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Old 04-04-2011, 11:48 AM   #16
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How to size steel cable for barn wall repair


It's really not that bad from outside. You can see a bit of a dip in the ridge and the two walls bow a bit.

I've also got some issues with posts that I'd like to jack up a bit. I suspect the center post in the cellar gave way and one of the beams on the first floor broke. Possibly even the center post on the first floor.

The floor dips in the center by a few inches, which is a PITA for equiment and tables. The post with the broken mortise also dropped 2-4 inches.

Everything seems stable now with repairs made in the cellar, but it's still annoying to see and deal with things out of square like that.

I found a really nice guy from Maine that does barn repair. I think he'd do a bang up job, but I think the cost is just too much for us right now.
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Old 09-06-2011, 11:57 AM   #17
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How to size steel cable for barn wall repair


I have a similar situation while rehab this old house. My problem was the front fascia (wall) of the building separated from the perpendicular walls. Due the a heavy snow load on the roof that pushed that wall out. The wall separated the support elements in about 7 degree angle. Every contractor I hired got scared and not wanted the job due to it liability. So, I have to think quick to come up a system using 1/4" cable, fender washers and eye bolts at 2 ft O.C. I installed a 2x6 pressure treated wood outside the wall and drilled 1/2" holes for the fender washers and eye bolts. Then, using a combination of chain and strap with come along to slowly pull in the wall and then turn the buckle to the point where the cable reached it resistant. It took me 2 months by myself to pull it and secure the wall. Every day I would turn the buckle 1 revolution slowly...not too quickly which could crack the wall and create a dangerous situation. It a long process....here is the link of some photos in working progress...

http://www.use.com/editset.pl?set=5b6f4257054ec4301eed

Last edited by newcholon; 09-06-2011 at 11:59 AM.
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Old 09-06-2011, 12:14 PM   #18
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How to size steel cable for barn wall repair


It's nice to hear other experiences. I don't come across many people trying to do this sort of thing.

Many will be scared to attempt such repairs. Others will try to discourage you.

If you're really lucky you'll find someone who's done it before and therefore understands how doable it really is.

Since starting this thread, I've come a long way. I can't even tell you how many hours I have in this project. It's truly staggering. The project got much bigger than originally expected. The more I looked, the more I found. I ended up jacking and leveling the entire barn. The back had to come up 3.5"! I replaced 80% of the sill and leveled all the posts with a laser upstairs. I had to cut back and splice in new post bottoms in some cases.

I ended up using a combinatoin of farm jacks, screw jacks and railroad jacks.

For pulling I bought two 4" ratched straps. Beasts! I installed 3/4" x 10" eye bolts through the top plate (8x8 beams).

There are lots of ways to mess up, and you might end up redoing some things, but if you approach everything methodically and reallly think it through before acting, it's surprisingly simple to straighten a building. Not easy, but simple. ! I'm enormously proud of the work I've accomplished so far this year.
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Old 04-27-2012, 09:38 AM   #19
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How to size steel cable for barn wall repair


hello,
im about to start the same process on a barn in upstate ny. i would be grateful for any info regarding your work that you could share.what cable size did you end up using? and if you didnt use come alongs, did you use only turnbuckles? i am positively going to do this myself with experienced help. did you leave permanent cabling in the structure and if so what size was that?
thanks for your help
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Old 04-27-2012, 10:19 AM   #20
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How to size steel cable for barn wall repair


i see part of my answer here;

"For pulling I bought two 4" ratched straps. Beasts! I installed 3/4" x 10" eye bolts through the top plate (8x8 beams). "
how did you decide this was adequate for your working load?
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Old 04-27-2012, 10:32 AM   #21
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How to size steel cable for barn wall repair


I'm all too happy to share what I found after hundreds of hours of research and labor last summer. In the end, I found the process could be boiled down to individual tasks that weren't that complicated. Of course, your situation may be different.

