Lag screws vs everything else...

Ideas, advice, tips, and tricks regarding shelter, shade, tents, and camping. Yes, this includes RV's too.
Post Reply
qtip
Posts: 5
Joined: Sun Jan 13, 2019 4:57 pm
Burning Since: 2017

Re: Lag screws vs everything else...

Post by qtip » Sun Jan 13, 2019 5:01 pm

Has anybody used these for larger structures?

https://www.groundgrabba.com/product/gr ... 16fd43adaa

They seem like a cheaper version of the penetrator, but have fewer and coarser threads, a skinnier shaft, and only come in a max 2 ft length.

User avatar
Ratty
Posts: 6218
Joined: Fri Nov 11, 2011 6:43 pm
Burning Since: 2008
Camp Name: Tiger Man

Re: Lag screws vs everything else...

Post by Ratty » Sun Jan 13, 2019 5:07 pm

Wow. That price tag would scare me off. Seriously? Why would anyone buy those? They're three eights inch by 2 foot.
Those aren't buttermilk biscuits I'm lying on Savannah

Pictures or it didn't happen Greycoyote

Talent hits a target no one else can hit; Genius hits a target no one else can see.
Arthur Schopenhauer

User avatar
Canoe
Posts: 3747
Joined: Sun Jul 31, 2011 8:01 pm

Re: Lag screws vs everything else...

Post by Canoe » Mon Jan 14, 2019 5:08 pm

Yup
Looks like it would be more than a little bendy (breaky) under a heavy load.
A long bare shank means the threads disturb the soil going in but don't leave threads grabbing it for much of the length.
But might work well in some soils.
Video games are giving kids unrealistic expectations on how many swords they can carry.
.
... but don't harm the red dragon that frequents the area from time to time. He and I have an agreement.

qtip
Posts: 5
Joined: Sun Jan 13, 2019 4:57 pm
Burning Since: 2017

Re: Lag screws vs everything else...

Post by qtip » Mon Jan 14, 2019 5:20 pm

Good points, thinking about it a bit more I think my main concern would be the shaft breaking due to high torques during installation. Oh well, we are looking for less expensive options to anchor our art piece but will probably bite the bullet and get the penetrator anchors.

User avatar
Canoe
Posts: 3747
Joined: Sun Jul 31, 2011 8:01 pm

Re: Lag screws vs everything else...

Post by Canoe » Mon Jan 14, 2019 5:25 pm

qtip wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 5:20 pm
... Oh well, we are looking for less expensive options to anchor our art piece but will probably bite the bullet and get the penetrator anchors.
Make sure you consider: holding it up/down, wind loads, climbing loads.
You're not the first to anchor an art piece. See what others did.
Video games are giving kids unrealistic expectations on how many swords they can carry.
.
... but don't harm the red dragon that frequents the area from time to time. He and I have an agreement.

qtip
Posts: 5
Joined: Sun Jan 13, 2019 4:57 pm
Burning Since: 2017

Re: Lag screws vs everything else...

Post by qtip » Mon Jan 14, 2019 6:15 pm

Canoe wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 5:25 pm
qtip wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 5:20 pm
... Oh well, we are looking for less expensive options to anchor our art piece but will probably bite the bullet and get the penetrator anchors.
Make sure you consider: holding it up/down, wind loads, climbing loads.
You're not the first to anchor an art piece. See what others did.
Yeah, I'm an engineer and we are definitely looking at all of the worst case load combinations. I was mainly interested in seeing whether anybody had used that cheaper piece of hardware, most of the larger installations seem to use the penetrator anchors and there is at least some data on the strength of those.

dkanter
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Aug 17, 2017 6:02 pm
Burning Since: 2016
Camp Name: Labracadabratory

Re: Lag screws vs everything else...

Post by dkanter » Sat Feb 23, 2019 8:59 am

BBadger wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 1:49 am
You probably don't need the 1/2" lag screws, but any normal impact driver/wrench should be able to drive those in.
For example, would these 3/8" drivers work?
https://www.harborfreight.com/power-too ... 68099.html
https://www.harborfreight.com/power-too ... 64197.html

Just want to make sure I have the correct tools :)

LowePro
Posts: 653
Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2012 2:58 pm

Re: Lag screws vs everything else...

