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Pier and Pier Base Construction


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Hi All,

I've finally managed to get the permission to have the pier installed and found a somewhat less compromised position in the garden which i think is the best i can get with giving the kids still enough space to play in the garden.

So before i start digging, i thought i should check with you fine folks. I'll see if i can get some external help but so far i will do this all by myself. Remember, i'm not a diy guy so you might have to dumb some things down for me.

The idea is to bolt the pier down. The pier is 53" long, 5.5mm thick walls and the base plate is about 12cm thick. It's about 600mm x 600mm but i can and will cut it down.

So my questions are as follows:

1) Should i cut the base plate down to the something smaller? maybe 400 x 400mm? or leave it as it is?

2) Initially i was thinking of a 3 feet x 3 feet x 3 feet hole but now i'm thinking 3 feet is a massive hole in width so how about make it 2 feet x 2 feet x 2 feet? Is this going to be good enough surface to have the pier bolted down to? Or does it matter how wide or deep the hole has to be for just the bolting of the pier?

3) Should i cut down the pier down in size? I am happy for it to remain as it is because i'm a 6'3" tall lad.

4) How much stuff would i need for the concrete? If i make it 2 feet x 2 feet x 3 feet deep that comes to 0.329 m3 and if i go for 2 feet x 2 feet x 2 feet deep that comes to 0.21924 m3.

Thanks in advance

 

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So today was the day, concrete all gone in. Started at about 4:30pm, poured a bit of it and then realised we might need to shave a bit off the sides to accommodate the frame. The pallet on w

Apologise for the delay in the update (had a few hiccups along the way) but the pier is now complete. Some changes were made to the original plan which I'll explain.  The drawings were created us

If you are worried about the hole size & shape there is possibility of shaving the sides using a spade,while standing in the hole. Overdo it and you have bell mine. But you do get a bigger lump of

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My civil engineering skills and knowledge can be written on the back of a postage stamp.
My free advice is therefore worth every penny.

When digging the foundation, I found conflicting advice. In the end I decided to err on the side of caution.

If it is too big, it is just a bit more spade work for a day, and another barrowload of cement.
If it is too small then I have to dig again, break out the hardened concrete, maybe dismantle and move the observatory shed......
In the end I dug about a 1 metre cube out of the ground.

My pier took more thinking about as it was concrete, an extension of the foundation. So I had to get the height nearly right.
In your case just start by using the full height of pier.
If it causes problems, unbolt it and cut it to length.
It is just a bit of grinding and welding to 'adjust' it.

Hope this helps, David.

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45 minutes ago, Carbon Brush said:

My civil engineering skills and knowledge can be written on the back of a postage stamp.
My free advice is therefore worth every penny.

When digging the foundation, I found conflicting advice. In the end I decided to err on the side of caution.

If it is too big, it is just a bit more spade work for a day, and another barrowload of cement.
If it is too small then I have to dig again, break out the hardened concrete, maybe dismantle and move the observatory shed......
In the end I dug about a 1 metre cube out of the ground.

My pier took more thinking about as it was concrete, an extension of the foundation. So I had to get the height nearly right.
In your case just start by using the full height of pier.
If it causes problems, unbolt it and cut it to length.
It is just a bit of grinding and welding to 'adjust' it.

Hope this helps, David.

Cheers David for your concrete (no pun intended) and valuable advice.

That's exactly what i was thinking about the dig. I wouldn't want it to be small and yet i don't want it to be necessarily big hence the question. 

1 meter in reality is a massive hole so wanted to be sure if that is at all necessary for something that will only be "bolted" down.

The pier height doesn't pose any restrictions or issues to me as such but i mentioned that only because i wouldn't want it to be silly tall and yet lose the stability of it.

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I would leave the dimensions of the pier as is, especially the base plate, the bigger the better with that, also 2 foot cubed hole is enough, but you want to think about putting rebar in before you pour the concrete, hammer some into the side walls of the hole at angle aswell as some hammered straight down, it will make a big difference.. :)

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32 minutes ago, StarDodger said:

I would leave the dimensions of the pier as is, especially the base plate, the bigger the better with that, also 2 foot cubed hole is enough, but you want to think about putting rebar in before you pour the concrete, hammer some into the side walls of the hole at angle aswell as some hammered straight down, it will make a big difference.. :)

Nice one mate. I seriously never thought about rebar approach but thank you for bringing this to my attention. Will rebar be better or broken bricks/concrete?

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When I dug out my pier base I essentially dug out a table shape with the extra hole in the middle for the pier. This meant that I had the stability but did not have to remove as much dirt. I did however use a 6" hole borer. Brandon hire do them for about £35 a day.

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5 minutes ago, spillage said:

When I dug out my pier base I essentially dug out a table shape with the extra hole in the middle for the pier. This meant that I had the stability but did not have to remove as much dirt. I did however use a 6" hole borer. Brandon hire do them for about £35 a day.

Sorry not sure i understand "table shape" ?

