Monday, April 24, 2017

Well, Yesterday Was Fun


After I woke up, I grabbed some coffee and went out back to have a smoke to have a minute to clear the cobwebs.

As I'm standing there in the drizzle vacantly staring around I looked over and see there is a section of fence down.

Regular readers will be able to fill in the blanks of what came out of my mouth at that point.

So I wander over and take a look and sure as shit, one of the fence posts has sheared off underneath ground level and the wind had pulled that section out of the little sheet metal clips they use these days to hold all that shit together.

I went back in the house to inform the Wifely Unit and got a bunch of reasons why it wasn't our problem because we rent the place.

Yeah, right, whatever, the fence needs to be fixed dear.

As I was about to walk next door to introduce myself to the neighbors and discuss what the plan of attack was going to be, I heard some banging coming from the back yard.
The neighbor was already out there and was trying to put up some kind of tore up, funky plastic mesh to deter his dog from escaping.

I introduced myself and we started discussing what needed to be done.
He is a very nice guy, about my age and size large.

Probably six foot five and two thirty.
He also works twelve hours shifts, three on, four off, four on, three off.

So I tell him that I will go get some lumber and he says he will start digging out the old fence post.
I went ahead and bought the concrete and clips along with the lumber. I'm thinking he wants to replace a bunch of the Cedar fence boards, that will be on him.


He tells me he knows there is concrete around the bottom.

Come to find out, that was an understatement.

An hour later, after digging, prying and digging some more, it was still in the ground and not budging.

Fuck you I says to myself, you are coming out of the ground.

I will win.

I went in the garage and got that little folding engine hoist I bought last Summer from Harbor Freight and drug it out there.
We set it up so that it straddled the hole and wrapped a nylon strap around the sonofabitch in a choker.

I maxed the poor little thing out pulling on it and the post STILL wouldn't budge!
More digging, more prying and more pulling.
It took almost another hour before we got that fucker out of the ground. Then I saw why.



When they were building the fence, they brought in a Bobcat skid steer with an auger attachment on it.
The post hole was four fucking feet deep.

After we wrestled the damn thing into the wheel barrow, we agreed to come back this weekend to finish it up because we both had to work later.

Then I went in the house for a couple of hours before going to work, for another twelve hour shift.........

I am going in a bit later for another twelve hours and tomorrow too.
Until we get this big project done.
I'm hoping Wednesday will do it, if not maybe Thursday.
Then I get a short turnaround.
Get home at six thirty, seven in the morning and then have to turn around and be back at two thirty in the afternoon.

My back is killing me already from yesterday, I can't wait for the rest of the week to be over so I can go fence building on Saturday.



3 comments:

  1. Next time, place a piece of 1/2 or even 1/4 inch pipe on the end of a water hose.

    Push next to the concrete.

    Pull.

    It'll come out a LOT easier.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Actually, leave the concrete in the ground and buy one of those U-shaped post brackets that are meant to be set in concrete. Use a big drill with a one inch auger bit, a small pry bar and a shop vac to clean the rotten wood out of the concrete. It sounds tough but it's much easier than digging out the concrete slug and mixing new concrete and you only need to go down about eight inches. You'll have to use a vice or big hammer to slightly resize the U-shaped portion of the post bracket to get it to slide down into the 4x4 hole in your concrete slug but it's pretty easy. Now you put the bracket in the hole holding it up an inch or two and use a garden trowel to feed wet (or dry) concrete into the hole under the flat post base. Tap things with a hammer to settle the concrete then pound the bracket the last inch or two into the hole and wait for the concrete to set up. If you use dry concrete set a hose spraying a fine mist over the area to wet the concrete and a day or two later it will be set up as if you had mixed it wet. More often than not you can reuse the exact same post that rotted off by trimming the bottom to match the height of the other posts. Next you put the post on the bae and secure with two drywal screws then just drill through the bolt holes, install two carriage bolts, nuts, washers and tighten 'em up. You may need to tighten them up once or twice more over the following months as the wood shrinks but after that they stay tight. You'll never have to worry about rotten posts again either.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is the post bracket I'm talking about:
      https://www.lowes.com/pd/USP-Steel-G90-Post-Base-Common-4-in-Actual-3-5-in/3368246

      Delete

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