Digging a hole in frozen ground

Page 2 of 2  

snipped-for-privacy@UNLISTED.com wrote:

I loved to dig as a boy in Vermont, but I gave up in frost. It's an interesting problem. The best solution may depend on the type of soil, its temperature, and how much ice it contains. In Korea, soldiers sometimes used explosives, sometimes fires, and sometimes an assortment of hand tools.
Thawing will stop when the surrounding ground draws heat away as fast as you apply it. I think very cold ground and ashes might even stop thawing from a fire.
Others have recommended light bulbs. That sounds simple and pretty safe. Most of the heat from a bulb is radiant, so lining the box with aluminum foil would reflect more heat to the soil. I'd use several hundred-watt bulbs with porcelain sockets and wire with high-temperature insulation. A little ventilation may be necessary to keep the electrical stuff from overheating.
A professional solution is a trailer-mounted boiler with hoses to circulate water between the boiler and the hole. One could use a stove, two pots of water, and a big syringe or pump to draw water from the hole for reheating. An infrared thermometer would make it easy to monitor the temperature of the water in the hole.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Mon, 04 Dec 2006 14:03:45 -0500, Doghouse

If you're going to rent equipment, just use a drilling rig. or a ditch-witch. There's no point in using finesse when raw power will do.
But still, we're talking three postholes/footings, not the Comstock.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Goedjn wrote:

The boiler trailer shows that the principle works for big excavations. For postholes I already have a stove, two pots, and a big syringe.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Around here people dig holes through the ice with an augur for fishing. Those who don't have an augur use a hatchet. Before playing with fire, I'd just buy or rent an augur.
snipped-for-privacy@UNLISTED.com wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Option 1. Electric jackhammer rental. It works on concrete. Should work on frozen dirt.
Option 2. Pickaxe and power posthole auger.
Option 3. Rock bar, San Angelo bar, etc. 72" long, 1" diameter steel. chisel or pointed end. I drive them with a 50# T-post driver made from drill stem.
Option 4. Steam cleaner (watch out for the hot mud)
Option 5. Tractor with auger driven from a 3-point frame on the back
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
When I was in Girl Scouts, we used to do pothole cooking. Dig hole, build wood fire, wait till it had good hot coals. Then we put in packages of food wrapped in foil, covered that with wet leaves and then dirt. Kept it buried a coupld of hours and then feasted.
You could do something similar with charcoal, it seems. Get some good hot coals going, cover with wet leaves or straw, wait a couple of hours. Doesn't seem the ground can be frozen very far down yet, and this method would keep most of the heat on the hole.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.