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Milo Christensen
07-14-2009, 05:43 PM
Amazing what even I, at 60, can achieve in a day. I finally figured out what to do with the junk - paving bricks, cement blocks, old pallets, tree trimmings, etc. along my back property line. All this crap was there when I bought the house five years ago.

I used as many paving bricks as I could to make a pad for the camper. I rented a chipper a couple years ago and made a dent in the smaller twigs and branches - the chips made good mulch. I made some of the pallets into a compost pile, but that thing was ugly and the pallets I used composted along with the pile that was there.

Fortunately, my decision about what to do was made a lot easier by my new neighbors behind me. They have a 300 foot deep lot with 80 feet between them and me as woods. They've been cutting down cottonwoods and evergreen shrubs and throwing it all into their woods. Ugly ain't in it.

So, it's time to put up a fence to hide it all, my inherited crap and the huge new piles of slash and logs from the neighbors. I'll set the fence back from my propety line so I can leave the crap that's back there, back there, but hidden.

The first part of building a good fence is having a straight and level piece of ground to put it on. One man, one shovel, one day, 800 milligrams of Ibuprofen.

Sure is going to look nice when I get it done. 48 feet of four foot high cedar picket fence, with the spaces between the pickets filled with custom cedar pickets I'll make myself. Ten feet out across the 48 feet will be covered with landscape fabric and mulched. There's an existing, very nice horseshoe pitch, absolutely regulation, back there and that's part of the ten feet in front of the new fence.

Horseshoe tournament sometime in August, anyone?

Keith Wilson
07-14-2009, 08:48 PM
One man, one shovel, one day, 800 milligrams of Ibuprofen. Sounds very satisfying. Odd, innit, how more and more of the larger projects seem to involve ibuprofen? :D

Domesticated_Mr. Know It All
07-15-2009, 12:50 AM
I did 800 feet of 6 foot chain link fence in about a week.
Wore out my Dad's hand post hole digger and had to buy him a new one.
Of course that was 20 years ago when I still cared.
The fence is still up and will probably outlast me.
The trick to not getting sore is to stop and drink a beer every 10 feet.

2MeterTroll
07-15-2009, 01:00 AM
dmkia that amounts to a beer a hole. either it was very hot or you where wandering a bit at the end.

Domesticated_Mr. Know It All
07-15-2009, 01:31 AM
Yeah it was hot.
Hot as hell itself.
I was on vacation.
I suckered a few of the neighbors into helping me.
I think they felt sorry for me because they kept coming over with beer and food.

No wonder it took me a week eh?

2MeterTroll
07-15-2009, 01:39 AM
to get to the end of the day or the end of the fence? :)

Domesticated_Mr. Know It All
07-15-2009, 01:48 AM
Until the ladies decided we were having a little too much fun puttin up the fence.

TomF
07-15-2009, 07:15 AM
A strength coach whose stuff I read on the web is now 52. At this point, Rippetoe talks about ibuprophen as "vitamin I."

Chris Coose
07-15-2009, 07:27 AM
My problem is knowing to take the anti-inflamatory before I grab the work end of the tool.

I, Rowboat
07-15-2009, 08:48 AM
A strength coach whose stuff I read on the web is now 52. At this point, Rippetoe talks about ibuprophen as "vitamin I."

That what it's referred to in the rock climbing community. Not just for sore joints, but for torn up fingers, hands, and ankles after crack climbing.

I can't get nearly that amount of work done in a day. The 3.5yr- and 8-month-old children seem to always have other plans for me. That is, unless the task is pulling carrots or potatos out of the ground. Then the 3.5yr-old is unstoppable and the 8-mo one is content to watch from a shady location.

Milo Christensen
07-15-2009, 08:54 AM
Vitamin I it is.

Any recommendations for the cramping in my hands? I was driving in the early evening yesterday and my left hand cramped up like my fingers were still wrapped around the shovel handle. Painful and disorienting. Not cool whilst driving.

joeha
07-15-2009, 09:55 AM
Drink "Tonic Water". The Quinine in it works wonders for cramps. That's drinking Tonic Water straight, the Gin normally mixed will only dehydrate you more. Give it a try, its amazing how the cramps just disappear.

Joe

Milo Christensen
07-16-2009, 08:51 PM
Yesterday and today it was one man, one post hole digger (manual, the old-fashioned two handled kind), 8 holes and one BIG root. I tried to offset the hole a couple inches to the left, but I ran into an even BIGGER root. At this point, I can get the 4 by 4 pole 15" into the ground.

At this point I'm not quite sure what to do. 15" isn't a very deep hole for a pole 6' out of the ground supporting 64" high by 8' wide solid stockade fence. It's not at either end, but 3rd from the left. I've given up on making it deeper and it's already wider around than it should be. I'm going to mix up a full 80 lb bag of concrete and dump it around the pole.

S/V Laura Ellen
07-16-2009, 09:01 PM
I haven't sen any pictures of the project yet.
Milo...are you just making this up?
Seems to me, if you were actually doing this there would be some kind of photographic record.

bluedog225
07-16-2009, 09:44 PM
A reciprocating saw with a long demolition blade will make short work of the root. May hurt the tree though.

