Lag screws vs everything else...

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LowePro
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Re: Lag screws vs everything else...

Post by LowePro » Wed Jun 26, 2019 7:49 am

Power drill: No, have not had good luck with it.
Cordless impact driver: Yes definitely. That's the way to go. You don't need a genny for that. Just 2 charged up batteries. Each battery should be good for a few dozen lag screws.

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BBadger
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Re: Lag screws vs everything else...

Post by BBadger » Wed Jun 26, 2019 4:25 pm

Drills aren't good for lag screws because the bits are meant to freely spin as they bore, not catch on hard materials. When using a drill as a mechanical screwdriver you don't want the "bit" to freely spin. However, unless it is relatively easy to screw into the ground, the screw-bit will catch, reflecting the twisting force of the drill into the arms of the operator -- which can be dangerous.

Hammer drills don't improve on this because they ram the bit downward to help break up the material like a hammer, or to force the bit into the material to carve out greater amounts at a time. This action is not helpful for embedding a screw into the ground, because even if it allows the screw to bore into the ground better, it might damage the ability of the material to hold the screw.

Contrast this to an impact driver, that applies a rotational force to help the screw rotate itself into the ground. The individual impacts don't reflect much into the operator because the impact driver is designed under the assumption that the screw does not spin freely.

You can try drilling out a pilot hole first and trying to drill the lag screw into that; however, it will not hold as well as a screw embedded into the ground using an impact driver.

If you don't want to use a generator, pre-charge your batteries and use those. Often a full charge will be enough for your lag screws for the trip. Usually the only reason I bring the drill along with the impact driver is that the battery is attached to it and I can swap it out when I need it.
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Wigwam
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Re: Lag screws vs everything else...

Post by Wigwam » Wed Jun 26, 2019 4:36 pm

Thanks, I'll heed your advice. Lag screws, here I come!
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Ratty
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Re: Lag screws vs everything else...

Post by Ratty » Wed Jun 26, 2019 5:24 pm

I bought practically the cheapest impact driver you can get. I got a set of 5 power tools plus lots more stuff and 2 batteries and a charger for $200. HD brand. (The lime green ones.) The set was normally $300. It worked like a charm for my lags. I use all the other tools around the house for landscaping and minor projects. I'm not giving up my plug in circular saw. Some of the tools in this set are like Fisher Price.
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Wigwam
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Re: Lag screws vs everything else...

Post by Wigwam » Thu Jun 27, 2019 2:43 pm

Yeah, I heard that. I have a cordless circular saw that is practically worthless. My impact driver is cheap, but with a couple extra batteries, who knows? I think it's time to make the leap and I'll bring extra rebar just as a back up.
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Ratty
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Re: Lag screws vs everything else...

Post by Ratty » Thu Jun 27, 2019 2:58 pm

Wigwam. Don't bring rebar as a backup. Bring hand tools. Ratchet, speed wrench, t-bar. You bring 2 batteries and faith. Give your driver a test in the yard. You'll have more confidence after that.
Those aren't buttermilk biscuits I'm lying on Savannah

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DoctorIknow
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Re: Lag screws vs everything else...

Post by DoctorIknow » Thu Jun 27, 2019 6:17 pm

This combo below works for me. Total cost about $25 and I actually use the breaker bar outside of the playa, unlike T-handle or speed wrench, which off the playa I only use for nuts or bolts that have already been "released" from the high torque they were tightened with. Most speed wrenchs only have an effective "handle" length of 6" to 8", and for an 18" lag that has its bottom 5" screwed into very hard and wet lake bottom, forget that speed wrench.
ratchet adapter.png
breaker bar.png
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Ginephre
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Re: Lag screws vs everything else...

Post by Ginephre » Tue Jul 16, 2019 10:24 am

Hey y’all, just want to clarify- lag screw (pointy end) or lag bolt (flat end)?


Thanks!!

DoctorIknow
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Re: Lag screws vs everything else...

Post by DoctorIknow » Tue Jul 16, 2019 11:16 pm

Lag bolts are pretty rare, although many refer to lag screws as lag bolts.
Here is a 1" x 12" lag bolt used for tree houses these days:
lag bolt.png
The "lag" name is really about the threads, which are obviously made for wood.

Supposedly, the word "lag" comes from:
from lag; the screw was originally used to fasten barrel staves.
the insulating casing of a steam cylinder, boiler, etc; lagging
a stave or lath - from 1665–75; < Scandinavian; compare Swedish lagg stave
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FlyingMonkey
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Re: Lag screws vs everything else...

