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He Built A Better Post Hole Digger
"My homemade post hole digger has two big advantages over anything you can buy from a manufacturer," says Bob Hasenkamp about the heavy-duty post hole digger he built five years ago.
"First, it turns at about half the rpm's of a standard posthole digger, so you've got better control. If you hit a root or a rock it won't screw itself into the ground so fast you don't have time to react," says the Soldier, Kan., farmer. "What's more, my auger is designed to telescope so you can set corner posts 6-ft. deep and regular line posts at a uniform 4-ft. depth without any guesswork."
Like any digger, it must be operated with care, Hasenkamp notes. "Post hole diggers are dangerous because of the number of exposed moving parts," he says. "However, if you observe all safety precautions and use plain common sense - with mine or any other - you reduce your risk of injury to virtually nothing."
Hasenkamp's digger uses the telescoping drive shaft and gear reduction box off a junked mid-1960's New Holland square baler.
He welded a bigger, 1 1/2-in. square shaft onto the gear box's output shaft and then welded 12-in. dia. auger flighting off an old post hole digger onto a piece of pipe. The pipe fits over the square shaft so the auger slides up and down on it.
A spring-loaded pin fits into holes drilled halfway down the auger flighting and inner shaft. By pulling the pin, Hasenkamp can slide the auger out to switch from digging 4-ft. deep holes to 6-ft. deep holes. A metal stop welded to the bottom of the inner shaft prevents the auger from sliding out too far.
Hasenkamp's post hole digger mounts on his Massey 1080 tractor's 3 pt. hitch and clears the ground by about 4 in. when it's fully extended and the hitch is raised all the way up.
"When you put corner posts ill 6-ft. deep, a bulldozer couldn't budge them," Hasenkamp says. "Then, since there's no reason to set line posts that deep, you can shorten the auger up to 4-ft. deep.
"My post hole digger weighs about twice as much as any commercial model I've seen so it'll stand up to about anything," he adds.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Bob Hasenkamp, Box 880, Soldier, Kan. 66540 (ph 913 868-2441).

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1995 - Volume #19, Issue #3