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How To Level An Old Pole Barn
Richard Sackett has a slick way to level a pole barn if a few poles start to sink due to soft ground or rotting pole ends.
  “I can bring posts back to level without taking apart the wall,” says Sackett.
  He starts by digging a hole next to each post to be lifted, digging down as deep as the bottom of the post. The hole has to be large enough for a 4-in. dia. pvc pipe to slip in next to the post. Sackett cuts the end to be lowered into the hole at an angle. The beveled point is inserted away from the post. The pvc end above ground is attached to the post with a small lag screw.
  “There’s always a little space between the pipe and the dirt wall,” says Sackett. “I hand form a tin or aluminum sleeve to go over the pvc. Then I pour dry cement between the sleeve and the dirt. Later I will add water to the cement to keep the pole end from drifting into the pvc hole.”
  Sackett pours pea gravel into the pipe to a height about 3 in. above the planned lift height. If the post needs to be lifted 2 in., he fills 5 in. of the pipe.
  Once the pipe is prepared, Sackett attaches a piece of 3-in. angle iron to the post to be lifted. The jack is set under the angle iron to lift the post.
  “I like to lift them about 1/2-in. higher than needed so it can settle,” says Sackett.
  As the post lifts, pea gravel feeds out of the pvc pipe and into the space vacated by the post end. Sackett removes the lag screw, the pipe and the sleeve. He adds water to the cement that falls in on the pea gravel to create a slurry that hardens around the base of the post.
  “It’s fast, easy and safe,” says Sackett. “I lifted posts along 28 ft. of a 65-ft. long building without damaging the outside. When I finished, the edge of the roof was straight again.”
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Richard Sackett, P.O. Box 702398, Plymouth, Mich. 48170 (ph 248 755-1851).

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2012 - Volume #36, Issue #6