The Book - Bart Beck

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SETTING POLES

There are times, when you are setting poles in the swamps, like we had up there, that you cannot get a hole deep enough, because of caving. When this would happen, the setting crew would "shoot" the pole down. To do that you would dig as deep as you could, with the setting rig auger, then you would stand the pole upright, in the hole, put a small charge of dynamite under the butt and touch it off. You put the dynamite in by using a piece of 1-1/4 inch pipe with a loose, iron point in it's lower end. When you figured that you had the point down to the butt of the pole, you lowered the dynamite and pulled the pipe out. If all went according to plan, the explosion would create a cavity, large enough to let the pole down to the proper depth.

Some owners frowned on that procedure because it would, sometimes, damage the butt of the pole. I know of a case, in one of those Cedar Swamps, when the crew couldn't get a hole deep enough to set a 35 foot pole and when the charge went off, the pole kept right on going down until there was only about 20 feet of it sticking out of the ground, when there should have been 29 feet exposed.

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