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Common tool for making radial slots ?

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by K4TQF, Oct 29, 2017.

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  1. W5WN

    W5WN Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    It's black gumbo and is soft and sticky most of the year until summer when it gets hot and dry. I'm from Virginia and used the manual edger there to lay several thousand feet of radials. The red clay there was worse than the gumbo clay here. I had acreage with shade from a heavily wooded lot so it was almost impossible to keep a thick lawn. I had to bury the radials for saftey reasons.
    KA4DPO likes this.
  2. KA4DPO

    KA4DPO Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Soft soil,,,,,in Plano??? You must be in a rare location. I can recall trying to dig some trenches at cam Bullis in San Antonio once and we actually did wind up using dynamite, actually cratering charges to break up Caliche. I have some friends who live near you, just outside of FT Worth, and the ground there is hard as a rock. As for the lawn here in VA? I have trees in the back but there is a hybrid grass that grows in shade, my lawn is always thick and green. You probably lived in Mechanicsville. There used to be a famous ham there, don't know where he went but maybe he moved somewhere that grass grows.:D
  3. W5WN

    W5WN Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    The soil in Texas varies. Some places around Fort Worth have red clay. Most of the Dallas area has black gumbo. East Texas has sandy soil. I don't know what's around San Antonio. It's over 300 miles away. So, the gumbo soil in Plano is very easy to trench / edge a few inches deep. My yard maintenance crew edge about 200 feet of sidewalk around my house 12 moths a year. I did it myself for years. No problem.

    In Virginia, last lived between Gainesville and Warrenton in Fauquier County. The soil there was very rocky. I lived on a small foothill of the mountains about 30 miles away. I could trench deeply enough to bury radials. However, due to the soil and heavily shaded property due to the trees, I couldn't just staple them to the ground. I lived in Alexandria and Springfield before that. The soil there would probably have been fine to staple radials. However, I never used a vertical there so I can't say for sure.
  4. AF7TS

    AF7TS Ham Member QRZ Page

  5. N8XTH

    N8XTH Ham Member QRZ Page

  6. WZ7U

    WZ7U Subscriber QRZ Page

    Found this rooting around in the subterrania under the house and remembered this thread, so I figured I'd give it a bit o' resurrection with this
    Resized_20171111_233048.jpeg Resized_20171111_233055.jpeg Resized_20171111_233115.jpeg Last one for scale.

    Looks homemade from the last century sometime, for planting seeds would be my guess. Maybe it will give you an idea for some junkbox parts you might have. Saw this at Ace the other day too. $27

    Winter is 160 season. Bury your radials early for a bumper crop.
    W4IOA, K7WFM and KA4DPO like this.
  7. KA4DPO

    KA4DPO Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    I saw one of those in a slasher movie. The guy wore a leather mask and used one of those to slice up the stupid college kids who decided to hide in the tool shed behind the chain saws.:D

    You might want to hit with a little WD-40 and sharpen it up with a file.:)
    WZ7U likes this.
  8. KA7RRA

    KA7RRA Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    MY dad had one of those I used to edge the lawn with it has a kid I think he got it from his dad,my grandfather
  9. KY5U

    KY5U Subscriber QRZ Page


    Manual edger. Modern version:

  10. K4KYV

    K4KYV Subscriber QRZ Page

    And it doesn't work very well. I once tried it, and the thing threw dirt back and partially re-filled the slit as it progressed forwards.

    And a lot more back-breaking work, just as with an ordinary garden spade. I initially tried the manual edger, and the blade broke from metal fatigue after about two radials. Next, tried the garden spade, but decided it would take several hours of work every day for at least a couple of months to lay my 160m ground system. I ended up making my own radial plough, copied after a machine I saw the telephone company use to bury a line across a customer's lawn from the pole at the street to his house. I cut the pieces out of scrap metal and took them to a welding shop to assemble. It took two tries to get it right, but in the end I attached it to a walk-along rear tine garden tiller with the tines temporarily removed, and with the help of a friend, was able to lay nearly 3 miles of #12 bare soft-drawn copper for my 160m vertical in just four days. That was in 1983, and the radials are still there, with very little deterioration in the soil.

    If I had it to do over again, I'd probably just cut the grass as short as I could mow it, stake down the wires with staples made out of scrap Copperweld, and then re-mow regularly to let the radials bury themselves in the thatch and sod.

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