Hitching Posts

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by White Gardens, Jul 11, 2011.

  1. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,776

    So I'm getting ready to restore an old horse hitching post ledge. Currently it's old concrete from the early 1900's.

    Here is a link to the photo album of the property and the work I've already done. You'll get a better idea than me explaining.

    http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.190145887642.131017.185135107642

    So, with the hitching ledge, we decided on doing a wall block construction. I couldn't get standard retaining wall block as the color was the issue. What my supplier had left was free-standing wall block in the right color.

    Since it's free standing, and only two courses and a cap, I decided it's best to do a concrete footer and to fill the cores with concrete in order to get as much longevity out of it as possible. I will also be installing geo-grid to keep it from slumping forward over time. I might even drill 4, 4" footings along the length for added stability over time.

    Now, I need to attach two hitching posts to the caps of the wall. My question is, can I just drill two-four holes, and use anchors in the cap to attach the posts. My only other option being to drill a larger diameter hole and install the post through the cap an set them in the concrete of the wall.

    Not sure if it needs to be 100% functional or not. The owners don't have any horses. Even with the wall being filled with concrete, it should be functional.

    I'm just not sure about drilling into the caps and if that will cause any problems. That would be the easiest way of doing it.

    Thanks.

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  2. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,406

    If you drill a large diameter hole, start small and gradually work your way up.

    We start with 1/4", then 1/2", then 3/4",you get the picture. Otherwise you could crack the cap.

    I skimmed your post, so not sure if I'm answering correctly. I would do like we do with handrails on our steps - drill a large dia hole, and drop post in, and use that grout stuff to hold the post tight.



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  3. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,776

    Thanks DVS.

    So after talking to the HO this morning this is what we came up with.

    [​IMG]

    So ultimately, even a bit more expensive than just a head mounted to a steel post, I don't have to go buy the steel post and drill bits, way less labor, ect....

    So ultimately I'm just going to drill a couple of holes and probably just anchor them to the caps and call it good. The whole wall and cap will be mortared together, so it possibly will be functional.

    Ultimately though the HO said functionality wasn't a concern, I still want to make it sturdy to lean on so it should be sufficient.

    Now DVS, with that said, what would be the best anchor in the cap? I'm thinking just standard masonry/concrete anchors, but will that cause any cracks in the caps from water intrusion and the steel expanding and contracting? I would think they might be OK but didn't know if you've run into that with railings and such?

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  4. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,406

    I don't know the answer. You definitely want a both that won't rust. Galvanized.

    I'm thinking the holes will be fine in the caps. Think of a Paver pool deck where they have drilled into the pavers and installed the anchors for the winter safety cover. Never any problems.

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  5. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,776

    Gotcha. Thumbs Up

    That's what I was originally thinking about people installing railings and such. Just wasn't sure if there has been any issues that have risen over the years in regards to anchors in wall block caps as I haven't been doing this long enough to know.

    I've just wanted to make sure that this landing last another 100+ years considering that's how old they are now.

    FYI DVS, the post in the image is aluminum cast, so rust won't be an issue.

    When I'm done with the project I'll post a link to pics for ya.

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  6. SVA_Concrete

    SVA_Concrete LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 467

    I would caution bolting this apparatus down only to the wall caps.

    The analogy of the pool cover anchors is flawed -- those anchors are in a shear load situation with virtually no tension load. when you bolt down a post (assuming you are using 4 bolts in a square pattern) you have a lever that when leaned on is putting anchors on one side of the lever under compression and on the other tension.

    you need to be concerned with tension load on those anchors. Anchors (epoxy or mechanical) can only build a certain amount of strength based on the embed depth.

    Think about what you can lift with a 3 foot pry bar. you essentially have a 4 foot pry bar (assuming the post are 4 foot tall)

    drilling this anchor only into the cap will cause failure in the cap.

    I would recommend drilling 8 inches (through cap into wall) and installing 1/2 inch threaded rod.

    all of this is from past experiences with bold down bollards that I have seen fail by someone leaning on them. pulled the 4" embedded anchors right out of the concrete along with a 3 inch piece of concrete.
     
  7. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,776

    Hmmmm.

    Very good points.

    Do keep in mind too that the caps will be mortared on, not glued and the whole short two course wall will be filled with concrete.

    I do like the idea of the threaded rod stock for making anchor points.


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  8. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,406

    I do agree with SVA.

    That's why our handrails have large holes drilled into the caps at least 8" deep.

    But my remark about pool anchors wasn't so much in relation to load, it was in relation to the pavers withstanding the fact that holes were drilled, etc. :)

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  9. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,776

  10. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,776

    Thanks for the input guys.

    Everything turned out good. Still need to finish the details and get the bolts on the studs for the posts, but it appears it will be solid when done.

    The only issue I see is that the bases for the posts aren't completely flat and I might have to shim them a shade to make sure they stay flat to the caps. That and I have no clue as to how to make sure they are completely strait up and down as I don't think anything is truly square on them. I might have to eye-ball it or go get a simple site level for finding general grade and stand back and look at it.

    More pics on the last page of my thread if interested.

    [​IMG]


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