How to dig a pond? Concrete related.

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johnv713

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Id like to dig a hole in the backyard roughly about 12x7x3 deep for a pond. What are some of the best ways to go about doing that? And please don't say shovel and spade because I look hella sexy covered sweat and the ladies won't be able to resist :clap:

Kidding aside, I prefer not to use any heavy equipments like backhoe, tractor etc. Wouldnt know how to operate one anyways.


Can anyone tell me in the first and 2nd pic what is the floor/edges of the pond is made of? Stained concrete perhaps?


 

johnv713

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Thanks for the video, Neal.

I already have the know how to lay underlayment and liner. Just needed to know if there are any portable power digger I could use to dig with. Maybe an auger?
 
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Chris

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If you are set on not using equipment although a mini excavator would be perfect we use an electric 60lb jack hammer with a shovel bit for hard ground. Makes easy work of it.
 

johnv713

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How hard is it to work a back hoe? Dont have enough time for learning curve if I were to rent one.

Yeah maybe a jack hammer might do it.
 

slownsteady

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I rented an excavator (backhoe) a while back. I never used one before but the rental guy gave me plenty of instruction and advised to take it way in the back and play before I started any work near my house. I did, and it didn't take long to get the hang of it and i loved the hell out of working with it.
 
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Chris

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If you get a newer machine with joysticks it will come easy. If you get wobble stick or an old case machine, good luck! I run equipment daily and those ones get tricky.
 

slownsteady

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yeah, two joysticks; it was like playing a video game.


@John: I don't see where there is any alternative between a excavator and the "by-hand" approach. If you used an auger or even a roto-tiller to break up the soil, you would still have to shovel it out. Granted, if the ground is broken up and softened it would be easier....but still....
 
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johnv713

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Oh I cant get a backhoe, I'd need something to haul it in. Beside, it's probably too big to squeeze thru my backyard door. Electric hammer it is.
 

slownsteady

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Well, it's definitely not a bumper tow. Most rental places will deliver & pick up. (for a price)
 

johnv713

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That track loader looks promising. Probably a $200/day im assuming?
 

Fireguy5674

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Our local rental place has about the same setup made by Toro. I have never used one but they have several attachments, are compact and look easy to operate.
 

beachguy005

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Just look for a company that rents bobcats and you'll probably find that they also rent the walk behinds and deliver them. I used one a while back to move a couple of truck loads of sand and gravel. Very easy to use....might even say it was a bit fun.
 

bud16415

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As a DIY project I look at these types projects as saving me a gym membership.

When I drive past the local health club I always laugh every car is bunched up in front of the door because people don't want to walk. Then inside they all are on treadmills going no place. They get home from lifting weights and use the garage door opener.

On a commercial job trying to make money the machine works. At home DIY take your time and hand dig it. Enjoy the burn.


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beachguy005

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Hand digging 8 plus yards of dirt is only one part, moving it is another part. You also need to factor in the time involved. I've done a lot of back breaking work on houses I've owned, and as much as I've tried, I've never been able to convince myself the I was doing it for the exercise. Except for maybe the beer curls after.
 

slownsteady

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Bud makes a real good point about the gym and exercise. If I could, I would give it two likes. Like the guy who gets a trolling motor for his row boat and then uses the rowing machine at the gym. Go figure!!

But the reality is that you will get plenty of exercise doing the other parts of this job, or you will be digging into - maybe through - the next month.
 

bud16415

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That is a lot of digging looking back at the size the OP listed. Most yard ponds don't have straight sides and are only deep in the center. Most ponds want to be just deep enough to set container plants to be a few inches below the surface. The deep area is to place the containers for winter and a place for the fish. Many people hand dig this size pond as its hard with machines to sculpt the shapes and leave the compacted soil alone. Most ponds now do a rubber liner.


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