Post by LowePro » Sat Feb 23, 2019 9:39 am

We tested a black and Decker that worked fine for lag bolts, and has warranty and better price than those harbor freight ones. Not a super high end tool but does the job on playa. Pm me if you'd like

User avatar
Ratty
Posts: 6218
Joined: Fri Nov 11, 2011 6:43 pm
Burning Since: 2008
Camp Name: Tiger Man

Re: Lag screws vs everything else...

Post by Ratty » Sat Feb 23, 2019 10:06 am

I bought a whole set of Ryobi, (Home Depot Brand), tools for $200 at xmas. The driver worked great. the set came with 2 batteries. Using those new tools all the time for household and yard work.
Those aren't buttermilk biscuits I'm lying on Savannah

Pictures or it didn't happen Greycoyote

Talent hits a target no one else can hit; Genius hits a target no one else can see.
Arthur Schopenhauer

User avatar
Papa Bear
Posts: 432
Joined: Tue Sep 02, 2003 9:36 pm
Burning Since: 2003
Camp Name: Astral Headwash. Not a Placer
Location: Berthoud, Colorado
Contact:

Re: Lag screws vs everything else...

Post by Papa Bear » Wed Feb 27, 2019 3:10 pm

I have not heard good things about the cordless Harbor Freight models for playa lag screw use.

That said, their 1/2" corded model that sells for around $35 during many of their sales has done well for me for the past 5 years.

dkanter
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Aug 17, 2017 6:02 pm
Burning Since: 2016
Camp Name: Labracadabratory

Re: Lag screws vs everything else...

Post by dkanter » Mon Mar 11, 2019 2:26 pm

Thanks to LowePro and Papa Bear for chiming in (PS: Papa Bear, I think you were our placer the last few years, see ya in a few months!!! :) )

LowePro pointed me towards https://www.theplayalabs.com/lags which has a good discussion of lag bolts.

I am probably getting a cordless Black and Decker (with extra battery), and then a corded Harbor Freight as back up. I will get the chucks and sockets locally to ensure they fit.

For those wondering, I bought a single lag screw and have two chain links. Once we order the impact driver, we will test it out here to ensure everything works as planned. Then we will adjust as needed, and then order a full box of lag screws. I expect we will need 2-3 months lead time to test and get all the chains (which can be time consuming).

I am most worried about getting chains that fit correctly, so I am testing and acquiring the chain links locally. I believe we will need 1/2" chains, but we might be able to get away with smaller ones.

DoctorIknow
Posts: 736
Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2004 3:07 pm
Burning Since: 1998
Location: Sacramento

Re: Lag screws vs everything else...

Post by DoctorIknow » Mon Mar 11, 2019 5:06 pm

dkanter wrote:
Mon Mar 11, 2019 2:26 pm
I am most worried about getting chains that fit correctly, so I am testing and acquiring the chain links locally. I believe we will need 1/2" chains, but we might be able to get away with smaller ones.
Chain lengths are tried and true winners, but 3/4" mule tape works fine. Tested for the last two burns in three different camps. Cheaper by far and way too much time on chains no matter how you cut the links.

Also, a friend of mine who knows these things 'cause of his livelihood, told me to go for the Harbor Freight impact sockets. I bought a set (look for their sales) and have had no problems on or off the playa.

See this link for stats about chain costs and photo of how to use mule tape:

https://eplaya.burningman.org/viewtopic ... e#p1152186

LowePro
Posts: 653
Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2012 2:58 pm

Re: Lag screws vs everything else...

Post by LowePro » Tue Mar 12, 2019 9:02 am

Hey, you can put a heavy duty washer on the lag first, then the chain link. That way you don't have to find an exact fit in the size of the chain.

User avatar
Ratty
Posts: 6218
Joined: Fri Nov 11, 2011 6:43 pm
Burning Since: 2008
Camp Name: Tiger Man

Re: Lag screws vs everything else...

