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Old 03-20-2017, 06:01 PM   #1
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A couple pumpjack questions


This goes with what I posted here: Building your own scaffolding

Need to get some 20ft up and be comfortable working there. Ended up buying this at Menards:

Then started reading the enclosed instructions and it's not really as they show it in the video. The posts need to be fir, not just any 2x4's, bracing at the bottom, top, and every 10ft. But that's just not the way they're showing it in the video.

Since that YT video seems to be from the 90's, I just wanted to know if it could, reasonably safely, be used as shown--set in the ground on the bottom, bracing at the top.

I kinda guess it was meant to be used as shown, but the safety regs changed over time. The bracing is really the biggest issue here, since having it every 10 ft would mean having to mount the jack off a ladder some 10 ft up, and that'd be a real mess.

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Old 03-20-2017, 08:25 PM   #2
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Re: A couple pumpjack questions


Nice. Idea. See how high those guys are whilst going and down? Get 20' and it is a totally different story. In your other thread you asked, you got advice, and you chose these. So, MY advice is that if it says brace it every 10', I brace it every 10'. Having WORKED many times higher than 20' on banged together wooden poles, I would ALSO recommend that you cross brace the poles......because they are going to sway back and forth. If I HAD to use pump jacks, I wouldn't use anything but an aluminium pole system....but as I think I mentioned in your other thread I'm much more comfortable on pipe scaffolding with aluminium decks, tagged into the building at the level of the third deck. Ron

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Old 03-20-2017, 08:46 PM   #3
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Re: A couple pumpjack questions


are wooden pump jack legs even legal anywhere anymore?????? ive only seen a set here once in 15 years and the guys using them got shut down by the city becasue they were not metal poles nor had a engineers stamp
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Old 03-20-2017, 09:27 PM   #4
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Re: A couple pumpjack questions


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are wooden pump jack legs even legal anywhere anymore?????? ive only seen a set here once in 15 years and the guys using them got shut down by the city becasue they were not metal poles nor had a engineers stamp
I used to inspect commercial jobsites for a couple of large contractors. I was one of the safety officers. We followed the osha regs on everything. We did not allow wooden posts for pump jacks. Even the aluminum ones had to be properly braced. Korean siding contractor who employed all Mexicans was the worst offender. Had him routinely tear down some pretty large setups until he did it right. Also, posts had to have a mudsill to sit on, IOW, a solid sawn piece of wood to act as a base, no plywood or osb.
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Old 03-21-2017, 06:21 AM   #5
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Re: A couple pumpjack questions


Thanks for the advise and input. I'm on a tight budget and chose these based primarily on cost--scaffolding would've been $100's more expensive, and that video which made it seem like you just brace at the top and pump your way up. Rather deceptive.

I did get the heavy duty--or whatever they are called--bases for the bottom of the poles, so they don't just sit in the ground. Mounted/braced one of the poles, will do the other this weekend, and hope everything goes smoothly. Height does make hella of a lot of difference, and this side of the house been taking me forever.

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Nice. Idea. See how high those guys are whilst going and down? Get 20' and it is a totally different story. In your other thread you asked, you got advice, and you chose these. So, MY advice is that if it says brace it every 10', I brace it every 10'. Having WORKED many times higher than 20' on banged together wooden poles, I would ALSO recommend that you cross brace the poles......because they are going to sway back and forth. If I HAD to use pump jacks, I wouldn't use anything but an aluminium pole system....but as I think I mentioned in your other thread I'm much more comfortable on pipe scaffolding with aluminium decks, tagged into the building at the level of the third deck. Ron
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Old 03-21-2017, 06:51 AM   #6
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Re: A couple pumpjack questions


How long and how often will you use this stuff? I think you will find that you can rent scaffolding pretty cost effectively in most areas. Between that and Craigslist, I would be hard pressed to jump up on that stuff.
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Old 03-21-2017, 07:05 AM   #7
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Re: A couple pumpjack questions


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How long and how often will you use this stuff? I think you will find that you can rent scaffolding pretty cost effectively in most areas. Between that and Craigslist, I would be hard pressed to jump up on that stuff.
I'll need it for the next 2-4 weekends--knock down old siding and window trim, nail sheathing, WRB/flashing/new window trim, new siding. May not even need it for the siding--I'm doing vertical b&b style, it nails from the side, so easy to do with a ladder. I don't plan to ever use it again, will go right on CL once its done. Renting scaffolding would've been over $300, plus I don't have a truck to transport it, renting a truck to transport it would be another $100 or so, ~$50 each way. Could arrange for truck with friends, but that would take forever and will eat up a couple weekends with all the go in between and what have you.

So the overall math was pretty much either ~$200 and at most a day for these, or $400-500 and 2-3 days for the scaffolding. Plus I could reuse the wood from the poles for some interior partition walls and sell the jack on CL.
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Old 03-21-2017, 07:43 AM   #8
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Re: A couple pumpjack questions


The video is overly simplified and taken under lawyers guidance. I suggest you search and pay attention to at least a dozen. I'm doing a timing belt and found many advices, read them over a few times, found 2 that's most comprehensive and again read them over until I knew the reason for every move. I ask if only for the pat on the back.

Dry 2x4 poles can be raised, but you may wish you went any other way than the wood poles. Raising them, esp close to the power lines, can be hairy, and making sure they don't slide on the gutter. Take your time, make sure the bottom is secure. Setting up on concrete/asphalt, you must have somebody else spot the bottom and help you push/drag the pole up the wall, then stand it and finally free handing it around the overhang and the gutter. Gives me willys just thinking about it. Much easier if you don't have to negotiate the overhangs. I'm giving the worst case but the gravity and friction are on your side and just take your time. Also I don't trust any 2x as a platform. I would at least rent aluminum or make my own (gets heavy quick) with double knot free 2x4 and 1/2" knot free ply (never osb) make it 20-30" wide.
The 2x4 used for poles must have no knots bigger than 1/2" and no loose knots. Must have no sign of split and straighter grain that you can find, even if you fish through the whole pallet. Also find the driest to cut down on the weight. I bought wall raising jacks and the plan is still about a year away but I have my 2x4s and drying in the garage laying flat. They are just doug fir #2 but no knots and fairly straight grains. I'll be fishing for more whenever I go to the stores. I usually look for 12' stock and cut them if needed.
Use deck screws (2.5") every 12" to put the 2x together and overlap them by min 4'. I'd screw every 6" at the overlaps, within 2' of the joints. Predrill and countersink, and don't use a straight line to line up your screws. Use a string to make sure they put together straight. Engineer may say 2 or 3' overlap is fine, as in the video, but I do what's comfortable for me, and taught many years ago in the field.
You can also make a guard rail with ply and push them up with the jack. Put stakes in the ground and brace with good 1x. I used screw clamps to hold the 1x to the alum pole, but screws in wood is fine.
One thing about the steel jack and wood pole is that you may feel a bit of slip. Also when you unlock it to descend. Alum jack was smooth. So having said all this, you may feel more confident with rented alum jack. Make sure the rubber is in good condition.

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