Hey Guys, been doing as much research as possible to adding a small dock in my just under 1/2 acre pond (.4 ). I live in Northeast Ohio and found the great idea of placing posts in the winter while the pond is frozen over. Drill holes through the ice and pound in the posts. I'm pretty set on using galvanized steel post as I'm not sure 4x4s would pound in sufficiently. In that category I've been looking at the playstar hardware offered by Menard's and is available locally as well as Tommy Docks hardware that I can order. Pond depth is about 7.5' and the shore grade is fairly steep.
I kind of like Tommy Docks hardware as the "backing plate" for the bolts are integrated and it has the under joist support. The post is also centered in the corner. (***Correction - I just realized the bracket does not come all the way back up the back side as I though. It uses washers on the bolts)
The pipe offered at Menards is 1 5/8" 16 gauge with a 1.63" actually diameter in 12' lengths that can be cut to size. $24.99 a piece. I was pretty set on this, but reading some of Tommy Docks material has me questioning. They offer both a standard duty pipe in nearly the same diameter, 1.66" and a Heavy Duty 1.9" pipe they recommend for heavy waves, boats, (non of which applies) but they also state to use the heavy duty for water depths over 7' in some areas of the site, and over 8' in other areas of the site. The problem is their post lengths only come in up to 8', but you can special order 10' and 12' lengths that require special shipping that I assume will be expensive.
So first question, do you think the 1.6" pipe is sufficient for my build? I have not locked in on a layout, but am thinking something along the lines of an 8' by 3' or 4' wide walkway out to a say 8' x 8' or 8' x 12' platform.
That brings up my second & third question.. Post spacing? 4', 6', 8' on center? I've seen pictures of all on the Tommy Docks gallery. And 6" or 8" joists? I will likely use 5/4 decking boards.
Opinions and advice appreciated! Trying to get everything figured out and purchased so I am prepared for when the ice thickens enough.
I built a straight Playstar dock I think 12 ft long X 4 ft wide. I don't think it was 16ft unless some of the frame sits 12"-18" on shore. I can later check total length if needed. To add stability to the deepest posts I used a slightly larger ID junk-yard steel pipe than the regular Playstar pipe & bracket. Pounded the large ID pipe about 2 ft into the pond basin. I then slipped the Playstar pipe inside the larger pipe. This resulted in dual outermost deepest pipe legs. I mounted my dock frame on the Playstar pipe. I then added a second playstar pipe about midway to shore. For back end stability, I then pounded close to shore a standard U flange state style road-sign galvanized post against each side of the dock frame and lag screwed it to the dock frame. Dock is very stable for my needs. I used the higher priced Playstar pipe bracket only on the 2 deepest posts. Used the cheaper pipe brackets for the other two pipes. I did not use the black plastic pipe bracket sleeves thus my playstar pipe must have been 1 7/8" OD.
Last edited by Bill Cody; 12/30/1908:20 PM.
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Thanks for the reply, Bill. Was it one of their aluminum dock kits or was yours 2 by construction?
After doing some more checking on lumber spans, etc. it appears I will likely need to use 2x8s if I go with a 12 x 8 platform. I also re-evaluated the walkway considering mine will probably be close to 24" on shore so I'm thinking of extending it to 10' long.
I believe if ordering from Menards, it's free shipping to the store. I've used Tommy Dock hardware and posts before and it seemed like good quality. Fireishot has a couple of piers using Tommy Dock hardware I believe. If you plan on owning the place for a while, I'd go with the thicker wall stuff. Less flex, last longer if it starts to rust. I would go 4 wide, easier for 2 people to pass one another.
We have a pier in a public lake. The posts are 2" galvanized pipe that was scrounged from street signs. It's been in the lake since the mid 1970's. The pier is approximately 60 feet long, deepest water is about 5' deep. We spaced the pipes at 8' intervals and used 2x6's for the runners. The pipes were all 8 feet long with the ones in deepest water 10' or 12' IIRC. Sand bottom lake, pipes were washed in with a hose pushing water thru the pipe. The pier is VERY sturdy, no wobble.
Esshup, I believe it was one of your replies or recommendations on a thread from years ago that I had seen about putting in posts on a frozen pond. So, thank you!
You're right about the free shipping to store, and Home Depot who carries Tommy Docks offers it as well, but I don't think on the special order pieces (at least the hundreds of Tommy Dock items on their site does not include the 10' or 12' posts.. It is something to look into though. With my 7.5' water level, I'm assuming the post will pound in 2-3' (?), and needing to be about 18" above water level based on my overflow location, I definitely need 12' posts.
Menards has the 12' posts in stock, $24.99, but they are the 16 gauge 1 5/8". Finding anything in the thicker walled 1 7/8" at that length is seeming to be very expensive. I wonder if the smaller stuff will be OK with some cross bracing?
I'm still tossed on the 2x6 vs 2x8 for my design and how many supports / spacing.
Just my thoughts on this. If you ever have problems with this you will wish you had went the larger gauge. You could check at your local scrap yard if you have one. They usually have some bigger pipe sitting around for sale. Better price than brand new. Take some pictures of it along the way please.
I'm with RS, just for the record...16 gauge tubing has a wall thickness of about 1/16". That's pretty thin stuff, but as you know going to 1-1/2" schedule 40 galvanized pipe (1.9" OD) doubles your price (at least), but gets you over an 1/8" of wall thickness. You might be able to save some money by going with the 1-1/4" schedule 40 pipe...1.66 OD with 0.14" wall thickness compared to the 1-1/2. I would prefer this over any 16 gauge materials for general strength, abuse resistance, and long life/ rust though resistance.
Don't get me wrong, the 16 gauge will likely work, but stepping up to schedule 40 will work much better and last a lot longer. I can see having problems driving the 16 gauge pipe into the ground with a post driver...mushrooming the tops and maybe even bending the pipe near the midsection. I have not done this as I floated my dock on the Playstar floats. Let us know how it goes either way and be careful driving those posts while on the ice.
Fireishot has a couple of piers using Tommy Dock hardware I believe...
I'm very happy with Tommy Docks. It's been a few years, but I was advised by Tommy Docks to order through Home Depot because of the pipe shipping costs. They could special order anything through T Docks, whether it was shown as available or not. I don't know if that policy is still the same.
Whatever you go with, I would recommend footings of some type. It'll keep the pipe from slowly working it's way down into the pond bottom. I use the round ones from T Dock.
About 18". The T Docks round plate makes it easy to preset whatever depth you want. I waited to deck the docks until all the posts were set, and the brackets leveled. It's much easier to maneuver everything into place without the added weight of the decking.
I'm not recommending this, but I have a cheap 8' aluminum A frame ladder with 4' long angle iron bolted to each side at the bottom of the legs. It makes it a stable platform to work of off in slightly deeper water.