Breaking up concrete steps

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Re: Breaking up concrete steps

Postby lyle11 » Wed Jul 28, 2021 10:01 am

Bill wrote:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pslnI0IPEc8


We burn brush or old scrap wood periodically. I started a fire close to the steps and heard small explosions. I feel foolish to admit it but I thought initially there must have been old ammo in the barrel of wood I used to start the fire. Then I saw the small chunks of concrete breaking off and remembered shop class and being warned not to let hot metal pool on the concrete floor. So, I saw that this works.

It’s way too dry there now to start a fire. Not a drought but there is a lot of corn planted and it shows damage from lack of rain but, as of the last time I was there, we got rain and the corn recovered but if it doesn’t rain more it’ll wilt.

If I could get a hole through the dog house opening at the bottom for ventilation a nice hot fire in the dog house opening would do a lot to loosen and break up that area.

Might do that this fall if we get some rain.

Thanks

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Re: Breaking up concrete steps

Postby Don B. » Wed Jul 28, 2021 12:14 pm

This reminds me of a time back when I was in college when a middle eastern student group was protesting who knows what back in their home country. They had built about a half dozen small fires evenly spaced around a courtyard right on the sidewalks. Small campfires - no more than about 2 feet across. After a short period, the concrete began to explode, riddling them with concrete shrapnel. No serious injuries, but it apparently stung some of them pretty good. The hilarious part was that they at first thought they were being fired upon by their enemies (which I don't think there were any within 6,000 miles). :lol: The fires left 12 inch diameter by 2 inch deep reddish craters in the sidewalk. Good times.
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Re: Breaking up concrete steps

Postby SamsFarm » Wed Jul 28, 2021 10:55 pm

Are you in a hurry?

Whats one more year, flip it upside down, let it fill with water and let that freeze in the winter.

If that dont do the trick, drill a drain hole in it and let the winters water out, then build a roaring fire in it, and try the fire trick.

Or put the word out that thrill seekers with a rifle that uses the 50bmg cartridge can use it for target pratice!

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Re: Breaking up concrete steps

Postby lyle11 » Thu Jul 29, 2021 8:39 pm

It has sat in this spot for over 15 years so, I certainly haven’t been in a hurry. But, recently I gotten tired of mowing around it. I don’t have a timeline. I would just like to make progress on getting it broke up. It has been used as a backstop for 30-30, 30-06, 44-40, and 38 Special and damage is minimal.

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Re: Breaking up concrete steps

Postby lyle11 » Sun Aug 01, 2021 3:32 pm

I had one other idea and wanted to get opinions. I own a reciprocating saw (Sawsall). I see they sell blades designed to cut masonry/concrete/rock.

I was thinking about trying the saw to cut through on each side of the dog house opening and then perhaps a wedge and hammer to split it at that point. Also, I might be able to cut a couple of the steps off with an extra long blade.

My sister was there and took a couple of pictures of the steps. I’m just wondering if anyone has any experience using a reciprocating saw to cut concrete and has an opinion about this approach.

Thanks

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Re: Breaking up concrete steps

Postby Don McCombs » Sun Aug 01, 2021 3:55 pm

Just thinking out loud. Does the doghouse hole go all the way through?
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Re: Breaking up concrete steps

Postby lyle11 » Sun Aug 01, 2021 4:10 pm

Don McCombs wrote:Just thinking out loud. Does the doghouse hole go all the way through?


No it doesn’t. I never measured it but, pure guess there is 6”-8” behind it. My other thought is, if I can make cuts with this saw, a couple of vertical parallel cuts and a big hammer might knock that section out. If I can get the sides of the doghouse removed, then I would have access to the remaining material that’s flat in the ground and maybe a jackhammer will split it.

Since I don’t need it gone right away, I just want to make some progress on reducing the size and weight and can use different methods as I work on it.

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Re: Breaking up concrete steps

Postby Don McCombs » Sun Aug 01, 2021 4:21 pm

More thinking, now that we see what it looks like…
I’m not sure what the maximum length of a reciprocating saw concrete blade is, but I’ll bet it’s probably not going to be long enough. I don’t think I’d want to be hanging onto a reciprocating saw for the length of time it would take to make one cut, anyway. How about a rental chainsaw type pavement/concrete saw for the weakening cuts? It probably won’t cut the full depth, but it would be a lot faster. Around here, they rent for $55 to $65 a day. You could likely do what you need to do in one day.
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Re: Breaking up concrete steps

Postby Mht » Sun Aug 01, 2021 4:46 pm

I think a gas powered saw will be the only way to go with a saw. Anything else will be a waste of time and blades. If that was on my property where I can have fires I’ll build a big fire in on and around that set of steps after I had soaked all that concrete with a hose and had it as saturated with water as it would get. A good hot fire a time or two around those steps and I bet a lot of that concrete would be cracked and busted up from the steam that’s going to come out of that concrete. Another thought is to line that opening with a plastic bag this winter and then fill with water and let freeze. That water expanding when it freezes might bust it apart

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Re: Breaking up concrete steps

Postby lyle11 » Sun Aug 01, 2021 5:14 pm

Regarding blades, I did a quick check and Menards has 18” long blades for $36. The landing side of the steps, I’m almost sure, is pure concrete with no rocks. I’m sure there are better and faster ways but I might try it for the cost of one $36 blade. The base side has a lot of rocks and might be a waste of time.

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Re: Breaking up concrete steps

Postby SamsFarm » Sun Aug 01, 2021 5:40 pm

You'd be there for weeks trying to saw that with a avbrasive blade in a sawzall!

And chances are you'll need at least 1/2 dozen of those abrasive sawzall blades!

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Re: Breaking up concrete steps

Postby lyle11 » Sun Aug 01, 2021 5:51 pm

SamsFarm wrote:You'd be there for weeks trying to saw that with a avbrasive blade in a sawzall!

And chances are you'll need at least 1/2 dozen of those abrasive sawzall blades!


Thanks. I’ll scrap that idea. I do think the best way to get it into manageable pieces would be to cut through each side of the dog house at each corner. That would enable me to bust out a lot of material. The chainsaw type saw Don mentioned seems like the way to go. I’ll look into that.

Thanks

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Re: Breaking up concrete steps

Postby Don McCombs » Sun Aug 01, 2021 6:03 pm

Make sure you wear gloves and good ear and eye protection.
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Re: Breaking up concrete steps

Postby Eugene » Sun Aug 01, 2021 7:26 pm

Do you own a decent quality hammer drill? Take another look at feathers and wedges.
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Re: Breaking up concrete steps

Postby Barnyard » Sun Aug 01, 2021 8:19 pm

Fill the dog house with water and let the winter freeze take care of the hard part. If that don't work, start over in the spring with some of the ideas mentioned above.
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