2x4 wood stuck under concrete firepit need to get it out

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Old 05-11-13, 08:05 PM
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2x4 wood stuck under concrete firepit need to get it out

Hi everyone-

I'm making a firepit in the backyard and I used some 2 x 4 wood underneath the concrete so that the firepit can have a "floating look" when finished....problem is the wood got swollen once the wet concrete was poured and now it's nearly impossible to take out.

I thought I would just have to hammer it out but it's pretty stuck in there. I've tried all about I can think of so I'm desperate for ideas here.

From the pic y ou can see I was able to get about half of the wood from one side out....but all others seem impossible to get out.

I think the wood got swollen AND maybe concrete was able to wedge itself under the wood making it an even tighter fit.
 
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Old 05-11-13, 08:14 PM
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"IF" you could undercut the wood with a reciprocating saw and a long blade, the sawcut would create enough clearance to loosen it up. Unfortunately, doing that will be nearly impossible with solid cement behind. You'd also have to be very careful not to mar the new concrete. And the concrete will dull your blades almost immediately. A 5 pack "might" get you all the way around.
 
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Old 05-11-13, 08:39 PM
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Thank you for your reply. I tried that a bit but only for a few minutes since it didn't seem to be doing anything...I'll try that again now.
 
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Old 05-11-13, 08:51 PM
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Well, the other option is a chainsaw, and cut right down the middle to split the board into two halves. I'd suggest a rental saw. And purchase the optional insurance. LOL
 
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Old 05-12-13, 05:54 AM
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A hammer and chisel will also work ...... but quite a bit more work
 
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Old 05-12-13, 06:34 AM
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Is a circular saw an option ?
 
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Old 05-12-13, 06:36 AM
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Shave down a couple of 2x4's with a planer so that it will fit under. Have someone use one for leverage under the cement near the corner on the tail end to lift the slab slightly. Take the other one and lay flat and use it as a ram rod and hit it with a sledge from the other side until you are able to knock it free enough to wiggle out.
 
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Old 05-12-13, 11:02 AM
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Tried something like that but there is no chance to lift the slab...it's cemented on the ground. No way to move it.
 
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Old 05-12-13, 01:52 PM
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I'm going to try to burn the wood away....
 
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Old 05-12-13, 03:11 PM
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Heat can cause concrete, especially not fully cured concrete, explode. Not comfortable with your idea but I suppose an oxyacetylene cutting torch down the middle of the 2x4 might char out a grove that would give you enough play to pop the 2x4 out.
 
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Old 05-12-13, 03:25 PM
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Take a drill with a 1 1/4" spade bit in it and bore a ton of holes down the length of the 2x4. Ater the holes are drawn take a jamb saw and cut the webbing left between the holes and you should be able to piece it out.
 
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Old 05-12-13, 04:31 PM
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If you have a router after following Czizzi excellent idea you could remove most of each web using a half inch straight router bit in an electric drill or straight hand grinder. The higher RPMs of a straight grinder would be better.
 

Last edited by ray2047; 05-12-13 at 04:50 PM.
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