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Have Dog - Will Travel
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I am growing my equipment base. Nothing like some of you, but I've outgrown my various storage. So, I envision a project to build an evolving shelter. Probably start as a canopy/Lean-to, and expect I'll eventually add sides, then maybe a back, then I might go wild and do a front and doors. But first step was to attempt to find a half dozen 12-14' utility poles at a reasonable price. I learned quickly that 3 or 4 full length but used (30+') poles could run more than a 12x20' carport kit from TSC. But, I'm a penny pincher and found a local guy with 4 poles between 26-30' long laying in a field behind his house. So, a good friend with a 14' trailer, my son, and I set out with a chainsaw, a come-along, a chain, and a cant hook. I sawed them in half, and will need to sharpen this chain now. Then with a reasonable amount of grunting, drug each of six 13-14' pole up onto the trailer. That took the longest time, but it would have been a double trip to get a tractor with us to this place; so grunt it was.

Hauled them home uneventfully, the best way, I drove up a slight incline more or less where I wanted them, and pulled them one at a time off with my x728:




I didn't drag them far, so I didn't bother with the log arch, just out of the way for the firewood operations:



Now, I expect these will have some time to get accustomed to the woods environment here before I start digging holes, and organizing a plan to set them. So, comments welcome, but you can keep your "hurry up and get this next step done for us" to yourselves. I'm a multi-year member, and I'm perfectly happy for my projects to take a while.

BTW anyone know what a utility pole weights? I've googled and found answers between 750lbs and 1250 lbs. Doesn't really narrow it down much.
 

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motorcycle cowboy
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I'll follow along with this project Jere as I am in the same boat, needing more covered storage. My 10x20 barn is abit small for my needs now.
 

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Administrator
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Looks like it will be solid. How big were you planning on building it?

I have a 12x20 shed, holds 5 or 6 tractors....I have 6 right now, so threw this together to house the winter plow.
 

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This gonna be good. :)

I also went down this road (and maybe still on it.) I needed a place to store a bunch of canoes, the plan started with a double sided rack and quickly expanded to a 21x33 pole barn, to house a bunch of stuff; canoe, boats, tractors, etc. While working I even modeled the building and made/printed plans for it.

During my unemployed days I collected most of the needed building material either free or cheep; 6x6 treated posts, trusses, and a bunch of used steel, enough plus more to do the building.

I also over time got 120 yards of fill and had it moved 250 ft to create the building pad.

At this point I don't know if it will ever get built. The wife calls it my imaginary pole barn.

Looking forward to watch yours progress.

Dan
 

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I don't see your supervisor, Scout. He should be right up top to make sure you are doing it right.
 

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Imaginary is good. Design changes are easier that way. Very few things I design on paper actually end up as designed. 5 years of drafting and 29 years in the industry one would think that would not be the case.
As for the weight of utility poles there are just to many variables. Two identical looking poles could even have significate weight differences.
 

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Parts collector
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Ok Jere this is a good start. You have the foundation now. Let me explain.

Cut the poles down to 3' lengths, mark out the "base foundation" you want. depending on how big you want to go you may need 6 to 8 of them at 3" long. Dig holes along the line of your building deep enough to bury all but 3"s of the poles. Bury them, fill in, then tamp and fill again.

THEN what you do is use them for a "base-plate" foundation running base-plates around the foundation on top of the T-poles. You can use metal "U" brackets or just lags to fasten the base-plates to the T-poles. Then just do a regular framed wall on top of that. Simple easy and they will last longer than you or I will.

Good luck. If you want a better explanation PM me or just ask here. I'll do my best if I didn't explain it well enough.
 

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..
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I’ve done similar to what your proposing for a cattle shed.
16’ long poles. Used a 3 point auger to drill holes for the sides and back. Set poles in with a loader. Plumbed up with bracing lumber, then backfilled with sand.
Found the shortest one with a string line and level, and cut them all to match that height.
It got fence panel nailed to the inside, hand built rafters with a steel roof with purlins, no sheeting, and one 36” layer of tin on the sides near the top.
We shaved the posts with a chainsaw to make it a flat surface for the tin. You really need a metal detector to go over the pole surface before you do that however, skipping that step was an expensive lesson.

Pretty much anything-proof, some of the poles were 24” in diameter.
 

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Sand holds moisture, moisture promotes rot. We have gotten good results with paver stone here and it compactable without adding water.
 

