Guesstimate the weight of this rock

I have two rocks in my yard that I would like to get rid of. The largest one is roughly 1’x2’x3’ and appears to be sandstone (obviously it is not a rectangle, those measurements are of the widest points, the rock is roughly shaped like a flattened egg.) Can anyone give me an educated guess on how much this thing weighs?

Also, anybody have any experience moving these? Is it possible to get them into the bed of a pickup? If I can’t get rid of it entirely I wouldn’t mind moving in into my landscaping; at least that would get it off of my lawn so I didn’t have to mow around it. Is breaking it into small pieces a feasible option?

It looks almost exactly like this, BTW.

Density of sandstone is about 2.3 g/cc.
You have 6 cubic feet. That’s about 170 liters.
2.3 X 170 = 391 kg.
That’s 862 pounds.

If we approximate the rock as a stretched sphere, then its volume is 4/3 pi*r[sub]1[/sub]*r[sub]2[/sub]*r[sub]3[/sub]. Converting to centimeters and calculating, that gives us about 89000 cubic centimeters. I don’t know the value for sandstone off the top of my head, but most rocks will have densities in the neighborhood of five times that of water, so that would be 440000 grams, or 440 kg. If you insist on that in pounds, it’ll be close to 1000 lbs.

As for breaking it up, if it’s sandstone, that shouldn’t be too difficult. I’ve seen deep grooves worn into sandstone boulders just by people rubbing their feet in it when they walk across it (though admittedly that took many years). With actual tools, it’d be a cinch.

What tools? Pickax? Hammer and chisel?

Rent one of these: Electric Jackhammer - Bosch | EnviSupply

A real man would head butt it into little pieces.

A house next to mine was torn down, and I thought I’d snagging a couple of landscaping stones from there. Figured it was only 30 feet or so, and I could roll them or use a wheelbarrow.

They had a couple of big ones - at least 3’x3’ - I barely got one to budge with a 6’ pry bar. No chance of moving those without some heavy equipment. So I moved to a couple in the back. Roundish, probably around 1.5’-2’ in diameter.

Long story short - rocks are friggin HEAVY! I got one in my wheelbarrow, and it flattened out the wheel. I eventually rolled them to my yard. It had rained, and they picked up mud like a snowball - increasing the fun. When I finally got them inside my gate I figured they looked just fine right there. (Note, I think these were granite, which should be considerably denser/heavier than your sandstone.)

I definitely recommend trying to bust yours up before moving it. Several good whacks with a sledge will likely split it. Wear safety glasses!

Chuck Norris would simply have to be in it’s vicinity.

Dynamite is a popular choice for do-it-yourselfers. You have to ask for it at the service desk at Home Depot. It can be found in Sporting Goods at Wal-Mart.

Breking it might be an option try hitting it a few times real good with a 13 pound sledge hammer.

Moving it without powered equipment sounds like a bad idea for your back. rocks are freakin heavy. You could call a landscaping company with a backhoe and get an estimate to take them away. It ill probably be outside the weight limits of your average F-150.

I concur with the 800-1000 pound estimates. The back yard of my childhood home was littered with boulders this size and larger.

Is this for locking-it-up convinience or does dynamite have an actual “sporting goods” purpose?


Really damn heavy. We’ve moved sandstone rocks that were similar in two dimensions (e.g., 2x3) but only about half as thick. We had several people and have broken and/or damaged various items including but not limited to a dolly and a pickup tailgate.

If you lived near me, I’d come get it. We do lots of landscaping with sandstone.

A sledge should break it up fairly easily - sandstone isn’t really very strong.

Agreed - strength varies a lot, but even the hardest is rather soft by the standards of other stone. Give it a few whacks with a sledge and you’ll soon know if this is a viable scheme.

You damn sure can. Growing up in Louisiana where threatening the “Sportmans Paradise” in that poaching kind of way can get you into more trouble than killing an ordinary person, using explosives on fish can get you in a world of hurt. That didn’t stop people from trying although it is a quick road to prison if you get charged the right way. Calling fish up on a very old crank style phone will cause some legal problems too

BTW, Squink and I aren’t really agreeing on our estimates. My value for density is about twice his, but due to different assumptions about shape, he’s using a volume about twice what I’m using. I’d be inclined to trust his density figure (since he apparently looked it up, but I didn’t), but my volume figure (since the OP specifically said it was more egg-shaped than rectangular), so combining our results, it’d actually only be more like 400 or 500 pounds. Assuming, of course, that the OP’s figures of 1’x2’x3’ are accurate, which, without measuring, they may or may not be.

I concur here. Chronos volume estimate is best, given the info given. OTOH good luck finding common rocks at Earth’s surface with 5X the density of water. Most solid silicates (say, granite) have SG’s of 2.6 to 2.8. Basalt trends higher, but often is vesicular.

Most sedimentary rocks are silicates but with porosities of 10-20% (open space that can hold significant amounts of water or petroleum). So for a quartz sandstone 2.2-2.4 is a pretty good guess. That puts this rock right at 200 kg.

When working in the field without immediate access to a calculator I use 8/3 for the density of solid rocks (I find it easier to multiply or divide by whole numbers in my head), 9/4 for sedimentary rocks and 2 for unconsolidated sediment.

400-500 lb. sound about right. Using your volume and the weight of sandstone as 145 lb/ft[sup]3[/sup] I get 455 lb.

There’s always hematite (d =4.9 to 5.3), but you’d have to be someplace like the iron ranges of Minnesota for it to be common.

I’ll second everyone who suggested breaking the rock up with a sledge, or using a jackhammer if that doesn’t work. The Bosch electric jackhammer that A.R. Cane linked to rented for about $50 per day when I was sinking fence posts a few years ago, and most yards will allow a partial day’s rental.