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#234973 - 09/17/10 09:23 AM How many 55 gallon drums for this size dock?
savannah412 Offline


Registered: 09/13/10
Posts: 142
Loc: WNY
Hello, first time poster here. I have been reading so much excellent information. Im going to be putting in a dock next year on my 3/4 acre pond. I want it to be a 36"x12ft walk out to a 12x12' dock. I have access to 55 gallon drums. I have no idea how to compute the floatation of these. Does anyone know on a 12x12' dock how many 55 gallon drums to use? Thank you. Also, I have seen how to attach the walkway to the dock, using some heavy duty piano hinges or a hinge plate, where do you buy them from? Thanks again.

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#234976 - 09/17/10 11:02 AM Re: How many 55 gallon drums for this size dock? [Re: savannah412]
esshup Offline
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Registered: 01/26/09
Posts: 24026
Loc: Grovertown, Indiana
Welcome to the forum!

I can't recommend how many barrels to use, but I can give you the information so you can figure it out.

Each 55 gallon barrel will float approximately 450 pounds, BUT that is when the barrel is 99% submerged. If you only want half of the barrel in the water, cut that 450 figure in half.

Now, how much will your dock weigh?

Hardware:
http://www.dockbuilders.com/
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#234978 - 09/17/10 11:09 AM Re: How many 55 gallon drums for this size dock? [Re: savannah412]
RC51 Offline
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Registered: 07/06/09
Posts: 4213
Loc: Arkansas
greenlantern,

I love the name and welcome to the PBF. I can tell you a little about floating docks as I built one last year, but I am not an expert that's for sure.

A 12x12 I would think would require 8 barrels spaced out even maybe 10. 55 gallon barrels can hold a LOT of weight. I used 30 gallon and they worked fine also they just put you near the water a little more as they are not quite as round as the 55's. Maybe someone else with some 55 gallon expeirence will chime in. You may be able to get the hinges at a farmers coop near you or maybe Lowes may have them big enough? Hey good luck and remember to post pictures when your done!




Edited by RC51 (09/17/10 11:19 AM)
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#235173 - 09/19/10 10:12 AM Re: How many 55 gallon drums for this size dock? [Re: RC51]
savannah412 Offline


Registered: 09/13/10
Posts: 142
Loc: WNY
excellent info guys, hopefully someone who built one with them can tell me how many they used.

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#235216 - 09/19/10 09:13 PM Re: How many 55 gallon drums for this size dock? [Re: savannah412]
esshup Offline
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Registered: 01/26/09
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Loc: Grovertown, Indiana
It all depends on what the dock building material will be, because you have to figure out how much it weighs.

I can tell you how many barrels to use if you can tell me what your dock will weigh (the floating portion, and the portion that is a hinge to shore).
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#235218 - 09/19/10 09:15 PM Re: How many 55 gallon drums for this size dock? [Re: esshup]
Dave Davidson1 Offline
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Also, how many fat boys will be standing on it?
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#235227 - 09/20/10 12:38 AM Re: How many 55 gallon drums for this size dock? [Re: Dave Davidson1]
savannah412 Offline


Registered: 09/13/10
Posts: 142
Loc: WNY
wow, lets see. My plan is to use pressure treated 2x6x12's for the base and the joices. Then 1x6" for the decking. I gotta figure the dock will be 400lbs itself with all the hardware and wood. The plank is gonna be 3 ft width 12' long and is going to mount to 2 4x4 cemented poles on land. The plank is going to connect to both the 4x4's on land and the deck with some kind of heavy duty galvanized piano type hinge. this way it can all move as the water does. Does that help at all?

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#235229 - 09/20/10 01:07 AM Re: How many 55 gallon drums for this size dock? [Re: savannah412]
esshup Offline
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Registered: 01/26/09
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Loc: Grovertown, Indiana
Getting closer. How many 2x6x12's you planning on using on the floating dock part? I'm assuming that the plank will have three 2x6x12's?

12x12 floating dock will have 27 1x6x12's as the deck, and the plank will have another 27 pcs 3' x 1x6x36?

Treated is supposed to run close to 37 to 41 pounds per cubic foot.
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#235241 - 09/20/10 09:52 AM Re: How many 55 gallon drums for this size dock? [Re: esshup]
savannah412 Offline


Registered: 09/13/10
Posts: 142
Loc: WNY
alrighty lets see here, you are correct on the plank. Three for the box and the rest 1"x6"x3ft deck boards. The dock will have the 4 for the box. Then I am thinking 8 down the middle. each drum is 23x35 inches. So if I put 3 down the right side, and 3 down the left I have 2 boards butting those up to the sides at 24" apart. Then in the middle of the dock 2 more boards 24" apart for any drums I have to put down the middle. that leaves me with about 72 inches. At 16" spacing roughly 4.5 boards. So basically I will try and put 2 more on the left and 2 more on the right. So what did we end up with (adding)...so I think we have about 12 2x6x12's for the deck. and by the way, thanks for helping me with this.

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#235246 - 09/20/10 10:53 AM Re: How many 55 gallon drums for this size dock? [Re: savannah412]
esshup Offline
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Registered: 01/26/09
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Loc: Grovertown, Indiana
These figures are rough, but it should get you close. Each 2x6x12, depending on how wet they are will weigh a minimum of 20# each. Each 1x6x12 roughly half that.

