Adam Moyer came by “for a few hours” to drill the lines for the air conditioning. As I’ve mentioned, we’re putting the compressors into workshop, so we need a pipe from the workshop into the basement and the summer kitchen. We can’t dig a trench because its right under the 200-year-old sycamore trees, and we don’t want to mess with those roots. So Adam said he could use an auger to bore holes underground. We didn’t know what an auger was, but it sounded simple enough.

Well, it turns out an auger is just a big screw, as you can see in the photo. They dig a four-foot deep hole to start, then drop the auger in and turn it on. After it goes so far, they add another “segment” and keep going. The only problem, we found out, is that you really can’t control where it goes. Worse, the only way you can find out is by digging another hole!

So Adam and his crew started to drill a line under the summer kitchen. Dawn took some video but it was slow work and she got bored and went and did something else. When she came back, she said Adam looked pretty guilty. Apparently, the auger had started at four feet deep, but it dug itself up and instead of going under the summer kitchen, it came up right in the middle! Besides chewing a large hole in her brand new vapor barrier, it also broke some of the old mortar floor supports. Fortunately these are just nuisances, but Dawn pointed out that if it had hit the other floor support, the stairs might have collapsed! They finished digging that line by hand.

Next they went to drill into the workshop. After half an hour, the auger still hadn’t come through, and nobody was sure why. Dawn, who has a knack for stating the obvious when it escapes everyone else, told them to dig a hole and go look for it. They found two things: 1) the screw head had broken, and 2) the auger had again headed for the surface, starting at four feet and ending at one foot deep. It’s a good thing the head had broken, or we would have had a big hole in the wrong place!

So they went to extract the auger when the whole thing jumped, slamming Adam’s hand against the stone wall and ripping off his fingernail! He seemed to take it in stride, bandaging it up, but he casually mentioned he would probably stop by the emergency room on the way home. I get the feeling they know him well there.

So instead of a few hours, Adam spent the entire day at the farm, didn’t finish the work, and has a mashed finger for his troubles. The moral of the story, I guess, is that when a contractor makes it sound easy, it probably isn’t (which is why you hired the contractor in the first place).