Lag screws vs everything else...

Ideas, advice, tips, and tricks regarding shelter, shade, tents, and camping. Yes, this includes RV's too.
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DoctorIknow
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Re: Lag screws vs everything else...

Post by DoctorIknow » Thu Jan 18, 2018 7:11 am

BUMP: For those new to lag screws and curious, read the entire 24 pages.

Last July 11, I posted herein that I was going to try mule tape instead of chain links.
This is the typical 3 link chain and lag combo:
3 links on lag.JPG
I wanted to try mule tape...just a short length of it, a square knot, and loop it over the lag:
first mule on lag.JPG

As anyone using chain links knows, it is a pain in the ass, no matter what tools you use, to cut the chain into a three link piece.

My camp and another tried mule tape in 2017, and it worked out very well.

Let's compare:

5/16 welded chain
Cost: $2.83/ft
Strength: 1900lb
Price of links per lag screw: about $2 (remember, for every three link set, the fourth link is cut and not used.

3/8 welded chain
Cost $3.48/ft
Strength: 2600lb
Price of links per lag screw: about $3

3/4" mule tape
Cost: $0.6 to $0.9 per ft, depending on length you purchase
Strength: 2400lb
Price of mule tape per lag screw with washer: about $0.18

This year, I'll be tying down some 2x4's (wider at base) with mule tape.
These are so tight they sing like a guitar string!
The knot used is a bowline: a critical knot to learn, and with "slippery" mule tape, it can always be untied easily)
(note the fuel line insert to prevent abrasion)
mule tape going thru 2x4s.jpg
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DoctorIknow
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Re: Lag screws vs everything else...

Post by DoctorIknow » Thu Jan 18, 2018 7:21 am

underscored wrote:Thank you FIGJAM and others for your contributions here.

Over the past couple of years I've been using the information you've provided to improve our situation at the camp and I've never once been disappointed.

I wanted to see if anyone had experience erecting wooden 4x4s using a Simpson Strong E-Z Base to use as a frame for a shade structure. This can be secured with 4 lag screws:

Image

Most of the designs I see are using 2x4s for the posts, but I thought this could be a more solid setup.

One of my concerns is that the lag screws might be close enough that they loosen up the packed playa. Is there a rule for how close one could drill lag screws without this becoming a problem?

Thanks for the help!
I looked at that unit, and didn't like it at all, as the lag screws would have been WAY too close together, and the metal they used was laughable in that it was very thin, and much too short. I never intended to not have additional bracing, but these things in the pic above are not only flimsy, but also not cheap.

As an alternative, I had 35 custom made for me, more expensive, but very very nice.
base plate for 4x4.jpg
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Ratty
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Re: Lag screws vs everything else...

Post by Ratty » Thu Jan 18, 2018 8:40 am

I love the lengths that Burners go to in order to build a fabulous camp.

Doctor, thanks for taking the time to share.
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Re: Lag screws vs everything else...

Post by Kenshiro » Thu Jan 18, 2018 6:17 pm

DoctorIknow wrote:BUMP:

first mule on lag.JPG
Nice. I’ve been wondering about this exact same thing so it’s nice to see someone’s “field tested” the concept and had success with it already, so to speak.

Image

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Strata
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Re: Lag screws vs everything else...

Post by Strata » Tue Jan 30, 2018 9:01 pm

Our 3/8 in x 18 in lag bolts bent severely in the Tuesday afternoon squall at the event this past year (2017). We had 9 in above and below for monkey hut ribs. Do you think half inch lag bolts will do appreciably better, or are we dooming ourselves by leaving 9 in of lever above ground?

The hut stayed up, though it did acquire a jaunty slant forward. :lol:
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Popeye
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Re: Lag screws vs everything else...

Post by Popeye » Tue Jan 30, 2018 9:44 pm

Test it.
Take a 3/8 bolt and put it in a well anchored vice at 9". Slide a 4' or whatever pipe over the bolt and attach a spring scale at a measured and marked point on the pipe. pull on the lever (pipe) until the lag bends. Have a buddy watch the scale to see how much tension is on the scale. If the scale reads say 100 pounds and you are pulling at the 4 foot mark you have 400 ft. pounds on the lag. Repeat with 1/2 inch.

If the bolts bent without breaking the plastic pipe I'd think the bolts where pretty cheap steel.

How did the handcart work out?
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Re: Lag screws vs everything else...

Post by Popeye » Tue Jan 30, 2018 10:00 pm

If you drilled a hole in the center of a pipe cap and drove a lag bolt into the ground through the hole, the leg of the monkey hut could sit in the cap and there would be much less leverage on the lag. You might want to thread a short nipple into the pipe cap to keep the leg from jumping out.
I usually think of a threaded cap but unthreaded tubing type caps are available which are cheaper and lighter.
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Kenshiro
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Re: Lag screws vs everything else...

