Friday, October 1, 2021

Anchored

 


Up until this point, all the frame work has simply been sitting on the concrete slab. It was what I call a calculated risk. I could have anchored all the sections immediately upon putting them up but that wouldn't allow me to tweak things if I needed to later on. Or I could get all the walls up and tweaked to be square and plumb and then risk the possibility of a high wind coming along and blowing the entire thing into a splintered heap into the nearby woods. So I had made a calculated risk and left things sitting just on top of the slap with an eye on the weather forecast and tools ready to go so I could anchor what I have if high winds were forecasted. Fortunately they weren't around during the four days I spent framing up the walls.

I was brought up by a father who used J-bolts to anchor things to concrete. This requires sinking the hook part of the J-bolt down into wet concrete and leaving the straight end exposed, precisely where it was needed later on to apply a washer and a nut. Having done this many times with a small crew on the farm, it is precise work that needs to be done in a hurry and if you mess up and get off, well then you have to jury rig things to make it work. I didn't want that hassle or level of precision. 

Fortunately I was watching a YouTube channel that I normally do a few months back and they used the above anchors for a house they were building. They simply drilled a hole in the concrete after everything was where they wanted it so there wasn't a need for any precision. So all I needed was a hammer drill to drill the holes and an impact wrench to screw the anchor down to hold the structure to the concrete, both tools I already owned. So all I needed was a half inch concrete drill bit and the anchor screws.

The entire process took only about 20 minutes not counting the half hour spent driving downtown to obtain a concrete bit that would work for my drill. (The bit I bought ahead of time over the internet was evidently made for a different type of drill.) Because I had all my studs in place, there was no complicated head scratching to figure out locations ahead of time that wouldn't interfere with a stud or be too close to a stud that my tools wouldn't fit. The anchors were pretty pricey and I ended up being short three so I have to get another full box, further increasing the cost but it will be worth it and I will have some extras. My dad is getting ready to build a storage shed down on his property by the cabin so maybe he can take the extras off my hands. It was well worth the experiment and the structure is now rock solid and the wind that will sweep it from the foundation will be the same one that takes my house too so I hope I never see that day.

21 comments:

  1. This was more interesting than expected, I WAS wondering what was holding down your frame to that slab! I hope you never get those kinds of winds either Ed...

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    1. I'm glad I could entertain you with a post about concrete anchors. It is not something I generally write about.

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  2. I'd never thought about how that worked but it makes sense. I assume those are long bolts.

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    1. The are six inch bolts essentially threaded into the concrete so they aren't going to go anywhere anymore.

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  3. I'm not sure I knew about J-bolts. I'm thinking the only way I've seen it done is to just drill into the slab after the fact. I imagine it could get complicated on a large project trying to line everything out correctly (and quickly).

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    1. J-bolts are probably physically stronger as the J part has more surface area than the threads of the bolts, but I suspect mathematically, it isn't by a lot. But the complicated jury rigging needed is they aren't in the correct place or have the correct amount showing probably take away some of the strength superiority. I'm happy with my decision to do it this way and I will probably never do it any other way in the future... unless something even better comes along.

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  4. Ed, I have used these for (much smaller) projects as well. They certainly make life easier - especially if you have all the tools.

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    1. I have used "Tapcons" before on other projects so I'm not sure why I never thought to look to see if they made bigger versions to use as anchors. I just needed the proverbial slap across the face thanks to a YouTube video.

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  5. Looking forward to seeing the finished shed!

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  6. I learn from your posts just like you tube.

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    1. ... and a lot of what I learned in order to do a project like this is from YouTube so it comes full circle. I try telling my kids about how it was much different trying to do things like this DIY "back in the day" but I'm not sure they believe me.

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  7. As Richard Gere used to say, "Never interfere with a stud!"

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    1. I have not heard that saying before but I do think it accurate!

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  8. Your phrase, jury-rigged, stopped me. I am familiar with jerry-rigged. Of the two, you used the most appropriate one for your situation. "Jury-rigged means something was assembled quickly with the materials on hand. Jerry-built means it was cheaply or poorly built. "

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    1. I guess I just use jury-rigged to mean both assembled with materials on hand and often not as good as had it been done right the first time, i.e. poorly built. But it is good to know there is a distinction between the two terms. I try to never build something poorly or cheaply (assuming at the cost of quality) so I lean towards being more of a jury rigger than a jerry rigger.

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  9. Lots of cool info. I wondered about jury-rigged too; like did a jury decide your way was best. And who is Jerry who must've rigged something in a poopy fashion? What does a J-bolt look like? Uh, is the dad that used J-bolts the same one building a shed too, and willing to use modern anchors? Glad it won't fly away now....always a concern in Kansas, Linda

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    1. I find it funny how I just use these expressions without a thought in the world that others might not know what they mean. I guess it just goes to show how regional even a widely diverse language like English can be.

      I don't know how either jury or jerry rigging came about. A J-bolt looks just like a J but without that hook on the top. The curled part is embedded into the concrete and the straight part sticks up out of the concrete and is threaded so one can put a washer and a nut on it and hold the wall down to the concrete. Yes my father is going to build a shed too but bigger and further south where the weather might not be as much of a factor as it is here. I've offered him the leftover anchors if he wants to use them as I don't particularly want to hang onto them until I build another building if ever. I may get down there to help him build it so who knows, I may end up using my leftover anchors on his building.

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  10. Yes this seems better than the old way:)

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    1. I am finding a lot has changed in construction to make things easier, faster and stronger. The world is continuing to move on whether I come along or not.

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  11. I was wondering how you were going to do this. This looks great!

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