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Thread: Pneumatic Post Hole Driver

  1. #1

    Default Pneumatic Post Hole Driver

    Hello Cabin Owners,

    I am interested in buying some land in the near future and building my own cabin. I am curious what methods some of you have used to dig your holes for you sono tubes. Considering the fact that you can't bring in heavy equipment, is there any alternatives to using an old fashioned post hole digger? Are there any types of pneumatic post hole drivers or anything thing else of that nature that could work off a generator? Thanks for any advice.

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    Member Music Man's Avatar
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    Motorized Ice Auger if there are no rocks.
    When seconds count, the cops are just minutes away.
    '08 24' HCM Granite HD "River Dog"

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    I've always used post hole diggers, but I found the thing that really helps is to have a 6 foot metal bar with a wedge on the end.....not real sure where we got it and i've never seen one since but when you get into rocks there is nothing like it to break them up....it weights somewhere in the neighborhood of 25 lbs or so. I used a old hand auger once in our field and it worked good till I started hitting rocks. either use old blads or take them off.
    Eccleasties 8:11 Because the sentence against an evil deed is not executed quickly, There for the hearts of the sons of men among them are given fully to do evil.

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    Except for the beach, I've never dug a hole anywhere that didn't have rocks. I've rented a buch of different power augers and have decided that digging by hand is easier and faster. The 6' digging bar is a must have along with a good post hole digger.

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    I got to do it.... How does one Drive a Post hole ?

    I would dig by hand as said above^^^^^.

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    ya get the old post hole diggers that are just wood handles not the new ones with all the joints and crap.
    Eccleasties 8:11 Because the sentence against an evil deed is not executed quickly, There for the hearts of the sons of men among them are given fully to do evil.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pacific23 View Post
    I got to do it.... How does one Drive a Post hole ?

    I would dig by hand as said above^^^^^.
    Ha, ha, Real funny. I have actually seen them on the web, so I know they make them. I just never used one. I dug plenty holes by hand with a post hole digger. I was just curious if any helpful people out there knew if they worked. I'm not sure how many remote cabins in Texas you've built, but in AK things are a little bit different. If I gotta get flown out to a remote building site to build my cabin, I don't want to spend weeks on end digging holes when I could be actually building my cabin. Just curious if anybody who has actually built a cabin on remote property had success with something a little bit quicker. Everything remote costs more money, including your time.

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    you got mail.

    post drivers work pretty well even in very rocky ground.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bushwhack Jack View Post
    Ha, ha, Real funny. I have actually seen them on the web, so I know they make them. I just never used one. I dug plenty holes by hand with a post hole digger. I was just curious if any helpful people out there knew if they worked. I'm not sure how many remote cabins in Texas you've built, but in AK things are a little bit different. If I gotta get flown out to a remote building site to build my cabin, I don't want to spend weeks on end digging holes when I could be actually building my cabin. Just curious if anybody who has actually built a cabin on remote property had success with something a little bit quicker. Everything remote costs more money, including your time.
    Jack, just because I live in Texas now , that doesn't mean I have always lived in this state.
    The title of your post is WRONG buddy "Pneumatic Post Hole Driver" you don't DRIVE POST HOLES, you DRIVE THE POST. If you know anybody in the chain link fence business they can tell you all about the PNEUMATIC POST DRIVERS.
    FYI, I am a early retired IRONWORKER Local 433 and am now the Lineman super for the city I live by [ Yes carer change] and son , I have driven,dug and augured more holes than you can shake a stick at so you might want to loose the " I live in Alaska attitude" and lighten up.
    Now if you have more money than Carters got Liver pills then by God ....Load that HEAVY post driver up on a bush plane [ if it will carry it ] and hammer down . The 20 or so holes you would have to dig by hand should only take a day using hand diggers, maybe a day and a half .
    You could get one of the little POST HOLE DIGGERS like one used to drill ice but they don't do well in rocks and so far everywhere I have been in ALASKA, I have seen or walked on rocks.
    This is very close to one of the trucks I now run http://www.altec.com/products/DIGGER...%20Derrick.htm and if I can't get to it with the truck then it's hand dig and my post hole diggers are 9' long as our holes have to be 18" X 6' minimum and we have mostly Clay in town, Oh what FUN.

    Here are some links for ya....
    www.airpostdrivers.com
    www.worksaver.com/product/hpd.html
    www.kencove.com/fence/Post+Drivers_products.php
    www.strikerpostdriver.com
    constructioncomplete.com/Catalog/Augers-Earth-Drills
    http://www.earthaugersdirect.com/ear...er-drills.html
    www.stihlusa.com/augersdrills/BT121.html
    www.youtube.com/watch?v=CXRRVFDDv1E

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    Quote Originally Posted by pacific23 View Post
    ....we have mostly Clay in town, Oh what FUN......
    You lucky dog! I love digging holes in clay and sand and such things, pretty sweet! we were digging holes for a since around our field and we hit a 100 foot long section that was all clay that made me wanna dig all day! then we went back the the 4 inches of clay and 2 feet of rock.....
    Eccleasties 8:11 Because the sentence against an evil deed is not executed quickly, There for the hearts of the sons of men among them are given fully to do evil.

