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can I use 7/8" gravel as aggregate?

1484 Views 2 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  rtoni
I'm adding a support pier under cottage to prop up a beam mid point (advice from others here on an older / previous post re: bouncy floor).

I'm using a 28" Bigfoot footing form with approx 2' of 10" sona tube at the top - down to about 4'. All together I think I need about 5 cubic ft of concrete to fill it (3.5 for the bigfoot, according to the label, and estimating another 1.5 for the tube). Portland cement bag label says it covers approx 15 sq feet for a 4" slab which is approx 5 cu ft.

I have a pile of clean gravel (7/8" max sand/gravel mix) from a local quarry that I had dropped off a year ago. I'm fairly remote and getting a truck out was big $$$. So I'm thinking of just using some of this gravel to mix in the concrete as the aggregate. I'm hoping that as long as I use the right water / cement ratio and drop a couple pieces of vertical rebar in the tube I should end up with a decent result.

I don't want to go crazy analyzing the choice of aggregate or go insane worrying about 5 ft of concrete - but I also don't want the pier falling apart. Any thoughts on this? Has anyone seen a small concrete job go bad because they didn't cherry pick the sand and stone? Also how long should this thing cure before I put any load on it (assuming it's curing underground - am I correct in assuming this will be a while longer?) This will end up being one of 9 piers supporting a 20x20 cabin.

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thanks jomama45 - maybe that's what this material is generally used for here too (roadwork) - it packs like concrete wherever I spread it around - makes a great level parking / working area around the camp.

now that you mention the dirt and silt issue, I wonder if the fairly heavy rains over the last year would have done anything to wash it out (we've had some wild downpours too) - maybe I could scoop from the top of the pile for the "cleaner" stuff...?

In any case, I'll be sure to top up the cement in the mix - thanks for the tip.

bigfoot - overkill - I kinda thought about that a bit - the worst part of working where I am is the digging (really hard going) and setting that big form in is definitely more work - but if I'm going to go at it I think I might sleep a bit better for the add'l $20 and an extra hour or 2 with the pick and shovel - also makes the beer taste better when the job is done :yes:
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