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Wobble, wobble - fixing shaky stair treads

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by steveair, Jul 5, 2000.

  1. steveair

    steveair LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,073

    &lt;img src = http://content.communities.msn.com/isapi/fetch.dll?action=view_photo&ID_Community=Stevesairportpage&ID_Topic=2&ID_Message=5&Action_Flag=&gt;<p>Man, this took a while to get in!!!!! downloaded a quick autocad sketch (excuse the roughness, just trying to test it out) as you can tell by the # of edits, quite a few trys.<p>Anyways, what I trying to get to is if anyone has had a problem like this.<p>I did a set of steps using keystone wall block, straight face, and by the time I got to about the fourth step, the blocks were just not leveling out. The base course was PERFECT, but due to block imperfections, this happended as I got father up the steps.<p>Now, my question is how do I go about getting the &quot;CAPS&quot; to be level, or at least close to level. <p>They aren't that bad, maybe a eigth of an inch up to almost 1/4 inch &quot;teter totter&quot; when the cap spans two blocks.<p>I was wondering if you guys use shims of some sort, and if you do, what do you use.<p>Or, do you try to float it out with the block adhesive (I'm using pave tech's paver bond #1 flexible/clear)<p>or, do you do some masonry work and float some thinset mix across the top first and set the caps in.<p>any ideas appreciated.<p>steveair <p><p><br>&lt;font size=&quot;1&quot;&gt;Edited by: steveair<p><br>&lt;font size=&quot;1&quot;&gt;Edited by: steveair<p><br>&lt;font size=&quot;1&quot;&gt;Edited by: steveair<p><br>&lt;font size=&quot;1&quot;&gt;Edited by: steveair<p><br>&lt;font size=&quot;1&quot;&gt;Edited by: steveair<br><p><font size="1">Edited by: steveair
  2. EDL

    EDL LawnSite Member
    from MA
    Messages: 110

    If the caps are not glued down yet, why not go back to your dealer and try to find blocks that are the same height,I know it is a pain in the *#@. But could be your best bet and would look better. We had the same problem with a wall system last year, we now use uni lock because of it. there mold is filled from the back so that if there is an imperfection you do not see it or get frusterated over it. Tom
  3. paul

    paul Lawnsite Addict
    Messages: 1,625

    Steveair, remember the grinder that iI keep in our trailer, you,ve just found anouther use for it. the problem with Keystone is that it's made on a concrete or cinder block mold, they can be imperfect, next time as your building your wall measure your units as they come off the pallet try to keep same size units for steps.<p>----------<br>paul<br>
  4. Guido

    Guido LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,087

    Paul, thats a great tip about the steps!<p>SteveAir- Try using a thin layer of morter, it will level them out no prob, and so you don't see a 1/4&quot; of morter between the, pitch the caps slightly down in the front, this will also be good for water runoff.<p>----------<br>&lt;a href=&quot;http://communities.msn.com/guidosequipmentpics/&quot;&gt;&quot;Guido&quot;&lt;/a&gt;<br>David M. Famiglietti
  5. Stonehenge

    Stonehenge LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 1,276

    I like Paul's idea - I do a similar thing - I use the Partner saw to act as a grinder. It's probably much more time consuming than a real grinder, but can get the job done. You have to be very delicate with the saw, though. Otherwise you'll cut too deep in places and leave an ugly surface (which isn't a big deal if the cap overhangs a bit to cover it, but if the cap has the same batter as the wall, it'll probably show). <p>Another option is to place the block on it's side and cut that extra bit off - I know, much easier said than done.<p>Talk about inconsistent block...Did you know I found a block with a pair of vice grips half sticking out of it?
  6. steveair

