I get to build a new fence!
But first I've got to take the old one down.
It's a picket type fence, about six feet tall, cedar planks over 2x4 framing,
with 4x4 posts set in concrete.
I demolished it already and took it to the street, but for those damned 4x4's
that are set in concrete. If you've ever tried to dig one of those out, you
know it's a pain.
Well, I found a better way to remove them that doesn't involve Tannerite,
and I'm passing it on to you so that if you have to build a new fence, too,
you can also save a serious amount of back breaking labor.
Do you have a hydraulic bottle jack? If not, get one. A 2 ton capacity
jack is just fine.
Obtain a round solid steel bar, 3/4 inch in diameter or larger. It should be
a foot long or longer. If it's a couple of feet long, that's even better.
I presume you have an electric drill? (corded, or very strong cordless)
Obtain a drill bit that's a little bit larger than the steel bar. 7/8 for a 3/4 bar,
or whatever. It's not really critical.
Here's the easy way to pull out those heavy, hard to remove fence posts,
especially the ones set in concrete.
Dig out around the post, but you only have to dig a few inches down.
Lay down a good length of 2x4 or 4x4 at the base of the fence post,
as close to the post as you can get it. Place the bottle jack on top of
that length of 4x4, with the ram retracted, and drill a hole through the
post just above the top of the jack's ram. Insert your steel bar in the
hole, and pump the jack up against the bar. A few TONS of lifting force
will pop the most stubborn post and the concrete around it right out of the
ground like it was nothing. Pull the post over at an angle to keep from
dropping it back into the hole, remove the jack, grab the bar, and drag
that sucker to the trash pile.
It's so easy to do it this way, it's not even funny....but it is sort of fun!
And who ever heard of anything related to building a new fence ever being FUN before?
But what about the fence posts that broke off at ground level?
I have a solution for those, too.
Obtain a heavy steel hook from the hardware store, the kind with an end
that's essentially just a big wood screw. The hook end is shaped to hold
a rod an inch or more in diameter. Screw that sucker into the broken end
of the post stump as far as it'll go, and lever it out with a length of pipe. If it's
really tough, adapt the jack trick. Put a block on one side for support for the
pipe, and the jack on the other. Crank away and out comes the stump.
Using these methods, I can pull any post in five minutes and never break a sweat.