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Cutting the wires with a pair of bolt cutters.

Overview

A rotary clothesline is a mainstay in many Aussie backyards, but it can also take up a lot of valuable space. Removing an old rotary clothesline is easier than you might think and a great way to free up extra space in your garden. This video shows you how to safely remove an old rotary clothesline.

Steps

1Preparing your tools

Before you get started, it's a good idea to have an extra pair of hands to help out. You'll also need to be ready to use a couple of the more serious power tools – an angle grinder and jackhammer. Make sure to use them safely and always wear the right protective gear.
A rotary clothesline in a backyard.

2Position the angle grinder

When you use an angle grinder, it's important to keep the cutting disc horizontal as you cut. Remember, cutting through metal will create a lot of sparks. Your angle grinder should be fitted with a shield that directs those sparks away from you. Position yourself so that sparks are directed away from anything that might catch fire, and always have a bucket of water just in case. Angle grinders can't be used outside on total fire ban days.
A Bunnings team member cutting through the rotary clothesline pole with an angle grinder.

3Cut through the pole

You'll need that extra pair of hands for this step. As one person cuts through the pole, the other can steady the clothesline to stop it from collapsing on to the grinder disc. Once the pole is almost cut through, twist it over and rest it on the ground. The pole should break off by itself, but if it doesn't come away entirely, an extra cut with the grinder should finish the job.
A Bunnings team member cutting through the rotary clothesline pole with an angle grinder.

4Cut the clothesline wires

Now that the clothesline is down, it's time to cut the wires. While one person holds the structure in place, the other can cut the wires with a pair of bolt cutters. You can cut these wires anywhere, but it saves time to cut through at the points where the wire has been tied to the poles.
Cutting the wires with a pair of bolt cutters.

5Cut the clothesline using a compact angle grinder

Once you have cut each of the wires, it's time to remove the clothesline arms or ‘stays'. You can use the large angle grinder, but using a compact model can give you more control. Start by cutting the top stay, near the join with the pole. This should be enough to remove the whole arm but you may need to cut the bottom pole as well.
Two Bunnings team members removing the clothesline arms using a compact model angle grinder.

6Remove the concrete base with a jackhammer

The quickest way to break up concrete with a jackhammer is to start at the edge and work your way in. Once the concrete is loosened, use your crow bar to lift up the rubble and loosen the soil around the clothesline base. The base will be heavy, so get someone to help you drag it out of the hole.
Removing the concrete base with a jackhammer.

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More D.I.Y. Advice

Health & Safety

Asbestos, lead-based paints and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber are health hazards you need to look out for when renovating older homes. These substances can easily be disturbed when renovating and exposure to them can cause a range of life-threatening diseases and conditions including cancer. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page.

When following our advice in our D.I.Y. videos, make sure you use all equipment, including PPE, safely by following the manufacturer’s instructions. Check that the equipment is suitable for the task and that PPE fits properly. If you are unsure, hire an expert to do the job or talk to a Bunnings Team Member.