If you’ve ever had to drill a post hole in the ice, then you already know that it can be difficult if not impossible.
The ice is usually too thick and brittle for an auger to penetrate, and when it does breakthrough, there’s often water on the other side. This blog post will discuss how can you overcome the challenges by using an ice auger as a drilling machine.
What Is An Ice Auger?
An ice auger is a device used for cutting holes in the surface of frozen water. The tool typically consists of multiple rotating steel blades attached to an off-center crank handle, which rotates around one or more pivot points on either end.
Ice augers can be gas powered with small two stroke engines, electrically charged, connected by way of an extension cord to an electrical outlet, or manually turned. The auger’s blades are typically carbide tipped metal, which slice through the ice with ease and speed up drilling time.
How Can You Use an Ice Auger to Drill Post Holes?
If you are looking for an alternative way to dig holes, there is no need to look any further than your ice auger. You can use it as a post hole driller with ease. Whether you’re at home or out in the field, this guide will show you how easy it really is!
First Step: Getting the Right Auger
The first thing you will need is an auger that can handle drilling through ice. Most traditional models are not designed to do this, so make sure your chosen model specifically says it’s for both ice and post holes.
You should also use a different bit depending on what type of material you want to drill into: metal or wood posts require a steel bit while plastic requires one made from polyethylene.
Second Step: Marking Your Hole Location And Depth
After you’ve chosen your auger and bit, the next step is to mark out where each hole will go. This can be done in a number of ways, but sight lines are one option that works well for most people.
In order to do this, make sure you have an assistant holding up a long stick or board from the ground straight towards the fence line. You should hang small flags on both sides so they can see exactly where their posts need to go when it comes time to drill them later on.
If using two assistants isn’t possible (or just not preferred), then simply drive wooden stakes into either side instead and use those as guides while marking out your holes.
Third Step: Drilling The Holes
Now that the holes are marked and your auger is ready, it’s time to start drilling! Simply place it on top of one hole with either an assistant or wooden stakes holding onto the back so it doesn’t slide around.
Be sure not to tighten down too much as you don’t want to damage any internal components such as cogs and gears. Keep in mind that most ice drills only need a quarter-turn for them to be drilled all the way through; stop when they reach this point and do NOT force them further into the ground than necessary.
Finally: Installing Your Posts And Gates
Once your post holes have been drilled, simply remove your posts from their packaging. You can then use the auger bit to guide them into place, being sure not to hit any rocks or other obstructions along the way. Once they’re in, simply backfill dirt around your holes and you’ll have a fence that will last for years!
Is It Safe To Use An Ice Auger For Post Drilling?
Yes, it is entirely safe to use an ice auger for post drilling. In fact, it is a great idea as it saves you the time and effort of digging holes by hand, which can be very hard work.
Ice augers are designed to drill through the ice, so using one for post holes will not damage either your tool or the posts themselves. You might also check our post about drill into concrete fence posts and cutting drilled and slotted rotors if you are interested.