Thanks for the encouragement folks. Todays post is entitled adventures with Quikrete.
That pebble wasn't going to stop me because I knew I could call on my friend John to lift it out of the way. So off I trudge to the pole barn and fire up the John Deere. I lift the pebble out with a chain attached to the bucket in front and continue digging, and digging, and digging. My plan is to bury a 2' x 2' x 1' form five feet down. I wanted the top of the telescope pier base to be well below the frost line. It gets cold here in Hayward, Wisconsin.
About 3.5 feet down I hit hardpan. It is so hard I have to virtually chisel my way down. Definitely not fun. Finally I hit bottom, set my form and drive three steel bars of 6 foot long re rod into the middle of the form which will tie the base to the pier and reinforce the pier. My wife and I mix up and pour six 60 pound bags of Qwikrete into the form and let it all set up for a couple days.
Everything looks good, so now I put a seven foot long, 12 inch diameter sono tube on the base and backfill the hole. The top of the tube is three feet above the ground. This pour also goes well and I top the pier by driving a circular form with 3/4 inch treaded rod into the top. This circular form will be used to fabricate the base of the steel pier.
As my lovely wife drives out to go to town, I notice something strange about the pier. The tube feels very damp and could it be, is this thing starting to list to port? Sheer panic sets in, this baby is going to tip over and spill its guts all over the ground. Is this why they have a cute little picture of a support form printed right on the side of the sono tube? Why, oh why, was I so stupid to think that a cheap little tube of cardboard would support several hundred pounds of dripping wet concrete by itself?
By now panic has revved up to sheer terror. I race a couple hundred feet to the pole barn, grab some scrap lumber, nails, hammer, and sledge hammer and race back to my beloved project. Have you ever tried to build a square frame to fit a round tube while using your butt to hold up a listing sonotube? At any rate I manage to get it all built, supported, and even get that tube shoved back to vertical.
Note in pictures who is doing the heavy lifting.
To be continued.