  11. #11

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    [QUOTE]The 20 or so holes you would have to dig by hand should only take a day using hand diggers, maybe a day and a half ./QUOTE]

    I doubt it. At least not through 48" of permafrost. But thanks for the info in your last post. It was much more helpful than your first. And no, I don't have a lot of money at all actually. That's the whole point. Trying to find the most cost efficient and quickest way to get the job done. The only trade I really know is construction. I've built log cabins and stick frames. But I haven't done much landscaping and excavating. That's why I was asking for help. I wasn't asking for a grammar lesson.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by pacific23 View Post
    Jack, just because I live in Texas now , that doesn't mean I have always lived in this state.
    The title of your post is WRONG buddy "Pneumatic Post Hole Driver" you don't DRIVE POST HOLES, you DRIVE THE POST. If you know anybody in the chain link fence business they can tell you all about the PNEUMATIC POST DRIVERS.
    FYI, I am a early retired IRONWORKER Local 433 and am now the Lineman super for the city I live by [ Yes carer change] and son , I have driven,dug and augured more holes than you can shake a stick at so you might want to loose the " I live in Alaska attitude" and lighten up.
    Now if you have more money than Carters got Liver pills then by God ....Load that HEAVY post driver up on a bush plane [ if it will carry it ] and hammer down . The 20 or so holes you would have to dig by hand should only take a day using hand diggers, maybe a day and a half .
    You could get one of the little POST HOLE DIGGERS like one used to drill ice but they don't do well in rocks and so far everywhere I have been in ALASKA, I have seen or walked on rocks.
    This is very close to one of the trucks I now run http://www.altec.com/products/DIGGER...;20Derrick.htm and if I can't get to it with the truck then it's hand dig and my post hole diggers are 9' long as our holes have to be 18" X 6' minimum and we have mostly Clay in town, Oh what FUN.

    Here are some links for ya....
    www.airpostdrivers.com
    www.worksaver.com/product/hpd.html
    www.kencove.com/fence/Post+Drivers_products.php
    www.strikerpostdriver.com
    constructioncomplete.com/Catalog/Augers-Earth-Drills
    www.earthaugersdirect.com/earth-auger-drills.html
    www.stihlusa.com/augersdrills/BT121.html
    www.youtube.com/watch?v=CXRRVFDDv1E
    Great links. I especially like the earth augers. Those look pretty slick. And they don't look to heavy or horribly expensive either. I might be able to even pick up a used one that's not too expensive. I wonder if they will go through the tundra and the permafrost. "More money than Carters got liver pills". You're kind of ornery, but I gotta admit that's funny.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FurFishGame View Post
    You lucky dog! I love digging holes in clay and sand and such things, pretty sweet! we were digging holes for a since around our field and we hit a 100 foot long section that was all clay that made me wanna dig all day! then we went back the the 4 inches of clay and 2 feet of rock.....
    Having lived in TX briefly I will say that their clay is different than what we have. Theirs is the sort that gets baked by 100+ degree sun into something closer to ceramic. I dug a few horseshoe and fire pits down there and it was definitely something you best get done early in the year after some rains.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bushwhack Jack View Post
    Great links. I especially like the earth augers. Those look pretty slick. And they don't look to heavy or horribly expensive either. I might be able to even pick up a used one that's not too expensive. I wonder if they will go through the tundra and the permafrost. "More money than Carters got liver pills". You're kind of ornery, but I gotta admit that's funny.
    I aint ORNERY , just a touch of drain bamage, just trying to help in my weird way. Now, if you tell me your buying a HOT WATER HEATER I will laugh some more .
    The water is already HOT , why would you heat it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FurFishGame View Post
    You lucky dog! I love digging holes in clay and sand and such things, pretty sweet! we were digging holes for a since around our field and we hit a 100 foot long section that was all clay that made me wanna dig all day! then we went back the the 4 inches of clay and 2 feet of rock.....
    The clay that we have here is like concrete when dry and it's worse than bubble gum when it's wet . trying to get it out of your clam shell takes more work than digging it. I keep rock teeth on my digger year round.

    Jack, if you check into the Augers make sure to let them know you will be digging in ICE. When you dig ice it will come up in chips, then you just pack the chips back in around your post.

