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Clean-Out Bit Empties Post Holes
A special “bit” developed by Dale McLaen pulls loose dirt out of augered holes for footings or posts. Tired of having to reach in to remove loose dirt left by the auger, he started looking for an easier way.
  McLaen built the clean-out bit to match the holes he commonly bores when setting poles for pole barns. The bit’s shank is a 48-in. long, schedule 80 wall pipe. It is welded to the center of a 1/4-in. thick, 24-in. dia. flat disc. A 4-in. tall, 11-gauge metal ring is welded to the outside edge of the disc. Four short lengths of 1/2-in. rebar brace the shank to the edge of the disc to keep it from deforming under down pressure.
  “I cut two angled slots in the bottom of the pan to pick up the loose dirt,” says McLaen.
  The slots look a bit like thin slices of pie that have been removed from the pan. Blades mounted to the leading edge of the slots extend below the pan to sweep the loose dirt into the pan. The blades are reinforced on the bottom side of the pan.
  When spinning, the pan is held in place and prevented from walking around the bottom of the hole by a 1-in. sq. by 5-in. long spike. It is welded to the bottom of the pan with 4 small gussets to brace it.
  “The gussets also move dirt away from the center bottom side of the bit, allowing the bit to dig in,” says McLaen, who uses the clean-out bit on a standard power head.
  He notes that even with the 4-in. sides, it takes multiple passes to clean out the average hole. “The pan will usually fill on the first pass,” says McLaen. “It will be about half full with the second pass and usually hold only a few handfuls of dirt with the third pass.”
  After each pass, he lifts the bit out, tips it horizontally and spins it in reverse to empty.  
  “I use this bit to clean out every hole I dig,” says McLaen. “I’ve got better things to do with my time than clean out holes by hand.”
  McLaen approached a large auger bit manufacturer about building his bit, but they declined. “I’m putting it out there via FARM SHOW for anyone who can use it,” he says. “They can make their own, or I can custom-build one to the size they need.”  
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Dale McLaen, McLaen’s Service, 13756 Hwy. 11, Rutland, N. Dak. 58067 (ph 701 724-6232; mclaen@drtel.net).

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2019 - Volume #43, Issue #3