A silver birch in the neighbour's garden behind our fence had grown too big and was threatening our house. It had also expanded over the years and bowed and broken the concrete base slab beneath the fence.
The neighbour had it cut down and now I've pulled out the broken slab and am trying to find a way of cutting away enough of the remaining stump so that the replacement slab will sit level and at the right height. This has meant excavating down about 12" below ground level to expose the stump where it flares out to the roots. I've had some success in cutting down vertically into it with my 14" chainsaw but don't have room to get in horizontally at a low enough depth to cut off the bit I've separated from the main stump. On top of this there are stones everywhere mixed up with the stump and I've ruined one chain. Can always re-sharpen it but a 15 minute sharpening session is wiped out in a second when the chain hits another stone or some grit.
A local tree surgeon has quoted me £50 to bring his stump-grinder, which will deal with the problem in about 3 minutes. But £50 is a lot of pints of Moorhouses Blonde Witch.
My neighbour says I should just drop in the slab and then cut the fence panel down but I don't want to bodge the job because I've got to look at that fence for many more years. After retreating to think about it I've decided that this weekend I need to excavate a lot more soil from around the stump to give room to get the chainsaw in and cut horizontally much lower down, but before that, borrow a jetwasher and give the stump a good clean to remove all the embedded soil and grit.
Any other suggestions?