Breaking up concrete steps

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Re: Breaking up concrete steps

Postby lyle11 » Mon Jul 26, 2021 12:00 pm

Barnyard wrote:Forget the dynomite and small jackhammers spending a lot of time on it. Rent on of these and be done with it. Once it is broke in half the skid steer should be able to move it. No sense spending all your free time beating yourself to death.

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My neighbor has two skid steers and he would move it, but it still needs to be in at least 2 pieces because it’s too heavy.

Thanks for the ideas. I was using it as a backstop for shooting guns for years but I’m tired of looked at it. Might take the cheapest route and buy a 13 LB hammer with a fiberglass handle and see if I can get it to crumble by the dog house opening. That’s a tool that would come in useful every now and then. Also, might try the chemical method concentrating in the middle point with the idea of splitting it in 2 pieces.

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Re: Breaking up concrete steps

Postby Mht » Mon Jul 26, 2021 9:38 pm

A gas powered concrete cut saw might be the best. Start saw cuts parallel to an edge and make a cut and then use wood splitting wedges to break off chunks. I’ve demolished a lot of concrete that way but I have access to a concrete saw that I can borrow. It might not be cost effective if you had to rent one and they are not cheap to buy. A large hammer drill that uses spline type bits can also be used to break up large pieces of concrete. Drill a series of holes with a bit of maybe 1/2 diameter and then use a BFH to break chunks off. I think a feather is a round pointed tapered chisel that can be driven in a hole to break concrete. I think you are in for a lot of work doing it with small hand tools. I guess it all depends on how much you value your time and what tools you have that you don’t have to rent. I agree with a previous post that if you have to rent a tool for more than a day or two you are better off buying one

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Re: Breaking up concrete steps

Postby Eugene » Mon Jul 26, 2021 9:47 pm

Mht wrote:I think a feather is a round pointed tapered chisel that can be driven in a hole to break concrete.
Not quite. Stone masons have been using them for several thousand years to split granite.

https://www.amazon.com/Feather-Concrete ... B0732V3KXS

Look up how to use feathers and wedges on the net.
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Re: Breaking up concrete steps

Postby Mht » Tue Jul 27, 2021 7:59 am

Thanks for that info and Amazon link with a picture. I’ve learned something new this morning and that’s a good way to start my day

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Re: Breaking up concrete steps

Postby SamsFarm » Tue Jul 27, 2021 10:14 am

Barnyard wrote:That would work, but his concrete is 6’X4’X3’. That thing would weigh between 10,000 and 12,000 pounds.


Your 10000 to 12000 pounds would be ok if it was a solid rectangle of concrete.

150# per square foot (soild).

A (solid) rectangle block 4x4x6 is 72cuft, for a weight of 10800# +/-

Chances are it is 1 to 2 tons!
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Re: Breaking up concrete steps

Postby lyle11 » Tue Jul 27, 2021 10:19 am

Thanks Eugene. I was intending to look this up after you mentioned it. I’ve seen at a granite countertop installer big slabs of granite with a holes drilled in a line where this is apparently the method they used to break it along a line before it’s custom cut to size.

For the cost of concrete bits and a set of these feathers and wedges this looks the most promising of any idea proposed. I guess it’ll be curious with the thickness of concrete if a crack started will continue all the way through 3-4’.

I’m gonna buy a concrete bit or two of the required size first to see how that goes and if that works, I’ll buy a set of these. My concern is that it’s chocked full of those reddish-pink colored rocks readily available after plowing unearths them which are much harder than concrete. But, I’m thinking the top few inches are probably all concrete and if I can get a crack started it may continue through.
Last edited by lyle11 on Tue Jul 27, 2021 10:34 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Breaking up concrete steps

Postby lyle11 » Tue Jul 27, 2021 10:29 am

SamsFarm wrote:
Barnyard wrote:That would work, but his concrete is 6’X4’X3’. That thing would weigh between 10,000 and 12,000 pounds.


Your 10000 to 12000 pounds would be ok if it was a solid rectangle of concrete.

150# per square foot (soild).

A (solid) rectangle block 4x4x6 is 72cuft, for a weight of 10800# +/-

Chances are it is 1 to 2 tons!