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    Bushwhack,
    After reading and thinking about this I offer a question and that is why would you want to break the surface down to the permafrost? Once you do this heaving and changing the permafrost will occur. Why can't you build your foundation on top? Sounds like you wish to elevate the cabin, is this correct? Having grown up in the bush and had 12 years of working for a telecom crawling under and around many buildings and I own a lodge with cabins on elevated posts that shift and move I am reworking the foundation to on top of the ground. For my situation I am going with treated wood 2x10 3'x3' square pads with house jacks cross tied with cable for stability. My main lodge is approx 4' off the ground. The main consideration is transport to the site and this will be manageable by one person (me) and few power tools.

    I have seen many foundations that have pierce the permafrost. Unless they go way deep and wrap the post with something that will allow the ground to move without taking the post with it. The thought now is not to disturb the frost if you have good sand/gravel just below the surface I think you will have a less maintenance heavy foundation. Also take a look at Elephant foot tubes if you are really wanting concrete for you sauna tubes.. Hope this helps.

    George

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    Quote Originally Posted by George Riddle View Post
    Bushwhack,
    After reading and thinking about this I offer a question and that is why would you want to break the surface down to the permafrost? Once you do this heaving and changing the permafrost will occur. Why can't you build your foundation on top? Sounds like you wish to elevate the cabin, is this correct? Having grown up in the bush and had 12 years of working for a telecom crawling under and around many buildings and I own a lodge with cabins on elevated posts that shift and move I am reworking the foundation to on top of the ground. For my situation I am going with treated wood 2x10 3'x3' square pads with house jacks cross tied with cable for stability. My main lodge is approx 4' off the ground. The main consideration is transport to the site and this will be manageable by one person (me) and few power tools.

    I have seen many foundations that have pierce the permafrost. Unless they go way deep and wrap the post with something that will allow the ground to move without taking the post with it. The thought now is not to disturb the frost if you have good sand/gravel just below the surface I think you will have a less maintenance heavy foundation. Also take a look at Elephant foot tubes if you are really wanting concrete for you sauna tubes.. Hope this helps.

    George
    Wow. George. Don't know why it has taken me a year to read this. Sorry. By any chance do you have any pictures of the way you do your foundations above ground. Sounds like you've got it down to a science. I would love to see some pics of your cabins and cabin foundations.

    Thanks,
    Bushwhack

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    Quote Originally Posted by George Riddle View Post
    Bushwhack,
    After reading and thinking about this I offer a question and that is why would you want to break the surface down to the permafrost? Once you do this heaving and changing the permafrost will occur. Why can't you build your foundation on top? Sounds like you wish to elevate the cabin, is this correct? Having grown up in the bush and had 12 years of working for a telecom crawling under and around many buildings and I own a lodge with cabins on elevated posts that shift and move I am reworking the foundation to on top of the ground. For my situation I am going with treated wood 2x10 3'x3' square pads with house jacks cross tied with cable for stability. My main lodge is approx 4' off the ground. The main consideration is transport to the site and this will be manageable by one person (me) and few power tools.

    I have seen many foundations that have pierce the permafrost. Unless they go way deep and wrap the post with something that will allow the ground to move without taking the post with it. The thought now is not to disturb the frost if you have good sand/gravel just below the surface I think you will have a less maintenance heavy foundation. Also take a look at Elephant foot tubes if you are really wanting concrete for you sauna tubes.. Hope this helps.

    George
    I agree with this completely. At my cabin, it is not the tundra, as our frost line is only 4', but I've had great luck staying above it.

    I used some 24"x24" paver blocks, with the 12x12 trapezoidal pier blocks on top. The only digging was to get the pavers all level, perhaps 6" into the ground at the deepest. I have the pier blocks with the adjustable all-thread brackets, but in 7 years, no adjustment has been necessary.

    My soil is very high in clay (water) content, and the whole thing rises and falls 12" throughout the year.

    The reason I know this, is that 3 years ago, I decided to add on a mud room. My brother encouraged me to bury 4" drill stem as the outer foundation for the mud room. He has a 2 stroke jumping jack compactor which buried one stick at 6', and the other at 8'. I did all this in the summer. I did not have the hardware handy to bolt the mud room beams to the drill stem pilings, they just rested on them for the time being.

    When I got back in the winter, the mud room was elevated 12" above the pilings. It's a good thing I didn't bolt them up, since it would have ripped the addition off the cabin. I later added pier blocks to the mud room foundation, leaving the pilings in the ground. As the years go by, the pilings have settled inconsistently, while the cabin built on the surface has risen and fallen evenly, with no issues.

    My only issue, is that last winter, we had quite the wind storm (95 mph plus), and the cabin rocked a little more that my comfort level. This summer, as funds allow, I will build a deck with a beam wider than the cabin is tall to make it more stable.
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    here's some old pics I dug up

    Attachment 69294
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    Attachment 69298

    I had several more pics lined up, but my internet connection is so slow that I can only get one picture at a time up, and these have taken 45 minutes, so hopefully these are enough
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