Post by Ratty » Tue Mar 12, 2019 9:15 am

I agree with the doctor. Those heavy, costly, time consuming links are overkill. Unless you're putting up a 100 foot circus tent, mule tape does the job.
Those aren't buttermilk biscuits I'm lying on Savannah

Pictures or it didn't happen Greycoyote

Talent hits a target no one else can hit; Genius hits a target no one else can see.
Arthur Schopenhauer

User avatar
Just_Joe
Posts: 999
Joined: Fri Feb 12, 2010 9:04 pm
Burning Since: 2009
Camp Name: Fly Ranch Project
Location: Nevada

Re: Lag screws vs everything else...

Post by Just_Joe » Tue Mar 12, 2019 10:20 am

+1 for chain.

One item keep track of/failure point instead of two (washer + chunk of mule tape).
....which raises the question, if you're using mule tape as your guy line, why bother with the little loop?
In either case, I'd be concerned about tape abrading over time against a possible sharp washer edge. Chain links are smoother.

Lag screw and 1st chain link can be driven slightly subgrade. I wouldn't want to sink muletape into playa (abrasion)

Most of my chain links came from scraps laying around. If slightly small, I put it in a vise lengthwise and gave it a squeeze to widen. I typically only have two links on a screw.

DoctorIknow
Posts: 736
Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2004 3:07 pm
Burning Since: 1998
Location: Sacramento

Re: Lag screws vs everything else...

Post by DoctorIknow » Tue Mar 12, 2019 5:19 pm

Hi Joe,

I hear you on all points, and I'll try to point out that mule tape might not be for everybody. Indeed, I was hesitant to post about the use of mule tape to replace chain links because it is not a panacea-ic solution for many people.
Just_Joe wrote:
Tue Mar 12, 2019 10:20 am

... if you're using mule tape as your guy line, why bother with the little loop?
I initially thought "that loop" had to potential to be the fail point.
line-abrasion-jpg.jpg
The best knots are made to lessen stress on the line, as opposed to the above pic. How would mule tape on mule tape hold up, because as Joe said "Chain links are smoother." One of the greatest things about mule tape is that it is very slippery. Therefore, the abrasion possible in that photo is much less than with any other kind of line I can think of.
Just_Joe wrote:
Tue Mar 12, 2019 10:20 am
...I'd be concerned about tape abrading over time against a possible sharp washer edge.
I've looked very carefully at the mule tape when tearing down shade structures that have been tossing and turning all week, and it is close to non-existant. Only a few of the thousands of hair thickness strands were broken. I, too, sink my lags a little below the surface. To be extra safe and save time, I simply cut the "loops" during teardown and make new ones the next year.
Just_Joe wrote:
Tue Mar 12, 2019 10:20 am
If slightly small, I put it in a vise lengthwise and gave it a squeeze to widen. I typically only have two links on a screw.
It is nice to have a vise that can handle that...but beware anyone who buys what looks like a great vise and then breaks it doing a squeeze like that. There are so many ways, explained in this thread, of how to cut chain...all of them work, and of course a newbie can go there, but the only reason I'm in this thread at all is because I got fed up with rebar year after year after year, with more rebar every year. And after a year with lag screws, I got sick of making new chain links.

Mule tape warning:

The biggest problem with mule tape, is not mule tape, but people who don't have a clue of how to tie a proper knot. Because the mule tape is so slippery, the old "granny" knot, or "this should work" won't cut it with mule tape.

If one can't master a square knot, bowline, and truckers hitch, just forget using mule tape. I've had people wanting to help who can't reliably tie a square knot (it's more of an accident when they do it correctly). "Knot people" say a square knot is not the right one for mule tape, but I found in my "loops" that it is fine and once tight, will not slip.

As simple as this knot is, if one can't repeatedly do it with eyes closed, don't use mule tape to replace chain links:
square knot.png
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

User avatar
BBadger
Posts: 5871
Joined: Wed Jan 19, 2011 10:37 am
Burning Since: 2010
Location: (near) Portland, OR, USA

Re: Lag screws vs everything else...

Post by BBadger » Tue Mar 12, 2019 5:49 pm

Hmm, I might check out the mule tape method, especially if a simple square knot is sufficient to keep it looped. I didn't find cutting chain links was too terrible with a bolt cutter, but my links were not made of as high-quality chain as those mentioned earlier, and I only used two links per screw.
"The essence of tyranny is not iron law. It is capricious law." -- Christopher Hitchens

Hate reading my replies? Click here to add me to your plonk (foe) list.

