Reply
Thread Tools Display Modes
#1
Old 11-18-2014, 01:14 PM
Guest
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Austin, Texas
Posts: 1,924
Advice on building a pier (over water)

I would like to build a small and very basic pier to allow easier access to a small lake. It only needs to go out about ten feet at most. I've built decks before, so I'm comfortable with most of the techniques, but I've never tried to sink posts into standing water. Most of the sites on the Internet make it look pretty complicated.

The water level where the posts would go is about 6 - 8 feet deep and the soil is muddy.

Any advice?
#2
Old 11-18-2014, 01:29 PM
Guest
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: rhode island
Posts: 37,221
Use a floating dock, there are a lot of plans and kits available.
#3
Old 11-18-2014, 01:31 PM
Guest
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 8,573
You'll probably need to add a bit more information. Is this a permanent structure? Will it be removed during winter? Is ice going to be a consideration? Will a boat, or boats, be docked there? Is high water (flooding or tides) a consideration?

Are you considering a mostly wooden pier, floating plastic logs, a metal frame with wood planks?

Large concrete or rock structures can be positioned during ice over. They will drop into place during the spring thaw.
#4
Old 11-18-2014, 05:15 PM
Guest
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 12,056
also check your local regulations and permits needed. there could be state, county and town/city/village regulations
#5
Old 11-18-2014, 07:33 PM
Guest
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Austin, Texas
Posts: 1,924
It would be permanent. The location is Texas so ice is not a problem. It's a small lake on private property. Flooding and flowing water is not an issue. Just something very simple to keep from wading through mud and yuck to get to the water.
#6
Old 11-18-2014, 07:39 PM
Guest
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 7,411
You could start dumping the largest rock you can find at the end point of proposed structure.

Cheaper and (possibly) quicker than driving pilings or emptying the lake and removing mud until you find a solid layer of something.

Or you can build a quick and cheap floater and know that it will wear out in 50 years.

Last edited by usedtobe; 11-18-2014 at 07:40 PM.
#7
Old 11-18-2014, 11:10 PM
Guest
Join Date: May 2010
Location: revillagigedo
Posts: 2,430
I have never sunk a post into mud for a pier but I love to guess at these things.

I would use a hose as a water jet. Strap the hose to a sharpened 4x4 with something breakable so you can retrieve he hose.

I've seen a newer pile driver that vibrated the piling instead of hitting it. If you have a heavy pneumatic tool you could strap to a sharpened 4x4 and the combination of weight and vibration may set it.
#8
Old 11-18-2014, 11:56 PM
Guest
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 7,411
Quote:
Originally Posted by sitchensis View Post
I have never sunk a post into mud for a pier but I love to guess at these things.

I would use a hose as a water jet. Strap the hose to a sharpened 4x4 with something breakable so you can retrieve he hose.

I've seen a newer pile driver that vibrated the piling instead of hitting it. If you have a heavy pneumatic tool you could strap to a sharpened 4x4 and the combination of weight and vibration may set it.
I'm guessing that there is water where you suggest driving a wooden stick (the sharpened point will negate any pressure treating it may have). How does one hold a 4x4 upright in water, and how do you reach the top of it to drive it?
It will need to be as long as:
1. Depth of mud
2. Depth of water
3. Desired finish height above water line.

Alternately, you could start with a stack of 4x4x8 with coupling sleeves, then stand on the pier you're building to start sinking them until one ends up above the water...

Care to guess again?
#9
Old 11-18-2014, 11:59 PM
Charter Member
Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: Milwaukee, WI
Posts: 26,540
My first thought was the same as TriPolar's...get a floating one. I'd imagine you can just buy them online or at a marine store (which you probably have nearby if you live on a lake and people have piers).

If you need to set piles, I'd probably leave that up to the pros, I'd hate to do it myself and have them shift and dump someone in the water and leave you responsible. I assume permits would be required for a job like that and I wouldn't be surprised if the DNR had regulations for how to set them.

OTOH, you can get a couple of these for 100 bucks or so and build a deck right over the top of them like this. It should be a lot easier then trying to set piles into wet mud underwater.


(Googling and searching Amazon for 'dock float' brings up all kinds of results)
#10
Old 11-19-2014, 01:42 PM
Guest
Join Date: May 2010
Location: revillagigedo
Posts: 2,430
Quote:
Originally Posted by usedtobe View Post
I'm guessing that there is water where you suggest driving a wooden stick (the sharpened point will negate any pressure treating it may have). How does one hold a 4x4 upright in water, and how do you reach the top of it to drive it?
It will need to be as long as:
1. Depth of mud
2. Depth of water
3. Desired finish height above water line.

Alternately, you could start with a stack of 4x4x8 with coupling sleeves, then stand on the pier you're building to start sinking them until one ends up above the water...

Care to guess again?
Wood is pretty resistant to rot when sunk deep into mud. Heck, it seems like every few month they discover a 5000 year fish trap made out sticks driven into mud.

Neither of my options required that you reach the top of the 4x4 to drive it. I specifically proposed using a water jet or vibration for that reason.

As for actually holding the 4x4s I would tie two john boats together side by side. I’d block out a 6x6 gap between the boats and run some lines to shore.

Last edited by sitchensis; 11-19-2014 at 01:43 PM.
#11
Old 11-19-2014, 09:17 PM
Guest
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 7,411
Um, both shores, no? Fore and aft, to keep the lines taut? Now, about drifting sideways....

