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Old 02-13-2010, 12:40 PM   #31
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In archeology when we have to dig in hard, compacted sun baked dirt we cover we soak the area with fire hoses, then cover with black viscuine over night. (black plastic). The area is ready to dig up to 1 m deep the next day--with stratigraphy intact.
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Old 02-13-2010, 01:05 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by Pahinh Winh View Post
you can buy a high-pressure nozzle for it & use that to dig your holes. Do it at night so your neighbors can't take so many pictures - it works fine by flashlight. and they won't see how muddy you get, using it. Or, figure that hole-digging saves money on exercise programs. You don't 'have' to do it all at one time, you know. No matter how you do it, if you (gently) soak & resoak the earth where you're going to dig the hole, digging is much easier. As for motorized hole-diggers - what happened to living / owkring 'green'? Having ranched most of my life, I know for a fact that it's terrific exercise. And stinking cane or no, I still dig my own holes. I just soak the area first, before I attack it with a mattock & a shovel.
I'm with Pahinh Winh on this one . What's the matter with a little good exercise? I puzzle over modern people , go out and use all kinds of labor savin' devices or pay others to do it for em' . Then turn around and pay money to go down to a gym !

I have 4 acres here and if you look at most of my posts , most of what I've done has been done by hand . A few miles of trenches for piping irrigation .

No wonder this country is in so much trouble !

Leaves me with my head a'scratchin'
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Old 02-14-2010, 07:04 AM   #33
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As a teenager back in the '50s, I did my share of fencing repair on our farm in ND. Most of our pasture land was on glacial till, which meant rocks. Lots of rocks, as well as coarse gravel. In many cases, a standard posthole auger would not work and I had to dig holes with a tiling spade and tamping bar, grubbing out the debris by hand. I seem to have survived this intact...
And now, at a somewhat more advanced age, I can still work a pick and shovel pretty well; since moving here, I've planted a couple dozen trees, numerous shrubs, and dug out the septic tank twice without having to resort to any other 'tools.' The only exception occurred when while recovering from hernia surgery, I rented a Ditch Witch to cut a trench for emplacing an electric cable from our main switch box to an auxiliary one for our outbuildings.
BTW, lonediver, are you familiar with microblasting? This technique allows one to modify large amounts of rock with relatively little 'bang' and is so safe that even a caveman (like me) can do it. A caver friend of ours has developed a commercial version of this - see ezebreak - Makers of Micro-Blaster for details.
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Old 02-14-2010, 08:51 AM   #34
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I know.... But I cheated. (I looked it up)
Good for you girl , there maybe hope for you ! No, no that war'nt cheatin' ! Good healthy curiosity . Now among some of the quandries of the world that there are. Here is one that I contemplate . Curiosty is normally looked at as a good behavior , one that is normally rewarded .

My next question to/for you .

Do you know what curiosity does to cats ?

(Well in the case of most cats maybe this is thier just reward ! Now before those with beloved , cared for kitties start throwing things at me . I did qualify myself by saying MOST ! )

Another puzzler to me , just why is it that when one hears the cry HEADS UP ! , that one better duck down ! ?

A question I had for a bride once . I had been asked to be the best man . On greeting the bride I asked , " IF I'm the best man , just why are you a marryin' this joker for ? " .

Ah yes , the mighty wonders of the world I ponder .
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Old 02-14-2010, 09:46 AM   #35
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Suunto: I can see that the microblaster would have a lot of applications -- especially where a big blast could cause some serious environmental damage.

