Why I haven't been machining


Semi cross posted to alt.home.repair.
Still digging out my crawlspace. Working on it for the second year.
Digging it all to 42" depth which allows me to crawl in and out on two feet
with bent legs. This allows me to replace all the crappy supports, fix the
plumbing, waterproof and insulate. I have to finish soon because I'm
getting too old and sore to do another season of digging. I sit on a little
stool, shovel dirt into 25 quart plastic bins, after 8 bins are full I place
them on a conveyor and let them roll outdoors where I dump them. After a
big pile I pick the dirt up with my Kubota tractor bucket and add it to my
large dirt pile. Repeat, repeat ......
Anyway, attached is a picture of a typical footing under my house. CMUs are
used (mis-used) throughout. Obviously they have failed and account for my
uneven floor. You can simply look up at my ridgeline (roof) and tell that
there are foundation issues.
I've (registered Civil Engineer) designed a lot of retaining walls and load
bearing walls using CMUs (Concrete Masonry Units). I hate how they are
totally abused and misused.
The following picture is a typical support under my house. 1950s
construction. This crap is throughout the house. BTW, the previous owner,
responsible for all of this, was successful in the lumber business. You
would think that for JUST ONE support under the house he could have come up
with the money for either a 4"x4" timber post or maybe a 6"x6". Heck, he
only would have needed an 8 or 10 inch length!!
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This kind of crap is throughout this part (north) of Oregon. Most of these
places were improved without the benefit of permits or good advice. My
neighbors are stunned that I actually fill my concrete blocks with concrete.
Using rebar blows their minds.
I cringe when I see this. I cringe when I see somebody working under a car
supported by CMUs.
The only allowed use for loose CMUs should be low (2 rows maximum)
bookshelves in college dorms.
Sorry about the rant. BTW, I've already removed and replaced about 11
occurrences of the above.
Ivan Vegvary
Reply to
Ivan Vegvary
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You could have (possibly still could) made you life a *whole* lot easier by renting a vacuum excavator trailer unit. Your excavation would go many times faster and without back breaking digging. Just use the high pressure air jet to loosen stuff and the vacuum hose to suck it up. Once you've filled the 800 gal trailer you take a break and use it's hydraulic dump function to add to your pile. Have some coffee and return to vacuuming.
Reply to
Pete C.
Aha! There's your problem. Your technique is deficient. The correct procedure involves filling your pockets with the dug-out dirt, then walking outide and releasing (with a hidden drawstring) the contents onto your garden - through the botom of the legs of your trousers.
I know this is the correct procedure, 'cause I saw it on a TV documentary many years ago.
There's some music involved, too, but I forget what piece...
HTH
Reply to
Jeff R.
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Holy Crap! And I was whining just because I was sick and in the hospital! Glad I don't live at YOUR house.
Steve ;-)
visit my blog at
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Reply to
Steve B
Well someone didn't know what they where doing. It probably would have worked if they put the blocks upright. Sideways is just plain scary. I would jack it up and cut logs to the right height with a chainsaw.
Great application for a water level.
SW
Reply to
Sunworshipper
Ivan, I've got a stupid question to ask: How does a "registered Civil Engineer" who's "designed a lot of retaining walls and load bearing walls using CMUs" get himself into an ill-supported house, when all he had to do was _inspect_it_himself (being emminently qualified to do so)?
Hmmm?
Somehow, I don't feel sorry for you, IF the qualifications were true.
LLoyd
Reply to
Lloyd E. Sponenburgh
Location, location, location? Knowing the problem, how to fix it an bargaining down the price? People do buy fixer-uppers you know.
Reply to
Pete C.
"Pete C." fired this volley in news:4c53846d$0$3810 $ snipped-for-privacy@unlimited.usenetmonster.com:
He seemed to say that he wasn't aware of the problem until he started digging.
That wouldn't be "seeking a bargain", that would be incompetence. But then, I know a young man who has become a "certified Civil Engineer", and across whose bridges I shall NEVER drive!
LLoyd
Reply to
Lloyd E. Sponenburgh
*Snip*
I feel your pain- well, not anymore :)
You might wanna consider plan B:
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Everytime i go in the basement i can't help but think about what ti was like before :)
H.
Reply to
Howard Eisenhauer
I see nothing! I hear nothing!
Reply to
Michael A. Terrell
On Sat, 31 Jul 2010 03:13:13 GMT, Howard Eisenhauer wrote the following:
Cool. What'd that cost ya, Howard?
