Digging a hole

Sat Jan 06, 2007 12:16 am

Hello everyone I know this is off subject but if anyone has any ideas better than what I can come up with I sure would appreciate it. As all knows my legs are bad and I need 2 holes dug very deep. Well I have been setting on a chair and digging at it the best I can then setting on the ground and digging at it. I tried hiring any neighborhood boys but when they found out there was a shovel and pick involved they headed for the hills. I got down about 2 foot and now am in clay slate hard as rock, and after setting there for a long while pounding at it with a digging iron now I have blisters and cant finish.
Does anyone know of anything that can be put into a 1/2 drill maybe and go at it that way to at least break up the hard stuff than I can shovel it out. Or anything other than slamming that darn digging iron into the hole.
Again I appologize for this not being on subject but since all you good people has helped me out when I rebuilt the ol cub I thought maybe some of you might know of a better way.
Thanks everyone.
Calvin in WV.
PS There is no big rush with this because I have until next fall to finish.

Sat Jan 06, 2007 6:23 am

Calvin: Do you know anyone nearby who has a tractor mounted post hole digger? They could loosen the dirt down to the maximum depth which the digger will go. If not, how about adding water, letting it set 24 hours before digging. That should soften the clay but will make it stick to the shovel. You might have to clean the clay off the shovel after each removal. Dan

Sat Jan 06, 2007 8:41 am

HI Calvin

Once I get down some. I use a spud bar work around the outside of the hole pulling the bar aginst the side and breaking pieces off twards the center. And just using the posthole digger to remove the loose pieces.

Good luck Billy

Sat Jan 06, 2007 9:05 am

Calvin, depending on where in WV you are, I do have a rotary hammer (think big 1/2" drill crossed with a jackhammer) that you can give a try. It will break the rocks and hard stuff up pretty well.

And I SHOULD have an auger for the N before you need this done if you can wait a bit.

Sat Jan 06, 2007 9:32 am

The other day I rented an electric jack hammer for ~$40 bucks. The big jack hammer will go to the depth that you need.

Sat Jan 06, 2007 10:33 am

Electric jack hammer.

Same problem in Missouri. Soon found out I couldn't dig or even chip the hard pan with a pick. Purchased a small 120 volt electric jack hammer to break up the hard pan. Over $1000- purchase price at the time. However, it was cheaper to purchase than to rent the jack hammer for a month.

Depending on how many holes, how deep and if you are setting poles. It may be cheaper to hire a contractor to do the work. Locally several of the small operators will take a 1/4 or 1/2 day job on a fill in basis (between larger more profitable jobs). You may have to wait quite a while before they show up.


Sat Jan 06, 2007 12:41 pm

Calvin, What part of WVA are you in? I get down that way once in awhile I may be able to stop depending on where your at an give you a hand.

DIgging a hole

Sat Jan 06, 2007 3:22 pm

I knew you fellows would come through and I sure do appreciate all your help. First off Im not asking anyone to come here to do the work and I do appreciate you asking thats what makes this board the best there has ever been NICE FOLKS. I think Im going to rent a jack hammer like a couple of you said and since reading all your ideas and after I get finished writing this Im going to the phone and call a tool rental place I think theres one around here and see if they have such a tool. I have set on the edge of this hole for hours with a diggning iron and slammed it into the edges and use the outside of the hole to pull it to the center but when the blisters start forming and busting it gets tiring quick. hahaa funny thing fellows, the neighborhood kids are always stopping by they call me Pap asking have anything to do Pap we need some money, soon as you show them a shovel and pick they look like they have smoke flying off their shoes getting away.
I think I was the only one around here that had a tractor The Ol Cub, and I sure do miss it, darn legs is what had me sell her, but you know what after I restored the ol cub and would just ride her around in the field it was really something to have cars stop by the road and pull over to take pictures of it. Some folks even asked what it was, guess they never saw a row tractor before. I pray that none of you fellows ever hurt your legs because when the use of them start going bad it sure takes a toll on your life.
Again I thank each and everyone of you that answered me on this and hope you the very best possible for you.
Happy New Years Cub Owners.
Calvin in WV.

Sat Jan 06, 2007 7:26 pm

Calvin, I know exactly what your saying bout getting any locals to help do anything!!!, Same deal here in Il., people won't help anyone in need!! ---found that out when my spine started de-generating and it's a daily struggle to get things done!,---wish I lived closer to you, as I'm sure that between us we could get the holes dug!!----jackhammer may be the best way to go and work a little at the time! thanks; sonny

Sat Jan 06, 2007 8:28 pm


I seen or read a bout a fellow who was trying to dig a deep hole. He would break up the earth in the hole.Then use a shop vac to haul it out.Some time you got to do with what you have. 8) :) Bruce

Sat Jan 06, 2007 9:27 pm

You guys make me appreciate my neighbors. If I say I need some help and I had better get out of the way, there will be 3 or 4 at my place before I can get back home.

Digging a hole

Sat Jan 06, 2007 9:43 pm

Thanks Sonny and Bruce, John*.?-!.* cub your a lucky guy but glad for you, by the way John still got the hats their in my showcase looking pretty.
Bruce I guess when we get into a position we use what ever we can. Shop vac you know you can do a lot with one of those.
Sonny we do what we can you know that with your problem for sure, I called the local tool rental place today and as usual they were closed. I'll give them another call on Monday and see if they have one of those 110 volt jack hammers. I used one of those when I was younger and they get the job done.
Thanks again fellows.
Calvin in WV

Sun Jan 07, 2007 9:34 am

Calvin, I started thinking about the electric jack hammer idea after you mentioned that you had problems with your legs. As I mentioned, I recently rented a jack hammer I used to bust out some concrete. That was a nightmare of my own making. Anyway, I noticed that if I tried to take too big of a bite, or go too deep, the darn thing would stick on me, and it was a lot of leg pulling to get it out. So be careful and take your time to minimize having to use your legs. Maybe the rental center has an idea of the best bit to use for this application.

It is difficult to get anybody to help you. People were amazed that I used a post hole digger to dig ~20+ fence post holes. Some young man asked me what I used to dig them. When I told him, he said, "You mean one of those things that you pull the handles apart?" Fact is sometimes stranger than fiction.

Digging a hole

Sun Jan 07, 2007 1:03 pm

Thanks Larry good idea, I'll just tell them what Im doing and your right he may give me the right bit that it needs to do that kind of work. I sure wish our ground wasn't as hard as it is around here. I remember when I was around 14 years old and I done something bad don't remember what it was but my Dad said well Im not going to give you a whippin but Im going to give you something else that you will remember the rest of your life. And he did, he handed me a shovel and a digging iron and had me dig 60 post holes 3 foot deep for his rasberry field. Man I will never forget that one for sure. It's a shame a person couldn't do that today with your kids boy they would have you on a slab if you tried something like that today.
Calvin in WV

Sun Jan 07, 2007 1:52 pm

I dont think anyone other than your kids would care if you had them digging post holes for punishment. As long as you let them sleep, feed them and such.