Hand drilling is a historic method used to drill holes into rock. The purpose of drilling the holes was to fill them with black powder. The driller, referred to as a “cousin jack” wielded a 4 lb. hammer and drove a chisel pointed steel (or drill) into the rock. The miner would strike the chisel with the hammer, and rotate the chisel 90 degrees before striking it again.
Tim Leedy, Nevada Copper’s Environmental Scientist, has a story to tell. It’s about a history of Single Jack Rock Drilling World Champions and this includes the whole Leedy family. It illustrates a close family bond and a strong will to succeed.
The Leedy mining event history starts with Tim’s dad, Skip Leedy. Skip became interested in hand steeling in the early 80’s while he attended the University of Nevada, Reno as an undergraduate (The Mackay Muckers). He competed in competitions all over the west since 1983 (Colorado, Oregon, California, and Nevada). He is a 5-time single jack world champion, a previous coach at the University of Nevada, Reno and a judge/head judge at intercollegiate competitions.
Craig Leedy (Tim’s Uncle) has been competing all over the west since the 1990′s and makes the steel drills with the help from Tim Leedy’s other Uncle Marc Leedy. The drills (L.L.C. Old Time Drilling) are used by a majority of the competitors. Craig was also a coach at the University of Nevada, Reno in various years.
Susan Leedy (Tim’s Mom) met Skip Leedy through the mining team at the University of Nevada, Reno. She competed for about 3 years starting in 1986 and was World Champion in single jack drilling for a year or two as well.
Wes Leedy (Tim’s older Brother) had attended competitions since infancy and participated in many single jack drilling children’s events. He started competing seriously in college and post-college for 3 years, but no longer competes. He placed first at a University of Arizona competition.
Tim Leedy has attended competitions also since infancy and participated in children’s single jack events. His first competition was his senior year in high school. He participated for three years on the collegiate mining team while simultaneously competing in the professional circuit. Tim has competed professionally for 6 years, and continues to compete on a professional level. While in college he traveled to England and Colorado with the mining team.
Side note: All Leedys except Susan Leedy, (mom) have broken bones partaking in this sport. Some more than once.
Current Professional Competitions and Events:
- Nevada: Carson (world championship) – Single Jack
- Nevada: Tonopah – Single jack, double jack, muck, double muck
- Colorado: Creede, Nederland, Idaho Springs, Silverton, Cripple Creek and Victor, Leadville, Ouray – Single jack, double jack, muck, jackleg, spike drive
Please see more on the Single Jack Drilling World Championships – Nevada Day, Carson City 2014 – http://www.nevadaday.com/pages/rock.php