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#350183 09/07/13 09:07 PM
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This is to help chronicle my floating dock build. It pales in comparison to what n8ly can build, but this was completely a one man show (with a little help from my Kubota Tractor).

A little background:

My pond is a groundwater pond, and the pond water level will fluctuate up to 6', depending on the amount of rainfall and snowmelt. So, I had to plan the dock and make it large enough so that at the lowest level, it wouldn't be resting on the pond bottom, nor float free if the pond ever comes back up to full pool.

The dock was built in 3 pieces. The part that is anchored to shore, the walkway, and the actual floating portion of the dock.

I wanted the dock deck to look the same on all 3 pieces, and I also wanted the edges of the decking to be covered, so that if you were to sit on the edge of the dock and dangle your feet in the water, I didn't want the edges of the decking digging into the back of a persons legs.

The anchored part is 4' wide, and 12' long. It is anchored by pressure treated 4" x 6" timbers, rated 4B or UC4B. It's for permanent wood foundations, and can be immersed in fresh water. Each piece is buried in the ground approximately 48", is resting on a 6" thick cement pad at the bottom of the hole, and then I poured 2 bags of fast set cement around them to anchor them into the ground.

The walkway is 4' wide, and 16' long.

The floating portion of the dock is in the shape of a "T". The bottom of the "T" is 4' wide by 16' long, and the top of the "T" is 12' wide by 8' long. So, the overall length of the floating part of the dock is 24' long.

I didn't think the length of the dock would allow me to use the 4' wide anchored portion as an anchor to keep it in place (stop it moving from side to side) so I had to figure out a way to do that, and still allow access to the sides of the dock. I decided that by using 1 1/2" galvanized pipe shoved into the pond bottom as far as I could get it, and captured on the dock by PVC slides, would do the trick. It did - more on that later.

Floats:

I used 55 gallon plastic barrels. I opened each barrel, coated the threads of the bungs with silicone seal, and reinstalled them. I still need to find a 30 gallon barrel as I really should put it under the bottom of the "T" where the walkway rests on the dock. There is no water inside of the barrels as ballast.

I calculated the weight of the lumber, and added enough flotation so that the wood would not be submerged if there were 2,000# of people on the dock.

Material:

Deck is made from 5/4 x 6" round edge treated wood.

Anchored part is made from 2" x 4" joists, faced by 2" x 6" treated lumber so you don't see the ends of the deck boards.

Walkway is made from the same joists/decking.

The floating part of the dock is made from 2" x 10" joists, 2" x 4" blocks to keep the barrels in place, and then faced with 2" x 12" to hide the edges of the deck boards and to hide the barrels.

Hardware:
The inside corners, outside corners and walkway "hinge" was sourced from Dockbuilders Supply in Florida. The 1/2" carriage bolts, nuts and washers were sourced from e-bay. The deck boards are held in place by #10 square drive stainless steel deck screws, 2 1/2" long, purchased from Menards.

The six 1 1/2" dia galvanized pipes that hold the floating portion of the dock in place slide inside 3" dia PVC pipes. The PVC pipes are held onto the dock by 1/2" dia threaded "U" bolts that I made (couldn't find the size that I needed).

Well, enough of that, on to the pictures.

Some of the lumber:




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This is the anchor portion of the dock, along with the gangplank sitting on top of it.


Pond side of the anchored part, and the sliding part of the gangplank.


Hinge portion of the gangplank. That's a 3/4" dia bolt that is the hinge.


I pre-drilled all the holes in the deck boards using a home made template. First I drilled a pilot hole partway thru the board wiht the template, then used another drill to finish the pilot hole and the countersink for the screw head.





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If you need help just call Scott.


If pigs could fly bacon would be harder to come by and there would be a lot of damaged trees.






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That pipe clamp that you see in the previous picture was one of 4 that I used to pull the deck boards together tight before I screwed them down. Even with the boards sitting out in the weather for a year, they still didn't dry out. There was enough shrinkage in the boards that each has a gap of about 1/16" between it and the next board.

This is the PVC "slide" with the "U" bolts that I made along with the 1 1/2" galvanized pipe that will hold the dock in place in the pond.


Here's the bottom part of the "T" showing the barrels before the deck boards were attached.