Post by Kenshiro » Tue Jan 30, 2018 10:03 pm

My recollection is resistance to bending goes up by the 4th power as you increase diameter. In theory going to 1/2” from 3/8” would be a little over 3 times the strength. So yes it would be appreciably stronger.

That said, testing is the best way to know if it will be enough.

And that said as well, I think I would avoid relying on these things loaded in bending modes for primary structural integrity.

DoctorIknow
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Re: Lag screws vs everything else...

Post by DoctorIknow » Wed Jan 31, 2018 3:59 am

I went to 1/2" not because of the 18" length, (which of course is very nice) but because the 14" x 3/8" would bend very VERY easily...shockingly so. I only use the 14" for all those tie downs on my 13x8 tent BETWEEN the four corners, which have 18" lags. I used to use 12" nails but the 14" lags are so much more fun and easier on the old carpal tunnel syndrome. :D

The price difference is huge between 14" x 3/8 vs. 18" x 1/2, currently, with shipping included, $1.46 vs $3.59 per piece, and you have to get 50 of the 14" and 10 of the 18", on amazon, from the Fastener SuperStore, Inc.

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Ratty
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Re: Lag screws vs everything else...

Post by Ratty » Wed Jan 31, 2018 9:36 am

My hardware store just ordered me 25 of the 16 by ½. They are $1.39 + tax. I thought that was a great price. Still waiting for my pickup order.
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Those aren't buttermilk biscuits I'm lying on Savannah
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Re: Lag screws vs everything else...

Post by Kenshiro » Wed Jan 31, 2018 12:34 pm

Ratty wrote:My hardware store just ordered me 25 of the 16 by ½. They are $1.39 + tax. I thought that was a great price. Still waiting for my pickup order.
Where is this? I want to help convince my camp to convert to lags this year, and 1/2” this cheap would probably help a LOT.

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Re: Lag screws vs everything else...

Post by DoctorIknow » Wed Jan 31, 2018 5:00 pm

Ratty wrote:My hardware store just ordered me 25 of the 16 by ½. They are $1.39 + tax. I thought that was a great price. Still waiting for my pickup order.
I've tried ordering from various local suppliers (Sacramento) and checked out all recommendations in this thread, and never have I seen prices this low. The worst quote I ever got was $5 for one 18" x 1/2".

Ratty: Are they zinc plated? I'm not sure that would make a big difference, but, although rust happens, I believe it might be mitigated somewhat by the plating. After three burns with the same lags (and vinegar soak/power wash after the burn) the rust has not eaten away at the threads.

And, it's all about the threads. I remember a post in this thread where someone was pounding in lag screws. NOPE. I make a "crater" about 2-3" deep, and pound in the lag about 5-6 inches in the playa before impact wrenching it. The "crater" is important as the first few inches of playa has no mass at all. For those who don't know, the real holding power might start at 8" or 14". I've found that it can vary just around a 12x20 shade structure. Sometime the impact wrench struggles when the lag is still 8" above ground, sometimes it spins freely all the way down except the last inch. YMMV.

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Ratty
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Re: Lag screws vs everything else...

Post by Ratty » Wed Jan 31, 2018 7:45 pm

I got them! $24 for 16, zinc, 16 inch by half inch. I don't know why he ordered 16 of them. I wanted 25. That is the regular price. Including tax. Out the door. $1.50 each. Golden State Lumber. All over the SF bay area.
The threads only go up 8 inches but thats plenty. Check one thing off my list.

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Re: Lag screws vs everything else...

Post by Traveller in Time » Thu Feb 01, 2018 10:06 am

oil for storage to mitigate rust
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Re: Lag screws vs everything else...

Post by Ratty » Thu Feb 01, 2018 2:52 pm

A bucket of oily sand keeps your shovels sharp and clean. Only a little oil of your choice
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Re: Lag screws vs everything else...

Post by krly » Thu Feb 01, 2018 3:32 pm

So, some of you folks are using lag screws for your monkee hut legs ? Is that working better than 2' rebar used on 1" pvc arches ?
Thanks..........

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Re: Lag screws vs everything else...

Post by torrey.smith » Fri Feb 02, 2018 1:52 pm

krly wrote:So, some of you folks are using lag screws for your monkee hut legs ? Is that working better than 2' rebar used on 1" pvc arches ?
Thanks..........
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fernley1
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Re: Lag screws vs everything else...

