Thursday, 28 February 2008

The short and the long of digging a fence post

The short of it

I put in a fence post today:

The long of it

Clearly our pigs can't be allowed to fly at will. So fencing the veggie patch with wild-boar-and-presumably domestic-pig-proof fencing has leapt in front of the chicken house as Priority Number One (capitals mine).

The last two days have seen me put in two fence posts a day. Not in the old way, but by the book - the book being Michael Roberts' "Farm and Smallholder Fencing". (At least I thought I was doing it by the book, but the book tells me that "straining posts" should be dug three to four feet into the ground instead of my paltry 50 cm.

I won't tell anyone if you don't.)

So confident was I, I took the camera to show you how nice and easy it is.

I started with a nice, clean shot of all the tools you need:

Then, after a few centimeters, I took an amusingly unexpected shot of a rock in the hole:

Not wanting to move the hole (this was for a gate post and I'd decided the gate was going to be 'yey' wide) and realising that every hole is different, I decided to go through the rock. I thought it would be interesting to see what was on the other side.

I never found out:

Spoil (on something to keep the job nice and clean) is supposed to be brown and earthy. This was largely pulverised limestone.

My nice, clean working area wasn't:

And I ended up using some tools not in the original shot. To be fair, I did feel this was cheating in some kind of holistic way. Before fetching the sledgehammer, another hammer and a rock splitter, I'd been doing very well using the pointed crowbar as a kind of ground-to-underground missile. (In fact, none of these other tools came close to being as effective.)

I did remember to document ramming the earth back in:

And got a nice, clean shot of the end result:

Especially compared to the gate post (yey metres away) I put in two days ago.


Rup said...

I sympathise wholeheartedly having spent several long evenings last summer sinking holes for anchors for the kids' climbing frame through the solid limestone that passes for soil in the Cotswolds.

devolutionary said...

Did you try a tractor-driven augur, or one of those hand-held giant corkscrew thingies?

Rup said...

Nope. Crowbar and lump hammer was pretty much the sum of my technological assistance.