The top part of the "T" before the deck boards were attached:




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This shows all the hardware that is hidden beneath the deck where the bottom and top of the "T" portion are joined together.




Inside corner showing where the top and bottom of the "T" joins.


Showing the inside corner of the end of the dock before the last deck boards were attached.


I picked it up, placing PVC pipe under the barrels, before I put the decking on it.


Sliding it into the pond.


The pieces of wood on the side of the dock are just there to protect the dock from the bucket on the tractor.


Finally in place. The small raft made from 2 barrels supported the gangplank high enough so I could float the end of the dock under it.


When the water in the pond is at full pool, the water will be under about 50% of the anchor portion of the dock.

I still have to trim some of the pipes to length, and install 2 benches on the end of the dock. It's suprisingly stable, and doesn't tip side to side when you walk around on it. In the last picture, the gangplank overhangs the floating portion of the dock by about 2'. From the end of the anchor portion of the dock to the end of the floating portion is approximately 48'in length.


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Thanks Cecil. As you can see now it's almost all done. Just some small detail work to be completed.


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Originally Posted By: esshup
Thanks Cecil. As you can see now it's almost all done. Just some small detail work to be completed.


Well I timed that right! grin

Nice Scott! If you don't mind me asking what do you have invested in materials?

Last edited by Cecil Baird1; 09/08/13 05:47 AM.

If pigs could fly bacon would be harder to come by and there would be a lot of damaged trees.






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Very nice Scott, thanks for the detailed pics. I was wondering how to handle the water fluctuation, and the gangplank pics showed that.


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Thanks for posting this! It resolves a couple of issues I'm having with the dock I built. I may find time to retrofit it, but I'll surely use your design on the one for my new pond.

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Looks good Scott!

The main drawback is you have more grass to mow wink

I can also see fancy gizmos in your future grin

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Nice job and great details!

On the bottom of your galvanized pipe I see a "screw". Can you explain your method of screwing those into the pond bottom, ease or difficulty in screwing them in and where you sourced them?

That would seem so much easier and more effective (regarding depth) than trying to pound them in, which was the method used in stabilizing my pontoon dock.

Thanks!



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Originally Posted By: Cecil Baird1
Well I timed that right! grin

Nice Scott! If you don't mind me asking what do you have invested in materials?


Investment wise? That's a good question. Since the materials were sourced over a couple year period, and other materials were donated by friends, I'll have to do some figuring.

As for the screws on the bottom of the pipes, they were donated by a neighbor, as were the pipes. I screwed them into the pond bottom with a 24" pipe wrench. Installation was relatively easy, they screwed down probably 36". Three pipes don't have screws on them, and I washed them down. Took a sump pump, connected it to a garden hose, and connected a 4' piece of 3/4" copper pipe to the end of the hose. (If you don't, there's a VERY good possibility of you getting the hose stuck inside the pipe) Then fed the hose/copper tbing combo down into the pipe. The hose washes the sand/gravel from beneath the pipe and it just falls down into the pond bottom. I washed it in for 36" and used a sledge hammer on top for the last 12". If I didn't do that, it would settle further into the pond bottom on it's own over the next week or so and be deeper than I wanted.


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Nice dock, even by n8ly's standards. Too bad you didn't have it completed when you hosted the 2013 Hoosier Pond Roundup. We could have practiced pushing uncooperative people off the dock in preparation for the upcoming Fall Condello Pond Boss Event in Nebraska.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 09/08/13 02:09 PM.

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Floating Dock Supplies

Hardware
130 ½” Hot Dip Carriage bolts/nuts/washers $374
8 ½-13x10” Hot Dip Galv. Carriage bolts - $?
8 ½”-13x8” Hot Dip Galv. Carriage bolts - $?
64 ½”-13 Nuts and washers $23.28
18’ of ½”-13 galvanized threaded rod fabricated into 12 “U” bolts - Priceless
16 outside corners @ $13.80 ea.
16 inside corners @ $14.24 ea
2 male hinged outside corners @ $19.04 ea.
2 female hinged inside corners @ 22.98 ea.
2 inside corner ramp rollers @ 94.69/pr.
23pc. 55 gallon plastic drums @ $8.00 ea
1,000 (approx) #10 x 2 ½” Square drive stainless deck screws $213.73
104’ of 1 ½” galvanized pipe - $??? Some was free, other was $5.14/ft.
Earth anchor screws for pipe – free
1 px. 3” x 10’ Grey PVC Pipe for galv. pipe slides - $?
2 tubes of clear silicone sealer for sealing bungs - $?

