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Old 03-27-2011, 10:26 PM   #1
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Post problems


With 2 spread footings poured and post brackets set, I started working in installing posts. With one of these posts I have some problems, so I'd like recommendations please on the best way to proceed.

When cutting the post, I had cut my 6x6 into 24" sections. The finished length is closer to 18". But to ensure I'd have a good close fit to the post base, I set the post into the bracket and made sure using a level that it was vertical in both directions. Once in position, I marked a cut line at the bottom using a board set against the concrete.

The first problem is this: There was a bump in the concrete, so the board I set on the concrete to mark the bottom was at a different angle than the actual bracket. Yeah, I know the bracket should've been level. The bubble wasn't perfectly centered when I checked before cutting the posts, it was between the lines but not centered, so I didn't want to have a gap because I assumed a square cut was appropriate. So I have a gap anyway.

Second problem is that my top cut is now 9/16" too tall. This was figured out after I had driven the nails to attach the post to the bracket.

Third problem is that after driving nails into the post, the bracket is loose in the cement.

The post base bracket is Simpson PB66S and I'm using the Simpson structural 16d nails. It felt like it was a good tight fit to the nail holes in the bracket. I wouldn't entirely mind cutting a new post, but if I can just cut 9/16" off the top and fill the loose area of the bracket to the footing and the gap under the post (with mortar? or what?) that'd be fine, I'm not sure how easily these nails come out or if I'd risk damaging the bracket in the process and loosing out on having a bracket that was set into the concrete while it was wet.

The other post didn't have any of these problems.

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Old 03-27-2011, 11:32 PM   #2
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A little hard for me to understand, because it is late. I would sawsall off the nails, pull the bottom nails and post. Cut the bottom off the required, re-set after fixing bracket. If bracket only wiggles, add mortar mix or a two part epoxy in two tubes if small amount, holding bracket level. Re-check post height or do after setting bracket. Picture would help immensely.

Gary

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Old 03-28-2011, 08:45 AM   #3
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You're using too big of a nail. You're beating them in, loosening the post.
You should be using a bracket that keeps the wood off the concrete, so packing concrete under the post to fill in is incorrect.
Ron
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Old 03-28-2011, 09:09 AM   #4
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FWIW here's the only picture I have right now, but it doesn't actually show anything I mentioned because the picture is before I nailed it in, the bottom of the post isn't visible because of the hammer, and the 2x10's aren't actually on the post nor are the post cap brackets fastenned.

And in case anyone wonders, I think getting the forms out will take unscrewing the corner reinforcements which I can't do until I can move the cement blocks which means I need to have the house loads supported by this new structure.
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Old 03-28-2011, 09:19 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron6519 View Post
You're using too big of a nail. You're beating them in, loosening the post.
You should be using a bracket that keeps the wood off the concrete, so packing concrete under the post to fill in is incorrect.
Ron
I'm using the 16d nails from Simpson that are specified on Simpson's specs for the Simpson bracket I used.

I think the problem is that I pushed the bracket into the wet concrete but didn't go back and recompact the concrete like I did on the first bracket that didn't loosen up.
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Old 03-28-2011, 10:01 AM   #6
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Your nails are correct, I used the same bracket for a similar job. The bracket is designed to hold the post about 1/2 inch above the concrete, which minimizes the chances of rot due to moisture collecting under the post. It is not the end of the world to add some mortar underneath the bracket to stabilize it, not strictly correct but consider it a field modification.

As to the post, if it is not plumb, you can shim it with rot resistant wood to make it plumb. Cedar is OK, or ground contact rated PT works well also.

As to cutting the post off, I understand you are about 9/16 inch high, which is a difficult cut to make perfectly with a saw. One option is to clamp 2x4's around the top of the post, and use a router set to 9/16 inch deep with a straight bit, and cut the top down. This is very precise, and easier than trying to use a saw. The 2x4's provide a surface to run the router over.
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Old 03-28-2011, 02:33 PM   #7
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In an earlier post I referred to a picture I intended to attach, but I forgot to attach it so here it is:

I am using a pressure treated ground contact rated 6x6 post, so I'm assuming that I'm giving myself double coverage on protecting from moisture.
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Post problems-post-2-before-attachment.jpg  
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Old 03-28-2011, 05:26 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WillK View Post
In an earlier post I referred to a picture I intended to attach, but I forgot to attach it so here it is:

I am using a pressure treated ground contact rated 6x6 post, so I'm assuming that I'm giving myself double coverage on protecting from moisture.
I would have used a bracket that kept the wood off the concrete.
Ron
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Old 03-28-2011, 06:16 PM   #9
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My alternate would be ABA66Z which is more for the bracket, plus adds in the cost of a J-bolt, nut and washer which is more difficult to properly place in the concrete, plus the bracket has half the uplift strength. Or there is ABU66Z which is twice the cost. (Costs add up when they're x20)

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