Establishing baselines

I’m not lazy. I’m just…proceeding with careful deliberation.

So I measured and dug holes for the four corner piers, poured concrete for the one most uphill, planted an anchor, then used a 10′ 2X4 to establish compass direction and level. None of it has to be perfect; it’ll work just fine, I just don’t want it to look too funny. I’ve got too many works that send visitors away giggling as it is.

Digging holes around here is a crap shoot. The two on the south side of the rack took seconds; nice and deep and not a single rock. The closest one to the left turned out to be smack in the middle of a big chunk of shale about 3″ underground. Digging that hole consisted of feeling around with the shovel till I found an edge, then levering it up out of the ground. Like several other rocks, it went on my swale line. Those two northernmost holes need to go a little deeper before I mix pads for them. Seems I have to buy more concrete mix anyway for the downhill piers, so I may as well go massive.

Working on a slope, I want that one corner pad to firm up and serve as my vertical baseline before I pour any more. But I suppose, now that I know how everything will lay out, I could get to work trenching for the conduit. Yeah – that’ll be fun.

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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2 Responses to Establishing baselines

  1. Ben says:

    I’ve never used those cardboard tubes before. Do you just pour inside them and then compact earth around them? …Or are they mainly for the above ground portion of the foundation?

  2. Joel says:

    Yeah, they’re for the part above the ground. Dig a hole and the surrounding dirt works fine for confining wet concrete. Air, not so much. So you can pour a nice wide pad proportional to the amount of weight you anticipate loading it with, plant some rebar in it, then stick the appropriate length of form over the rebar, get it vertical, and fill it with mud. Stick your anchor on top and you’re done. Peel off the cardboard when the concrete has set.

    It’s simple, the only finagly part is figuring out the lengths when they all have to be different. In this case since I’m going diagonally down a hill, the upper one which I poured this morning won’t even use the form; I put the anchor into the pad right at dirt level. The other piers will be at various lengths.

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