Post by fernley1 » Sat Feb 24, 2018 1:17 pm

I used 1/2 x 16" lad screws last burn for the first time. Was so much easier then pounding rebar all day. I used the chain method to secure the tie down straps to my shade structure. I think most of my camp will be using lag screws this year too. Used a DeWalt 20v 1/4 impact gun to drive them in. Bought 4 battery packs, but only used 1 pack. Drove and removed 20 lag screws with 1 pack.

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Re: Lag screws vs everything else...

Post by krly » Sat Feb 24, 2018 2:51 pm

Fernley, where did you source you lags ? Thanks

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Re: Lag screws vs everything else...

Post by fernley1 » Sat Feb 24, 2018 3:34 pm

I found them on the E..b..a..y site.

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danibel
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Re: Lag screws vs everything else...

Post by danibel » Sun Feb 25, 2018 2:28 pm

hello all you smart Lag Bolt people!

I am bringing a 36' by 20' BRC hardware flat top. I've used rebar in the past, but I am converting to a new way of playa shelter building and going full lag. I have a dewalt 20v impact driver and two batteries (plus the ability to recharge a battery if I need to). I've been reading this thread and instead of 14' x 3/8' I want to go 16' x 1/2'. Seems safer.

Questions:
I've been told I need "foot pads." In the past I pounded rebar and slipped the legs of the shade over them, and used the set screw/nut bolt thingie (plus trucker straps to rebar on the corners). My concern about the foot pads - will the holes be big enough to accommodate 16' x 1/2' lags? Is there a certain source of footies with 1/2' holes? The leg poles are 1' EMT. The foot pads are going to add significant weight, though I will lose a bit by not hauling rebar, are foot pads even a must have?!

Chain links or ? ways to strap the damn thing to the playa? I see mule tape used on this thread, but I am not by any means a knot expert. I don't want to leave to chance (or lack of knowledge) the ability to safely secure my big ass shade. The trucker straps seems like the easiest method for me to anchor - but I will need something to anchor To.

Is anyone else using Lags on a BCR hardware shade? If so, can you please help me? Are you using foot pads? What type of Lags? Any concerns or things I should know about? Maybe a post a picture of your anchor method?

Much appreciated!!!
In dust we trust.

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Re: Lag screws vs everything else...

Post by DoctorIknow » Sun Feb 25, 2018 3:06 pm

danibel wrote: Questions:
I've been told I need "foot pads."
The Black Rock Hardware posts were designed to not need foot pads. However, even if the head of the lag screw can fit into the pipe, you would lose the holding power of a 16" lag screw as about 5" of it would be above ground.

Therefore, your question about foot pads: If you don't have something to stop the posts (pipe) from sinking in the playa once you torque down the ratchet straps attached to the frame couplings, you will need something LIKE a foot pad.

I have just used 4" pieces of 2x4 with a hole about 1/2 inch deep. Hopefully you can find one space bit for sale and not have to buy a set. I don't remember the OD (outside diameter) size, so check that before you buy the bit.
spade bit.JPG
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danibel
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Re: Lag screws vs everything else...

Post by danibel » Sun Feb 25, 2018 3:17 pm

DoctorIknow wrote:
danibel wrote: Questions:
I've been told I need "foot pads."
The Black Rock Hardware posts were designed to not need foot pads. However, even if the head of the lag screw can fit into the pipe, you would lose the holding power of a 16" lag screw as about 5" of it would be above ground.

Therefore, your question about foot pads: If you don't have something to stop the posts (pipe) from sinking in the playa once you torque down the ratchet straps attached to the frame couplings, you will need something LIKE a foot pad.

I have just used 4" pieces of 2x4 with a hole about 1/2 inch deep. Hopefully you can find one space bit for sale and not have to buy a set. I don't remember the OD (outside diameter) size, so check that before you buy the bit.
spade bit.JPG

Ah. I need the foot pads then. I wish the specs on canopies and tarps had the diameter of the hole somewhere. I guess I will just have to order them and then find out if I need the bit to make a bigger hole.
In dust we trust.

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Re: Lag screws vs everything else...

Post by DoctorIknow » Sun Feb 25, 2018 3:31 pm

danibel wrote: I see mule tape used on this thread, but I am not by any means a knot expert. I don't want to leave to chance (or lack of knowledge) the ability to safely secure my big ass shade.
Chain is great but takes a hella lotta time, tools, and money
Mule tape is stronger than some of the chain that can fit lags that is found in big box hardware stores.

So if you go mule:

-----Take 10" of 3/4" mule tape. Only use 3/4"
-----Tie a square knot. It's a quick knot to learn, and if you do it incorrectly, it is obvious to the eye.
-----Tie however many you need before hand.
-----Pull each one very tight to make sure the ends of the tape are not too close to the knot. There is some slippage, but not much.

