Yet another concrete question

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I want to pour some Sonotube bases for a metal awning. They will sit directly on caliche, hence no digging of footer holes to insert said Sonotubes into, just cut to length, and fill and use the weight of it to hold down the 3" x 3" x .120" posts. Said awning about 15' square, and located in an alcove surrounded by three sides so no chance of wind endangerment.
I just bought an old cement mixer. This thing is mondo. Heavy cast iron gears, etc. I don't know the actual volume of the drum, but I have seen ones like it on block wall jobs. It's big and heavy.
I want to buy bags of Portland, and buy some sand and aggregate, and try to get a production line of cement going that will produce a stream steady enough to fill these Sonotubes. Sonotobes will be about 24" diameter, and 18" high, maybe a little more so they can be used as places for pots, or to sit on. I intend to look up the mix in my Pocket Ref, and just do it by counting shovels of each, and gallons of water, or just look at it for the right consistency.
Do you think I can do enough mixers of it to have a monolithic pour before setting time comes? I'd say three to four mixers full per pier.
Steve
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Sounds to me ike you have massively over engineered your solution. You really think you need 24" for an awning? I'm thinking 10" or 12" is plenty. I don't do anything nearly that elaborate for deck posts. Just mix up a few 80lb bags of ready mix and put it in the hole.
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I think his problem is that he doesn't have a hole to work with which makes it a lot different. He has to rely on the mass of the concrete. I'm having a hard time understanding why it would take 3 or 4 cement mixers worth of concrete for each 24" X 18" tube. In any case, the concrete hardening before you can mix more of it and complete the job, I don't see as an issue at all.
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On Jun 23, 8:45 am, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

Above or below ground I'm thinking the 24" s overkill. 12" x 18" would be fine. That's several hundred lbs of concrete per. It's just an awning and he already said he doesn't expect much wind load..
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wrote:

Sounds to me ike you have massively over engineered your solution. You really think you need 24" for an awning? I'm thinking 10" or 12" is plenty. I don't do anything nearly that elaborate for deck posts. Just mix up a few 80lb bags of ready mix and put it in the hole.
Reply: We get up to 80 mph winds here, 55 being common. The last one was engineered for 104 mph winds, but is in a more exposed location. I know I can do this with ready mix, but thought that I'd get a better mix with hand proportioning it. What I was curious about is if I could mix if fast enough so that the batches wouldn't have a line between each.
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To quote you "Said awning about 15' square, and located in an alcove surrounded by three sides so no chance of wind endangerment. "
12"x18" is going to give you about 160 lbs of concrete per post. You could bump the size up a little bit and get 3 80lb bags per. Your dimensions are over 600lbs of concrete per post. You have 4 posts or is one end attached to the structure?
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wrote:

To quote you "Said awning about 15' square, and located in an alcove surrounded by three sides so no chance of wind endangerment. "
12"x18" is going to give you about 160 lbs of concrete per post. You could bump the size up a little bit and get 3 80lb bags per. Your dimensions are over 600lbs of concrete per post. You have 4 posts or is one end attached to the structure?
reply: Actually, I looked at it today, and along one side is a strip of former sidewalk where I shall anchor two posts on plates. Now just two Sonotube piers. 15 foot square, 225 square feet. It will it one inch from the existing building, and be free standing.
HTH you understand what I'm doing.
Steve
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Steve B wrote:

You mean the posts are 10-feet long, right?
You can get 3"x3" posts that are 10-feet long?

I don't know if sonotubes are made larger than 12" diameter. If they are, I've never seen them at home depot.
If your tube is going to be sitting directly on flat ground, what are you going to do for the bottom of the pier? How are you going to insure that your concrete won't leak out the bottom or that the tube won't rise up, leaving you with a big concrete pancake?