I'm guessing that you'll have close to 600# in the 12'x12' dock with the gangplank resting on it, not including the weight of the hardware and drums. So, I'd figure on using four 55 gallon barrels just to support the weight of the floating pier. Add 1 barrel for each person that you expect will be on the pier at the same time - figure maximum amount of people and you'd be fine (I think).

Personally, I don't know how much wind/wave action you have. I'd be leery of just attaching the dock to the shore and leaving float around as it wants, putting all the side force on the hinges. If it was mine, I'd leave the gangplank slide over the top of the floating 12'x12' platform, and sink a couple pieces of pipe in the pond bottom, using a couple of "U" bolts over the pipe, letting the platform slide up and down over the pipes. Just think how easy it is to bend something if you were to pull on it from 24' away. All that pressure is being put on your hinges and hinge hardware.

Don't forget to figure out a way to capture the barrels to the pier in case a lot of weight gets put on one side and the other side lifts out of the water. You don't want a barrel floating out from under the dock.
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#235256 - 09/20/10 01:11 PM Re: How many 55 gallon drums for this size dock? [Re: esshup]
savannah412 Offline


Registered: 09/13/10
Posts: 142
Loc: WNY
2 things come to mind. I am really hesitant to sink poles in the bottom of the pond. I was thinking of two heavy pieces of cement resting on the bottom and then criss crossing them and attaching them to the bottom of the dock on the far side. As for the plank, what about a type of hardware that is like a rod attachng to the poles on land. with the plank having a circle attached to it so the plank could not only sway a little left and right, but could also move a bit up and down. What do you think? There is no current to the pond, just wind drift from the field, which can blow from time to time...

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#235257 - 09/20/10 01:23 PM Re: How many 55 gallon drums for this size dock? [Re: savannah412]
savannah412 Offline


Registered: 09/13/10
Posts: 142
Loc: WNY
the criss crossing im talking about is from chains going from the cement weights on the bottom to the eye hooks underneath.

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#235273 - 09/20/10 09:07 PM Re: How many 55 gallon drums for this size dock? [Re: savannah412]
esshup Offline
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Registered: 01/26/09
Posts: 24026
Loc: Grovertown, Indiana
The criss cross would work if the pond level didn't fluctuate. Go to dockbuilders and do a bunch of looking around.

I'm a do-it-yourself type of guy, and I bought their hardware for my pier. I priced their stuff, and the pieces/parts to build it myself. Their parts were pretty close to my cost in pieces parts in Stainless, not including my labor to fabricate the pieces. If I knew of a hot dip galvanized place close by, I could have done better on the pricing. As it was, I bought their hardware. The pier will be built and installed this winter. I'll be putting posts into the pond bottom.
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#235290 - 09/21/10 05:00 AM Re: How many 55 gallon drums for this size dock? [Re: esshup]
hd82 Offline


Registered: 07/18/10
Posts: 83
Loc: livingston parish louisiana
I wish i had done a little more research before building my ferry for the grandkids. It is 8'x8' and I used 4 - 55gal plastic drums. To get it closer to the water I had to fill each about half way with water. I attached the drums to the platform using house trailer tie down straps purchased from Lowes, they are galv and very strong, you'll never have to worry about losing a drum, drill holes in the ends and attach to dock or plank using S/S carrsaige bolts is the way I did it. In hind site I too would have used 30 gal like RC instead. You can see the ferry at the bottom in my signature. Good luck with your project!
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#235311 - 09/21/10 10:20 AM Re: How many 55 gallon drums for this size dock? [Re: hd82]
savannah412 Offline


Registered: 09/13/10
Posts: 142
Loc: WNY
to make the floating dock more stable and not worry about movement, what about pounding 4 poles into the bottom, one on each corner, and attaching with u bolt fateners. The dock could go up n down with water level, but would not move left to right with wind. That would make it easier to attach it to the solid ground on shore. Dumb question, but is there any worry with a hard clay/rocky bottom about a pole going down 3 ft into the bottom making it leak? If thats a really dumb question im new to ponds so bare with me...

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#235406 - 09/22/10 12:41 AM Re: How many 55 gallon drums for this size dock? [Re: savannah412]
esshup Offline
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Registered: 01/26/09
Posts: 24026
Loc: Grovertown, Indiana
That's what I'd do. I am not 100% sure about your leak question tho. What is the soil type under the pond? Any veins of sand that you know of?
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#235796 - 09/25/10 09:19 PM Re: How many 55 gallon drums for this size dock? [Re: esshup]
savannah412 Offline


Registered: 09/13/10
Posts: 142
Loc: WNY
went out to the pond yesterday. Plenty of room on the bank thats not filled up yet to set some posts for a nice small 8x8 or 8x10 dock. If I get several yrs out of it before the PT wood rots thats ok. The floating was gonna be a lotta work and removing it even more.

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#235830 - 09/26/10 10:10 AM Re: How many 55 gallon drums for this size dock? [Re: savannah412]
esshup Offline
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I'm not planning on removing mine during the winter. I guess I'll report back in about 18 months on how well it survived it's first winter. The pond normally sees about 8" of ice at the most.
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