User avatar
Canoe
Posts: 3747
Joined: Sun Jul 31, 2011 8:01 pm

Re: Lag screws vs everything else...

Post by Canoe » Tue Mar 12, 2019 8:59 pm

DoctorIknow wrote:
Thu Jan 18, 2018 7:11 am
...
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.
...
Most bicycle theives should be able to do that for you in seconds.
Video games are giving kids unrealistic expectations on how many swords they can carry.
.
... but don't harm the red dragon that frequents the area from time to time. He and I have an agreement.

User avatar
Toe
Posts: 58
Joined: Thu Jul 27, 2017 3:10 pm
Burning Since: 2016
Camp Name: Empress

Re: Lag screws vs everything else...

Post by Toe » Sat Mar 16, 2019 1:24 pm

For chain, I kept the cut piece from each segment. (make one cut per link and bend it open) These pieces make handy hooks for guy lines. They also fit over lags that are a little too thick.

Yes, they're not as strong.
No, strength hasn't been an issue.


To cut chain like this, use the type of compact box-shaped chain cutter typically mounted on the wall of a hardware store. Cut through and then keep cranking until the link is splayed open and you can get the adjoining links out.

User avatar
Papa Bear
Posts: 432
Joined: Tue Sep 02, 2003 9:36 pm
Burning Since: 2003
Camp Name: Astral Headwash. Not a Placer
Location: Berthoud, Colorado
Contact:

Re: Lag screws vs everything else...

Post by Papa Bear » Sun Mar 17, 2019 11:02 am

dkanter wrote:
Mon Mar 11, 2019 2:26 pm
(PS: Papa Bear, I think you were our placer the last few years, see ya in a few months!!! :) )
Nope, I can guarantee I wasn't. There's more than one of us out there, which occasionally causes confusion, but after 16 years I don't feel like changing it up.

That said, who knows - we just might see each other out there. :)

User avatar
FIGJAM
Posts: 10236
Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2010 10:39 am
Location: apache junction az.

Re: Lag screws vs everything else...

Post by FIGJAM » Mon Jun 17, 2019 9:07 pm

bump.
"Don't buy ur Burn...........Build ur Burn!"

"If I can't find an answer, I'll create one!!!"

Fuck Im Good Just Ask Me

User avatar
FIGJAM
Posts: 10236
Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2010 10:39 am
Location: apache junction az.

Re: Lag screws vs everything else...

Post by FIGJAM » Tue Jun 18, 2019 8:41 am

Shoeshine wrote:
Sun Sep 13, 2015 1:11 am
Just for shits and giggles one of my campmates set up a test rig for playa fasteners.

A 2x4 tripod, a trailer jack, a crane scale, and some lengths of chain. Did a live demo on-playa.

to keep it fair we used all 10" fasteners

re-bar
timber screw
lag screw

The re-bar failed under 36 kg of upward force and as soon as it lost grip, popped right out
Timber screw under 91 kg of force but it failed slowly and continued to grip w/ about 40 kg until the last 4" or so

*** Lag screw didn't fail until 202 kg of force was applied (almost 450 lbs of frikken force people!) , and as the close up photo shows it heaved the ground around it to a diameter of about 18" ***

now this is just direct upward force (never mind if the load was lateral to the fastener)
and these are just 10" (I used 18" for my structure - I'm now thinking this was way overkill)
driven in by a cheap Ryobi 18v impact driver

So... "SCIENCE !!! BITCHES"

props to Kevin aka Risqué of camp DIY
Just a reminder. 8) 8) 8)
"Don't buy ur Burn...........Build ur Burn!"

"If I can't find an answer, I'll create one!!!"

Fuck Im Good Just Ask Me

User avatar
FlyingMonkey
Posts: 1232
Joined: Sat Nov 12, 2011 10:33 am

Re: Lag screws vs everything else...

Post by FlyingMonkey » Wed Jun 19, 2019 1:23 pm

Ok, it took me a while (maybe I just like to argue) but I'm a lag bolt convert. While I have had my carport hit head-on by a Playa downburst and it lifted slightly (4-6 inches) & deformed, it never completely failed with my rebar. But the simplicity of driving lags really won me over. I know either will do the job but the lags are a more elegant solution.
In your wildest dreams you can not imagine the marvelous SURPRISES that await YOU.

