Introduction: Pull Wooden Fence Posts Set in Concrete WITH NO DIGGING!

I wanted to post this to maybe help someone save a little time if they ever need to replace a fence, which has wooden posts that are set in concrete, and doesn't want to have to dig them out by hand.

Here's the story.

My very aging neighbor lady down the street asked me if I would replace about a ten foot section of her old cedar fence and update it to the same style her next door neighbor just put in. Of course I said yes.

Now, truth be told, I am lazy, and work hard at it. I wanted to find a way to lift out old fence posts that are embedded in the ground in concrete without having to resort to digging them out of the ground with a shovel, and thereby breaking too much of a sweat in the process. I wanted to be able to reuse the holes for new posts, too, so pulling them out with a truck was out of the question, as that would elongate the holes.

After scouring the Internet and finding ways of pulling posts that would leave a huge hole that would have to be backfilled and re-dug, or hokey "Here, hold my beer" type of ideas using tools I did not have such as a tractor or truck wheel rim, or chains, or explosives, I determined that there was nothing "out there" in bitland simple enough to suit my needs. So, I came up with the following idea. I like it because you can pull the post out with one hand, so you don't need anyone to hold your beer for you, and then after you are finished pulling posts, you can dismantle the device and use the parts as new posts when you rebuild the new fence, and utilizing the same holes. No digging! No nails. No screws. Can I get an AMEN?

Step 1: Gather Some Simple Materials

For my / your post puller, you will need

  • 2 4" x 4" x 10' treated lumber posts
  • 2 4" x 4" x 1' treated lumber pieces
  • Twenty feet or so of spare paracord, twine, rope, wire, whatever
  • 1 Two foot iron spike or rebar (found in home improvement centers. I used a 3/4" diameter spike)
  • A drill
  • a 3/4" bit (or what suits the diameter of your spike)
  • A concrete cinder block or scrap lumber, or whatever you can find for a fulcrum.

Step 2: Build Your One Handed Post Puller

What you want to do is to lash two of the long 4x4's together, sandwiching the two small pieces together as shown. tie as tight as you can, no huge deal. During use, the force is not being applied to the ligatures (paracord). The cord is just there to hold the smaller pieces of lumber between the longer ones, so they act as spacer blocks.

Then you want to drill a hole large enough for your spike (in my case, 3/4") through the end of one of the long 4x4's. Then do the same to the other side. Measure if you need to, I did not as I am pretty proficient by eye/hand. You want the holes to line up so you can push the spike through as shown with little to no resistance.

You are done with the puller! Tough work, huh? Or eh? (In case you are a Northern brother or sister).

Step 3: Attach Puller to Old Post

Now you need to drill a hole in the existing post you want to pull. How high up depends on your fulcrum material. In my case, that was about 15 inches from the ground.

Slide the puller minus the spike up the old post, lining up the holes, and push the spike through the three 4 x 4's, as shown.

Now you will want to place your fulcrum.

Step 4: Add Your Fulcrum

Place your fulcrum, in my case an old cinder block and stepping stone, as close to the post as possible, WITHOUT covering any of the concrete that the post is set into. Just take the fulcrum to the edge of the concrete, as shown.

Step 5: Pull Yer Post!

Saunter on over to the far end of your post puller, and using one hand to hold your beverage of choice, use the other hand to push down the lever handle. See how easy that was?

Step 6: Tough to Reach Posts

Tough to reach posts are no match for your new post puller, either. You can push the spike through the hole, and use the puller from the side, as shown. Worked great! Lifted it out straight and no damage to the other fence that I have to match when I rebuild her fence.

Step 7: Thanks...

Thanks to this wonderful community. I have received much help from Instructables in my life, and hope that this helps someone else.

Think hard, so you can work less!

P.S. --If you like this, it would be nice if you could vote for me in the First Time Authors' Contest. Thanks!

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