Now, to keep them perfectly level, so the end of your 4x4's don't wobble around...

A pontoon boat with large anchors in at least all 4 primary compass directions and come-alongs to tension them might get a floating platform.

And this is a pier - lots of weight 7/24/365, and maybe an unspecified weather event once in a while. Either your 4x4 is resting on something a wee bit more solid than mud or that pier will self-destruct long before a floater would.

Back when the pontoons for a floating dock had to be steel, you had to figure on rust out. Modern plastics can replace both the pontoons and the deck. Splurge and use stainless for and small hardware you must use, and you have a permanent structure.

I quick google on "underwater concrete" will give you an idea why we are saying "floater".
#12
Old 11-20-2014, 01:46 AM
Charter Member
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Falls Church, Va.
Posts: 13,245
Quote:
Originally Posted by El Zagna View Post
...building a pier (over water)
Where else does one build a pier?
#13
Old 11-20-2014, 02:14 AM
Member
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Nowhere, South Carolina
Posts: 691
I just built a new one at my house a few years ago, Mud/sand soil down several feet. The pilings went in super easy, actually. The method I used was to get a gasoline trash pump, 3 inch inlet, 2 inch outlet, and then reduce the outlet down to a 3/4" PVC pipe. Frame the piling a bit if you can, set it down on the bottom as near vertical as possible, start the pump, and blast the dirt at the bottom out.

The piling should just plain sink in at that point. Rocks and roots can be a problem, but with a little jiggling, you can usually get around them. All 20 pilings for my dock were placed this way, and even though there were some roots, I had no problems getting each one set to at least 4 feet, and some went to 6. Total time to flush one in was about 5 minutes.

I bought an inexpensive pump from Amazon, for around $300, but I'm sure you could rent one for a weekend for much less.

Send me a PM with your email if you like, I'll try to see if I can find any of the videos I took of the process.

--- ETA:
I used 6x6 treated for all pilings, 2x8 treated for stringers, 2x6 treated for joists (all joists hung with hangers), and topped it with Trex decking board. It is more solid than my house.

Last edited by Khendrask; 11-20-2014 at 02:16 AM.
#14
Old 11-20-2014, 10:55 AM
Guest
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Austin, Texas
Posts: 1,924
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Tildrum View Post
Where else does one build a pier?
Yeah, I know. I strive for meaningful titles.
#15
Old 11-20-2014, 11:06 AM
Guest
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Austin, Texas
Posts: 1,924
Khendrask, why don't you post your videos to YouTube? I think a lot of people would find that useful.

All things considered it looks like a floating dock is the best way to go. I'm a little surprised that piers are so problematic. They've been building piers since there have been boats, so I wonder how the old timers did it.
#16
Old 11-20-2014, 12:27 PM
Member
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Western Pennsylvania
Posts: 26,850
In your situation I'd buy an old pontoon boat, strip any remaining seating, and use it as a floating pier. Alternatively, a floating dock using barrels like in this instructable.
#17
Old 11-20-2014, 05:42 PM
Guest
Join Date: May 2010
Location: revillagigedo
Posts: 2,430
Quote:
Originally Posted by usedtobe View Post
Um, both shores, no? Fore and aft, to keep the lines taut? Now, about drifting sideways....

Now, to keep them perfectly level, so the end of your 4x4's don't wobble around...

A pontoon boat with large anchors in at least all 4 primary compass directions and come-alongs to tension them might get a floating platform.

And this is a pier - lots of weight 7/24/365, and maybe an unspecified weather event once in a while. Either your 4x4 is resting on something a wee bit more solid than mud or that pier will self-destruct long before a floater would.

Back when the pontoons for a floating dock had to be steel, you had to figure on rust out. Modern plastics can replace both the pontoons and the deck. Splurge and use stainless for and small hardware you must use, and you have a permanent structure.

I quick google on "underwater concrete" will give you an idea why we are saying "floater".
You seem to know a lot about this. Perhaps you could enlighten me as to how Khendrask wasnt able to use a water jet to set pilings for a pier?
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:03 PM.

Copyright © 2017
Best Topics: walgreen ink cartridges what kills pigeons baseball cap backwards korbel drink alternator pulley size walgreen ink cartridges dmv eye test pumping loss fbi ranking german for car solazyme message board butterfly pinning owl eats cat casual cep green accountants visor 15 fold good bowling scores grateful dead keyboardist turey tekina wet shoes smell detox drinks walgreens castaway ending 97.2 temperature supreme vs gladiator ashley brianne mcdonogh jodie foster hannibal cashmere itchy green accounting visor prn employment definition mcd wifi from each according rpn calculators mud people bible garbage disposal turns on but doesn't spin icarly video camera guy half light half dark red and white scarf how to sound less nasally sudden vomiting without nausea do garden snakes have fangs ordering from adam and eve dremel tool for feet what does crack cocaine smell like how long are canned beans good for missed period while on birth control how much do farmers make per cow how to block suggested pages on facebook cleaning vinyl records with windex can't sleep on my back how much to build a cinder block wall change battery timex expedition chest freezer with auto defrost what does a nicotine buzz feel like rid x septic tank walmart cash register practice wearing keys on belt loop taste bud that hurts jet stream box 4 why do fevers get higher at night cost to replace subfloor in bathroom what is a moulinyan why can't you buy turkey eggs walgreens drug test kit reviews jury duty excuse letter non-english speaker robert de niro black women mad tv kenny rogers