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Old 12-14-2008, 02:41 PM   #16
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Lally Column Question


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Originally Posted by Gmartin View Post
I used two adjustable temporary columns on either side to raise the beam a fraction to get the bottom plate out. Believe me, there is lots of weight on these columns - it's a two story colonial.

So does the fact that the column is solid change anyone's opinion? If the plate is just to keep the column from moving, my tiling around it will take care of that. Besides, it's in a cellar, not a garage.
Doesn't change my mind.

The original design specified a certain sized plate and altering that would not be a good idea.

I believe you when you say there is a lot of weight on there. I am sure my estimate was low.

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Old 12-14-2008, 03:17 PM   #17
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No, having concrete in the post does not make the removal of the plate ok. Still gotta have it.
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Old 12-14-2008, 04:15 PM   #18
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Gmartin: Here is a silly question. Do you have an extra plate? I know it will be a PIA but if you can get a 3rd plate; Mark the floor where the original plate was, chip it out so the plate will be "mortised" into the concrete, add a second plate under the header/girder, this will bring you back to the original dimension, sorta :}. That makes the tiling to the post as if there were no plate and still have the bearing surface for the column.
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Old 12-14-2008, 09:10 PM   #19
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Yes, I do have flat steel plate I can use as "shims" - I used them at the top to compensate for removing the bottom one (the plates that come with the columns have four raised nubs so I can't use those as shims).

From the advice I'm getting there are two problems with taking out the bottom plate.

1.) The bottom of the column (steel with concrete center) is not perfectly flat so the weight is not evenly distributed. So I would have to mortise the concrete floor out so it was perfectly smooth (an impossible task). Otherwise I would have the same problem I have with no plate.

2.) The area where the load is distributed is significantly less without the plate. True. Having the plate effectively doubles the area of the load (Dia. of column is 4" therefore 3.14x2x2 = 12.5 sq.in. vs. with the plate which is 5 x 5 = 25 sq.in). But do you think a 1/8" thick plate carries the load out to the corners of that plate? I'm thinking most of the load thru the plate is directly under the column.

A third reason for not removing the plate may be corrosion. The reason I am tiling is because I get moisture coming through the floor which causes efforlescence. So trapped moisture against the column over time may corrode the column. But I've been in the house 20 years and the bottom of the plate I removed looks fine so I don't buy my own reason :-)

EDIT:
Now that I went back and re-read the posts it is most likely that the concrete at the bottom of the column is not flat at all - possibly even set back from the steel tube when it was cut and whacked to break the concrete (I didn't look at the bottom - I was too nervous having the temporary columns holding up my house!). So assuming the steel tube component is all that is contacting the ground, my justification for reason #2 is bogus.

Last edited by Gmartin; 12-14-2008 at 09:18 PM. Reason: additional info
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Old 12-15-2008, 11:00 AM   #20
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G; Plate is just to prevent pressure from being only a point load. The area to chip does NOT have to be "polished, all it needs to be is flat and low enuf to keep the plate under the surface so you and run tile over it. Thse "nibs" on the plates are to prevent the post from sliding off the plate :}:}:} Nothing more scientific than that LOL LOL. Almost all of the plates I have used also had 2 holes thru em so when used as top plate u can nail it to the header, therefore take the second plate as a shim, gring the nibs off, use the smooth plate as the top, the one with nibs as second, nail thru hole into header and u r good to go
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Old 12-15-2008, 05:15 PM   #21
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4 inch square hollow column with 1/4 inch walls: area of cross section is about 4 sq. in. Actually a little less; think of four sides 3-3/4 inches by 1/4 inches juxtaposed at the corners for a 4x4 inch outside dimension; area is 3-3/4 sq. in.

4 inch round column with 1/4 inch walls; area of cross section is about 3 sq. in. (pi times 4 for the perimeter times 1/4 thick is about 3.14 except a little less because 4 is the outside diameter as opposed to the on center diameter).

The exact PSI is not uniform and quite unpredictable because the column might not be sitting exactly squarely on the concrete footing or for a solid column the bottom surface of concrete middle plus steel outside is not absolutely flat. The steel plate evens out the PSI on the footing better but is still not perfect; the plate could bend over time if the column doesn't sit exactly right and then the PSI can vary under the plate.

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