LittleHouse – Pouring the Piers


LittleHouse – Pouring the Piers

by admin on Mar.17, 2005, under Foundation

Laser Level
13 March 2005.
Next, we set up the Craftsman rotary laser level that Randy got for Christmas. It is supposed to be accurate within a quarter inch at 100 feet. The level has a laser on a rotating head, a couple of bubble levels and a mount for a tripod.
After setting it up on the tripod, we adjusted it to as near to level as we could get it. Then we used the fine adjustments on the level itself to finish setting it.
The laser can rotate on its own, or you can manually rotate it. We found that manually rotating it worked best in the daylight, as the spot was much brighter than the line produced when the motor spins the head.

Laser Level

Setting the Height
We used a piece of duct tape on the rebars sticking up from the footings to better see the laser.
We marked each rebar 3.5 inches below the final level of the piers. That way they will not interfere with the brackets to be set in top of the piers.

Laser Level Dot

Special Effects
This is what the laser looks like through the special laser-enhancing glasses included with the level. They helped some in the daylight, but not a lot.

Laser Through Lens

Cutting the rebar
After all 24 rebars were marked at the same level, Randy cut them off with a hacksaw. We had tried to use a sabre saw on our last trip, but it was not very good, because we couldn’t hold the rebar steady enough. I would guess a metal cutting wheel on a circular saw or grinder would work. This wasn’t too bad… Each piece took about ten minutes to cut by hand.

Trimming Rebar

First Row Done
14 March 2005.
Dave & Linda Modahl donated 4 extra 80 lb bags of concrete to our cause. That saved use a few bucks and some hauling from town. Thanks!

After cutting all the rebar to length, we placed the forms in the first row of piers. Then we marked the level at the same point as the rebars.
Measuring up 3.5 inches from this mark, we cut each pier to it’s final length.
We had some difficulty when we returned the cut piers to the holes and started plumbing and tamping them into place. We found that as we adjusted plumb and tamped dirt around them, they tended to ride up above their original level.
We worked around this by re-marking all of the piers in that row with the laser leveler, and making sure the concrete was filled to that new mark. That is why the concrete does not go all the way to the top of the piers.

First Row of Piers Finished

For the second row, we changed tactics. We placed and plumbed all of the piers in that row, tamping in dirt around them as we did so. This picture shows the second row at that point, but before we cut them off level with the first row.

Second Row
After the second row of forms was in place, we shot a line to the top of the concrete on the first row. The we used the laser level to mark this same level on the second row.
By cutting the second row to this length after they had been planted, we didn’t have to contend with the creep of the form. Here are both rows completed.
About this time, a cold front blew in on the ranch and dropped temperatures drastically. Being a couple of weenies from the desert, we decided that we didn’t want to work in the cold another day. So we will be back up in a couple of weeks to finish the porch piers.

Second Row of Piers Finished


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