To answer your specific question about cables. I bought a pair of 4" ratchet straps from Northern Tool. I installed 3/4" eye bolts (and matching nuts and shackles - all from riggingwarehouse) into the top plate (beam) on either side of the bowed walls. The straps were PLENTY strong enough.

Try to figure out the cause of your issues. For instance, it turned out that the real culprit with my bowing walls at the top was a sill that collapsed and twisted. This caused the center beam in that wall to kick in at the bottom and out at the top. It also kicked the cross beam tied into the sill to kick inwards towards the other wall, pushing the bottom of that center beam outwards.

My first attempt at pulling the walls in at the top was misguided. It actually "worked", until I came down out of the barn and realized that I had pulled one wall over to match the bow in the other, and the bottom of post kicked out! If you think about it, pulling two walls together with no anchor is a crap shoot. You have no idea what's going to give. You might get lucky, or not.

It took me many hours of staring at the structure from every vantage to figure out the big picture; the many contributing problems. I then tackled them all in the order that seemed right to me.

I ended up replacing the entire sill of the barn, one wall at a time. I bought some big-ass railroad jacks and mechanical bottle jacks, and borrowed some. I also bought some farm jacks. It takes a lot of jacks for a barn project. I lagged PT (stronger) 2x6s vertically to the outside of the barn, into the posts (just drilled pilot holes through the 2x6 the siding, sheathing and into the post). I used 1/2" lags and washers. I could jack the barn up off the foundation using these boards. Once jacked, I cut out the old nasty sills. Next I dismantled and repaired any foundation that wasn't good. I then slid the new 21' sill in and lowered the barn onto it. I worked my way around the barn like this. When levelling things, it was difficult to figure out what to use as a reference. With a barn that old, you're trying to figure out what happened over 200 years! There was a 3.5" drop from the front to the back. I used a rotary level on a tripod and paint to mark the permiter level line on the foundation. Oh, I then installed 60+ bags of mortar between the stones which were previously just dry laid. I also replaced most of the floor joists. I added three footings and cement block columns under the main beam, as well.

I used the rotary laser in the loft to level the tops of the posts. Again, it was difficult to figure out which to use as a reference. I had to replace rotten bottoms on several of the posts. Again, I jacked them as described, cut out a chair pattern and lagged new bottoms to them.

At this point, by barn is in kick-ass shape. It's all level and solid and good for a LONG, healthy life! I've got tons of pictures if you'd like to see anything.

Don't hesitate to ask for more help. I couldn't have done it without an amazing neighbor who supervised my adventure!
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Old 04-27-2012, 11:06 AM   #22
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How to size steel cable for barn wall repair


How did I decide on the 4" straps?

I partly guessed. I read a lot and stumbled across the straps and thought they were a good price and strength. I talked with various people that are much smarter than I am and the concensus was that they would probably be fine. Remember, there's a big difference in required effort to lift an object, versus pulling it.
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Old 04-27-2012, 12:51 PM   #23
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How to size steel cable for barn wall repair


Quote:
Originally Posted by tbeaulieu View Post
I found a really nice guy from Maine that does barn repair. I think he'd do a bang up job, but I think the cost is just too much for us right now.
What is the age of the barn?
If it is old enough, contact the local historical society. There are grants available to defer the cost to repair some old buildings. Money has been tight though.
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Old 04-27-2012, 12:55 PM   #24
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How to size steel cable for barn wall repair


I read a little bit on that a few years back and decided it wasn't for me.

I don't think they'd be interested in funding my new workshop and golf simulator!
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Old 04-27-2012, 03:46 PM   #25
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How to size steel cable for barn wall repair


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Wind? Not an issue.
How come wind is not an issue!?
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Old 04-27-2012, 08:07 PM   #26
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How to size steel cable for barn wall repair


Strange question, Tony.

People don't come to a forum for information on how they CAN'T do something. They come here to for help to DO it. Generic "you're not qualified" responses are shallow and not well arrogant.

