Dog Pen Construction

31 Dec

I started work on a dog pen at the homestead today. I dug 4 holes and set 4 posts and I know I probably won’t be able to stand up straight tomorrow. It is bad when you get to be old and fat and out of shape like me, that is going to be my number one resolution this year is to get into better physical shape. (wait, wasn’t that my number one resolution last year?) Well, this time I really am serious, I feel a definite ill wind blowing in the world now. I am redoubling my efforts to become more prepared and self-sufficient. One of my big areas of concern for the future is the availability and cost of medical care. The better physical shape you are in and the less medical care you require the better off you will be. So on to the pen construction.

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This is my new post-hole digger I used to dig the holes. I needed a new digger, the handles on my old one were rotten, so I got this new style digger. Let me tell you, it really is an improvement over the old style diggers, if you do much post-hole digging, I highly recommend you get this new style digger, you will thank me for it later. When I use a digger, I like to mark on the handle at 24 and 36 inches so I can gauge the depth of my hole without using a measuring tape. I marked this one with flourescent electrical tape on the handles.

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I dug each hole down to 36 inches, the top few inches was muddy due to the rain we have been having. It was sprinkling rain and 36 degrees while I was working on the pen today. After I dug down past the top few inches, the soil was bone dry despite the rainfall we had this winter, we need lots more to catch us up on our moisture deficit.

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After I dug the holes, I placed a 6X6 treated post in the hole and braced them up straight.

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I used this handy-dandy post leveler I bought at Harbor Freight for less than $2 and it worked just fine. It will level the post in two directions at the same time, so you don’t have to move your level back and forth constantly to check for level.

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I chose not to use concrete to set the posts, I was using 8 foot posts set 3 feet into the ground so I didn’t feel it would be necessary. I used this 1X2 to backfill and tramp the dirt into the hole, and after it sets up a while they will be solid as a rock. That seemed like the hardest part of the job, tramping the dirt in, but it was the last thing I did after a long day so maybe that was why it tired me out so much! I still have a long way to go to get the pen finished, but today was a good start. Get prepared people!

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