Cheers for pointing out Brandon hire, good thing is they seem to have everything that i might need for the ease of construction. Just need to figure out whether i have to go and collect the items or they do deliver them (delivery would be the option for me as i do not have a car nor do i drive ... yet)

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32 minutes ago, souls33k3r said:

Nice one mate. I seriously never thought about rebar approach but thank you for bringing this to my attention. Will rebar be better or broken bricks/concrete?

No, rebar, as it need to be hammered into the side walls, and the bottom of the hole, you cant do that with bricks and pieces of concrete...

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2 minutes ago, spillage said:

Table top and  four legs (actually five legs).

ah, ok. Got a picture to share mate?

 

1 minute ago, StarDodger said:

No, rebar, as it need to be hammered into the side walls, and the bottom of the hole, you cant do that with bricks and pieces of concrete...

makes sense. This is such a good tip. Much appreciated mate.

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What are you planning to hang off the pier?

For mine, I had access to a digger and a huge concrete mixer and only dug the holes about 2 feet square. They were a little deeper than tall though.

Key thing is to make sure the concrete fills the hole completely; minimal air trapped and especially around the bottom and walls of the hole. We had one of those concrete vibrators to force the air bubbles out.

If you are digging the hole and mixing the concrete yourself, I am guessing you would like to make it as small as possible...

I can only say what I did, rather than what can be done, but when the concrete hardened, I drilled the holes and cemented in the studs (M16). When fitting the pier, I grouted between the pier and foundation, so making the best possible contact...

Good luck and hope your back survives!!

Gordon.

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9 minutes ago, Bukko said:

What are you planning to hang off the pier?

For mine, I had access to a digger and a huge concrete mixer and only dug the holes about 2 feet square. They were a little deeper than tall though.

Key thing is to make sure the concrete fills the hole completely; minimal air trapped and especially around the bottom and walls of the hole. We had one of those concrete vibrators to force the air bubbles out.

If you are digging the hole and mixing the concrete yourself, I am guessing you would like to make it as small as possible...

I can only say what I did, rather than what can be done, but when the concrete hardened, I drilled the holes and cemented in the studs (M16). When fitting the pier, I grouted between the pier and foundation, so making the best possible contact...

Good luck and hope your back survives!!

Gordon.

Hi Gordon,

My God man, i've been following your brilliant thread. The mount head isn't going to be massively heavy ... i'm thinking around 15Kgs of mount head at best and in total around 15kgs of gear on the top of the mount.

Wise words about minimal air trapped. I sure will seek some professional advice from my neighbour on that. He's a plumber by trade but quite handy and a great neighbour.

Mark (above) suggested a great place for the hire but i've also checked with a mate who lives quite close, he has a cement mixer so will use that. 

I too plan on using M16 studs and resin to make sure the contact remains solid.

My back is definitely not going to survive for the first few weeks but i guess i'm preparing myself that in the end, it will be all worth it :)

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sorry no as it now all underground and cover with patio slabs and I did not take photos as I it was being constructed. I am sure I did 800 x 800 x 500 but the borer went down another 650 in each corner.

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1 minute ago, spillage said:

sorry no as it now all underground and cover with patio slabs and I did not take photos as I it was being constructed. I am sure I did 800 x 800 x 500 but the borer went down another 650 in each corner.

No worries mate. But a great idea. I'm also trying to minimise the footprint of the pier as don't want my wife to start regretting the decision of destroying the garden :D

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1 minute ago, souls33k3r said:

Hi Gordon,

My God man, i've been following your brilliant thread. The mount head isn't going to be massively heavy ... i'm thinking around 15Kgs of mount head at best and in total around 15kgs of gear on the top of the mount.

Wise words about minimal air trapped. I sure will seek some professional advice from my neighbour on that. He's a plumber by trade but quite handy and a great neighbour.

Mark (above) suggested a great place for the hire but i've also checked with a mate who lives quite close, he has a cement mixer so will use that. 

I too plan on using M16 studs and resin to make sure the contact remains solid.

My back is definitely not going to survive for the first few weeks but i guess i'm preparing myself that in the end, it will be all worth it :)

Thanks, I hope it has been entertaining... Ground to a halt ATM, having to completely re-do the terrace... Priorities from Mrs. Bukko...

The mixing puts a lot of air into the concrete and reduces its strength. Is it a problem? I am not sure but forcing the stuff into every nook and cranny in the hole will leave little room for the stuff to move later.

I would check if your neighbour works for packs of beer or something and get him to do the hard work... Best investment ever.

Gordon.

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13 minutes ago, Bukko said:

Thanks, I hope it has been entertaining... Ground to a halt ATM, having to completely re-do the terrace... Priorities from Mrs. Bukko...

The mixing puts a lot of air into the concrete and reduces its strength. Is it a problem? I am not sure but forcing the stuff into every nook and cranny in the hole will leave little room for the stuff to move later.

I would check if your neighbour works for packs of beer or something and get him to do the hard work... Best investment ever.

Gordon.

hahahahaha got to keep the wife happy if we boys need to play with our toys :D Looking forward to the updates on your thread mate. Beautiful gear you've got and equally beautiful domes.