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With my rural place 2.5 hours away and me over 65, I hired a guy to put up my pole barn. Expecting a big post hole driller, what I got was the laborer, his girlfriend, and her dad in a mini van stuffed with everything they needed. 12 holes, 24" in diameter, had to go 48" deep. In one day, this guy had all 12 holes laid out, dug, and a 6" concrete footer in the bottom of each. Yes, they had a small mixer stuffed in that mini van.

The biggest tool they had was that mixer, and a bunch of saws, a small compressor, nail gun, and drills.

In one week they had the full frame up ready for the tin. Flowing week, all the tin went on, a roll up door, and an entry door installed. Done.

Good old man and woman power, aided by hand tools and a few power saws and a nail gun.

Great job, all square and tight.

If I had a little more time and was living there, I think I'd try this myself. Just weekends, and the 5 hour round trip to build my cabin took a lot of steam out of me. It was nice to see those guys doing a masterful job although it was powered by my money....:tango_face_crying:
 

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By the way, did I mention the guy had arms the size of my legs? Obviously this wasn't his first pole barn job.
 

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I'll never get to 10,000
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Looks like it will be solid. How big were you planning on building it?

I have a 12x20 shed, holds 5 or 6 tractors....I have 6 right now, so threw this together to house the winter plow.
I like it!!
Watching this with interest Jere.
We have a 20'x28' horse barn (no horses now) w/ 12'x20 run in shed on side and 8'x18' box truck body and still need room. Looking at metal buildings, but will watch how yours goes to get more ideas.
 

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Are those power poles as bad to cut as railroad ties? I'll be watching this thread looking for building idea's. We have lots of equipment and very little storage.
 

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Ok Jere this is a good start. You have the foundation now. Let me explain.

Cut the poles down to 3' lengths, mark out the "base foundation" you want. depending on how big you want to go you may need 6 to 8 of them at 3" long. Dig holes along the line of your building deep enough to bury all but 3"s of the poles. Bury them, fill in, then tamp and fill again.

THEN what you do is use them for a "base-plate" foundation running base-plates around the foundation on top of the T-poles. You can use metal "U" brackets or just lags to fasten the base-plates to the T-poles. Then just do a regular framed wall on top of that. Simple easy and they will last longer than you or I will.

Good luck. If you want a better explanation PM me or just ask here. I'll do my best if I didn't explain it well enough.
I like that idea, but what I would do is cut them to 4ft lengths, bury them 3 or so feet deep and let them settle a bit. Then run a chalk line to get them even and find level and cut them off above the ground level....Would guaranty they are even that way,
 

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Parts collector
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I like that idea, but what I would do is cut them to 4ft lengths, bury them 3 or so feet deep and let them settle a bit. Then run a chalk line to get them even and find level and cut them off above the ground level....Would guaranty they are even that way,
Around here after 3' deep you are in "footer ground" and they will not move. Hit them a couple times with an 8# sledge and done. Pack the dirt in around and done. :tango_face_grin:

I had and old guy tell me this years ago to avoid footers and "pole barn" poles that can rot. Then you run a "baseboard" around the outside of the T-poles and pour your crete right to it and the poles are part of the floor. Done :tango_face_devil:
 

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Minding my P's & Q's
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Around here after 3' deep you are in "footer ground" and they will not move. Hit them a couple times with an 8# sledge and done. Pack the dirt in around and done. :tango_face_grin:

I had and old guy tell me this years ago to avoid footers and "pole barn" poles that can rot. Then you run a "baseboard" around the outside of the T-poles and pour your crete right to it and the poles are part of the floor. Done :tango_face_devil:
Uh huh, and around here after 3 feet deep you are in mud. Found that out putting the fence posts around my garden. Even the trees here don't go much deeper, though the roots do spread out. Then again, the ground never freezes here either.
 

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Parts collector
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Uh huh, and around here after 3 feet deep you are in mud. Found that out putting the fence posts around my garden. Even the trees here don't go much deeper, though the roots do spread out. Then again, the ground never freezes here either.
:sidelaugh lived in the west coast of FL (N. For Myers) don't want to go back again. There is no bed rock unless you call seashells bed rock. :sidelaugh

bringing in 20 ton of stone today and it was all seashells................ :sidelaugh

yeah the water stank like rotten eggs. No need to go back there EVER!
 
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