What attachment to dig hole using rotary hammer?

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Old 07-13-12, 09:41 AM
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What attachment to dig hole using rotary hammer?

Other than obviously paying for holes to be dug, or buying an auger, or using sweat and tears, I'm wondering what if any attachments people have experimented with on a rotary hammer to assist in digging a hole?

I dug a few 30" last weekend all by hand in very hard soil. It was a lot of work, but I was thinking that a 36" masonry bit or extra long chisel or something at the end of a rotary hammer would have helped immensely.
 
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Old 07-13-12, 10:03 AM
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You can rent a post hole auger; it's basically a big drill so a long bit on a drill might help some but I can't see it removing enough material to help a lot, I can't see it doing much more than loosening the soil so removing by another means would be easier.
 
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Old 07-13-12, 10:37 AM
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Yeah that's kind of what I was thinking; not pull any soil out with this, but just drill a bunch of holes in, thereby loosening it and then a manual clamshell digger would do a fine job of pulling the soil out...
 
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Old 07-13-12, 10:42 AM
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Yep, we're thinking the same thing. That said, I think I'd still opt for renting the auger.

I saw a TOH episode where they were digging hole with a shop vac but I don't know how well that actually works (it was Kevin, not Roger...).
 
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Old 07-13-12, 10:57 AM
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Nice, I just looked into it. There are some vids on youtube (e.g. Post Hole Digger - YouTube) also:

FARM SHOW - How To Dig Post Holes With A Shop Vac

Heck, even without this just using a shop vac is genius. It's amazing how such a common tool used slightly differently can work so well. A shop vac would have been much better than my clamshell or hands to get dirt out. I feel dumb for not thinking of it.

I was thinking about the rotary hammer after seeing on TOH the idea of using one to hammer in rebar into the ground. Fit it in and there are tons of vids now on youtube of somebody putting 4' of rebar into the ground in less than half a minute, and easily.
 
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Old 07-13-12, 12:09 PM
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I began digging fence post holes by hand, using a clam-shell, as a snot-nosed kid of 16 (worked 2 summers on a fencing crew). One of the neat tricks we often used, and I still use it for every hole I dig, is to use a 3'-long paving pin and 3-lb. hand maul to loosen up the soil, generously loosening up every course of packed dirt with them after removing the previous course's dirt with the clam-shell. I've never used an auger since having one lock up and try to spin me and my partner into the next county. I've heard of too many people breaking an arm or wrist with the things when they snagged a large root, rock or buried pipe.
 
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Old 07-13-12, 03:43 PM
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Auger on the back of my Ford 640. I can't imagine using a clamshell post hole digger. Rotator cuffs would cry a river. When we first bought our place I wanted to fence in the lower 5 acres. The fence crew was like Bridge....young and full of vinegar. They were using hand tools to dig the buck holes. I felt sorry for them. I told them to mark where they wanted the holes, went and got Fred and dug the holes for them. Took 10 minutes versus half a day by hand.
 
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Old 07-13-12, 03:47 PM
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They make a small 4" clay spade for an SDS rotary hammer, but at $60 or so it's kind of an expensive little accessory. The two man augers work pretty well. Course, the tractor / skid loader works better, right Larry?
 
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