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Country Discussion Topics
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Scaffolding help! HELP ME PLEASE!
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Bkeepr    Posted 09-05-2004 at 07:26:35       [Reply]  [No Email]
OK, I'm not fond of heights. Used to jump out of airplanes, but I'm all grown up now and somewhere along the way I developed a fear.

I need to repoint my chimneys, one at each end of the house. I rented 5 "stories" of bricklayer's scaffolding, to be on the safe side (hopefully only need four). They're each 6' 6" high. I've gone up 3 stories and seems to be awfully rickety. The base is sound and about as level as I can get.

I'm concerned that the 4th level will be so rickety that I won't be able to climb up there without the whole thing collapsing...although my training tells me I'm just being chicken, my mind tells me to quit now.

So, am I doing something wrong? How sturdy are these things supposed to be? How high can you go with them...seems like the rental place would have told me if 5 stories was too high. Help me out with some advice, I've never used scaffolding before.

Tom A
Bkeepr and newly-out-of-the-closet chicken

bulldinkie    Posted 09-06-2004 at 20:49:16       [Reply]  [Send Email]
You should rent one of those bucket lifts.My husband bought one for emplyees he said he dont know what hes been doing without it all these years.You can rent them.alot safer

better, but...    Posted 09-05-2004 at 11:47:41       [Reply]  [No Email]
Thanks for all the suggestions guys. I've tried them out, and it is better. But one (or two) legs slipped while I was on top and the whole thing sort of lurched. Now it isn't a rectangle, but sort of a rhombus in shape if you look down from above. Guess I should have staked the legs down? Two of the legs are on what I thought was a fairly gentle slope.

I really really hate this.

Tom A

Alias    Posted 09-05-2004 at 11:30:17       [Reply]  [No Email]
Beekeeper, if you are working with more than two sections of scaffolding, you need to guy it off. Good strong guy wire and turnbuckles are needed to do the job correctly. Now you can affix the guy cable (Wire) to anything that is immovable, such as a large tree. Also, you may fasten the scaffold to the house.

If it moves around, (sways), it isn't safe. A little shift in the load could cause it to collapse. So, before you find yourself in a freefall, take the necessary precautions to insure safety.

My best advise is for you to forget about confronting your fear and simply stay on the ground. ..........gfp

Mike(Wi)    Posted 09-05-2004 at 08:51:56       [Reply]  [Send Email]

I had a lot of the same trouble, and ended up renting a hydraulic boom lift instead. It would go up to 42 feet, and was a lot more adaptable to change. The cost here to rent is just a little more than scaffolding.

Good luck with your project.

By the way, I never got a chance to thank you for the magazine and book recommendations. I have found a few and are still chasing down the others.

Thanks again,


Grove r    Posted 09-05-2004 at 07:49:08       [Reply]  [No Email]
Hi, pun intended, I assume you are refering to the "Safeway", trade name, style of scaffolding....should you be concerned with instability of the structure, simply tie it off to the building at various intervals with rope, or no. nine wire. Also make sure you pin, or bolt, supplier should have given you these, the sections where they join, also make sure all braces are in place, both vertical and horizontal, though I doubt you will need the horizontal braces at four sets high. Even rope used from the top most section, or near, tied off to a well placed stake out from either corner, will make a comfortable difference. Also make sure to start with a LEVEL blocked base....oft times this will be part of the "rocking" problem of the whole multiplies very quickly with greater elevation. And, make sure you have the safety rails in place and pinned. Cannot guaranty this will make you more comfortable at hieghts, or solve all your problems, but it may help. have a gooder, R.E.L

bob    Posted 09-05-2004 at 07:47:36       [Reply]  [No Email]
you should first start with a mud skid which is a piece of plywood heavy enough to suport weightalso feet on scafold. then make sure cross braces are installed safely and you should tie off every third section to a secure wall etc, also on top you will need a toe board not less than 4 in wide, plus a hand rail on top.. Just took a class so cvan work construction and scafolds have been hit pretty hard with osha regulations . in business you have to have a card saying you have had training and pasted the tests. this don,t pertain to your case but try and do it safe and good luck make sure you start level first bob

Len....NY    Posted 09-05-2004 at 07:46:16       [Reply]  [No Email]
Bkeepr,I've been up 4 sections high and yes there will be some movement.Recheck all your bracing and your base to ground contact areas. If possible tie off to anything vertical/stable that will help stabilize scaffolding.It may be too late to consider, but perhaps you may exchange for a hydraulic platform lift. Whatever you decide, be careful. and if it don't feel right step back and reconsider.HTH

BOSS    Posted 09-05-2004 at 07:45:58       [Reply]  [No Email]
If you are only using 1 6x6 section at a time and stacking them on top of each other, they will be rickety. and as you go up, ricketier. You need to fasten stabilizers from the scaffolding to the house on each section. This is usually done with 2x4s or a heavy gauge wire going from the closest corners of the scaffolding to the house. So that is 2 stabolizers for each section of scaffolding.
Or another way is go rent 2 more sections and put one on each side of the bottom section, making the bottom 18 ft. wide. That will also sturdy up the scaffolding. If you do it this way, I would still put a stabolizer or two on the top section.

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