Making post plumb--Helping neighbor

ve9aa

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My driveway posts are all catty-wompous (sp?) but it's because we didn't dig far enough down (frost-line)
I agree with most of the advice given here.

Deeper, more ballast, maybe some above-ground bracing. The whole-9
 

Russell King

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Since the hinges appear to be welded on to the post you may not be able to put it lower in the ground without welding an extension to the bottom of the existing post.
 
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Jchonline

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Since the hinges appear to be welded on to the post you may not be able to put it lower in the ground without welding an extension to the bottom of the existing post.
Yep its going to be a job. I would just get a new post, pop the old one out with concrete on it (toss it) and start over.
 

fried1765

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up here we have plastic inverted mushrooms, some call them 'bigfoots'. Toss in big hole, back fill, tamp real good, then put post in bigfoot, pour in concrete, vibrate. need to go 4' down here to get past the frost line.
Also, some actually fill the post to just below the grade level with concrete.
The "Bigfoot" as it's name implies, is primarily to distribute a (footing) vertical load.
A gate post does not need a big footing.
Horizontal support is what is needed.
Concrete in the bottom of a gate post hole is mostly just concrete dumped in the bottom of a hole, and does little to horizontally stabilize the post.
 
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GeoHorn

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Digging two trenches…one beneath the roadway …and another towards / parallel beneath the gate in it’s “open” position…. If an overhead cross-way-support such as ”pig doc” described cannot be used…. Welding a “lateral” to the bottom of the post (after you bust off the existing useless concrete) … two of them actually… to lay in the bottom of the trenches…. (Think of an “L”) …. will provide support for the post when the gate is closed OR open.
Fill and tamp the trenches but use concrete at the base of the post. The laterals do not need to be full-length of the gate but should be as long as the post is tall.

Meanwhile, pulling the post out vertically with the FEL would be my first effort.
 
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GreensvilleJay

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Local tombstone maker has an outdoor jib crane. It was impressive to see the MASSIVE amount of concrete being poured into the hole to support a 'simple' 12" round pipe. Hole was 10-12 feet deep ( frost is 4' up here). Don't know if the OP has to worry about 'heaving' but man, it can lift stuff up when it wants too !
 

BruceP

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Another approach

If that post is truly, as you say "really in the ground" and not likely to move.... why mess with it?

Instead, have you considered simply cutting off and rewelding the two 'hangers' for the gate so THEY are plumb? Infact... you may only need to move ONE of the 'hangers'
MUCH simpler to do than messing with the post... any welder would be able to handle that task.

Repaint black after welding.
 
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GreensvilleJay

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Off plumb by 5" on a pole that's 5' tall ? HAS to be REAL obvious, would drive me nuts and it'd be out before noon.
In the picture it looks like a big crack in the concrete ,kinda running SW from the pole. That alone is a good reason to yank it out and start all over.
 
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pigdoc

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Concrete <spit>

I grew up on a farm and set hundreds of fence posts by hand without using any concrete. My ol' man (b. 1925) tutored me on how to properly set fence posts, having grown up on a farm himself.

The key to having a post stay plumb is to tamp the living sh*t out of it. You gotta have a good comfortable tamping rod, and you tamp only a shovelful of dirt at a time. I use a 4-foot long piece of pine 2x2 as a tamping rod. After you get the lowest foot of depth tamped, you can basically just shovel the rest of the dirt in and go to the next one.

That's Old School.

And, I realize that in this situation, we're dealing with a BIG load hanging off the side of the post. That complicates matters. But more concrete is not going to solve the problem. In other words, brute force is not the solution.

Whenever I see a crooked mailbox post, I scoff. Amateurs. I should send a picture of mine, next to 10 more that are all standing at random angles to vertical. I like to think my neighbors are all saying, "How'd he do dat?"

I also used to build pole barns for a living. Concrete is used to hold a post from pulling out of the ground due to wind. You nail blocks to the sides of the post, to give some purchase to the concrete around the post. It's the barn structure, with diagonal bracing that holds all the posts plumb.

:)
-Paul
 
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sheepfarmer

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Y'a!l would laugh at the fix I put on a 4 by6 wooden gate post that had snapped off be!ow ground level. It holds a heavy 12 foot gate. Given the price of posts and the lack of experience of my young helpers, I did not want to take down the brace posts and the 5 foot unclimbable wire mesh. The latter would probably not re wrap around a new post meekly.

