woodshed laundry pole

The idler pulley pole will fasten to the woodshed.

The drive pulley pole will be at the house since this is where the control switches need to be. The idler pulley pole will be 75 feet away, fastened to the far side of the woodshed and also placed in the ground three feet. No doubt, I could zip-line across these poles safely with the heavy cable and support systems I am using. Hmmm…ideas for a later date!

concrete deck block

A concrete pad for the post at the house.

The post at the house side will fasten to my steel stair frame and sit directly on the ground. I designed the stairs to “float”, so the pole will also be able to move if required as the frost in our clay pushes the land around. The landing pad for this post will be a standard department store deck block.

6x6 post install

The far post will use the woodshed for support.

The sturdy woodshed is made of 4×4 posts, so I placed this pole along the side of the existing structure and into the ground. This gives the line a good amount of height. Large laundry items such as bed sheets and blankets won’t sag to the ground.

post hole digging

Digging a hole for the idler pulley pole.

To make sure that the tension on the line doesn’t cause stress on the woodshed, I also dug down three feet to anchor the 6×6 in the ground. I’m probably going overboard on all aspects of this design, but that’s my style and I am stickin’ to it!

laundry post levelling

Leveling the idler pulley pole at the woodshed.

Making the woodshed side pole level was fairly easy because the supporting pole is already nice and vertical, even after living through five harsh Northern Ontario winters in the heaving clay. I aligned the two poles together after seating the new pole three feet in the ground alongside the existing pole.

lag screws and drill bit

Lag screws will join the new pole to the existing pole.

I found a few long lag screws in my collection; these will be used to fasten the new pole alongside the existing pole. Since all tension will attempt to push the poles together rather than apart, these screws really only hold the alignment and will not be under any stress. I pre-drill all woodscrew holes with a drill bit that is slightly smaller than the threads so that the wood does not crack when receiving the threads.

drilling for lag screws

Drilling the screw holes while the two poles are aligned.

With the new pole leveled alongside the existing woodshed pole, I drilled the lag screw hole through the 4×4 and into the 6×6 post a small distance. The lag screws are long enough to thread into the 6×6 post at least half way.

ratchet driving lag bolts

Cranking down the lag screws into the 6×6 post.

Installing long lag screws is a great workout, and will require a wrench or socket driver. Even with the pilot holes, the 8 inch long lag screes took some serious effort to thread all the way into the 6×6 post.

lag bolt and washer

The post are now coupled together and leveled.

I always add a washer to the lag bolts as well because it becomes very difficult to use the wrench or socket once they start sinking into the wood. The washer prevents the head of the bolt from countersinking when you really start cranking it down at the end.

tamping dirt around post

Tamping the clay back in around the post hole.

Although the woodshed frame will keep this new post aligned, I still did the job properly, tamping back the clay a few inches at a time until the hole was filled back in. This process takes some time and effort, but works better than concrete out here (based on my firsthand experiences).

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