User avatar
Ratty
Posts: 6218
Joined: Fri Nov 11, 2011 6:43 pm
Burning Since: 2008
Camp Name: Tiger Man

Re: Lag screws vs everything else...

Post by Ratty » Wed Jun 19, 2019 4:51 pm

I converted last year. (After not being able to get my rebar out of the ground in 2016.) I have to say it's like heaven.
Those aren't buttermilk biscuits I'm lying on Savannah

Pictures or it didn't happen Greycoyote

Talent hits a target no one else can hit; Genius hits a target no one else can see.
Arthur Schopenhauer

User avatar
FIGJAM
Posts: 10236
Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2010 10:39 am
Location: apache junction az.

Re: Lag screws vs everything else...

Post by FIGJAM » Thu Jun 20, 2019 4:42 am

AH HA.....Diehard Ratty Rebar come to my senses!!! :wink:
"Don't buy ur Burn...........Build ur Burn!"

"If I can't find an answer, I'll create one!!!"

Fuck Im Good Just Ask Me

User avatar
Ratty
Posts: 6218
Joined: Fri Nov 11, 2011 6:43 pm
Burning Since: 2008
Camp Name: Tiger Man

Re: Lag screws vs everything else...

Post by Ratty » Thu Jun 20, 2019 9:39 am

Figjam, for the longest time it didn't seem worth it for only 10 lags. Then all of a sudden it became the only solution. I couldn't get the rebar out. My campmate went to bed and Savannah came by with a friend. They helped me and I vowed, 'never again'. Now I have nothing to dred at the end of the burn.
Those aren't buttermilk biscuits I'm lying on Savannah

Pictures or it didn't happen Greycoyote

Talent hits a target no one else can hit; Genius hits a target no one else can see.
Arthur Schopenhauer

User avatar
FIGJAM
Posts: 10236
Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2010 10:39 am
Location: apache junction az.

Re: Lag screws vs everything else...

Post by FIGJAM » Thu Jun 20, 2019 12:35 pm

I was only doing 9 when I decided that was too many.

2010=rebar

2011=lags...……………….and never looked back. :lol:
"Don't buy ur Burn...........Build ur Burn!"

"If I can't find an answer, I'll create one!!!"

Fuck Im Good Just Ask Me

Kenshiro
Posts: 63
Joined: Fri Oct 06, 2017 6:31 am
Burning Since: 2011

Re: Lag screws vs everything else...

Post by Kenshiro » Thu Jun 20, 2019 9:46 pm

I was never going to use rebar I could never stand seeing the things in different camps sticking out of the ground everywhere waiting for someone to fall on them.

I was in the middle of developing a different solution when a camp-mate mentioned having come across this lag bolt idea, which despite (sorta) requiring power tools requires almost zero physical exertion. Great solution.

maladroit
Posts: 2374
Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2012 10:37 pm
Burning Since: 2012

Re: Lag screws vs everything else...

Post by maladroit » Fri Jun 21, 2019 9:22 pm

It doesn't require power tools. Last year we did a fairly minimal camp and only needed 10 or 12 lag screws. I used a T-handle wrench and a 30" extension, and it was actually too easy. Will just use a speed wrench next time, the T-handle leverage isn't needed.

Basically you want to figure out how to spend less than 30 minutes pulling up your lag screws at the end of the week. With a small number of screws you can do that with hand tools and save the hassle of bringing heavy power tools, a generator, a battery wrench that might die, etc. With a larger number of screws (20+) you start to see the value of power tools because you're getting over that 30 minute mark.

User avatar
Wigwam
Posts: 143
Joined: Sat Jul 05, 2014 10:54 pm
Burning Since: 2011
Camp Name: The Wanderers
Location: Los Angeles

Re: Lag screws vs everything else...

Post by Wigwam » Wed Jun 26, 2019 7:37 am

On the topic of driving the lag screws into the playa, has anyone had success using a high torque cordless drill? High torque hammer drill? I'm trying to do without using a generator and wondering if anyone has tried or had success doing it this way.
The truth is more important than the facts.
I'm not an actor, but I've played one on TV.

Post Reply

Return to “Building Camps & Villages”