Have you ever dug post holes by hand? In our last Fence Rebuild video I dug all of the post holes by hand, and I can’t say that I recommend it. If only there was a machine that a single person could use to help make that process easier. Hello everyone and welcome to The Hippie Geeks! If you enjoy this video be sure to subscribe and hit the bell notification icon!
In our last Fence Rebuild video, I installed thirty-five feet of fencing and dug all the holes by hand. I didn’t have a lot of extra money after buying the materials, and had no access to a powered auger. I have since discovered that one of the Home Depot stores in town has a tool rental department! I headed over there and talked to the very helpful staff, and discovered that I could rent a one man post hole digger with an 8 inch auger bit. If I wanted it for four hours it would cost $40, and a full twenty four hour day was $72. I knew that four hours wouldn’t be enough, so I put down the required $100 deposit, and headed home.
I am not going to go thru the process of building the fence in this video, as it is the exact same process as in the last Fence Rebuild video. However, I do want to show everyone how easy it is to use one of the post hole diggers. They do come in various sizes, but these posts need to go between our cannabis plants and the neighbors chain link fence. I only have about two and a half feet of space, and while that is a very tight space to work with, it is doable.
If you have ever started a small four stroke motor like a lawn mower, this will be very familiar to you. If not, the process is very simple. When the motor is cold, make sure to give the primer a couple of squeezes. Just push it in two or three times before you try starting it to get the carburetor primed. After that make sure that the kill switch is set to on, and then give the pullcord a couple of yanks until the engine starts. Do not rev it up right away, let the motor run for a minute to warm up.
Once it is running, place the auger over the spot you want the hole, and turn the throttle to spin it up. Be careful as you are doing this, you do not want to get any loose clothing or your feet in the way! No one wants to end a project with a trip to the hospital. Another thing to watch out for, is the auger migrating away from the spot you originally intended. That is what happened here, and once I noticed what was going on I had to move the auger over, and then fight it to start a new hole right next to the old one.
This little machine is not terribly powerful, so you won’t be able to dig the hole in one go. Just dig your hole until the motor starts to bind up, then pull it out and clear the dirt out of the hole. As I do not have the space to fit the wheelbarrow back here, I just took all of the dirt out with a five gallon bucket. The ground here has about six inches of topsoil, followed by a foot of dry, compacted clay and rocks. This is the hardest part to get thru, and I could only dig a couple of inches at a time before a rock would bind up the bit and I would have to clear the hole. Once I got down past that however, I could dig considerably deeper each time, only having to clear the hole once it got too deep and bound up in the soft clay.
Again, the motor in this thing isn’t all that powerful, so don’t push it too hard and burn it out. It will let you know when you have gone as far as it can, just pull out and clear the hole before starting again. Once you have the auger bottomed out as far as it will go in the ground, you end up with a 32 inch deep hole. It can be a challenge reaching in there far enough to get all of the dirt out, but once you do, you wind up with a hole that looks like this. An 8” auger bit will make a hole that is approximately nine to ten inches in diameter. When I put my posts in the hole, it took about two and a half fifty pound bags of fast setting concrete to fill the hole. I dug all of the holes for this project will less than a tank of gas, and I cannot even imagine how much time using a powered auger saved me. I had to disassemble a raised bed, move the worm bin, pull back layers of both bark chips and river rock and I still managed to finish the fence in a weekend. If you ever need to dig post holes, I cannot recommend renting a powered auger enough.
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