The unwanted pole

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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?
Any suggestions?
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Nil wrote:

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.
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A $20 (on sale sometimes as low as $10) angle grinder from HarborFreight will cut it flush to the concrete.
May take a few extra wheels depending on the metal quality and your skill level.
--
Colbyt
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-snip-

And once you have one in your shop you'll be amazed how often it proves useful. Grind metal or concrete, cut metal, sand anything. . . .
Jim
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alt.home.repair:

I see that Home Depot has a small angle grinder about that same price. This might be just the ticket. Thanks!
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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.
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Christopher A. Young
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wrote in

Get a couple cutoff blades for it, and any adapter needed to use them.
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Colbyt wrote:

Then you'll be left with a hole to fill, but that's doable with a little more concrete.
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.)
nate
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Nil wrote:

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.
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alt.home.repair:

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 this one.
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wrote in

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.
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wrote in

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.
Charlie
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Charlie wrote:

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.
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wrote in

What looks like a big bumper jack is often called a Farm Jack. Looks like it should be a bumper jack for a Mack truck. That thing should lift about anything out of the ground.
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wrote in

Farm Jack...saw it listed as that in one of the Harbor Freight flyers.
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Red Green wrote:

Yeah, here it is:
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumbere30
Still, I bet one could visit an auto junk yard and get the equivalent for five bucks.
Real bumber jacks are useless today inasmuch as you can't lift a modern car by its bumper.
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...and the ad even yabbers "...great for...pulling posts and poles," What targeting! :-)

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wrote in

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.
    http://search.harborfreight.com/cpisearch/web/search.do?keyword=bottle+jack&Submit=Go
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Nil wrote:

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 concrete first. * 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.
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Steve Bell
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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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