One thing I hate doing is digging post-holes. There is always a rock or something in exactly the wrong spot and by the time you’ve dug a foot or two down you know that: 1) you’re 1/3 of the way there 2) you’re at the effective limit of your tools.
Professionals have the right tools; that’s why they are in the business. It’s always been fascinating to me because the tools are extremely expensive but they make the work fast and easy. That creates a sort of natural barrier to entry between the professional and the hobbyist – the hobbyist can get the same results as the professional but at the cost of several times the effort.
I could have dug these myself; it’d just take several days and I’d be incapacitated for a week afterward.
I don’t even want to think how much torque that dirt-screw applies – packed earth is tough stuff and you can see clay down at the bottom. It just ripped its way down into the ground.
Ken and his son spent a while laying out where the foundation is going to be, using steel pegs, string, a couple tape measures, and a laser level. Everything in the layout is based on the first peg – you measure from that and drop another peg; then the third peg is measured using a tape measure from the first one and another tape measure from the second. The length is the size of the building (tape measure one) and the angle is the length time sin(width); that’s all in a calculator nowadays – no need for a book with a sine table.
When my grandfather worked as a carpenter during WWII he learned a bunch of layout tricks involving taking strings, nailing them to things, and stretching them out, folding them in thirds, etc. When I was a kid, it was neat to watch him do that but now I wonder if he was just messing with me.
“book with a sine table” – I originally wrote “book with a sin table” and changed it because my mind started wandering into what that might look like. If someone did a bible with an illustrated sin table, it’d be a big hit.