Once on the playa:

---Put a heavy washer on the Lag screw.
---Dig a little hole with a hammer claw end where you want the lag screw to go. (this gives you an extra inch or two in the depth of the lag, as depending on the conditions of the playa, the strength of the screw threads vs. rebar only happens in the compacted and -sometimes wet playa that usually not close to the surface.
---Pound the lag screw in the playa a few inches, no more. This steadies the lag and gives you more control about the angle you choose.
---Impact wrench the lag until there is just enough space to slip on the mule tape in a loop fashion EXACTLY like in the pic.
---Finish sinking the lag.
first mule on lag.JPG
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danibel
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Re: Lag screws vs everything else...

Post by danibel » Sun Feb 25, 2018 4:07 pm

DoctorIknow wrote:
danibel wrote: I see mule tape used on this thread, but I am not by any means a knot expert. I don't want to leave to chance (or lack of knowledge) the ability to safely secure my big ass shade.
Chain is great but takes a hella lotta time, tools, and money
Mule tape is stronger than some of the chain that can fit lags that is found in big box hardware stores.

So if you go mule:

-----Take 10" of 3/4" mule tape. Only use 3/4"
-----Tie a square knot. It's a quick knot to learn, and if you do it incorrectly, it is obvious to the eye.
-----Tie however many you need before hand.
-----Pull each one very tight to make sure the ends of the tape are not too close to the knot. There is some slippage, but not much.

Once on the playa:

---Put a heavy washer on the Lag screw.
---Dig a little hole with a hammer claw end where you want the lag screw to go. (this gives you an extra inch or two in the depth of the lag, as depending on the conditions of the playa, the strength of the screw threads vs. rebar only happens in the compacted and -sometimes wet playa that usually not close to the surface.
---Pound the lag screw in the playa a few inches, no more. This steadies the lag and gives you more control about the angle you choose.
---Impact wrench the lag until there is just enough space to slip on the mule tape in a loop fashion EXACTLY like in the pic.
---Finish sinking the lag.
first mule on lag.JPG
THANK YOU! I think this will be far easier (and cheaper, and lighter) than cutting 15 chain links.
In dust we trust.

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Ratty
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Re: Lag screws vs everything else...

Post by Ratty » Sun Feb 25, 2018 4:22 pm

Dr i Know, thank you. I'm doing it. Chain to go around ½ inch lags is expensive and labor intensive to produce. This will enable me to bring all my extra lags. I just know my campmates will want to use them. I like your tip about digging an inch or two before you drill them down. I'll also attach a durable flag so none get left behind. Thanks again !
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Re: Lag screws vs everything else...

Post by Papa Bear » Sun Feb 25, 2018 7:35 pm

Attaching that flag is a *really* good idea. I had a couple of mine get hidden in the dust last year as I was setting up a structure. I did eventually find them, but it's amazing how easily they can get obscured.

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Re: Lag screws vs everything else...

Post by Popeye » Sun Feb 25, 2018 9:59 pm

danibel wrote:
DoctorIknow wrote:
danibel wrote:
Ah. I need the foot pads then. I wish the specs on canopies and tarps had the diameter of the hole somewhere. I guess I will just have to order them and then find out if I need the bit to make a bigger hole.
EMT Trade size, actual OD, and standard hole size

1/2" .706" 7/8" bit
3/4: .922 1" to 1 1/8" bit
1" 1.163" 1 1/4" bit
1 1/4" 1.51" 1 5/8 to 1 3/4" bit

Bit sizes are calculated to allow EMT to slide easily through 2x walls.
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Re: Lag screws vs everything else...

Post by torrey.smith » Tue May 01, 2018 5:17 pm

I came across this part from this ePlaya thread started by Elliot.

I ordered one (only $27!) and I'm excited to test it with the next round of Sextant Penetrator Science Glory (SPSG) on the Playa.

This could be an excellent way to anchor vertical 4x4's on the Playa.

I am interested in the basic profile as a multi-use anchor, because I could easily remove the 4x4 keeper and take advantage of the holes (used for manual installation with a piece of rebar as the lever) at the top for guy-line attachment.

I can make an impact adapter to drive this off a standard 1/2", 3/4", or 1" square drive, and make sure it works with or without the 4x4 keepers.

Thanks Elliot!!!

I'm fairly confident that I found the Chinese manufacturer:



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Re: Lag screws vs everything else...

Post by DoctorIknow » Tue May 01, 2018 5:55 pm

Perspective alert !

26.5 inches.JPG
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