You make a fair point about the air being trapped, make complete sense. Also shouldn't take that long to make it work so why not do it properly the first time. This is exactly the reason for this thread so that i understand and know all the fall outs and how to mitigate them rather then be in neck deep in to the process.

My neighbour is a Muslim ... just like me so beer won't cut it but i do make a mean BBQ so can tempt him to that and some special homemade Biryani ;)

15 minutes ago, spillage said:

I just about got mine all inside four (large) patio slabs. The removable frame is a bit of an eyesore but saves me having to strip down the gear every time.

Would love to see the finished product at some point mate.

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Ahmed, mine is 75cm x 75cm x 75cm, I never thought about rebar, but it hasn't moved in the last two years of any note.

What ever you think you will need as a weight capacity, then double it at least, when I built mine I had an AZ-EQ6-GT and a lightweight Carbon RC8, now I have a much heavier weight 120EC, a 17Kg RC10 and everything that goes with it.

Oh another thing you might think that a hole that size is nothing, it took me 4 months to get ride of the waste soil, getting ride of 10-=20kgs every week in the waste, that was because my builder told me afterwards that he hadn't included a skip in the price to dig the hole.

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3 minutes ago, Jkulin said:

Ahmed, mine is 75cm x 75cm x 75cm, I never thought about rebar, but it hasn't moved in the last two years of any note.

What ever you think you will need as a weight capacity, then double it at least, when I built mine I had an AZ-EQ6-GT and a lightweight Carbon RC8, now I have a much heavier weight 120EC, a 17Kg RC10 and everything that goes with it.

Oh another thing you might think that a hole that size is nothing, it took me 4 months to get ride of the waste soil, getting ride of 10-=20kgs every week in the waste, that was because my builder told me afterwards that he hadn't included a skip in the price to dig the hole.

Hi John,

Thank you for your valuable input mate. I think i can stretch it to 75cm ... good shout.  Rebar approach if i can fit it in, then might as well do it just to eliminate any possibilities.

I do not plan on staying at this house for much longer, maybe another 2 years at the very most and i know the new mount will be the only mount for another good 10 years (hopefully) so i guess i'll only make some temporary arrangements for the dig and then when i finally make the move to a new house, i'll re-think this once again.

My next door neighbour has a transit van so might get him to drive me to our local skip but before that, i'll ask my wife to make us a mean Biryani :)

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5 minutes ago, souls33k3r said:

My neighbour is a Muslim ... just like me so beer won't cut it but i do make a mean BBQ so can tempt him to that and some special homemade Biryani ;)

 

You would not be the first Muslim I know who was partial to the odd spot of alcohol... I worked in Saudi for over 2 years and had far too many discussions about different beers, wines and spirits for them not to have tried it.

Not judging anyone, it's not my place to do so.

But if you can win him over with a Biryani, then that's the way forward.

So, lots of advice comingin how to dig a hole, now you need volunteers!!

Gordon.

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1 minute ago, Bukko said:

You would not be the first Muslim I know who was partial to the odd spot of alcohol... I worked in Saudi for over 2 years and had far too many discussions about different beers, wines and spirits for them not to have tried it.

Not judging anyone, it's not my place to do so.

But if you can win him over with a Biryani, then that's the way forward.

So, lots of advice comingin how to dig a hole, now you need volunteers!!

Gordon.

I will agree with you on that mate but the reason why i mentioned the word Muslim is because he's one of the good eggs, like me we don't drink so Biryani will have to do :) 

I'm going to be calling a family friend of ours who works in real estate. He has a few people who work for him in construction so will see if i can spare someone for a day to do the hard work and save my back from more harm :)

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Good stuff Ahmed, one of mine is only in 18" deep concrete and hasn't moved in more years than I care to remember the one on the patio is only bolted to the patio slabs which have 6" of concrete under them.

The need for large holes appear to shrink once you start digging :D

Dave

 

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5 minutes ago, Davey-T said:

Good stuff Ahmed, one of mine is only in 18" deep concrete and hasn't moved in more years than I care to remember the one on the patio is only bolted to the patio slabs which have 6" of concrete under them.

The need for large holes appear to shrink once you start digging :D

Dave

 

 Only 18"? wowzer! i guess i'll be fine with the 75cm then. 

The one on the patio, that's the one that carries your 10 micron if i'm not mistaken correct?

I really am focused right now and i know i might sound ambitious and adventurous but i'd like to dig it all out in one day :D 

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As I recall I made my base about 27" cube with concrete pier on top all poured in one go (a whole day) with plenty of rebar.  Four bent pieces of 16mm threaded rod about 3ft long were tied to rebar and held at the top with a piece of wood with 4 holes in.  The pier was (OK still is) about 10" wide at the base and 7" at the top circular.  It's solid as a rock, has an EQ8 on it and has had two 8" x 3ft telescopes on it at one time for a dual rig.

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4 minutes ago, souls33k3r said:

 Only 18"? wowzer! i guess i'll be fine with the 75cm then. 

The one on the patio, that's the one that carries your 10 micron if i'm not mistaken correct?

I really am focused right now and i know i might sound ambitious and adventurous but i'd like to dig it all out in one day :D 

75cm should see you well prepared for any future upgrades.

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