So I rummaged through the stack of 8 foot posts yanked out of the ground a couple years ago for one in decent shape and we dug a narrowed 3 foot deep hole with a hand posthole digger right next to the broken one, set and tamped to a fairtheewell the new one, and sistered the two together with 2 2 by 6s. The gate was held up at the far end on a stack of wood scraps until the clay dried and set. I think it is going to work. Not elegant but free. I used to do everything on my farm so it would last 40 years, but it has dawned on me that I am not going to last another 40 years so a less durable fix would do!
 

ve9aa

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Not exactly pertinent to this particular situation, but a couple decades ago I built a very long and heavy wooden gate and attached it to a large tree (not a post).

Of course, not being a carpenter, I didn't build it right and so it sagged and it wasn't long before it was scraping on the ground (sorta like the OP's situation his neighbor has)

My solution was 2-fold. I added a small wheel at the far end....not perfect, but it helped somewhat.

The best thing I did was add an overhead guy wire and attached that farther up the tree. Now the (heavy) gate was free/balanced enough that even a small child could open it.

Problem solved !
 

aaluck

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Update:

Thanks for all of the replies. After I realized this was going to be a real job I remembered seeing the same guy I use for earth moving at her house when her husband was alive. I reached out to him and told him what was going on and he immediately volunteered to reset the post for free.

So all I will have to do is install the new control arm for the gate and get her Ring gear setup at the gate.
 
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Russell King

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That sounds like a great thing that you two are doing for your friend’s widow

Thank you for being so kind
 
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Freeheeler

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That sounds like a great thing that you two are doing for your friend’s widow

Thank you for being so kind
I agree. The news if full of examples of the world going to the crapper in a hurry, but reality is there are a lot of good folks doing good things for the right reasons.
 
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aaluck

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Update:

So I was going to move the electrical wire and discovered that is had no power. Poked around and couldn't figure out why. Electrician came out and said more than likely was cut when septic work was done. So she will get that fixed and we will hopefully move forward and get this completed at some point.
 
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The Evil Twin

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Update:

So I was going to move the electrical wire and discovered that is had no power. Poked around and couldn't figure out why. Electrician came out and said more than likely was cut when septic work was done. So she will get that fixed and we will hopefully move forward and get this completed at some point.
We fully expect a report with photo documentation when you do 😁
 
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Coreymacc

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If you know a welder just have him pie cut the post where it needs to be to make it plumb and re weld it. You can probably do this 1 to 2 inches from the ground. Probably won't even notice when done. Or back fill it a bit. If the post is in as solid as you say, it will be fine. Paint it and walk away.

My 2 cents
Corey
 

Vigo

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Always sucks when you find out that to FIX something right, it actually takes even more effort than it would have taken to INSTALL it right in the first place, and that was already enough work to make the last guy not do it in the first place! 😂
 
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BruceP

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Always sucks when you find out that to FIX something right, it actually takes even more effort than it would have taken to INSTALL it right in the first place, and that was already enough work to make the last guy not do it in the first place! 😂
I work on small equipment (mowers, tractors, minibikes, 4-wheelers...etc) I always try to do the "least amount of work" to resolve a problem.

HOWEVER: More often than not, it turns out the 'shortcut fix' does not work out as-expected and I end up having to do it the right way which I should have done in the first place. 🤨

As an example: Every carburetor is tuned 'lean' from the factory for emissions reasons. A couple years of ethanol fuel sitting in it during storage will block the jets enough to make engine surge due to excessive leanness. (snowblowers may be the worst)

The "quick fix" is to leave the carburetor installed on the machine and just drop the float-bowl and hose the innards down with carb-cleaner.... .this works about 2 out of 10 times.

The proper 'fix' is to remove carburetor, totally dismantle it down to every component, bathe in ultrasonic-cleaner, run microDrill by hand thru every jet and meticulously dry with compressed-air.

It is tempting to order a Chineezium carburetor for $12 and bolt it on.... but it is always a crap-shoot. Many of these Chineezium carburetors have some goofy defect or are jetted improperly. I cannot tell you how many brand-new Chineezium carburetors are bad out of the box. (wrong jets, casting defects, missing parts...etc)
 
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