Each pier would have a volume of 4.7 cubic feet assuming 18" high and would weigh 680 lbs.
This is exactly the mixer I have:
http://www.hometips.com/articleimages/20070717105956_lnd_concrete_mixer_electric.gif
I can mix about 175 lbs worth of concrete (about 1.2 cubic feet) per batch. So with a mixer like that, it would take you 4 batches to fill one of your piers.
I've been using my mixer to make a concrete sound wall that has sections 3.5 inches wide, 4 feet tall and 10 feet wide. It takes about 9.5 batches to make each section. It takes me about 15 to 18 minutes to mix and place each batch, or about 3 hours in total. I use a vibrator after batch 4, 8, 9 and 10, and I can tell that the first batch is setting when I vibrate after batch 8.
So basically I can mix and place about 10 cubic feet with a relatively small mixer in about 3 hours and maintain the concrete as a single monolithic slab. You should be able to easily do the same with only 4 batches - or less if your mixer is larger than mine.
I probably wouldn't set the posts in concrete for the awning. I would connect the posts across the top with 2x4's, maybe put some diagonals in as well. The weight of all that wood plus the awning would be enough to keep it down. Maybe drive a rod or long bolt into the ground at each post to use as a tie-down. For more stability and weight, I'd probably use 4" posts, maybe even 6" (which is actually 5.5").
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http://www.hometips.com/articleimages/20070717105956_lnd_concrete_mixer_electric.gif
The posts come 20' long each, and I can cut to length. I live in a very dry climate. Exposed structures made of wood don't do as well as metal because of the freeze/thaw cycles. Wood dries out and cracks here really bad. We have very low humidity, and temperature extremes. I did the last Sonotube bases out of 30" tubes. The overall awning was 32' x 14'. I anchored three legs to an existing patio, and made the three outside ones with tubes, as I could not dig through the caliche. I used a total of 2 cubic yards for the three bases, and I rented one of those portable trailer mixers. It went smoothly, but in this location, I cannot get the portable trailer mixer in there. I dig down the 6" or so to reach the caliche, then mound dirt around the bottom of the Sonotube to keep the mud from flowing out any spaces. Your mixer looks approximately the same size as mine, but mine has a stubbier tub. 3-4 batches was what I was thinking for each pier. I was just concerned about the setting time.
Steve
visit my blog at http://cabgbypasssurgery.com
A fool shows his annoyance at once, but a prudent man overlooks an insult.
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Steve B wrote:

When someone says "post", I think of wood. Rectangular wood posts. Not metal pipe.

Cracking I can understand, but if it's so dry I don't see how there can be freeze-thaw cycles without some humidity or water getting into the wood.
I live in the great-lakes area. We have lots of humidity and freeze-thaw cycles in the winter. Exposed wood (like fences) don't seem to suffer cracking or dammage from freezing and thawing (but fence posts and fence runners do seem to warp over time - probably because of post movement below grade).

That's insane. I wouldn't have thought that sonotube cardboard was strong enough, but I guess it's a function of height more than width or diameter.

That's insane. That's about 6600 lbs. I would never want that much concrete to hold an awning up. Expecially above grade. What an eyesore that must look like. Lots of wasted space taken up by that concrete.
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Some Guy wrote:

The key here is the ".120" which is the wall thickness of the square tubing.

I'm with you there, no moisture = no freeze/thaw, just drying and cracking and general weathering from the high desert winds and sun.

It's circular benches for posteriors or plant pots around the 3"x3" post.

See above. Also consider the wind load of this big awning in the high winds.
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You're wasting your time, the dude seem to think he needs a couple tons of concrete to hold down an awning.
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wrote:

You're wasting your time, the dude seem to think he needs a couple tons of concrete to hold down an awning.
reply: As stated, digging footers is not an option because of caliche. The climate eats wood. The bases sit on TOP of the soil, and are not down in it. We have very high winds. If I make them large, they double as seats and places to put plants. What's your problem with what I want to do? I've seen you do dome pretty stupid stuff.
Steve
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I admit I've shared the occasional thing on here but overall I'd say not very much. What did I build that was stupid?
Won't it be a challenge to get anything close to the same shear resistance in your plate attachments to an existing piece of sidewalk as you will have in your posts embedded in concrete cylinders?
How about a smaller concrete cylinder with a nice wooden circular bench on top of it? Cheaper, less work, and more attractive than concrete. Plus you get some leg room under it. Appropriately stained with solid stain suitable for your harsh environment. Just a thought.
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For someone who thinks they know a lot, you don't really know much, do you? You moron, it's not holding the awning UP, it's holding it DOWN.
You also know a hell of a lot about a place you've never been. Our temperature range here is about 100F. It gets down to 15 in the winter, and 115 in the summer. Surface temperatures soar above that. Wood does not do well on exteriors here unless you paint it endlessly. That is why we use a lot of stucco and brick. Duh.
You also seem to be a vocabulary Nazi. What is called one thing in one part of the country or world is incorrect because it is different than your part.
I can see you know absolutely nothing about Sonotube, and its capabilities. You can make some big round posts with Sonotube. This site lists it up to 60" diameter and 20' high, with additional sizes on request.
http://sonotube.com/sonotube_round_size_chart.html
FYI, the round bases, along with the steel spacing and bolt pattern give me a 104 mph wind rating, something that really impressed the local inspector. We regularly get 60 mph winds.
I wouldn't know about them being unsightly, as we have filled in between them with Windsor wall blocks, and only about 1/3 of the bases are visible. We filled behind them with potting soil for decorative plants. The visible part will be tiled, and plant pots put on the tops of them, making them actually invisible.
I was a steel erection contractor in Las Vegas, and I used to specialize in carport erection and repairs. I once saw a carport 9' wide by 108 feet long, stripped off and carried in one piece across US 95 at Rainbow and land on the other side of the freeway. Another time, I saw two steel double four car space carports ripped out of the ground, metal 3 x 3 "posts", 12" 14 ga Zee purlins, and all and carried in the air to the other side of the property and dumped.
Now, I have only seen what I have seen, and it in no way compares to what you have seen, or what is in the inside of that massive brain of yours. But, do you actually DO anything? Build anything? Repair anything? Or just make "insane" comments to those of us here who actually "DO" things.
I'll post some pictures on flickr of my awning, and tell me what you think. Not you, igmo, you, the group in general.
As for you, igmo, you are history. You may leave.
Steve
visit my blog at http://cabgbypasssurgery.com watch for the book
A fool shows his annoyance at once, but a prudent man overlooks an insult.
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Steve B wrote:

Don't you think I know that you jerk?
Mostly it's holding it UP. For the intermittent occasions you have these hurricane-force winds, then yea, your 3 tons worth of concrete are going to stay on the ground, but your awning is going to be torn up and sail away. Along with your potted plants that you've placed on your concrete monstrosity.

How the hell am I supposed to know where you are?

And we get to 0F in the winter, and 90 in the summer. Big deal.

Again, how the hell am I supposed to know you live in a desert, and that you're using square metal tubing (let alone round metal pipes) and not wood?

Then why are you wasting your time with awnings when you could be putting up wind turbines?

Even more space being devoted to hide the piers. Is there any room left to put a couple of chairs under those awnings? Maybe hold them down too with a ton of cement while you're at it?
Why don't you put in helical ground screws or anchors for your posts?
http://itstrafficusa.com/helix.htm
http://www.piertech.com/index.php
http://www.benmeadows.com/store/Grounds_Maintenance/Horticulture/Plant_Tying_Equipment/1637 /

What-ever.
By the looks of it, you're going to be history way before me.
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Difference is, I'll go with dignity.
Check the flickr photos I posted here and see what you think then.
Steve
visit my blog at http://cabgbypasssurgery.com
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http://www.benmeadows.com/store/Grounds_Maintenance/Horticulture/Plant_Tying_Equipment/1637 /
I can see you missed the word "caliche" in my post, and have absolutely no real world experience with that, either.
For your enlightment and entertainment:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/deserttraveler /
Steve
visit my blog at http://cabgbypasssurgery.com watch for the book
A fool shows his annoyance at once, but a prudent man overlooks an insult.
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wrote:

I'm taking so much flak on this, take a look at these pics and just tell me what you think.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/deserttraveler /
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On Wed, 23 Jun 2010 21:23:17 -0700, "Steve B"

Quite nice!
But if you'd gone with a HF tarp and some clothesline, you could have saved on the concrete.<BSEG>
Jim [damn I wish you were in NY so I could trade sweat for welding lessons]
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