Digging out crawl space - Power tools?

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The crawl space in my 80 year old house has about a foot of space in it. I need to dig it out so I can get in there and do some work.
Are there any power tools or equipment which I can rent which will make this easier?
I suppose I could find a conveyor belt for dirt removal. But what about the digging part?
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My uncle hired the neighborhood boys to do it during the depression. I eventually bought the house and had a basement because of their work. I also had a lot of neighbors who remembered all the good my uncle had done as they or their boyfriends had done much of that work and that is how they came up with a dollar or two during the depression for a date. My uncle had a few dollars as he was retired navy.
The way the economy is going, we may be back to that soon.
--
Joseph Meehan

Dia \'s Muire duit
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You're going to hire neighborhood boys and put in a sub-basement...? I think you might be sinking money in that house. ;)
To the OP: there's not a lot you can get in to a foot high space to help out. You don't mention how much work you need to do and how deep you are planning on going. In similar situations where people are digging out a basement they'll open up a foundation wall and excavate a ramp so they can get a Bobcat in.
R
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I'm digging it out about 2 ft. deep and currently have an opening about 3 ft. by 3 ft. (for digging out).
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on 4/2/2008 8:15 AM Bill said the following:

What work are you going to do in there? With only 3 feet of headroom there's no standing and barely enough room for sitting.
--

Bill
In Hamptonburgh, NY
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Crawl space work a lot of times involves laying on your back or side. It's not always easy.
s

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On Sat, 05 Apr 2008 00:31:46 -0600, snipped-for-privacy@invalid.com wrote:

WILLARD! Attacks! Film at 11!
(sorry, had to do it...)
I suspect, if this is a crawlspace that it is either mice, or chipmonks (damn 'em) doing the damage.
Regardless one needs (must) provide a barrier between the insualtion and the rodent to prevent reoccurance, even if foam insulation is used.
Either that or spray the fiberglass with pepper spray? <g>
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He is. Several in fact.
R
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"willshak" wrote in message

For now I am doing some plumbing (moving bathtub and toilet, insulating hot water lines), adding support under a heavy woodstove, and adding a beam and support to fix a sloping floor.
For the future it would be nice to be able to get under there to run wires or whatever.
The vacuum idea sounds great! Even a shop vac with two people working would probably be an easier way to get the dirt out. Also dust is created when disturbing the old top layer of dirt, so the vac could also remove any dust clouds. Thanks for the idea.
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Bill wrote:

The rental vacuum excavator units I mentioned are a far cry from a shop vac. The units listed in the United Rentals catalog are all 25HP, are trailer mounted and weigh around 5,000#. The collection vessels are ~500 gal and tilt for dumping the contents. A weekend rental of one of these units and your project will be done.
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I've done the experiment (only to prove the futility) a reasonably sized shop vac can only do about 1 gpm loose dirt removal. Plus you need time (or a helper) to empty.
You'll need a vacuum excavator which is serious machine.
cheers Bob
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But they are becoming more available at rental yards and they certainly have a lot of advantages. Some of the machines have a reverse flow feature where the excavated material can be deposited elsewhere on the site or in a truck/dumpster so the machine can keep going. http://www.constructionequipment.com/index.asp?layout=nocclamp&articleid 6492062&videoID83221977
R
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[vacuum excavators]
-snip-

Got a video of one in action? I've called a couple rental places & haven't found one to look at yet. [near Schenectady, NY]
But this might be the answer to my '10' trencher' question I asked about on a.h.r a couple weeks ago.
I don't need fast- but I need to dig a 10' long horizontal hole about 4-6" in diameter- then 'elongate' the hole vertically down 7-8 feet. The soil is hardpan clay.
Jim
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Nope, I don't. Try YouTube or one of the manufacturers' sites.

I'm not sure I understand you. You have to dig a small diameter hole that extends 10' horizontally then go down 8' starting at the far end of that hole, or are you saying you have to trench 8' down the whole 10' length? The first one sounds borderline impossible, the second one _might_ be possible with the vacuum excavator if the soil conditions are right, but I think that you'd still end up collapsing the trench as you went due to the vibration.
R
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Jim Elbrecht wrote:

>http://www.constructionequipment.com/index.asp?layout=nocclamp&articleid 6492062&videoID83221977
Probably video around somewhere. In my 2006 copy of the United Rentals catalog there are four units shown on page 9, two Vac-Tron, a DitchWitch and a Verneer all with similar specs. 1-800-UR-RENTS or unitedrentals.com should point you to the closest location you can call for information. I've not used one of these units personally, but I know they are very versatile and also popular for excavating around utilities since you aren't digging with any kind of blade.
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The only power tool I've used on the enclosed space is a Bosch hammer with a spade bit to break up the clay. [had a wall open one summer and was able to scoop a lot with a backhoe- and shovel the hoe full from under the house for some more]
I've been plugging away at mine for years- working just in the winter, a couple winters off for back & heart problems. But the floor in the first 10x20 space [pavers] should go in late this spring.
I will probably set up a conveyor for the second section. [lowering old floor by 2feet] - but this part has been all bucket work. I used to do 5 wheelbarrow loads a day- Now I do 3 every other day.
Beats paying for a gym membership.
Jim
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Bill wrote:

their stomachs and shoveling it into a tub that was pulled out with a rope. The tub was a flat oblong with sloping ends, kind of like a sled. I think it might have been a mortar tub.
But basically I think you are talking about a lot of work. Good luck.
Bill Gill
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easier to jack up the home and dig out a proper basement.... with the proper ,imi excavators etc........
dont forget you will need new foundation supports..........
footers etc
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what does the OP plan on doing down there? probably easier to lift the floor........
digging out may not be the most cost effective approach
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It is absolutely the most *cost* effective. Removal costs are nil. Whether it makes sense in the long run is entirely up to the digger (and those effected.]
My basement excavation- like my summetime exterior landscaping by shovel- is a combination of hobby/exercise/home improvement. The digging is free. The footers and piers cast little. It is still cheaper than drinking beer & buying a health club membership.
Jim
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