I just turned 70 and I must say I have no trouble managing a pick and shovel or a chain saw for that matter. A few weeks ago I had a confrontation with one of the city street workers. I was shoveling out my driveway -- its on a slope and I am getting some gravel eroding out into the street, when one of the city workers came along and took my shovel away from me. I had a terrible time convincing him that it was MY shovel and MY driveway and he should get lost!
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Old 02-14-2010, 10:22 AM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by suunto View Post
As a teenager back in the '50s, I did my share of fencing repair on our farm in ND. Most of our pasture land was on glacial till, which meant rocks. Lots of rocks, as well as coarse gravel. In many cases, a standard posthole auger would not work and I had to dig holes with a tiling spade and tamping bar, grubbing out the debris by hand. I seem to have survived this intact...
And now, at a somewhat more advanced age, I can still work a pick and shovel pretty well; since moving here, I've planted a couple dozen trees, numerous shrubs, and dug out the septic tank twice without having to resort to any other 'tools.' The only exception occurred when while recovering from hernia surgery, I rented a Ditch Witch to cut a trench for emplacing an electric cable from our main switch box to an auxiliary one for our outbuildings..
Even digging projects such as my burrowing owl habitats which involve digging a trench of some 15 feet long , 5 feet deep , 4 feet wide or so with sloping ramps coming out of that, pick and shovel is adequate . If one checks my threads on that one sees nothing but pick and shovels there in the pics . Soils here on my place are rather soft most locations , until a 4 foot depth then a bit of caliche, no rock to speak of so it goes relatively quickly .


Quote:
Originally Posted by suunto View Post
BTW, lonediver, are you familiar with microblasting? This technique allows one to modify large amounts of rock with relatively little 'bang' and is so safe that even a caveman (like me) can do it. A caver friend of ours has developed a commercial version of this - see ezebreak - Makers of Micro-Blaster for details.
Neat toy sunto , I am somewhat impressed but as you can see above I have little use for such here (drat it all , looks like a bit-o-fun) Now for someone like you livin' in the hills of rocky west virginnie I could see a good use for it .

Now when you get rid of that excess/unwanted rock , ship it out here . I desire/need some more !

The anthem of West Virginia;

" Take me home , to the place , where I belooong ,
West Virginia ! ............. "
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Old 02-14-2010, 12:32 PM   #37
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These are my preferred digging tools:

The razorback long handled round pointed shovel:

UNION TOOLS

and a short handled 3 prong pick. You can sever roots and pull them free with the three prong pick.

I keep the edges razor sharp and spritz with canola oil in a spray can to keep the steel from rusting. (less toxic than WD 40 which you can also use).

Occasionally I use linseed oil on the handles to store over winter.
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Old 02-14-2010, 05:25 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by hazelnut View Post
These are my preferred digging tools:

The razorback long handled round pointed shovel:

UNION TOOLS

and a short handled 3 prong pick. You can sever roots and pull them free with the three prong pick.

I keep the edges razor sharp and spritz with canola oil in a spray can to keep the steel from rusting. (less toxic than WD 40 which you can also use).

Occasionally I use linseed oil on the handles to store over winter.

Nice selection of shovels , I've been putting a deal of wear on something like some of those 3 and 4" wide trenching shovels like those on page 7 and 8 for those miles of irrigation ditch I was talking about . No sense in digging a wider ditch than necessary and it's lighter to pick up saving on a chiropactor bill . Those aluminum scoops are nice too , good for clean up . I prefer fiberglass handles myself when offered . Climate here is so dry that wood handles dry out so bad .

Two more tools that I find of value is a 36" magnesium rake with fiberglass handle . Could not find an exact match but this one is reasonably close ;

Amazon.com: Midwest Rake Field/Landscape Rake (12048)


I got mine at HD . Nice wide rake for spreading and a high ridge back when flipped over for smoothing things out . Good for backfilling all those ditches and quite a variety of other chores . Light too .

The second tool I mentioned is an old model "T" axle that my dad got from his dad . Square shank on one end and sharpened to a wedge point on the other . Great pry/leverage bar . My brother and I arm wrestled for that one . I WON !

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Old 02-14-2010, 08:33 PM   #39
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DR® Power Equipment - Landscape Rake

I just got this 36" landscape rake from DR Power (I have their DR Trimmer). I thought Id use it to help level out my driveway when I get it rebuilt.

Another tool I really like is an old house building rafter bit I found in the attic when I moved here. The owner said everything in the attic was put there before she moved in in 1936. The house was built in 1900 so the bit is pretty old. Its about 5 ft long and it fits in a brace so you can 'drill' long skinny holes with it. I used it to run pipe under a walkway.
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Old 02-14-2010, 09:10 PM   #40
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Y'all are a riot! explosives, beer, pickled purple martin eggs, excavators and pitchforks all in the same conversation.

I bet the Homeland Security Weenies are taking notes and cross-checking references as we speak. . . .

I love this place!
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