    steveair LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,073

    Thanks for the advice everyone!<p>All good ideas, and will keep in mind for my next projects.<p>For this one, though, I found a solution that will work.<p>To start, I wanted to try some other blocks, but since the stairs are already set, I couldn't get the steps out without pulling the whole thing.<p>Second, I don't have a grinder yet and can't swing the $250 for the diamond cup yet, but I think, in a couple more jobs, I will get the grinder and diamond cup. Had some other instances where it would of come in handy. A great idea that I will get as soon as my 'budget' allows it.<p>So, what I did was this. I feathered some strips of paver bond along the the top of the blocks and let it dry. It gave me the 'level seat' I was looking for (at least close enough, but still would like better). I then put adhesive on again and let it dry. <p>It seems to be holding up good. I've stepped on it a few times, and it feels just as solid as the others, so I think I have gotten by this time.<p>I will have some pics posted in a few days to show how it came out. Will try to get them in here, or will post them on Guido's page. thanks Dave<p>steveair<p>steveair
  7. BRL

    BRL LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,211

    OK guys, while we're on the subject of steps. Did my first step using VersaLock caps and the cap glue. The next day while working on the job the customer stepped on them and they were loose. I waited another day to see if the glue would set better and they were still loose. I ended up pulling them out and using concrete. The glue directions said you could adjust your work for up to 4 hours but didn't say anything about total cure time. My supplier told me the glue would work fine, I followed directions exactly, base surface was clean and after 48 hours the caps were real loose. What did I do wrong? Or should I use a different brandtype of glue? Or should I stick with using concrete? Any help is appreciated.
  8. paul

    paul Lawnsite Addict
    Messages: 1,625

    BRL, We switched to epoxy glue for steps about two years ago because of the problem with loose caps on park jobs that we do, it's a two part mix, two tubes with a nozzel that mixes it at the tip, cost for the glue is $10 per tube but the cost for a glue gun is $100 but it has never failed.<p>Steveair the grinder wheels are now priced at $75 and the grinders that we buy are $90 so not that bad, check with different supply houses on priceing of the cups<p>----------<br>paul<p>also epoxy glue will work with wet caps<p><font size="1">Edited by: paul
  9. steveair

    steveair LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,073

    BRL:<p>I am using paver bond by pave tech and the directions state about the same as you said.<p>basic set up takes about 30 minutes, at this point the blocks no longer 'float around' but can be pulled up easily.<p>Set up time for light traffic is around 24 to 48 hrs. Total set up time is almost 2 weeks. I think they say it is something like 80% percent strong after 48 hrs.<p>Some ideas on why you may have had some problems.<p>1. moisture- were the cap or block a little damp, for this can cause the pave bond to fail. I have this problem sometimes because I cut all my caps and line them out first before I glue, then it rains, and if the caps are on the wall, moisture build between the two and takes a long time to dry, so some times I 'rush' it and glue anyway.<p>2. traffic - in order to set properly, the caps should not be moved at all during that 24-48 hr period. Even a little movement can cause a problem. If the homeowner walked on it the next day, then the glue may have needed more time still.<p>3. Applied too much - Pave bond is very funny when you over apply. If you are leaving over 1/4 inch thick beads, it can take a LONG time to bond. More is not better with pave bond, as if it is too thick it just never sets. It may bond some, but never really sets up.<p>steveair<p><p>
  10. BRL

    BRL LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,211

    Thanks guys!<br>Paul, <br>I've used that epoxy glue you're talking about while working for a general contractor. That's serious stuff. We used it to mount all thread into holes drilled into the concrete pad that the steel girders were bolted to, that held up a warehouse. Your steps and caps are definitely never moving.<br>Steve,<br>1. 92 degrees, sunny and low humidity. Moisture was not an issue.<br>2. The glue I had didn't say anything about cure times. (Never used a product with important issues like that that didn't have those instructions on the label) The customer & I just kind of put a little weight on them after about 30 hours to see what was going on. So I waited one more day and went for the concrete.<br>3. Bingo! That makes a lot of sense. I probably had more like 38 inch bead and put a little extra on &quot;just to make sure&quot;. I'm about to do a step at my house so I'll give it another try following your advice.<br>Thanks.

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