Hand Chain Hoist

A section of fence was falling down in our backyard. The posts had rotted out but the fence sections were in decent shape. Lo and I did some heavy lifting and disconnected everything exposing just the posts – or what was left of them when we were done. They were rotten so bad that they snapped off as stubs in the concrete pile while removing the fence sections.

I started digging around one post and that didn’t go so well – I dug out and around more then down. A top cap of cement was easy to remove, some gravel and then I discovered a cement pile about 10 inches below grade. These went down about 3 or 4 feet – needed to stop them from heaving in the southern ontario winters.

Luckily my Uncle knew someone with a hand chain hoist which works like a block and tackle but using gears instead of pulleys to get a mechanical advantage. We chained up a tripod of 4×4’s directly over the post stubs and wrapped them with a chain to choke them while the hoist lifted them out. The first two worked great and were easily removed within 15 minutes, the 3rd pulled the post out but not the concrete plug. We hammered away at it and finally rocked it out with two pry bars. Took at least an hour and we threw most of my workshop tools at it.

The fence was built in place with new hangers and pressure treated 10 foot 4×4’s. The posts were braced perpendicular to the fence line to stop the fence from moving when setting up in concrete – turned out to be a pretty windy night too so it was definitely needed. The fence sections themselves brace parallel to the fence line.

Sonotubes were installed so we can get the concrete above grade since the backyard is really wet when it rains. Hopefully this helps with the rotting and we won’t have to revisit this fence for many years.

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