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Old 10-21-2008, 02:16 AM   #1
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forms for semi-circular concrete steps


Hi,
I am planning to build semi-circular concrete steps. 2 steps, each step will have 4.5in rise; top step has 2ft radius, the bottom - 37 in. I have 2 questions.

1. I searched internet and books for an example how to build the forms for semi-circular steps. The only example I could find is here: http://www.packagepavement.com/building_steps_qk.html . I can't understand how the form for the top step is held in place. Actually, 2x8 of the bottom step where it touches the house in the bottom right corner of the image also does not have a stake or any other visible means of holding it in place.
Also, with 2x8 of the top step going all the way down to the bottom step, how do you screed the bottom step? Am I missing something or this is just an ad photo and is not a real thing? Can someone post/describe any other examples for the forms?
At the moment I am planning to leave the stakes of the bottom step form as high as the height of the top step, brace the stakes and then attach 1X4 to the stakes and the top step form.

2. Steps will be covered with mortared brick. As I said, the final rise of each step is 4.5 in. Minus brick's height 2 3/8in and minus 1/2in of mortar. That gives the height of the top concrete step of 1 5/8 in. Besides additional headache for building the form for such a low top step, does anyone see any potential problems with this?

Thank you!

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Old 10-21-2008, 05:30 AM   #2
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forms for semi-circular concrete steps


i agree...I can't understand how the form for the top step is held in place either....? did they pour both at once? wouldn't you want to do the bottom first? then build form and pour top step? it shows him working on the bottom part! uhhh, how?

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Old 10-21-2008, 05:58 AM   #3
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forms for semi-circular concrete steps


I have seen this done.You cant tell from the photo but the form is attached to the house and also to the bottom form.I saw a guy do it a few houses from me he had a hard time working the bottom step and I asked if he should have done two pours he said he wanted to try this but should have poured the first then screened it and set the second form on the first and poured the next step before it started to dry ......hindsite is a wonderfull thing in some cases
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Old 10-21-2008, 06:20 AM   #4
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forms for semi-circular concrete steps


Look close and you can see the 2x6 form on the bottom supports the top with blocks.
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Old 10-21-2008, 07:42 AM   #5
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forms for semi-circular concrete steps


I've done a number of circular steps and can tell you that nothing fancy is needed. I've always used 12" x 16' pieces of X90 lap siding staked in place with 2x4's. It bends easily and isn't terribly expensive.
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Old 10-21-2008, 08:41 AM   #6
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forms for semi-circular concrete steps


I saw this done once. They remove the forms very early, as soon as the concrete is set. Then they can still work the surface and not have a form marks. They also start witha very stiff mix. Pour the first step wait a bit for it to set and then pour the second step or it will slump out under the form.
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Old 10-21-2008, 02:52 PM   #7
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forms for semi-circular concrete steps


Thank you, everyone, for your comments.

I would like to pour the steps in one go as I am not sure I will be able to setup the top form fast enough, before the bottom step starts to dry.

Quote:
Originally Posted by thekctermite View Post
I've done a number of circular steps and can tell you that nothing fancy is needed. I've always used 12" x 16' pieces of X90 lap siding staked in place with 2x4's. It bends easily and isn't terribly expensive.
Thekctermite, I guess by "nothing fancy" you mean that there's no need to build the box around the plywood. If so, I was thinking in the same way - I want to drive in 7 stakes along the circle's perimeter to hold the curved plywood for the bottom step.
I was planning to use 5ply hardwood but am not sure whether it would easily bend, especially for the 2ft radius of the top step. I will have a look at the siding which you mentioned.
From your experience: could you explain how did you fix the top frame to 2x4's? The only way I see is to use "kicker" boards between the bent plywood of the top form and the stakes of the bottom form.
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Old 10-22-2008, 11:22 PM   #8
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forms for semi-circular concrete steps


you can use bender board riped down to size! stake below screed form, box in bender for support with 2bys, if you only look at corners of a box the grade is below bender back fill,laybrick to line level! note you only pour in bender board area, this is a good bond mix! bender or beaver board sold in 4 by 8 sheet cut down to size free at any home store in the paneling DEPT. bend it stack it up tie it into 2bys stake or block to ground not house, what about a footer and pitch to kick water off. and rise 10 12 is nice for big foot ,, old man bad nees cracked hands big bucks

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