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Deep Post Hole Cleaning Tool

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The county required me to dig the holes for the 6"x6" posts for my project 12" diameter and 56" deep. I put a 2 ft extension on my 12" auger bit and was able to dig the holes with my tractor, but cleaning the dirt out of the holes which are nearly 5 ft deep was another matter!

I found a new hand post hole digger on C.L. for $20 as a parts donor for the digging/lifting blade, and used some 3/4" pipe and other scrap steel I had laying around to TIG weld up the rest. The handles are long enough that I don't have to bend over much to operate them.

You close the two handles together to point the blade straight down, insert into the hole, then pull the short handle down until it locks and pull a scoop of dirt straight out of the hole. Press the small release handle and repeat. I have used it both with dry dirt and muddy mess dirt, and it works pretty well in all cases. Don't know how I would have gotten through the county "hole inspection" without it.

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Yup. Dug many a hole, 6ft to 11ft deep, with spoon, spade, and split handle jobbers.

Pretty neat contraption OP. How has it worked out?
Sometimes it is easier to dig a little deeper than necessary, and leave the spoils in the bottom, to obtain desired depth.
You built an articulating catch basin spoon.


Looks like a fun little project. Finding spoons isn't easy. That's not something your local hardware store is likely to carry!
I understand.
However, if you dug a 60"-66" hole, with loose spoils in the bottom, tamped the loose spoils tight, then added and tamped dirt to get your 56" depth. Then added your rock, and tamped it to the 48" depth. you'd have your hole without manually pulling dirt out.

It's raining here and supposed to be for the next 2-3 days. I'm bored.
It has worked well. My only complaint has been that I wish it would haul up more dirt with each trip out of the hole. I may cut up the other "spade" part I have from the donor digger and weld on some small side wing extensions to add some width and make it carry even more dirt for each trip up out of the hole.

For my project the county requires a 56" hole of which the bottom 8 inches is filled/tamped with 1" or larger rock, leaving a 48" hole for the post with a 8" footing. They wouldn't let me get away with digging it deeper and leaving the spoils in the bottom of the hole.
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Hole inspection?
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