Name That Tool

During fence repairs, I sometimes need to
retrieve 3-5 lb. 1"- 4" diameter chunks of
concrete out of a ~15" - 24" deep hole in the ground.
(They are very unevenly shaped pieces.)
Right now, I squat and grab. This is getting
old fast.
What I want is something resembling a miniature
'post hole digger':
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strong, 2" wide blades that would allow me
to grab these pieces from a moderate stoop.
I've cruised and Googled over the last few days.
Closest I've gotten is the HF Long Reach Locking Pliers:
They won't work because the jaws won't open nearly wide
enough and the adjustment is too fiddly for such
brittle material.
What is the name of the tool that will do this please?
Thanks!
--Winston
Reply to
Winston
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Fireplace Tongs.
Reply to
John R. Carroll
(...)
I should have been clearer. Sorry.
Most of the time, the chunks are entrapped by our famous Bay Area Adobe Clay. Some only budge when I stand on the end of my slate bar. (ca. 1300 lbs. of force)
By the time I've loosened them, they still require substantial convincing before they agree to come along. So I need a tool that has a wide ratio for a firm grip.
(Note the post hole digger's 5:1 mechanical advantage for example.)
I cruised but didn't find a pair of tongs that could do that.
Most were 1:1 at best and some were a lot worse.
Thanks for looking into this, John.
Reply to
Winston
Pole and post setting crews oftentimes will have an oshkosh spoon shovel on their truck.
Reply to
PrecisionmachinisT
Super-duper pooper scooper?
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Good Luck! Rich
Reply to
Rich Grise
I think it's called an assistant fencing trainee.
I'm thinking that you would likely need to fabricate something like long tongs with sharp opposed points (like block ice tongs), or a spoon on one side and point on the other, but with a slip-joint that adjusts quickly (like ChanLlock pliers) to accomodate the different shapes/sizes with a secure biting grip.
Brazed carbide tips in a very large dental-type tool. The tongs sections could possibly be square tubing, with some heavier gage metal near the jaws and joint.
I can't remember seeing anything specifically made for retrieving something like irregularly-sized rocks down in a hole, but I vaguely recall something that had a lever at one end to close jaws at the other end.
There is a tool shaped like a hoe, but it has a smaller, spoon-shaped end, and the idea is to get the spoon end past the object to be extracted from a hole, then lift it out. This tool probably works well in fairly large diameter holes though.
Reply to
Wild_Bill
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I turn the chain grab hook sideways and hook the lever hoist into the D ring, to protect the hoist chain.
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shows the tripod and hoist, not the tongs which I bought later. The points aren't sharp so concrete shouldn't damage them much. I have to pound them into a log with an axe.
jsw
Reply to
Jim Wilkins
(...)
That'd work well in loamy soil, I think. I'm in sticky adobe clay which hangs onto the chunks, so I need something that actually hangs on to the chunks so I can waggle them free. 5:1 or 10:1 mechanical advantage would really help a lot.
Thanks!
--Winston
Reply to
Winston
(...)
I need something with a higher mechanical advantage and small jaws that permit waggling the chunks free of adobe clay soil.
Sorta like a post-hole digger with 2" wide blades and an adjustable jaw.
Thanks!
--Winston
Reply to
Winston
Heh!
So I could weld inline blades to the jaws of a large pair of channel - lock pliers for instance. Maybe slice some 2" sch. 40 black pipe diagonally to form the blades.
Yeah, say 1" square tube for starters. I could clamp the handles to the grips and weld them in place.
That'd work if the top lever had a significant mechanical advantage over the jaws. Maybe an Acme thread down the middle with a speed wrench on the end of the handle?
I really want to grasp the rubble from the top and waggle it free of the sticky adobe.
Thanks for your thoughts on this.
--Winston
Reply to
Winston
I grok that in its entirety.
Why not continue to use a regular post hole digger?
That would be the rare and wondrous Concrete Magnet, of course.
-- Make the best use of what is in your power, and take the rest as it happens. -- Epictetus
Reply to
Larry Jaques
The blades are too large. Most often the blades hang up on the interior of the hole, blocking access to the chunk. Even if I can surround the chunk with the blades, the chunk falls out the bottom at earliest opportunity. I'm looking for a better 'size match' to the load.
(...)
Difficult to adjust damping factor.
Sometimes small boulders shoot out of the hole damaging cottages in the neighborhood.
They also eat "D" cells like you wouldn't believe.
--Winston :)
Reply to
Winston
My first thought was an appropriate pair of blacksmith tongs, but they wouldn't cover the gripping range you're looking for. A bit of cutting and welding on a pair of these might give you what you're looking for...
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Reply to
Ned Simmons
Roll your own spoon shovel or thumb/spoon, Winnie.
Or buy an open/heavy-duty style grabber
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-- Make the best use of what is in your power, and take the rest as it happens. -- Epictetus
Reply to
Larry Jaques
$5 garage sale PHDs, Cut and grind safe to size, knock down the handles for lighter weight, Roberta's yer auntie.
Fold one lip up half an inch @ 60 degrees? and cut a bit off the other side. That'll give you a leverage point for the adobegoo wrestling. Or just roll your own with 5/8" square tubing and some 1/8" CRS. I may do that myself, during the winter downtime.
What? You don't have a Null Shield on it yet? Silly person.
That they do. I'd get a Zephyr replacement battery if I were you.
(Vague "Knight and Day" reference. Wunnerful movie; must see!)
NOTE: From now on, I'm going to ask PHD braggarts if they dig many holes with 'em. When they give me the weird look, I'll innocently say "Oh, when you mentioned PHD, you weren't referring to a Post Hole Digger?"
LJ--not a Piled Higher and Deeper owner.
-- Make the best use of what is in your power, and take the rest as it happens. -- Epictetus
Reply to
Larry Jaques
Cut one down and bend the ends in??
jsw
Reply to
Jim Wilkins
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Would flooding the hole soften the clay?
Good Luck! Rich
Reply to
Rich Grise
If you had a skidsteer or a backhoe and wanted a specialized tool, you'd want a grapple. I've never seen a manual one, though. They're all hydraulically powered.
Reply to
Denis G.
(...)
That is looking most likely.
Bookmarked!
But those'r all 1:1 advantage. ... and I don't think they'd last long under the contemplated static + dynamic load.
Think D9 dozer, not Tonka Toy!
Thanks!
--Winston
Reply to
Winston
(...)
Two Great Minds, Ned. :)
I was contemplating the exact thing, with Sch. 40 pipe sliced diagonally to be used as blades.
Thanks!
--Winston
Reply to
Winston

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