Over the last weekend I rented a hole auger at Home Depot, and made holes. I put sticks in the hoes so they would have a purpose (the holes, not the sticks).
Now that I had sticks in my holes, I thought it might be nice if the sticks stood upright, and if the sticks were all the same height that would be a bonus. So, I built a jig that allowed me to level the sticks to a datum line - I used the coping on the pool as a datum since it is level.
The jig is a pretty simple setup. The wood block that points down hooks onto the edge of the concrete walkway to maintain an offset from it. The block that points up sets where the pole will go. Lift the pole until a mark on it lines up with the bottom of the "pole attachment block" put in a screw, and the pole is held in position. Using a speed square, I could swivel the rig until the pole was square to the concrete.
Once things were square, a bag of gravel would counter weigh the weight of the pole, and a set of shims would lift the pole until it was level and in line with all the other poles. Everything was lined up on 4 dimensions, then the hole was back filled. I used crushed gravel to fill the pole holes.
Nice and square!
It was lots of work, but by the end of the day, I had 7 poles all lined up to be our pool fence. SWMBO helped set the last 2 so the pole-setting rig was no longer required.
With the poles in place, I was able to run conduit and then back fill the bases. Now all the poles have been topped up with gravel, and the sonotube bases have been levelled off. Ready for the next step in the process...