Removing rebar from the ground?

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I have to replace some low retaining walls. The wood is easy because its all rotted away, but I can't get the rebar that held them out. The ground is shale, and doesn't want to give them up.
Any magical solutions? I thought of an auto jack, but don't see how to grip the bars. Driving them in rather than reusing them is a solution, but driving them a foot into shale is a real chore!
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Tie a prussik around the bars, hook the other end on the jack and pull them out.
http://www.brmrg.net/knots/prussik.html
Bob
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How about vice grips with a comealong from a 4x4 between 2 55-gallon drums?
Nick
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Good idea. I've been using a 2 ton hoist for this kind of operation and ruin it where I had to do some major cutting and welding to put the hoist back in service. The pulling tensile strength of rebar or tree roots is unbelievably high.
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wrote:

I don't think he intends to stretch the rebar longer, just break it away from what's holding it.

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Toller wrote:

Wrap a chain around the bar. Pull the chain up with a jack, or wrap the chain over an old steel wheel and tie it to a bumper or trailer hitch or come-along.
Bob
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Toller wrote:

I'd try the pulling as others suggested (my suggestion would have been the same except they beat me to it) and if it works, good, but if it didn't or was particularly difficult, given the cost of rebar I'd just take the torch and cut 'em off...
If you have one or access, what I use as a puller for such things including fence posts, etc., is either bucket or the 3-pt depending on access or how much actual lift needed...
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likewly rusted cut off with torch or sazall.........
pulling will bend it making reuse difficult
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If they don't come out with the jack, I will have at them with a sawzall. It will still leave a stub, but that won't be too hard to pound down.
Unfortunately my 18 year old son leaves for school tomorrow. I should have planned ahead.
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Another idea: You could use a long pipe wrench and try to spin the rebar around. If the rebar spins freely then you know you could pull it out with a little effort. If it doesn't spin try to force it and break it below the ground.
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Cut them off. Why take them out?
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I had my apple tree staked with 4 foot pieces of rebar, 3 feet of which was in the ground. When it was time to take them out, I bent the rebar and rotated it a lot and tugged at the same time. Wear gloves. Once you get the first inch, it gets easier. I wondered what was holding the bars in after I rotated them a lot.
Even if you only have 180^, I think this will work. I couldn't rotate fully become it hit the ground.
How many do you have. I only had two a year.

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Use a 4"-5" angle grinder with a grinding wheel. I have a 5" 8 amp angle grinder that would cut each one flush with the rock in less than a minute per bar. Just cut a groove on 180 degrees or more and bend it over. Similar to felling a tree. No chain, no jack, no pulling. Once it's off, grind off any sharp edges and move to the next.

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Tom Kendrick wrote:

i will add to that by saying buy some cutting wheels for your angle grinder. they make extermely thin wheels (available in specialty stores--not big box stores. maybe even an auto parts store) that are s used for stainless--cut rebar like butter.

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I have seen those cutoff wheels in action. Very nice. OTOH, rebar is not a very high grade steel, so almost any grinding wheel that has a bevelled edge (rather than the square edge it comes with when new) can get the job done. I do more slag removal and edge preparation for welding than I do making cuts.
marson wrote:

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In that case, I prefer to use my 36" bolt cutter - faster and save my cutting wheels for some other projects and I don't have to drag my electrical cord or air hose around. If the rebar is over 5/8" I use my portable band saw.
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Drop a short length of black-pipe over the end, and bend them into a hook, then put a rope around them in a timber hitch, run the rope over a sawhorse, then under a sandbag and yank them out with a truck.
The sawhorse is to make the rope pull UP, the sandbag is to pull the rebar to a stop when it comes out of the ground like a kinetic-energy weapon and tries to vaporize the truck.
But if the rebar won't come out, why not just drill the replacement timbers to match?
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A fencepost puller with chain on it, it should pop right out.
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If I had a fencepost puller, I wouldn't be asking.
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Rent one or buy it they are cheap,
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