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Post Hole Nightmare

 
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Old 10-09-2011, 11:49 AM   #1
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Post Hole Nightmare


Trying to install a Sim-Tek vinyl fence (eight foot height) and the post holes need to be 48" depth and 10" diameter. The fence has to be within a foot of a concrete block retaining wall that is apparently designed with some sort of plastic webbing material that is layered between every other row of block and extends out into the newly installed fill dirt which was supposedly road base but is in actuality just crushed rock with a little dirt mixed in. A manual post hole digger would not cut this plastic webbing so we rented a one man power auger which cut through no problem but when the auger is backed out, the hole buries itself.
My son in law is a fence contractor with several years experience and after the two of us wore ourselves to a frazzle digging three holes in eight hours I am at my wits end. We still have 14 holes to go.
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 10-09-2011, 12:42 PM   #2
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Re: Post Hole Nightmare


That's a tough one. Sometimes water will help to hold the sides together, but not with rock.

I suspect that you are going to have some very large holes.

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Old 10-09-2011, 12:46 PM   #3
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Re: Post Hole Nightmare


Get some sona tubes that fit loose over the auger. Start with the tube at ground level with auger. Bore a little down, stop and push the tube down. Auger some more stop push the tube down. Eventually you'll get all the way down and the tube will keeping it from collapsing. Now go dig some holes.
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Old 10-09-2011, 01:25 PM   #4
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Re: Post Hole Nightmare


The mesh system is called Geogrid. It's used to reinforce the load bearing capacity of the wall. It works by trapping the rock in the mesh thereby relieving stress from the wall.
The Sono tube idea is probably your best bet because you want to displace as little material as possible. I would also try to fill in your first holes as tight as possible. What may happen is the lower level rock is dropping into the hole as you dig creating hollow spots that will sink over time forming low spots on the surface and possible jeopardizing the longevity of your fence Install.
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Old 10-09-2011, 05:06 PM   #5
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Re: Post Hole Nightmare


we tried this type of thing with the tubes years ago and the digger destroys the tubes. So i went and bought plywood or osb and it worked great.
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Old 10-09-2011, 05:16 PM   #6
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Re: Post Hole Nightmare


Look into Helical Piers.

Look up Greg Di on this site.

He has quite a system.
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Old 10-10-2011, 10:29 AM   #7
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Re: Post Hole Nightmare


Quote:
Originally Posted by mbobbish734 View Post
Get some sona tubes that fit loose over the auger. Start with the tube at ground level with auger. Bore a little down, stop and push the tube down. Auger some more stop push the tube down. Eventually you'll get all the way down and the tube will keeping it from collapsing. Now go dig some holes.
I was thinking the same thing except with PVC. They use a similar setup for drilling underwater holes for piers.

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Old 10-10-2011, 10:44 AM   #8
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Re: Post Hole Nightmare


Sona tubes work. But I used for sandy soil. Rocky may require a more rigid tube. But it will work.
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Old 10-11-2011, 08:49 PM   #9
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Re: Post Hole Nightmare


Thanks for all the feedback, it sounds like the sono tube idea is what I should try next. I will let you all know how it turns out.
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Old 10-14-2011, 05:05 PM   #10
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Re: Post Hole Nightmare


Quote:
Originally Posted by mbobbish734 View Post
Get some sona tubes that fit loose over the auger. Start with the tube at ground level with auger. Bore a little down, stop and push the tube down. Auger some more stop push the tube down. Eventually you'll get all the way down and the tube will keeping it from collapsing. Now go dig some holes.
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Old 10-19-2011, 09:51 AM   #11
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Re: Post Hole Nightmare


Quote:
Originally Posted by mbobbish734 View Post
Get some sona tubes that fit loose over the auger. Start with the tube at ground level with auger. Bore a little down, stop and push the tube down. Auger some more stop push the tube down. Eventually you'll get all the way down and the tube will keeping it from collapsing. Now go dig some holes.

Well guys I am happy to finally report that I have my post holes dug thanks to this great advise.
I ended up making sono tubes out of some old vinyl siding I had laying around (needed something tougher than cardboard to cut through the crushed rock)
It was still a chore because of the geo grid webbing. The auger tended to twist through it rather than clear a good hole through it so we had to keep stopping to snip the stuff off where the tubes kept catching on it and as we started to get near the four foot depth the auger kept binding up in the evil stuff. My son in law said these were the worst fourteen holes he has ever worked on in his twelve years of fencing but he was impressed and happy to learn this new trick.
Thanks again to all who offered their input
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Old 10-19-2011, 10:02 AM   #12
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Re: Post Hole Nightmare


Should have put up a couple pics.

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