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Building concrete forms

September 17, 2007

Saturday, Tim and I set out in my rollback truck, for what turned out to be an abortive trip to Charlotte to pick up a salvage vehicle.   A little over an hour into the trip, disaster befell us, with some transmission bearing troubles.  That story will be held until all is made well and we complete our adventure late this week.

Sunday, I decided to shake off Saturday’s misfortunes by getting back to work on the shop.  Last I left off, we had excavated the footings, and then set about spreading the gravel around the inside area by machine.

Next,  we started to build the wooden forms that will surround and establish the finished height of the concrete slab.   Because I placed the 4 inches of compacted gravel base on grade, and will want at least 4 inches of concrete on top of that, we will need form boards at least 8 inches in height.   I decided to build some modular forms that could be reused for another slab we are going to pour next door.  So,  the chosen design was for a 2 X4 frame, faced with 1/2″ OSB board. 

Ever ready to help, even after a full days work on another project, Jim stopped by to handle the nailing duties, while Leslie manned the chop saw, cutting the 5″ spacers between the two long runs.   Each form contains 4 spacers.


After building each frame, we faced the assembly with OSB.  This will create an extremely rigid form, 8 feet in length, 8 inches high, and 4 inches thick.  That thickness creates rigidity which serves to resist the hydraulic pressure exerted by the wet concrete during the pour and will help ensure things stay square and true.   We will drill and bolt through the end spacer blocks to join each section together.


The perimeter will require 24 of these 8 foot long forms and two short 4 foot versions.  Each form costs approximately $6 in materials – far cheaper than an 8 foot long 2X10, and more rigid.  Here I’m seen providing the invalueable assistance of holding the form while Jim nails on the facing.   Ever since that mishap with Jim’s ear while building the house, he always seems to prefer to hold the nail gun when I’m around.  Go figure.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. September 17, 2007 1:50 pm

    I’m telling you, we should’ve test drove some Mustang’s while we were at that dealership in Burlington 😉 Good times

    Sounds like some good progress on the shop! I should have some time this weekend if you need another hand.


  1. Supples’ Pub » Blog Archive » Project B4C is back on track

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