A tight water jet will clear away the dirt so the saw can get in. Let dry or use cordless.

Milo Christensen
07-18-2009, 08:34 AM
Yesterday's effort involved one man and the 80 lb. bags of concrete. It takes 40 lbs to fill in around a 4 by 4 that's 24" in the ground. If I had only known what a tremendous hassle it is to divide an 80 lb. bag of concrete in half, I would've paid the extra and bought the 40 lb. bags. Live and learn. Except that I doubt that I will ever personally put this particular knowledge to use again.

Fooling around with the laser and the bubble level and the string, getting every post in line with the others and then getting them level ate up a lot of time, which was O.K. as I needed a break between the effort of mixing 40 lbs of drymix with a half gallon of water in a 5 gallon bucket and then filling the hole.

The problematic post hole, the one with the 2 GIANT roots, is still a problem. But I'm going to make the hole a bit wider and instead of deepening the hole, make a form that will extend the concrete above the hole to provide additional rigidity. The form is conveniently to hand as one of those big plastic pots you get when you buy a good size evergreen. Just have to cut the bottom off and Robert's your mother's brother.


I haven't sen any pictures of the project yet.
Milo...are you just making this up?
Seems to me, if you were actually doing this there would be some kind of photographic record.

No, there's no photographic record. I've never posted a picture, other than my avatar, on the forum.

Hwyl
07-18-2009, 08:53 AM
Milo, you.ve been shovelling on here for years.

Domesticated_Mr. Know It All
07-19-2009, 11:32 PM
Tree roots are a bitch.
Rocks and gravel in clay are just as bad.
My post holes were 24 inches deep but narrow for the 2 1/2" metal poles.
Wood 4"X4"'s require a wider hole and I'd go at lest 18 inches deep.
I mixed my concrete in a 5 gallon bucket right at the hole with a long hose. Thanks to my friend at the local hardware store I worked with 20# pound bags to save my gronicles the wear and tear.
An 80# pound bag would require a wheelbarrow.
I filled the bottom 2 inches with gravel, poured half the concrete to set the pole and the other half a few days later, topped with 2" of mulch.
I leveled the poles with two small, cheap magnetic bubble levels.

Neighbor next door had 2 big dogs and I had 3 little kids so my motivation level was high.

For a wood fence, everything should be bigger and more heavy duty because wind blows right through chain link but doesn't blow through wood very well.
You'll need it to withstand that Michigan Winter wind eh?

Milo Christensen
07-23-2009, 11:11 AM
Well, the fence is up. Taaa daaa!

One man and a rented truck to get the fence sections home. It was an enormous amount of physical effort to get them out of the truck - 6' x 8' fence sections are right at the limit of what I can lift and carry/drag back to the fence line. Vitamin I to the rescue, again.

Tip to the uninitiated: Don't, repeat don't, line the fence sections up against the posts if there's any wind likely to blow after you've lined them all up along the fence posts to see what it'll look like. Or, if you do, make sure that replacement boards are also available from the lumber yard.

One man and the most amazing variety of tools to get the fence sections level and attached to the posts.

18v drill, 18v screwdriver, 18v sawzall, bubble level, laser level, string, shovel, axe, 4 different thicknesses of wood leveling blocks, medium and large crowbar, 4x4 braces to keep the damn fence sections from blowing over.

The fence sections are pressure treated, so I need to let them dry out pretty well before painting the fence. Of course, it's rained last night and all day so far, so it'll take even longer for them to dry.

On to the landscaping in front of the fence. Landscape fabric and mulch. Some nice #3 pots of jade green juniper on clearance, the ferns that have been growing in the vegetable garden all summer, the variegated hostas that aren't doing too well since the big cottonwood got cut down, several small sections devoted to different varieties of Columbine I've been collecting. Redo the firepit, get some shade tolerant grass seed down, repaint the picnic table. It's really gonna be nice.

JimD
07-23-2009, 11:29 AM
You go, Milo! Fencing and landscaping one's own property is very statisfying work. I bet you're pleased as punch every time you look at it.:)

Paul Pless
07-23-2009, 11:31 AM
So Milo, is Hell located in your travel radius for landscape work? ;)

Shang
07-23-2009, 03:44 PM
Vitamin I it is.

Any recommendations for the cramping in my hands? I was driving in the early evening yesterday and my left hand cramped up like my fingers were still wrapped around the shovel handle. Painful and disorienting. Not cool whilst driving.

I used to get hand-cramps while driving. Sometimes to the point of not being able to hold the wheel with the cramped hand. However I found a simple answer: hand-squeeze exercises while driving. At first I just used a rubber ball and squeezed it a few times when I felt a cramp coming on, later I switched to the simple spring-squeeze gizmos from a sporting goods store.
http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f93/shangboat/handgrips.jpg
Obviously you can only work one hand at a time, and only on straight sections of road without much traffic. Like any other exercise BEGIN SLOWLY, otherwise you may aggravate the cramping. I now do six or eight sets of thirty on each hand, several times while driving--the cramps havenít come back in years.
A couple of fringe benefit are that the exercise builds up your forearms, and it improves your trigger-pull for pistol shooting.

Oh, and if you use the spring-squeeze things, wrap the handles in gym tape to provide a non-slip grip.