Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Augers and Information

Clamshell Hand Post Hole Diggers


The most common hand post hole diggers are the clamshell type. You drive the two blades into the ground, spread the handles to close the blades, withdraw the tool and bring the handles together to dump the soil. This type of tool can dig a fairly small diameter hole (4-6 inches) to a depth of 1-2 feet. If you try to go deeper, the small diameter of the hole prevents you from spreading the handles, thus you can't pick up any more soil. This type of post hole digger can be used next to walls, along fences, etc. more easily than any of the other types. This type of digger is the least expensive to purchase.

Auger Hand Post Hole Diggers


A better alternative in many cases is a hand-operated post auger. This tool consists of a short tube with an auger section on the bottom and a T-handle on top. It will typically dig a 6- to 8-inch diameter hole. You basically just turn the T-handle to screw the auger into the ground. When the short tube is full of soil, you pull the tool out of the hole and dump the soil. Theoretically, there is no limit to the hole depth with this tool since you can add additional handle sections (simply lengths of steel pipe) as needed for deeper holes. If the subsoil is too hard for the auger to work properly but the hole is too deep to use a clamshell digger effectively, it is sometimes helpful to use a clamshell digger to chip the hard subsoil loose and then use the auger to pick it up and clean out the hole. With either hand-held post hole digger, it is helpful to mark the depth on the handle so you can tell your depth without measuring the hole.

Handheld Power Augers


If you have several holes to dig, you might consider renting, or even buying, a handheld power auger. Some handheld auger are designed for one-person operation, but many require two people. These tools may not involve quite as much work as hand-operated tools, but they do still require a lot of strength and effort, especially in hard clay. Safety of handheld power augers is a concern. It takes a lot of torque to spin an auger through hard soil. If the auger hits a root, rock, pipe, etc. and jams, that same torque can spin you around the now-stationary auger -- or break your arm. You also need to avoid loose clothing that might get entangled in the auger.

Wheeled Power Augers


A somewhat safer and easier to handle design adds a frame with two wheels to one side of the auger and an extended handle to the other side. These machines are available for rental. They have about the same capacity as the handheld power augers but can be operated by one person and require somewhat less effort. They are still not easy to use in hard ground.

Tractor Post Hole Augers


The solution that requires the least effort on the part of the operator is a tractor-mounted post hole auger. These machines mount to a tractor 3-point hitch and are driven by the tractor PTO. Even small, compact utility tractors can handle a post hole auger. These machines are safer -- if the only operator is on the tractor and doesn't get off while the PTO is operating. No one should be within 25 feet of the auger when the machine is operating. Tractor post hole augers can be purchased for a few hundred dollars or rented.

Monday, 21 July 2014

Is An Electric Chainsaw a Better Option for You?

A petrol chainsaw can be a challenge to use! They have a large kickback, they eat fuel like they haven't seen it in weeks, they take an absolute mega effort to start, they're nosier than your grandmas car and you have to contend with the fuel that is left in the shed. Whcih is a safe place right? Not if you have kids like mine. All these disadvantages an electric chainsaw simply does not have.

Kickback with Electric Chainsaws

Electric chainsaws are battery powered and this allows them to run a lot smoother than a petrol chainsaw which uses a 2 stroke or 4 stroke engine. This makes an electric chainsaw a lot easier to use (especially for a first timer) as your hands are more steady and the chainsaw is taking less of a physical tole on your body.
 

Fuel and Your Electric Chainsaw


An electric chainsaw can be charged through an electrical socket in your home. But this doesn't mean that is it even costs any money. A renewable source of electricity in your home leads to your chainsaw being completely reusable as well. Some would say that the petrol chainsaw with its fossil fuels cant exactly live up to this claim....

An Electric Chainsaw Does Not Annoy Your Neighours


An electric chainsaw is very quiet (depending on what exactly you are cutting of course) and is a lot less likely to disturb the neighbours than the noisy petrol chainsaw which is jsut about guaranteed to wake up your entire neighbourhood (depending on the time of day rather).

Hmmm, starting to definetely make petrol chainsaws look like not the right tool for the job. The trusth is there are benefits to owning an electric chainsaw and benefits to owning a petrol chainsaw. Just best to know which one you should go with.

Monday, 16 June 2014

How to cut down a Tree with a Chainsaw

The Tools for the Job

That’s right we are going to need more than just a chainsaw in order to cut down a tree. To cut down a tree safely you need a lot more gear than just that but don’t panic, we are going to provide it all in an easy to read list format:
  1. A Chainsaw (preferably petrol)
  2. Two Plastic Felling Wedges
  3. Loggers Helmet
  4. Kevlar Chaps

  

If you have trouble picking these items up from a local store I highly recommend Timberpro or Right Tool.

Estimating the Fell Area

Estimating the fell area of the tree you are going to cut down is absolutely vital in order to make sure your shed, neighbours fence or your house doesn't get a massive tree falling on it because believe me when I say neighbours aren't always friendly.  But worry not, there is a simple procedure we can follow in order to estimate the tree fell area:
  1. Hold an axe handle at arm’s length
  2. Close one eye
  3. Position yourself so looking at the base of the axe you cans ee the bottom of the tree and when you look at the top of the axe you can see the top of the tree.
  4. You are now standing roughly where the tree will land. Allow for extra room if near anything of value.

The Notch Cut

The picture below shows a notch cut demonstrated and the angles required. The important thing to remember when using a notch cut is to cut it into the fall side of the tree and make sure you mark your angles using chalk or the chainsaw before beginning the cut. The notch cut should be one fifth of the tree diameter as a rule of thumb.

Picture from The Family Handyman

After making the notch cut, cut from the other side of the tree towards the notch in a circular motion and use the wedge to help guide where the tree will fall.