concrete post base inquiries

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Old 06-20-12, 11:15 PM
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concrete post base inquiries

I'm considering using the EPB66 style elevated post base brackets as shown here EPB Elevated Post Bases to install some upright 6 x 6 posts (between 10 and 12 feet high) which will be used as some structural support (along with some cable etc) for an outdoor bird enclosure, sides and top all just lightweight netting material, some 2 x material for tying/connecting upper posts together. I'm intending on building my own forms to make concrete footings for these brackets to be inserted into while the concrete is wet after the concrete is poured into the footings. The concrete footings will be buried into the dirt ground with the top flat of the footings even with the ground.
Never really done this before, haven't had much concrete work experience. These footings don't need to be nuthin fancy, just something that will work and last and hold these brackets in good and solid without coming loose or other such issues in the future.
1. How big, without overdoing it, should I probably make these footings? The specs of the brackets say the pipe should be inserted a minimum of 5.5 inches (with the standard 8" length pipe) down into the concrete so I suppose it should be at least that thick of a footing. How about the perimeter dimension though? I just planned on making some square (width and length) forms, not going with cylindrical. 1 foot square? 2 foot square?
2. What's a good type of concrete/cement to use for this? I was just planning on probably buying bags of concrete and mixing it myself in a wheelbarrow and going that route.
3. With whatever kind of concrete I use, how much should I let the mixture need set up before I think about placing the pipe(s) of the bracket(s) down into it? Want, of course, for the brackets to be installed plumb and level in the concrete and need em to stay put.
4. Looking at the design of the pipe on the bracket, it has that particular curled configuration and cut out down there. whats that all about?

Any advice/comments appreciated.
 
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Old 06-21-12, 07:22 AM
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You can use the ready mix bags of quickcrete for the footings. The depth of the footings depends on the frost line. If you're in Alaska, it's at least 4 ft. The diameter is usually 8" or 12". No matter which base brackets you use let the footing come up a few inches above grade & slope it so the water doesn't collect.

Is there any reason why you want to use that particular base bracket. It's okay if you do but it wouldn't be my first choice. The bottom of that bracket looks like it has a place to insert some horizontal pipes for more support. It says optional. How long you wait before you insert the bracket in the wet concrete depends on that weather that day. My guess would be about 20 minutes after you pour.
 
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Old 06-21-12, 09:45 AM
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Well, there's the similarly spelled "Quickcrete" product, (bonding and patching compound, not what I need here), and then there's different ready mix bags of "Quickrete", regular and fast-setting. So I suppose I'd get the regular Quickrete then. Yes, the frostline in my location, SE Alaska, is 4 ft but how does that figure in with this application/project, making footings to set these post brackets into to support the posts as I described? Not sure if you're implying I need to have these footings buried down to 4 ft. Anyway, there's another similar enclosure already constructed nearby (and which has been in use for years) where they used the elevated post base brackets like I was looking at, embedded in cylindrical concrete forms 18" in diameter. Don't know how deep they are unless I dig down to look. The tops are basically even with the ground, and there's no slope on the top and no water collecting issue there. Sure I understand the ground will freeze and thaw but I don't see that causing an issue with my footings for this project. The particular reason I was wanting to use that particular base bracket is because that type is all they sell locally that will fit a 6 x 6. I wasn't planning on using any horizontal pipes, but that style of bracket there is the only kind they sell/stock for some reason.
So, like I said I was gonna build square (rectangular) forms for these post brackets, need to know how big square length and width, and how deep to construct (not bury) the footings.
Also, is it a lot more trouble than its worth to just mix my own concrete using lime, sand, gravel, cement, whatever else it takes instead of buying the more expensive ready mix bags just add water bags?
 
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Old 06-21-12, 12:06 PM
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Okay I dug down a little in one of the existing post bases I mentioned. http://i207.photobucket.com/albums/b...IMG_1812-1.jpg Looks as if they just dug a hole, maybe packed around the edges with some gravel fill, and poured the concrete into the hole, no forms utilized. And bottom of brackets flush with top of footing, maybe apparently so the horizontal 4x's there could rest evenly there at that level on the footing.
Here's another pic showing part of the enclosure thing I've mentioned. http://i207.photobucket.com/albums/b...1/IMG_1813.jpg
 
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Old 06-21-12, 01:28 PM
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Whatever was done in the past is not up to date. The reason you want the footings to go to the frost line is so that they don't heave upwards. It doesn't matter if you make the footing round or square but the 4 feet depth should be followed & so should the slope. If you like the raised bracket, use it. It's fine. Each footing could take up to 3 bags of cement. I bought the 60 lb bags only because they were easier to lift.
 
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Old 06-21-12, 01:32 PM
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Someone else did this wrong and has apparently gotten away with it so far. Your call but you've gotten good advice on how this should be done.
 
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Old 06-21-12, 02:09 PM
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Didn't intend here to imply that I was either ignoring, criticizing, or otherwise second-guessing the good advice given. However, because of large roots in the wooded ground location in this location and some large rock backfilling I won't be able to dig 4 ft deep holes for the footings. Another question here. Ideally should I use forms for the footings or should it be sufficient to dig holes as far as I can dig and do as I mentioned/showed as has been done previously, pack some gravel in the holes I dig and then pour the concrete in (no constructed forms)? Thanks.
 
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Old 06-21-12, 05:01 PM
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I certainly know what it is to dig through rocks & roots. Digging on the north shore of Long Island, NY presents the same problem while the south shore is so much easier. Start the job & see how far you get. There were times when I had to go short on one or two footings. I would still use the forms even if you have to cut the them short.
 
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Old 06-21-12, 06:20 PM
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Great. Thanks very much for the advice.
 
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Old 06-21-12, 09:08 PM
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I don't think you ever said how many of these you need to install. Just 3 or 4, and Quikrete would be the way to go. I like Quikrete 5000--no guessing on mix proportions, just tear open and dump the bags, add water, mix and you're done. However, if you have to do a hundred of them, going with plant mix and Portland sack cement would be a better way to go. Definitely a lot less expensive. And you don't need any lime in the mix--just a good blend (about 5-sack ought to be strong enough) of Portland cement, sand, rock and water.
 
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Old 06-21-12, 10:35 PM
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Installing five. Will definitely consider using using the Quikrete 5000 as you suggest. Thanks!
 
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