Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Pogo sticks at 20 paces

Since ramming my little test “wall” and getting the nod from the engineer, I’ve been (OK, well Alissa has been) looking around for places to hire a pogo stick (pneumatic earth rammer), since ramming a 9m by 2.5m high wall by hand would be murder.

Most mainstream hire shops look at you funny when you ask for these - the only earth rammers they seem to know about are the petrol-powered “foot” rammers which you see council workers using to compact crushed rock for concrete footpaths.  Alissa did however manage to find one place in Airport West which deals a lot with rammed earth builders and have the rammers available, for a pretty reasonable $40/day.

Thing is, I can have one on eBay for $450 delivered, which admittedly is more money but only 11 days hire. If I was certain that I’d be really well organised and have the wall built in a single (long) weekend then I’d just hire it, but things never work out to plan and so we’d probably spend half the bought cost just to hire one.

With that in mind and one late eBay bid later, we’re now the proud owners of our very own pneumatic tamper! :) My rationale is that even if we don’t get the use out of it to justify the expense versus hiring, we can at least on-sell it later and probably get most (if not all) of our money back since these things retail for $1800-or-so locally.

Now, all I need to do is sort out an air compressor man enough to drive it.  My little 40L workshop compressor isn’t nearly big enough for the job (the tamper can consume 30cfm at 90psi), so either I hire a big petrol compressor when we need it ($60/day) or it’s eBay to the rescue again…

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