Digging plugs in frozen ground

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12-28-2016, 04:48 PM
Post: #1
Digging plugs in frozen ground
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I just finished playing around in the cold and I stuck to my own property because I wasn't sure how to dig a good plug in the ground that is frozen for the first inch or two.
   The plugs I dug where it was frozen all shattered when I pulled them out. I normally pride myself on leaving things looking like I had not been there, but try as I might I could not make those look good.
   Does anybody have a good method for digging in lightly frozen ground that doesn't look bad?
Thanks
Pat

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12-28-2016, 09:18 PM
Post: #2
RE: Digging plugs in frozen ground
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Now that is a first for me - I don't know how too either.

Bigtony, member of Treasure Classifieds Forum since Jan 2015.
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12-29-2016, 11:00 AM
Post: #3
RE: Digging plugs in frozen ground
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Pat, I'm sorry, no help. I have no experience with frozen ground in Florida. Sun

updownup, proud to be a member of Treasure Classifieds Forum since Oct 2015.
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12-29-2016, 12:59 PM
Post: #4
RE: Digging plugs in frozen ground
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We don't dig here a LOT if the ground is frozen, as it's simply not possible, or extremely difficult. But, as you said, if it's only the first few inches, there's been many an occasion where we've hunted with the soil as such, even a few weeks ago as a matter of fact.

If the plugs are breaking apart, yes, that can happen, although, I usually find it easier to dig plugs in harder soil, as the freeze helps bond the dirt together better.

When digging in soil where the first few inches are frozen, it really helps to have a Predator type digger, as one can use their entire body weight to muscle through the surface to make the initial cuts. Once the surface cuts are done, the deeper soil tends to be like butter, very soft. I solely used a lesche for many years, and digging in frozen soil (even the top layer only) is extremely tough, time consuming, and can lead to shoddy plugs.

I wish I had a better answer for you, but I don't do bullshit, only the truth. And the honest answer is, there's sometimes a better tool to do a better job. Digging in frozen soil is extremely tough, and the mini shovels help tremendously.

NjNyDigger, proud to be a member of Treasure Classifieds Forum since 2013.

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12-29-2016, 02:05 PM
Post: #5
RE: Digging plugs in frozen ground
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Yeah, the Sampson type shovels are the only way to go in frozen ground. In fact I feel it's the only way to go even in soft ground. I used a Lesche digger for years and had the blisters to show for it. Then someone recommended the shovel and I haven't looked back. After digging a plug and retrieving the target, I try to put the plug (pieces) back exactly in the same position as it was removed.That makes it easier to tamp the plug flat and as neat as possible.
Gerry

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12-29-2016, 07:11 PM
Post: #6
RE: Digging plugs in frozen ground
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well sometimes when we know we have good stuff a garbage can with a fire in it and let it thaw the ground. or a blow torch to warm up shovel

Steveo, proud to be a member of Treasure Classifieds Forum since Jun 2013.
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12-29-2016, 08:07 PM
Post: #7
RE: Digging plugs in frozen ground
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(12-29-2016 07:11 PM)Steveo Wrote:  well sometimes when we know we have good stuff a garbage can with a fire in it and let it thaw the ground. or a blow torch to warm up shovel

Hahaha! I think you might be joking, but if true, that right there takes the prize, never heard of that in all my years in this hobby! Would be a lot of work if it the target turns out to be a memorial or a pull tab Chuckle

NjNyDigger, proud to be a member of Treasure Classifieds Forum since 2013.

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12-29-2016, 10:18 PM
Post: #8
RE: Digging plugs in frozen ground
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(12-29-2016 07:11 PM)Steveo Wrote:  well sometimes when we know we have good stuff a garbage can with a fire in it and let it thaw the ground. or a blow torch to warm up shovel

I think you are joking , but when the itch to detect got a little too much to bear on a warm February day I seriously considered it. I tried slowly pouring a five gallon bucket of hot water on a spot that gave a great high tone from all directions when I got my AT Pro . It did not work.
   Perhaps it is time to consider a small shovel , I have been using a Fiskars garden trowel that resembles a leshe.
  Thanks for the advice guys.
Pat

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12-30-2016, 01:22 AM
Post: #9
RE: Digging plugs in frozen ground
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I agree on the predator or lesche shovel. My piranha and little eagle are great. A week ago I was out and the grounds were frozen solid, still early about 630am. I got through with my big piranha.
As for carefully removing it...you said you can get about a inch. Remove a inch plug with the grass, set it aside ok a towel and remove the rest of the dirt onto the towel as well. Put the dirt back and the plug with the grass intact ontop.
Happy hunting and best of luck!

Zachbl92, proud to be a member of Treasure Classifieds Forum and detectorist since Nov 2015.
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12-30-2016, 02:16 PM
Post: #10
RE: Digging plugs in frozen ground
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well I was sort of joking. I never did the fire in the garbage can. But I do know guys that did do it. First when you have lots of snow the frost doesn't go so deep and actually helps take it out of the ground . And they were going after unreal relics.
Me myself I stay in the warm house and only leave when I really, really need to

Steveo, proud to be a member of Treasure Classifieds Forum since Jun 2013.
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