep the inside of rod and core barrel free from obstruction
Visually inspect your equipment to make sure it is free of unexpected obstructions like rocks, pieces of wood, etc. Always take a moment to physically look into the length of the rod before using it. To avoid injury, never look up into an empty rod or tube.
Make sure the reaming shell is within gauge
You never want to use an undersized reaming shell because it will not maintain the hole diameter. It provides vital space for return flow of the drilling fluids. You can use a go/no-go gauge to help you know when a reaming shell should be retired.
Lubricate all your drilling equipment
Lubricate properly and regularly using the appropriate lubricants. This is a quick and easy way to protect equipment from rust and premature wear and tear. Lubrication will help get you longer life for your drill rods, lower operational costs and better core recovery.
Even the best drillers can be guilty of either forgetting or making the time to do things on the list above. Sometimes the rush to get more core in the box can cloud judgement. You can also check out our earlier blog where we looked at things you should never do while drilling. If you have questions about any of the above, don’t hesitate to contact our technical support team. We’re here to make drillers’ lives easier.