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· mason contractors
487 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We all know what a time consuming job it is when driling 1/4'' holes in stone for anchoring forms, especially in dry look stonework. Heck even if the mortar joints were big enough, they are fresh and won't hold anyhow,.. or they are just too far back to give the longer tap-cons any rigidity!

Ya, how many times I told myself to prepare ahead and place a wire in when building but it's not always easy to spot it perfectly. I do it often in order to hold the form later but it also gets put off alot and drilling the 3/8 or 1/2'' holes which are faster are just too noticable on certain jobs?

So your alone and setting the forms and drilling and blowing the dust out and taking a little tube of water and spitting it in the hole to lubricate, but the damned tap con is a bit too long.
Your deep enough, you think, and the bits don't last long in super hard rock so you go for it and start screwing in the what you thought was the right length self tapper.
It starts squealing a bit too early "not good", and then in effort to get it tight you go for it and it starts to chatter a bit then it snaps!

This friendly dog WORKS GREAT! We used them for years on plywood forms [all the concrete guys know] along with Virginia snap ties.
Just slip them on and place a hammer under then tap the tight as you want. They also act as a nice washer and come off in a jifffy.
I have barrels of the cast iron ones and I think they make them out of steel now albeit not as nice.

I sent a note to tap con and they thanked me for the opague idea......I never let on to the trick as that's what they wanted so I dropped the pipe dream! lol

I had a pail organizer about a year before they came out....and the vent fabric behind brick veneers was in my head for I was thinking of hot air furnace filter material...when one winter a post man dropped off a sample of the exact same stuff on a roll.

Here's a pic of my stair well where I used them...saved many hours.

And don't pay mind to those granite treads ...they came off a job another mason installed wrong and the lady didn't want them due to after-taste. And I didn't feel like installing them in an already built circular stair well... with bumby faced


· mason contractors
487 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
When i worked forming for a winter we always used 3 1/2" common nails with a piece of wire shoved in first. Works very well. They stay snug but are easy to pull out, and you not need to worry about snapping tapcons. Bonus it's cheap and you only need the one drill to do the pilot hole
Ya I know that trick but the hole would need to be deeper and that is what takes so long when drilling in hard rock. I only went in about
1-1/2''. The tap con when used with the dog the is no longer a snap risk hence the dog. The home in effect from the dog is fanatstic and no percussions to loosen things.The washer effect is very nice too.
Another advantage was in thijob as I was drwing in the stringer it would begin to twist due to uneven stone. At that poit I just back out and shim the shy side then re tighten. I re use tap cons quite a bit.
Also in fresh masonry banging is bad.

Your method is not as strong but suffices well in concrete and I like it.

Sometimes when I do copper flashing and need to nail it for whatever reason into masonry I drill a hole and cut skinny copper strips and insert it then nail with a copper nail and solder similarly.

Thanks for reminder I do forget some of this stuff on ocassion....gotta stop and think more as I get older lol.
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