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StaceStar

Bank holiday todmorden pier

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So I've thought about this for a while now and I'm finally going to start building a pier (of some sort). I found @MattGoo's fab guide and so I think I will be following that. 

Once done I'll probably add a gabien cage and some fancy rocks to make it look a bit snazzy ?

Made a start getting some stuff today, got postcrete also. Just need to find some breeze blocks now! Have tried Wickes and Selco...neither had the hollow ones in. Will try EH Smith over the next few days :)

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I showed our builder around my (partially complete) observatory today.  He was most impressed by the solidity of the Todmorden style piers.  I think he was quite impressed by it all actually, which is pleasing.

I used Gorilla Glue rather than Gripfill for mine because it foams up as part of the curing process so it gets into all the little nooks and crannies between the blocks, but I imagine generous helpings of Gripfill will effectively achieve the same thing.  I used larger washers than you have, too.  I think mine are around 30mm diameter from memory.

My blocks came from CRS who are only Somerset-based, but I think Travis Perkins and Buildbase stock them as well.

James

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Ah, yes, here you go:

https://www.buildbase.co.uk/cemex-hollow-concrete-block-7n-100010511-2801015

https://www.travisperkins.co.uk/Hollow-Dense-Concrete-Block-7-3N-215mm/p/988088

To drill the holes for the threaded rods I used an SDS drill in non-hammer mode and stepped up sizes starting at around 5mm.  In hammer mode it just blows the inside face of the block.  Possibly you could go halfway through in hammer mode and then turn it off.  I found using a standard hammer drill quite hard work.  The blocks are also very hard.  Three masonry bits have given up the ghost whilst drilling the holes in my piers.

James

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Thanks James! I've got a few of my dad's masonry drill bits (he was a builder, retired now) . Though I just have a normal hammer drill....I might have to go begging for his sds drill too ? but cheers for all that info :) very helpful! 

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You could use a diamond drill bit and do full size hole in one go, you can get dry ones or water cooled.

Dave

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I never knew you could get them for masonry.  I've seen ones for tiles, but never masonry.  I still have a load of holes to drill in the blocks for cladding my piers, so even a small one might be quite handy.

James

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1 minute ago, JamesF said:

I never knew you could get them for masonry.  I've seen ones for tiles, but never masonry.  I still have a load of holes to drill in the blocks for cladding my piers, so even a small one might be quite handy.

James

I've got them from 6mm to 6 inches, B&Q do some reasonable quality ones but a bit expensive, there are some absolute rubbish ones on EB and Amazon.

The larger sizes need a decent drill but doesn't need to be a hammer drill.

Dave

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Got myself a DeWalt. It's nothing too special but hopefully it will do the job! Will have a look for a masonry bit :)

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3 minutes ago, Davey-T said:

I've got them from 6mm to 6 inches, B&Q do some reasonable quality ones but a bit expensive, there are some absolute rubbish ones on EB and Amazon.

The larger sizes need a decent drill but doesn't need to be a hammer drill.

Dave

I shall have a look around.  Perhaps the local builders merchant might have some.  I have also seen diamond core drills, come to think of it.  These are more like standard twist drills though?

James

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Have just ordered 2x blocks from Travis Perkins to pick up tomorrow. Never knew there was a branch near my office  :)

 

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Ok so looking at the instructions, I need to cut those 10mm bars and then put a bend in them. Any tips? I can't say thats something I have ever attempted before ?

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Easy enough to cut with a hacksaw.  You don't need a huge bend.  Just something to stop the rod turning in the concrete when you do up a nut on the other end.  I put a slight bend in mine with a lump hammer whilst holding it in a vice, but you might wish to be a bit less agricultural :)

I think I went for a bend 100mm from the end, buried that and another 100mm in the concrete and left 100mm standing above the concrete.  You might want less above ground if you're putting acorn nuts on, otherwise you'll have to trim them to the right length later (mine aren't visible, so I wasn't fussed about how they looked).

For joining the two blocks you can also use something like 120mm to 150mm of threaded rod with a nut on either end, or use a suitable length bolt.

James

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36 minutes ago, StaceStar said:

Got myself a DeWalt. It's nothing too special but hopefully it will do the job! Will have a look for a masonry bit :)

That possibly has a bit more grunt than my 25 year old Bosch, so you may well be ok :)

Jaems

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50 minutes ago, JamesF said:

I have also seen diamond core drills, come to think of it. 

Yes they're all core drills.

Dave

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1 hour ago, StaceStar said:

Ok so looking at the instructions, I need to cut those 10mm bars and then put a bend in them. Any tips? I can't say thats something I have ever attempted before ?

They'll cut with a hacksaw easily as long as you have a new blade.   As for bending, A brick and a bit of effort will do it.   It'll be tough to get going but once it's bending you can be quite precise with the final angle.

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Got cracking today :) bought myself a nice shiny new hacksaw . Used a vise and also bent them with a bit of brute force. Who needs the gym ?

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Edited by StaceStar
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I've been a busy bee! So here's my progress pics :)

 

Main part of the build is done, next I'll paint it with masonry paint, maybe put a gabion cage around it and also put some pebbles at the base. :)

 

 

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I see the inspection department has had a look ?  Lovely doggie.

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4 minutes ago, Gina said:

I see the inspection department has had a look ?  Lovely doggie.

She has! I didn't think I was going to be able to build it today as yesterday she was poorly....but lots better today so full steam ahead :)

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Great project! That looks like a nice solid way of doing it.

Do you have a pier adapter ready to go on? Interested in which type you go for as mine should probably be replaced soon.

If you have any concrete left a few inches of "mower border" might help out in the long run :)

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Excellent!  Well done.  Should do the job nicely.

James

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Excellent.

I hope the dog didn't christen the pier in the usually canine manner  !!!

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