In my case, I have a post and beam barn. Jacking a corner 3" that was merely sitting on stone poses ZERO risk, regarding wind. I could have paid $20k (EASILY - I GOT QUOTES) for the repairs that I did. I read and learned how to tackle the tasks safely. Bought the needed equipment. Performed the steps in the correct order. Sure, it took me MANY hours and was a MASSIVE undertaking (time-wise), the more I did the more irritated I got with answers like that.
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Old 04-28-2012, 05:43 AM   #27
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How to size steel cable for barn wall repair


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Strange question, Tony.

People don't come to a forum for information on how they CAN'T do something. They come here to for help to DO it. Generic "you're not qualified" responses are shallow and not well arrogant.

.
Calm down!

I wasn't criticising your approach, still less the fact that you would do something like this yourself, which imo is commendable. Too often people give up at the first hurdle and pay a professional to do a job which they could well do themselves, with a bit of thought, research and elbow grease.

I've done similar jobs myself, including rewiring, plumbing, roofing, extensions and structural alterations, vehicle repairs etc. Like you, i know the satisfaction of having done a job at a fraction of the cost of paying someone else - it's almost like cheating the system.

The only reason I raised the issue of wind-load was that I once got caught out on this (I design school playground shelters and light timber-frame classrooms); wind forces can catch even experienced SEs unawares. Maybe I'm a bit paranoid about that aspect! but if I see someone write 'no problem' regarding wind-load I just think, hmmm.

Anyway, enough of this - all I can say is well done
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Old 05-01-2012, 09:21 AM   #28
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How to size steel cable for barn wall repair


got some of the 4" straps, they were what i was looking for. much cheaper and easier to work with than chain, and safer than understrength cablepullers. im going to 1/4" cable/turnbuckle the main bents together and then use longer straps/ rigging slings to pull things around. i also must replace all the sills, and add many braces for triangulation. i think my order is:
1. cable, brace structure.
2.jack and replace sills, sister rotted posts.
3. pull closer to plumb/ square.
4. more of #1 to hold it for another 100 years.
any other observations are more than welcome. as always, it is the question that i didnt know to ask that is going to be the one that needs most to be answered.
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Old 05-01-2012, 11:28 AM   #29
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How to size steel cable for barn wall repair


That's a big barn!

If you take it slowly and work in sections, it will start to talk to you. You have listen a lot, though. The more I studied my small barn the more I learned about what had gone wrong. It took many hours to get the whole picture.

A rotary laser from craigslist would be a very useful tool.

You'll need lots of jacks. Again, cl or borrowed is great. Farm jacks are also helpful for not only jacking, but shifting and pushing things around. Adjustable jacking posts are a must-have. You'll need a bunch of those. I can talk more about the jacking if you need. Sometimes you need to jack from inside and outside at the same time, as in one of the photos with the "beam" running under the sill.

Be very careful to not put yourself in harms way. Always have redundancy!

These photos are just too big and I don't feel like messing with trying to figure it out right now. If you'd like me to email them, let me know.

I don't really consider cables a long term solution. A structure should be able to stand on its own. I think there's usually a failure that leads to the symptoms you see. In my case I think it was the foundation, but I will admit that I've yet to remove the straps from the loft top plates.
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Old 05-02-2012, 09:08 AM   #30
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How to size steel cable for barn wall repair


i dont think i can email you separately yet, as a "newbie" my options were limited to thread input.
the cabling planed for permanent use is for where there is a short or kneewall that doesnt have as much structure to keep the wall spreading as i would like. i am, as you say, still studying the structure to see what it needs. in a post and beam building that works as it should, cabling should be redundant. but in a situation where its been repaired and perhaps modified, they might be required. they seem to be used alot in" house and garden"
style barn to home renovations. maybe they just like the look stainless cable gives them.
im at yetiwagon@yahoo.com
thanks

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