I have a 4-foot metal post next to my driveway, installed by a previous
owner, that once supported a basketball hoop. It's a fairly thin-walled
tube about 4 inches in diameter, embedded in a huge block of concrete,
buried in the lawn. I've tried excavating around the block, but it will
be a really big hassle to get out of the ground. And so, the pole
remained there for many years.
I'd be just as happy cutting the pole off at ground level. If I can cut
if off flush with the concrete, it will hardly be visible and it won't
interfere with the mower. I don't want any of the metal to stick up.
My question is, what common tool can I use to cut this thing? I
wouldn't enjoy doing it manually with a hacksaw, and anyway, I don't
think I could get close enough to the ground. Could I cut it fairly
close, then grind the rest down with something?
Sawzall, oxy-acetylene cutting torch, plasma cutter, any of those should
make quick work of it. Get it cut down as far as you can, then use a big
sledge hammer to break up the top of the concrete and fill in with dirt.
You might also try chaining it to a truck and pull the whole mess out
of the ground. Do be careful of the tensioned chain coming loose and
smashing into the back of the truck. You may even be able to bust up the
concrete with a sledge and take the whole mess out by hand, concrete is
pretty brittle. Don't forget safety glasses when doing that.
Sometimes the HF Sawzall goes on sale for twenty bucks. I liked the four by
four and jack idea. That has the potential to pull the pole and the cement
out, and help you make them both disappear. Once the cement is unevenly
supported, sledge hammer should crack it into smaller pieces.
You could use a tow strap from your vehicle, try to pull it out. Problem is,
you'd likely slam the pole down onto your vehicle and do damages. Go slowly.
Then you'll be left with a hole to fill, but that's doable with a little
I had a similar situation in my driveway; there was an abandoned post
for a cyclone fence gate up next to my house and I didn't feel like
doing major excavation. I just broke up enough asphalt to get access to
the pole below ground level, cut it off with a Sawzall, and filled the
small hole I'd made with cold patch. Elsewhere in the yard I simply dug
up the concrete, it wasn't that bad. I still have one more pole to go
and I'll be completely Cyclone-fence-free... (why the PO's did not dig
them up when they decommissioned the old fence I have no idea.)
replace "roosters" with "cox" to reply.
Before you nib it off, try removing it once more. Use the technique found to
be successful on fence posts: A chain and a bumper jack.
I've had to pile bricks on one side of the pole and use a 4x4 as a bridge to
the other side of the pole where the jack was located. Chain the pole to the
4x4 cross-piece. Jack up. Add bricks. Jack up. And so on.
Bumper jacks can exert an enormous lifting force.
You mean a common auto jack? That's an intriguing idea! I don't want to
buy or rent an expensive use-once tool, but a jack I have. I'll
probably wait until the spring thaw, but I'll definitely keep a note on
Yes, he means a common auto jack. Also wet around the post for several days
and shake it back and forth if you can. If you do wet around it, you will
have to put something down to keep the jack from going into the ground.
The earlier post suggests a bumper jack. I would be leery of that for fear
of damaging the bumper.
What I did in a similar situation was use a floor jack and use a chain to
Jack the sucker out of the ground.
If you don't have a floor jack, check around the neighborhood. There is
often a guy who is into DIY auto repair. At the worst there are tool rental
places that may have one available.
These days it's cheaper to buy most tools than to rent them, sure it'll
be imported junk at that price, but if you only need it once or twice,
the imported junk is usually good enough. If you think you'll use it
more though, buy good tools and only cry once.
The best auto jacks I have for such things are the scissor jacks from
junked pickups. They're heavy duty and are raised with a ratchet that
comes with the jack. Used them for many things but I think the biggest
load was a 16x20 1-1/2 story pitched roof shed/building so I could
reposition the supports.
Steel wheel auto floor jacks can be used in the right situation.
Also, you can get cheap bottle jacks at Harbor freight for as little as 9
bucks for a 2-Ton.
The best tool is a reciprocating saw with a bimetal blade for cutting
metal. Sawzall is a popular brand. You can rent one, but they'll
probably make you buy a blade. Maybe your neighbor will loan you his....
If it were mine, I would:
* Drill a hole through the pipe.
* Put a long metal rod, like a large machine screw, through the hole
so it sticks out on both sides.
* Use a bumper jack to lift the whole thing out of the ground.
* Whale away at the concrete with a sledge until the pieces are small
enough to put in the trash.
There are lots of other ways to do this:
* Bend the pipe over near the ground, then use a long 2x4 as a lever
to lift the whole thing.
* Run a come-along between the pole and a tree. Crank it down and it
should shift. You'll probably have to dig on the tree side of the
* Pull it out with a 4-wheel-drive vehicle in extra-low gear. Be
careful--I've seen videos where everything comes loose and once and
flies into the back of the truck (or the neighbor's house). On second
thought, don't do this one.
On Wed, 10 Dec 2008 23:39:35 +0000 (UTC), "SteveBell"
Git a nylon snatch-strap from a 4X4 shop. Use it instead of a chain.
If it really is that difficult, then tug on the mess with a vehicle.
Chains and a come-along can will kill you if they sling at the wrong
time. The strap will be better for safety.
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