Setting poles for pole barn
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    Setting poles for pole barn

    I'm planning to build a pole barn soon. I've done a pole building before but it was a lot smaller than the one I'm planning now. The one
    I'm planning is overall 24 feet X 42feet. It has a main section of 18 x 24 & two side sheds measuring 12'x24.

    My question is, I don't have a rotary laser level to help in getting all the holes to the same depth, or to assist me in getting the poles set at the same height. Pole height is critical because I have to notch the poles to carry the top band lumber. I really don't want to try to notch poles after they are installed. That would mean working with power saws while on a ladder. As far as squaring the building, I've got that under control. Just need an idea or two on how to adjust pole height. I'm trying to stay at + /- 1/4 inch. on pole height & the notching I need to do. Thanks.
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    Equal length 2x4s and a water or string level. Dig until the bottom of all holes are level....
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    Bill Berger's Avatar
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    I "imagine" you are planning on at least 3'-0" depth of poles?
    If that sounds about right, lay out your 4 main corners first, dig your posthole 3 foot deep, take a 4"X4"X8' cut half in two, set them in the holes, run a string-line across the top, and hang a line-level on the string.
    Once you establish the 4 main postholes are at the depth you want and the bubble on the line level is where it's supposed to be, you can work outwards from there, transferring the line and line-level to the other post holes you plan on.
    It doesn't matter from that point if the poles you plan to use are 10 foot tall, 12 foot tall, or however tall. As long as the poles are all the exact same length you will hit your target of +- 1/4".
    Hope this helps? Good luck, and stay safe.
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    Senior GTT Super Slacker Gizmo2's Avatar
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    Maddog, Almost sounds like an insurmountable task.
    Last edited by Gizmo2; 03-09-2015 at 02:58 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gizmo2 View Post
    Almost sounds like an insurmountable task.
    No such thing as "insurmountable" in "my" vocabulary.
    If I can envision it, it can be done.
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    I think psrumors is on the money as far as hole depth.

    I would like to tag on a question as it is related to setting posts. Which is better, dumping quickcrete in the hole and adding water, or mixing and then filling the hole. I had planned on renting a concrete mixer and doing the latter, but every time I'm talking it over, I get different opinions.
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    Senior GTT Super Slacker Gizmo2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bubber View Post
    I think psrumors is on the money as far as hole depth.

    I would like to tag on a question as it is related to setting posts. Which is better, dumping quickcrete in the hole and adding water, or mixing and then filling the hole. I had planned on renting a concrete mixer and doing the latter, but every time I'm talking it over, I get different opinions.
    Maybe a new thread with your question?
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    I would do the vertical cuts with the pole out of the ground. I'd calculate how far to cut and cut about one inch more. Even if that means dropping the pole into the hole, marking it and pulling it out to make the cut.
    The horizontal cut I would do with the pole set. I would do as much as possible (install wall grits, corner bracing, etc) before making the horizontal cuts.

    If you insist on doing all the cutting before setting the poles, cut about 6-8 inches lower than required. Then after the poles are set, cut individual blocks to correct size for each pole to set on your notch to make it the correct height for your truss carriers. You could even use the scraps cut from each pole. I would attach with Spax bolts.
    Last edited by Zebrafive; 03-09-2015 at 07:30 PM.
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    Set all the poles, and leave them long. then rent a manlift one weekend to set the upper beams and trussus.

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    I've had Morton Buildings put up two pole buildings. They dumped one sack of concrete mix into the hole before setting the pole, then added 3 more and filled with dirt/clay up to the surface. All the poles had a piece of rebar run through and sticking out about 3 inches near the bottom which got covered by the sack of quickcrete.
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