What was expected to be a simple installation of a new statue of Jesus in Greenfield’s Calvary Cemetery turned into a much larger project when it came to clearing out rotted wood from the site’s concrete base.
The old cross had blown over in a storm, snapping off at its base. A beautiful new hand-crafted fiberglass replacement of Jesus corpus and steel cross were imported from Italy.
R.G. Penfield & Sons were called in to do whatever needed to be done at the base to receive the new corpus, and to install it.
“First, I tried drilling out the rotten wood with a butterfly bit and extension,” said Bob Penfield. “That didn’t work. Then we tried an auger type bit. That didn’t work. Everything clogged up with rotten wood.”
“So we tried burning it,” Penfield continued. “We couldn’t keep it lit, so we tried using a shop vac in reverse as a bellows to get it to burn. We just kept chipping away at it some more, using a propane tank with a long handle torch – used for roofing – and reached down with the vacuum again.”
Huge lag bolts were tried. A 24-inch extension welded by West County Equipment onto the end of an auger bit didn’t work much better than anything else.
“Jeff’s Lawn Service even pitched when we were running the drill,” Penfield said.
In the end, all of the drilling and burning did work – inch by inch, hour by hour. But along with the cold and rain, it took more than two weeks to get the job done.