I liked the original pic with the resin chair sitting in the middle of the dozen trashbags. Very evocative. ;)
-- To see what is right, and not to do it, is want of courage or of principle. -- Confucius
Reply to
Larry Jaques
About $9000 to raise her up, labour for unanticipated extras like replacing the dry rotted stuff I coudn't handle myself & getting the floor poured. Forget what the lumber for the walls was but it wasn't that much. Spent another 7-8 thou on the siding/labour but that was way past due anyhow & it's damn good siding (don't beleive in cheaping out on materials-- "Quality Always Outlasts Money").
Trust me, that pic makes it look a lot better than it was down there- (Shudders at the memory)
H.
Reply to
Howard Eisenhauer
Lloyd, the house was inspected and the price was well reduced to compensate for the problems. I could have contracted it out and still come out ahead. I was 60 at the time and feeling my oats. Unfortunately I didn't get under the house until age 65 and now it's two years later. I did, BTW, during the first years go around the almost the whole perimeter and re-enforce the footings. This involved digging under the existing footings (from the outside, obviously) in three foot sections and pouring an 8" by 24" reinforced slab under the existing perimeter. I would do every other three foot section in a hopscotch manner, drive rebar left and right for the missing section and then dig the fill-in sections after the concrete had cured. Total lineal footage was about 90± feet.
BTW, I've always enjoyed doing heavy structural work on houses, I just didn't take my age into consideration.
Ivan Vegvary
Reply to
Ivan Vegvary
SW, I can't get my surveying instruments down there because most of them (old ones) require a two man operation. BUT, I bought one of those laser levels (Stanley, $99±) and checked the calibration. Accurate enough for this use. I can get within an eighth inch at 30 foot distance. Since it is dark down there the laser level is very useful. It's an absolute piece of crap out in the daylight. As far as the orientation of the block, yes, upright would have been better but still you can't expect more than 2000± psi strength out of a block. Also note that people are using pumice blocks, cinder blocks, fire blocks, chimney liners etc. for uses never intended.
Ivan Vegvary Ivan Vegvary
Reply to
Ivan Vegvary
Howard, plan "B" is the only sensible way to go. Unfortunately the other half of my house is on a slab. Said slab already involves 12 inches of stairs. I didn't want to end up with a two story house. BTW, nice photos. Thanks!
Ivan Vegvary
Reply to
Ivan Vegvary
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Hell, if they'd put the wood blocks across the length of the block instead of the width then they'd have increased the strength by a factor of 3. It may still have been deficient, but it'd have been stronger.
Reply to
Tim Wescott
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I lived in a house for a while that was going to fall down. The owner (we rented, thank God), had built himself an office for the house in the basement, half under a former porch that the house had grown to encompass. He'd put a wall under the perimeter of the porch (good), and he'd taken out the basement wall under the former perimeter of the house (very ambitious, to be sure).
He knew he needed serious reinforcement underneath the sill of the former perimeter of the house, so he put a strap of 3/8 thick, 3" tall steel under it. He showed it to me -- he was very proud. But that was the bad part. Because instead of going like this:
========= | sill | ========= | | | metal | === some sideways reinforcement
it went like this:
========= | sill | ========= -------
It was already visibly bowing along its length after just a few months when we moved in. I didn't have the heart to point out what he _really_ needed to do, partly because it was obvious that the sound of his own awesomeness would have drowned out anything I had to say, and partly because I figured that if he got it wrong in the first place it'd take a _lot_ of work to convince him -- and I didn't want to piss off the land lord.
Reply to
Tim Wescott
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Tim, you're right on!!!!
Ivan Vegvary
Reply to
Ivan Vegvary
Much respect- my house is over 100 years old, severe powder-post beetle damage, much work to do, but I started in my late 30's. In my 50's and it's still not done:-)
Reply to
ATP
Sad picture there...
A few years ago I hauled a large stump back to my brush pile using a sturdy wagon. Stump probably weighed ~400 lbs. Wanted to just flip it off the side, but figured that wouldn't be too good for the wagon (was already pushing my luck weight wise). So I placed a cement block on the ground next to the wagon, forming a sudo step. Tip up the stump, wagon tips a bit, stump contacts my block, give it a mighty heave. The cement block shattered, probably ended up in a dozen pieces. No harm done, wagon survived as planned, stump was off, block was shot. Really surprised me to see that block go with what I considered a pretty puny load on it.
I've always been careful using blocks, but really didn't think this was going to be the time I saw one fail so completely...
Reply to
Leon Fisk

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