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pressing on tirelessly
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I'm looking for suggestions for pounding wooden stakes into fairly hard ground. We use them for holding up the road-closed signs, noting the locations of ATC/Start/FF/Stop, course arrows, etc.

They're a pain to hammer in with a sledge and I'm wondering if anyone's come up with a slick way of doing it. The post hole drivers (http://www.amazon.com/Columbus-Mckinnon-Dixie-16511-Driver/dp/B000A11EI6) just seem to shatter the wooden stakes.
 

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Can you use something like a steel rod to make a pilot hole?

If I were out your direction, I'd be tempted to use steel T-posts (or lengths of conduit) vs. Wood and just be diligent about removal after the event.
 

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I second the Cordless Drill Use it with a spade bit (hopefully an old one as useless for drilling wood after)

Works really well

Pete g
 

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I know i've seen the cordless drill setup before.. (Seed 9 maybe?) Worked really well.
 

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If you're going to use metal posts try a fence post driver (under $30 at most home centers). It's a steel tube with two steel handles on the side. You lift it over the post and either drive it down or just do a lift & drop. The weight of the driver does most of the work.

As someone who used to put in about 25 or 30 posts every winter for snow fencing, trust me when I say it does most of the work. One of these things saves a lot of effort.

Might be a bit tough on wooden posts but still worth a try.

See if one of your neighbors has one you could borrow for a test or look it up on one of the home center web pages like Lowes or Home Depot.

I personally like to give my business to local hardware stores where they actually have folks who can walk & chew gum at the same time plus more of their money stays in the community so maybe try them first.
 

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I think that's gonna be your best bet. least effort , least time per install.

or just tell the drivers not to crash? :confused: (guess that hasn't worked the past 2 years) hehehe
 

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straight at T
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Drilling/Auger are fine if there aren't any buried rocks. Otherwise hammering in a steel rod/rebar is more effective and less dangerous.

Adrian
 

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For what it is worth, at some of our events, you just can't get enough depth for the stake to stay up reliably, especially if there is wind and caution tape involved. In some of those cases, we take a stake driving it through a traffic cone, and then into the ground. Gives it a little extra stability. It's not always practical, but it does work well in some instances if you have cones at your disposal.
 

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pressing on tirelessly
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Discussion Starter #13
Ok, I'll look into getting an auger like the one Alex suggested. I'll have to play with it to see how well it works with a battery-powered drill and how many holes it'll will do before the battery dies. If it's not very many, maybe I'll just try welding on a T-handle or something.

I like the cone idea too.
 

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Here's what we used at the Spectator locations at LSPR. http://www.tractorsupply.com/zareba-pigtail-post-39-in-pack-of-10-3605469
They are metal, you just step on them and they go into the ground. There are other options out there, look for fence posts.
At the Gravel Pit it turned 2 hours of pounding wooden stakes into a 15 minute job.
It's probably not a good idea to use metal stakes where a car is likely to hit it, at least the wood will break.

Kevin D.
 

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unfortunately for hoche, cars have been to known to crash both where they are expected to... AND where they are not ... ... hehehe :p Wooden stakes for the win!
 

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In the past we have used post hole drivers and a steel fence post (with the ears cut off) to drive a pilot hole. Worked pretty slick.
 

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Out here at STPR we use liberal doses of tent peg grease. Ask any former Boy Scout about "tent peg grease", invaluable stuff. ;)

Sorry, for the nonsense post; we have similar issues here in our thin soils and rocky terrain. The natural gas industry here has been using tens of thousands of 2" x 2" x 4' HARDWOOD stakes; I don't want to think about the cost for those. I have noted some interesting possibilities to pass on to our stage crews, thanks everyone.
 
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