masonry cap


  #1  
Old 06-12-05, 04:00 PM
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masonry cap

I am getting ready to build a new set of steps for a bungalow. It is a small run, maybe 4-5 steps. They want to put a small balustrade wall on each side of the steps that would be in the plain of the deck and paralell to the ground (like a lot of bungalows). Any way. I am making the stairs out of wood and would like to make the balustrade walls out of wood as well. For their caps I would like to use masonry. The cap would be something like 17" wide and a few feet long.
questions:
1. Can I put a hug pice of masonry on top of wooden wall? Can wood below that touches be primed or must it be PT?
2. How thick should I make the cap to handle MA winters?
3. Should I reinforce it? Seal it? Give it some type of minature pitch or make it convex?
4. Should I form it in place or install when cured/not green?

thanks,
squarejig
 
  #2  
Old 06-12-05, 05:07 PM
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masonry cap

Why not just use wood as you are for everything else?

You are putting something permanent on top of something temporary. If you want to go with concrete, here are some suggestions.

1. You are setting wood on concrete. I would assume that you want it to last, so use PT. The concrete piece you want to place will weigh about 150 pounds if it is 4" thick and 24" long.

2. For appearance 4" is suggested, but you could take a chance and go thinner. When you make the concrete use air entrained cement (Type IA) for durability.

3. You will have to reinforce it with mesh to hold it together and be able to handle it without cracking. I would cast it with a 1/2" pitch from the center to the edge. Put a drip (U or Vee groove about a 1/4" deep in the bottom about 1" in from the edge) to control the dripping.

4. I would cast it on the ground and then put in place. To prevent sliding, use a few dabs of silicon sealer/adhesive.

Dick

4.
 
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Old 06-15-05, 06:17 PM
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thanks,

I wanted to use masonry because I envisioned a wooden cap taking a real beating. But after reading your response it looks like wood will be the way to go. A 4" cap won't do. It'll look like the titanic.
 
 

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