We’ve got some great clients in Durango that are faithfully working in Bali with several children’s homes. They’ve moved these homes out into the country and need their own wells. We worked with them on exactly what kind of drill rig they would need and found that a small cable tool rig would be perfect . . . eventually. The story of how this rig was found, how many people have joined with us in helping us rebuild this machine from the frame up is something you may want to ask us about. The story of the six months it took to get it shipped to the island reads like a James Bond novel, sans the pretty girl.
Our Pro’s were willing to donate their time to work on this. But since we’re all working people with families, we paid our people to work on it. The 5′ diameter ‘bull wheel’ was re-fabricated with laminated special plywood that won’t rod or warp for its’ future high humidity climate.
Yep, I drove all the way to Flagstaff Arizona for this rusting, twisted hunk of junk drill rig. It started out it’s life in 1927 as one of the first cable tool rigs that were all metal . . . mostly. You ol’ timers might recognize the motor as a Model A Ford motor. When I arrived to pick this up, I took a picture of it and e-mailed to my son in California. He called me back immediately and said, “Dad, PLEASE don’t tell me you are going to want to rebuild this!”
After looking at the twisted metal of the old rig for a couple of weeks and then praying about what on earth to do, we went ahead and started over with a new frame. Oh my!
This ended up being a two year project, off and on. The existing wood wheel presented a real challenge since we are not “wood” people. We got a friend of ours who is a cabinet maker to build a new wheel out of marine plywood since Bali is a humid environment. Hat’s off to Bill Ellis who did a magnificent job!
January 2015: My Buddy ‘Tasmanian’ John went to teach our missionary friends how to drill with this machine in Bali.
The story of getting the rig to Bali reads like a James Bond novel less the pretty girl. When the rig got to the customs warehouse, it got stuck there while the missionaries got shook down for money – repeatedly. Finally the missionaries heard that the government was going to seize the machine. The missionaries had a friend who had come to the Lord years before, and in his ‘before’ life he had been a part of the Bali maffia. He gave our friends the ‘head’s up’ that the machine was going to get seized. Then, he and a group of previous mafia friends broke into the warehouse and somehow pulled the rig out of the container and put it in another container that was headed to Singapore, and resealed the two containers. The next morning the government people looked in the container to seize the rig and it WAS GONE. The shipping in and around Singapore and then across the islands was also complete with an arraignment of the military seizing the rig at gunpoint with their own crane so that one of local magistrates would not seize it. Only by the grace of God and three hefty bags of local cash did the rig show up two months later on the correct island.Next Page: Who Are We?