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How Far Between Screed Rails?

 
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Old 06-18-2012, 11:33 AM   #1
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How Far Between Screed Rails?


When hand screeding with a 2x4, for instance, how far is the max between intermediate screed rails that some of you have gone? Obviously, there is the crown of the board that might produce a crowned slab, or too much flex that would cause low spots, along with the shear amount of concrete to move if you went with something like 16' between them.

I think 10' is the most I've done.
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Old 06-18-2012, 11:45 AM   #2
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Re: How Far Between Screed Rails?


8 or 10 ft for me, I'm not an experienced finisher by any means though. Placed quite a bit on boat docks , also done quite a few ramps and side walks when I was doing commercial. Only finished a little. We sub slabs. I've seen our concrete guy screed with a 16, several times, but usually a 12 or smaller. Usually 3 guys when he uses a 16'.

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Old 06-18-2012, 11:57 AM   #3
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Re: How Far Between Screed Rails?


Get a magnesium screed and you won't have a crown.

The only concrete I do these days is sidewalks and not many of those. When I was doing concrete on a crew we did mainly highwall work. the few large pads, admittedly not that large, we did, IIRC, we would split the pad in two and pin the middle. Usually 10-15 feet.
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Old 06-18-2012, 05:59 PM   #4
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Re: How Far Between Screed Rails?


Thanks. We always subbed our slabs,too, though we were on hand for the pour. Now that I'm on my own, I'm doing more of that stuff myself. I'd love to have mag screed rails, they're on the tool list. I have a 16'x28' pour coming up for a garage, and I think I'm gonna try and wing it without intermediates.
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Old 06-18-2012, 06:41 PM   #5
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Re: How Far Between Screed Rails?


If you can, rent yourself a power screed, 12' bar. I think you will mildly impressed with how well it works and how good your back still feels once your done placing
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Old 06-18-2012, 08:26 PM   #6
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Re: How Far Between Screed Rails?


Guys I know here , I once helped them pour a slab 60x100 with just height pins and a power screed. looked pretty good when it was done. When I have done my own , 12 was about as wide as I did.
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Old 06-18-2012, 09:55 PM   #7
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Re: How Far Between Screed Rails?


16' is as wide as I have gone. That will get you to 32'. Most garages are 24', so I do two 12 footers. I always seem to need a place to stand, can't get past that.
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Old 06-19-2012, 12:06 AM   #8
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Re: How Far Between Screed Rails?


Quote:
Originally Posted by A.T.C. View Post
Thanks. We always subbed our slabs,too, though we were on hand for the pour. Now that I'm on my own, I'm doing more of that stuff myself. I'd love to have mag screed rails, they're on the tool list. I have a 16'x28' pour coming up for a garage, and I think I'm gonna try and wing it without intermediates.
You had partner(s) or a crew? Now you are building alone? Hope you can get a helper soon. Chit is so much easier with another pair of hands.
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Old 06-19-2012, 12:20 AM   #9
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Re: How Far Between Screed Rails?


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You had partner(s) or a crew? Now you are building alone? Hope you can get a helper soon. Chit is so much easier with another pair of hands.
When I was working with my old boss, before I got my license. There was 4 or 5 of us. Now I'm a one man show. It's pretty slow around here. Most of the smaller Contractors I know have laid off their crew, and just hire another Licensed Contractor or two when they need help. I have a few guys lined up for this pour. I'd never try something like that on my own.
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Old 06-19-2012, 12:25 AM   #10
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Re: How Far Between Screed Rails?


Quote:
Originally Posted by A.T.C. View Post
When I was working with my old boss, before I got my license. There was 4 or 5 of us. Now I'm a one man show. It's pretty slow around here. Most of the smaller Contractors I know have laid off their crew, and just hire another Licensed Contractor or two when they need help. I have a few guys lined up for this pour. I'd never try something like that on my own.
Congrats on the new business. So yall just team up on slabs and frames and what not? Sounds like a plan, a lot less overhead.
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Old 06-19-2012, 12:32 AM   #11
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Re: How Far Between Screed Rails?


Thanks.