Obviously I’ll never know how much it weighs. Knowing my father, I’m sure he used concrete mixed with sand exactly as recommended. It also has a lot of the smooth reddish-pink colored rocks you see unearthed here when fields are plowed. Cheap filler readily available in the country on farmer’s rock piles so I’m sure he used a lot of them to save concrete. Not sure how much they weigh compared to concrete. It has the hollow for the dog house but it’s one massive chunk.

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Re: Breaking up concrete steps

Postby Mht » Tue Jul 27, 2021 10:30 am

Concrete bits of any size are almost useless in a regular drill. If you don’t have a hammer drill plan on getting one. If you are going to buy one get one that uses splined or sds style bits. A regular Chuck on a hammer drill is always working loose

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Re: Breaking up concrete steps

Postby Don McCombs » Tue Jul 27, 2021 10:42 am

lyle11 wrote:I guess it’ll be curious with the thickness of concrete if a crack started will continue all the way through 3-4’.
But, I’m thinking the top few inches are probably all concrete and if I can get a crack started it may continue through.

I have my doubts, as concrete with imbedded rock does not have the same type of “grain” that granite or marble might have. I do hope it works for you, though.
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Re: Breaking up concrete steps

Postby SamsFarm » Tue Jul 27, 2021 10:48 am

The big question is whether it has any rebar and / or mesh wire in it.

Without the reinforcement wire, it will probably crack up a lot easier!
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Re: Breaking up concrete steps

Postby Don McCombs » Tue Jul 27, 2021 10:52 am

Hadn’t thought of that. But, you are absolutely correct. With steel reinforcing, all bets are off.
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Re: Breaking up concrete steps

Postby lyle11 » Tue Jul 27, 2021 12:46 pm

SamsFarm wrote:The big question is whether it has any rebar and / or mesh wire in it.

Without the reinforcement wire, it will probably crack up a lot easier!


I can answer that question. It is not reinforced with rebar or any metal. Only a lot of rocks for filler. I know this because I helped my father pour them when I was a young whipper-snapper. The rocks used are very hard, not sandstone. So I’m sure the rocks are very unlikely to crack but I’m hoping it acts like chips in a cookie and the concrete crumbles and fractures around them.

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Re: Breaking up concrete steps

Postby Don McCombs » Tue Jul 27, 2021 1:40 pm

Sounds like chunks of Great Lakes granite deposited by the ice sheet.
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Re: Breaking up concrete steps

Postby lyle11 » Tue Jul 27, 2021 2:50 pm

Don McCombs wrote:Sounds like chunks of Great Lakes granite deposited by the ice sheet.


I’ve never been there but a few miles away they have a little museum called the Ice Age Center. I remember back in school learning about how the glacier came through this area and sculpted the land creating the lakes and hills we have now. I don’t see those glaciers here anymore, so I guess climate change has been around a long time. I don’t know anything specifically about the makeup of the red rocks. There is a lot of sandstone here too.

The area is rich in fine sand that is used in fracking and other industries. About 10-15 years ago we got a lot of Southwest based oil companies buying farms for 5 times their agricultural value to mine for sand. It was hauled by truck then rail. But, like most booms it went bust 2-3 years ago when they came up with cheaper alternatives or sand closer geographically to where they used it. Now we have big areas dug up and abandoned mines with conveyors and buildings and piles of sand. They were required to mound up and seed over the top soil and “reclaim” the land for agricultural or other use after the sand was extracted. Not sure how long they have to do the reclamation, or if funds were put aside before they started. I used to hear the low hum of equipment 3-4 miles away 24 hours a day but now it’s quiet again. I honestly don’t know if it’ll ever come back. Fortunately for me, it was approaching my place but is not visible. A few people got rich, but to avoid capital gains the people I know bought more farm land with nicer houses and buildings and are right back to farming or renting farm land but now they own it free and clear. I was never approached by the sand miners about selling, but I have only 80 acres. They didn’t want my neighbor with 300+ acres directly visible to the north because a gas pipeline runs through that property. It’s not that bad. Maybe 1 in 20 farms was mined is my wild guess. But once they bought one farm they tended to want adjacent properties and soon they had a thousand acres. If it was right by you it ruined your quiet country life and hurt your property value.

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Re: Breaking up concrete steps

Postby Bill » Wed Jul 28, 2021 8:22 am



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