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I looked at a job the other day where the customer wants me to build a 'dock' that would be on their lake. The dimensions of the dock would be 20 feet long. 8 feet wide. I was planning on building it like a deck and using composite decking for the deck.

Currently for a dock, the people have a railroad/brick paver combination. I will have to remove all that. The railroad tie sides acctually sit in the water. The new dock will be about 8'' higher then the old on to keep all joist out of water at all times.

My question. How am i suppose to dig holes for the footings with out them completly filling up with water? I figure that 'lake side' footing will need to be about 1 foot off the lake. How do i pull this off? I built decks before, but never a dock on a lake.

Matt
 

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Cole's right, pilings. You need to find out what the substrate is. Around here it is silt and sand. Most places a couple of guys can jet them in with a hose connected to a length of pvc pipe.
 

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You could also try cribbing. You know, an overlapping framework of cedar posts ( laid horizontally ) and fastened with stainless lag bolts. Then add your post in the center and fill with rocks. The oldtimers have been doing it this way for years. Of course that doesn't mean it's the best way, only that it is a tried and proven method.
Like Teetor said, it's all going to depend on what substrate you're dealing with. That will dictate your best option.
Good luck!
 

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you could use a power washer to cut the holes, i know it works cause i've done it, you do need to get in the water & have couple of helpers. it willback fill by its self. of course you need to brace everything.
 

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I'm actually in the process of bidding out a dock system on a local river (very slow moving). My partner thinks he has a good idea on how he wants to build it, but I'm currently researching different methods.

A couple of the minor conclusions I've come to is:

1. I would prefer to use a metal structure on top of a buoyant system
2. I will be using many segments that will be either fixed or on rollers, easy to install, easy to take out in the winter
3. Pressure treated deck planks, I wanted to use the fabricated planks but they are just too heavy.

Finally, I'm going to head out to a couple different local marinas and find out what they would recommend. Also, the library has many nice books on dock construction.

(This bid is for a family friend)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Hmm. Seems like this job keeps on getting bigger and bigger.
Pilings- I'm guessing i would have to call in a co to put them in.
Teetor -Can you explanin furthur what you meant by this "Most places a couple of guys can jet them in with a hose connected to a length of pvc pipe."

Matt
 

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I'm no dock expert but I did build one for a friend this year. We built a platform on the shore and then attached floating docks onto it. He ended up with a U shaped dock by attaching two long floating fingers at each end of the platform.

Just an alternative idea for you...
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Deck- What i am hopefully going to build will be completely on land. They have a 10 ft flooding dock that will attach to it.

Matt
 

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Dig holes in the ground, put forms in them, pour concrete. You'll get wet doing it, but the concrete will displace the water and cure really well, don't play with it much once it's in there. Rich.
 

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reveivl said:
Dig holes in the ground, put forms in them, pour concrete. You'll get wet doing it, but the concrete will displace the water and cure really well, don't play with it much once it's in there. Rich.

If you do it this way, how do you brace it (diagonally), or is it unneccessary if you do it deep enough?

If the pilings method is chosen, can the pilings be wood, metal, concrete, or what?

Also, does anyone have any ideas for a small (10x10 or so) coffer dam in shallow water? If you haven't geussed already, I have a similar project coming up.
 

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Jetting only works in sand or silt, creosote poles are the choice of timber here.
On land, dig a hole about 2-3 ft deep and stand the pole in it. Turn on the water to your wand at full pressure and begin pushing it into the sand around the base of the pole, this will create a slurry in the hole and underneath the piling. The weight of the piling will carry it down.
Here, using 18-20 ft. pilings, we can get them down 8-12 ft.
 

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reveivl said:
Dig holes in the ground, put forms in them, pour concrete...the concrete will displace the water and cure
I did this at a friend's lake front cabin in VA. We took 5' lengths of 12" PVC pipe, stood them vertically at the piling location(s) and drove them into the lake bottom with a sledge hammer as far as they would go(about 2' on the first drive). Then we cleaned them out with a post hole digger and drove them further, continuing in the same way until we had driven it to near the waterline. Then we put a coupling on the top of the pipe, added another piece and continued to drive it to the point we couldn't dig any deeper. We filled the 12" pipe with concrete from the bottom up by putting a 6" pipe down into the 12" pipe, pouring concrete through the 6" pipe and withdrawing it as the form filled. Once the concrete cured he drilled holes through the pilings for bolting the wooden structure to them (the 12" PVC pipe was left in place). The wooden members have since been replaced on the original pilings.
 

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They have always been called creosote poles down here, it's a southern thing. I'm sure that they're all PT now.
 

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Dock builder

Did you ever build this thing? We're a Dockbuilder in South Carolina, if you still need some help/advice I'm sure I can help you.

See www themastersco com for a sampling of what we do.
 

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I'm doing a bid for a homeowners ass. to replace their dock on a small lake. There are three parts. First, a 40' section that will be in the water and on piers. Second, a hinged ramp that adjusts to the water height. And third, a long floating section about 40' long. Any good designs out there?
 

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I'm doing a bid for a homeowners ass. to replace their dock on a small lake. There are three parts. First, a 40' section that will be in the water and on piers. Second, a hinged ramp that adjusts to the water height. And third, a long floating section about 40' long. Any good designs out there?
This thread is 4 years old:whistling
 
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