Yep, lot of guys doing that. It's a pretty tight knit community up here, for better or worse.

Just ran into my old boss the other day, looks like he might be starting some condo's this summer, and asked me if I'd like to help out. I'd love to work with him again. He's a true craftsman.
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Old 06-19-2012, 05:55 AM   #12
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Re: How Far Between Screed Rails?


16 is as wide as I have gone with a lumber, but have gone as far as 20 with a magnesium screed.
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Old 06-19-2012, 10:44 AM   #13
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Re: How Far Between Screed Rails?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Johnson View Post
If you can, rent yourself a power screed, 12' bar. I think you will mildly impressed with how well it works and how good your back still feels once your done placing
That's a good idea, Chris. I don't know if any of the local rental companies have them, but I'd love to give one a whirl.
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Old 06-19-2012, 07:56 PM   #14
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Re: How Far Between Screed Rails?


I love Magnesium screed boards. They are always straight and true!! We strike off pins not rails.

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Old 09-07-2012, 08:58 PM   #15
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Re: How Far Between Screed Rails?


We use 12' mag screeds, $150.00. Set your grade stakes in 10-11' grids. Take your time and make a good wet screed. We hand rod virtually all of our concrete. The key to striking off is puddling, take the extra time to get it leveled with the come alongs(concrete rakes) and striking off is a breeze. Guy I worked with coming up who did all the striking off told me that all he was there for was to check the puddlers work. Good luck with the slab. Inexperienced guys get so nervous that the concrete is going to start setting up before they get it struck off that they rush through placement and leveling and spend the rest of the day trying to fix their errors. Double edge sword, inexperienced guys don't have the knowledge or skill to fix the errors so they end up with a bad product and an unnatural fear of concrete.
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Old 09-08-2012, 02:53 PM   #16
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Re: How Far Between Screed Rails?


With a 2x4 I won't go any farther than sidewalk width.

I did a basement yesterday and two of us pulled a 24 foot mag screed, then lapped it 5 feet on the other side to prevent leaving a high or low seam in the middle, that method produces some really flat floors if you have good hands running it.
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Old 09-08-2012, 04:16 PM   #17
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Re: How Far Between Screed Rails?


You guys that screed to pins.. Do you just strike them down as you go? Trying to picture this... My regular flatwork guy uses a rail..
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Old 09-09-2012, 10:43 AM   #18
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Re: How Far Between Screed Rails?


Quote:
Originally Posted by sitdwnandhngon View Post
With a 2x4 I won't go any farther than sidewalk width.

I did a basement yesterday and two of us pulled a 24 foot mag screed, then lapped it 5 feet on the other side to prevent leaving a high or low seam in the middle, that method produces some really flat floors if you have good hands running it.
You must be one tough dude...........

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You guys that screed to pins.. Do you just strike them down as you go? Trying to picture this... My regular flatwork guy uses a rail..
Hand float off of height stake to establish a small area for height and then pound the stake down a few inches below the surface. We typically set a pipe screed as well, but height stakes/pins can work as well........
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Old 09-09-2012, 07:56 PM   #19
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Re: How Far Between Screed Rails?


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You must be one tough dude...........

Well, I am pretty rugged......

Really though, its all the rakers, you could pull a 30 ft stick with good rakers making sure all you are scraping is some cream. I hate grabbing a 20 footer with new guys and pulling, its like moving a mountain.
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Old 09-09-2012, 07:59 PM   #20
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Re: How Far Between Screed Rails?


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Originally Posted by TimelessQuality View Post
You guys that screed to pins.. Do you just strike them down as you go? Trying to picture this... My regular flatwork guy uses a rail..
Basicaly what Jomama said.

You can either set a form pin with a nail or something in it, or put a piece or rebar right to the correct height and smash it down after you make the wet screed

Put a small pad around it and pull the long stick between that and a known height to make a wet pad, then you pull off the wet pad in the opposite direction.

Flat work is one of the easiest things to do I think, but lots of guys are scared of concrete, you just need to have a plan before the truck shows up, a few good guys, and you stay one step ahead of the product.

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