Great Goofs: Dig, dig, dig...

Patience is a virtue when it comes to using power tools in the yard.

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Dig, dig, dig...

Recently married and new homeowners, my wife and I wanted to get started on building a new deck. The first step was to dig the footings. My father (my chief consultant and laborer) and I went to the rental store to pick up a power auger. The auger made quick work of the first two holes, and we could see that we'd easily make it back and qualify for the half-day rental fee. The guy at the rental store warned us that the auger could get stuck and we shouldn't try to remove too much soil without periodically clearing the hole. His warning faded when we neared the bottom of the third hole (about 3 ft. down) and the auger got stuck. We tried and tried but no amount of tugging would free it. And because we were close to the bay window, we couldn't turn the machine to free it. We each grabbed a shovel and dug. Three hours later, with a hole diameter of about 5 ft. and a full day's rental fee, we finally got the auger free. - Mike Burns

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