Aug 5, 2015

Setting the concrete forming tubes and pouring concrete

So before pouring concrete in to the pillars we dug the day before, we needed to first cut the concrete forming tubes to the heights of about 6 inches above ground, then we had to level them in their holes. After that, concrete could be poured. To get them to the right size, we simply put the tubes in the holes and with a tape measurer, measured 6 inches from the ground and market the tubes. Then, measured from the top of the tube to the mark we made, and did that all around to get our cut line. I had an angle grinder that worked well to cut the tubes. Once the tubes were cut to size, we used a level and measured North South and East West on top of each tube. We used pea gravel for about the bottom 6 inches of each hole for drainage and for leveling the tubes. Putting more on the one side that needed to come up to get the tube to level. Once a tube was level, one guy would hold it in position, the other would backfill with dirt. We measured multiple times along the way to make certain all was still level.
Once all the tubes were leveled and secured, we went out to buy cement and rent the cement mixer. The Simpson brackets I originally intended to use that get cemented into the concrete piers were sold out. We ended up going with the anchor bolt/bracket combo instead. We picked up the ½ inch anchor bolts that were 10 inches long. The bolts get buried about 9 inches in to the wet concrete piers. We got the 4x4 inch post brackets that attach to those bolt. Later, after thinking about it further, we decided that 4x4 inch posts would be too small for a 12 x 14 building, so we’ll need to exchange the brackets for 6x6 inch post brackets.
So, how hard is it to pour cement? Well, with about a 42 inch deep hole (about a 48 inch deep  minus 6 inches of pea gravel) it took about 7-8 60 pound bags of cement to fill each hole. With only me and a buddy doing the work—that’s a lot of cement to load on a trailer, unload from the trailer, then load into the concrete mixer. Then repeat (at 20 60 pound bags, my trailer was pretty much riding on rims instead of tires):) Once one tube was filled completely to the top with cement, we smoothed out the cement, ran a tight string across all 3 tubes in line and put in the anchor bolts along the string line such that later the skids will line up right through all 3 piers. The bolt stuck out only about 1 inch of threads for the bracket to attach. That was enough. Once the bolt was sunk in the concrete, we moved on to the next tube. After working for about 6 hours, we were only able to finish 6 holes with one more load of cement yet to be made some other day we have time to do this. By the way, if you’re leaving holes/tubes unfilled until the next time, cover them up so that no animals or children fall down 4 feet in the ground.

Setting the concrete forming tubes 48" deep.
Yep, they're deep.

Filling concrete forming tubes with cement.
3 More to go!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Would love to hear your comments/ideas/suggestions!