Instructables

Tool for Tamping Earth

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This is a tool for tamping earth.  It has a heavy cast concrete head with a flat bottom.  You pound the earth with it to compact the dirt.  It is a tool that might be used in road work, or for preparing ground prior to pouring a cement floor, etc.

It’s not a tool that many people would ever use.  I have needed one in the past for tamping the ground to compact it before plastering floors and walkways with my nylon-cement construction technique (nylon fishnet and cement).  Now, I need one to help out on some asphalt road work, to tamp and shape asphalt.  I hope it works.  This will be my first time working with asphalt. 

The shaft is a piece of light-weight galvanized tubing.  Holes are drilled, and nails pass through the pipe, helping to lock the cast cement head in place.  I suppose that, if one was making cement dumbbells for weight lifting one could use the same nail technique for locking the cement in place. 

The nails make sure the head stays in place.  Without the nails, use and abuse could loosen the pipe and it could slip out of the cement. 


 
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Step 1: Drill holes for the nails


I use nails 3 1/2 inches long, and a slightly smaller drill to make the holes for them so that they can be driven into the pipe tightly with a hammer.  I use three nails at different angles.  Six holes, in three opposing pairs. 

At the other end of the pipe, I drill a couple larger holes so that I can hang the tool up from a nail in the wall, or an “S” hook from something. 

Step 2: Drive in the nails

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There’s not much to it, just drive the nails in with a hammer.  Make sure that the nail lines up with the hole on the opposite side of the pipe.  If you try to bang it into solid metal, the nail will bend. 

This is so cool! I'm planning to build myself a backyard garden shed. This will be perfect for compacting the ground before I pour the gravel and concrete for the floor. Plus I like to idea of making your own dumbbells. Way to go!
kleinjahr3 years ago
Nice simple traditional tool. A slight improvement would be to add a "T" handle. Do remember to wear steel toe boots or shoes, could be a mite painful otherwise.
mosherj84 years ago
What ever you do don't use a cannon shell from WWII like this guy father did, http://www.darwinawards.com/darwin/darwin2010-05.html
Ninzerbean4 years ago
How long do you think this should cure before use? Do you have to spray it with water during the cure process?
Thinkenstein (author)  Ninzerbean4 years ago
I added mention of curing in the final step. Thanks for mentioning that detail.
Thinkenstein (author)  Ninzerbean4 years ago
You are right about curing. It's hardest if it stays wet for a few days. I suppose you could just leave it inside the plastic mold for a few days before exposing it to the air. You could let the head soak in a bucked of water.
cv64 years ago
FYI, another use is tamping dirt around wood posts when doing fencing. Nice job.