Wood
All wood is treated lumber for above ground use except where noted.
46 pc. 5/4 x 6”x 8’
18 pc. 5/4 x 6” x 12’
14 pc. 2”x4”x8’
3 pc. 2”x4”x12’
7 pc. 2”x4”x12’
3 pc. 2”x4”x16’

2 pc. 2”x6”x10’
2 pc. 2”x6”x12’
2 pc. 2”x6”x16’

5 pc. 2”x8”x8’

4 pc. 2”x10”x8’
2 pc. 2”x10”x12’
3 pc. 2”x10”x16’

2 pc. 2”x12”x8”
1 pc. 2”x12”x10’
1 pc. 2”x12”x14’
2 pc. 2”x12”x16’

1 pc. 4”x6”x10’ UC4B
3 pc. 4”x6”x12’ UC4B

Lumber was purchased from multiple suppliers over a year’s time therefore no prices.


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In other words, it was a chunk!

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Sorta! wink Still have to purchase 10 bench brackets from Menards and the lumber to build the benches. Then stain/seal it once it seasons.


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Scott did you experience any breakage while bending the U-bolts? Although allthread is usually pretty soft stuff, I've seen some that would fracture while bending.

Was it bent cold?


"Forget pounds and ounces, I'm figuring displacement!"

If we accept that: MBG(+)FGSF(=)HBG(F1)
And we surmise that: BG(>)HBG(F1) while GSF(<)HBG(F1)
Would it hold true that: HBG(F1)(+)AM500(x)q.d.(=)1.5lbGRWT?
PB answer: It depends.
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No breakage, and no signs of the beginning of any stress fractures. Yes, it was bent cold. I think the inside radius has a lot to do with stress fractures. Too tight of a radius, and they'll show up.

It helps to have the correct tools. grin

benchtop bender

I've used a handle extension to bend 3/4" solid square mild steel 90° to make a fireplace grate for a neighbor.


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I've got that very same bender....


"Forget pounds and ounces, I'm figuring displacement!"

If we accept that: MBG(+)FGSF(=)HBG(F1)
And we surmise that: BG(>)HBG(F1) while GSF(<)HBG(F1)
Would it hold true that: HBG(F1)(+)AM500(x)q.d.(=)1.5lbGRWT?
PB answer: It depends.
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Looks good Scott!



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Sweet dock, Esshups. Should last many years. I like the way you capped the ends of the deck boards. Nice touch!

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Originally Posted By: esshup
No breakage, and no signs of the beginning of any stress fractures. Yes, it was bent cold. I think the inside radius has a lot to do with stress fractures. Too tight of a radius, and they'll show up.

It helps to have the correct tools. grin

benchtop bender

I've used a handle extension to bend 3/4" solid square mild steel 90° to make a fireplace grate for a neighbor.


That looks similar to what we used to our bends.

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Update:

The pond was low enough so the portion of the floating dock closest to the shore was actually resting on the pond bottom last month, completely out of the water. Now that the dock is floating again, it seems that at least one of those white barrels closest to the shore is taking on water. I had replaced two of them right before the dock was launched because they cracked as I was pushing the dock into the pond. The blue barrels seem to be made of a thicker material, and don't get brittle. All the bungs in all the barrels were removed, both barrel and bung plug threads were coated with silicone sealer, and re-installed.

I will be replacing all the white barrels next year when the water warms up with floats from Dock Builders Supply in Florida. If and when I build another floating dock, I'd bite the expense bullet and only use flotation that was designed for that specific application, NOT plastic barrels. The labor involved to make them work, and the labor involved to replace them when they leak doesn't justify the difference in price for me. In fact, if I had kept track of the hours and extra materials required to make the barrels work, they might be a wash or more expensive to use than the correct floats.........


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Good advice for all floating dock builders - Thanks.


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Thanks Bill. I'm just trying to save other dock builders the same headaches that I'm going thru now. Lifting part of the dock from the water and putting floats under it will be fun..... NOT!!!!!


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