Post by FlyingMonkey » Wed Jul 17, 2019 6:18 am

Ratty wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 2:58 pm
Wigwam. Don't bring rebar as a backup. Bring hand tools. Ratchet, speed wrench, t-bar. You bring 2 batteries and faith. Give your driver a test in the yard. You'll have more confidence after that.
Yeah,

Plan A = Drill
Plan B = Spin handle
Plan C = Ratchet (it sucks but still works)
Plan D = Vice grips & a lot of swearing
Plan E = Chain & bumper of truck
Plan F = Find FIGJAM before exodus (because it's all his fault you used lag screws bolts I mean screws)

Don't put more than 1 in any single container because that will be the one you forget to take. Spares are not a bad thing.
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Drizzt321
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Re: Lag screws vs everything else...

Post by Drizzt321 » Thu Jul 18, 2019 3:17 pm

DoctorIknow wrote:
Tue Mar 12, 2019 5:19 pm
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


I agree with you on the mule tape! Very easy to use and cheap. Bonus, you can also use it with your ratchets so if you have one that is getting janky you can use some mule tape as well. Or you lose one.

Although the water knot is better. Should be strong given how slippery mule tape is. I find it holds quite well. After tying I give it some good tugs from the inside of the loop to help make sure it's seated. Never had it slip loose at all.

Animated Knots version
And this one shows you climbers and such will use it as well https://www.canyoneeringusa.com/techtip ... ng-anchor/

sunrise_giraffe
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Re: Lag screws vs everything else...

Post by sunrise_giraffe » Tue Jul 30, 2019 10:52 pm

What’s the consensus on a good lag screw diameter and length for an EMT flat top shade structure? Sounds like 3/8” x 14” is popular. I’ve seen other people here talk about 1/2” x 18” and 1/2” x 24”.

If size matters, our structure will be 30ft x 60ft and 8ft tall. Solid 10ft x 12ft top tarps and shade cloth side tarps.

I’m fine going overkill, always happy to be over prepared and sleep soundly. Pretty sure my impact wrench can drive any of these sized lags, it’s rated at 1000ft-lbs of fastening torque.

Excited to say goodbye to rebar!

Kenshiro
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Re: Lag screws vs everything else...

Post by Kenshiro » Wed Jul 31, 2019 10:45 am

sunrise_giraffe wrote:
Tue Jul 30, 2019 10:52 pm
What’s the consensus on a good lag screw diameter and length for an EMT flat top shade structure? Sounds like 3/8” x 14” is popular. I’ve seen other people here talk about 1/2” x 18” and 1/2” x 24”.

If size matters, our structure will be 30ft x 60ft and 8ft tall. Solid 10ft x 12ft top tarps and shade cloth side tarps.

I’m fine going overkill, always happy to be over prepared and sleep soundly. Pretty sure my impact wrench can drive any of these sized lags, it’s rated at 1000ft-lbs of fastening torque.

Excited to say goodbye to rebar!
I’m assuming 10’x12’ also represents the spacing between lags.

Personally I would do 1/2” by 18”. Even if that’s probably just extra safety factor most years. You purchase it once and reuse several years without a second thought. 3/8”x14” on the other hand, sure you probably would still be fine most years but then the random year comes up where the playa is particularly soft and things end up windy. You’re most likely still in the clear but that doesn’t mean you aren’t worrying about it. Also the 3/8” are much easier to get bent up after which you probably either replace them or expend the hassle to straighten them. Easily worth spending the extra to never have to fret or worry about ever, in my mind.

And yeah, your 1000ftlb impact wrench will be completely unchallenged with either size. Even basic 120-150ftlb impact drivers can handle 1/2”x18” lags in this application. Although I feel like I’ve come across a non-trivial number of stories of even the “prosumer”-level brands dying after a couple years while heftier impact wrenches even from “budget” brands go years and years. Being able to handle a task vs lasting for years under the workloads are different things. So I’ve decided to make my 300ftlb Ryobi impact my playa “mainstay”, avoid using my smaller impact drivers on lags too much, and then keep my 1000ftlb Makita stowed away as an insurance policy. No need to expose the spendier uber-impact to a lot of playa dust if it isn’t necessary.

sunrise_giraffe
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Re: Lag screws vs everything else...

Post by sunrise_giraffe » Wed Jul 31, 2019 2:30 pm

Kenshiro wrote:
Wed Jul 31, 2019 10:45 am
And yeah, your 1000ftlb impact wrench will be completely unchallenged with either size. Even basic 120-150ftlb impact drivers can handle 1/2”x18” lags in this application. Although I feel like I’ve come across a non-trivial number of stories of even the “prosumer”-level brands dying after a couple years while heftier impact wrenches even from “budget” brands go years and years. Being able to handle a task vs lasting for years under the workloads are different things. So I’ve decided to make my 300ftlb Ryobi impact my playa “mainstay”, avoid using my smaller impact drivers on lags too much, and then keep my 1000ftlb Makita stowed away as an insurance policy. No need to expose the spendier uber-impact to a lot of playa dust if it isn’t necessary.
Oh that’s great to hear. I’ve also got a much smaller and lighter Milwaukee 2555 impact wrench that can drive 250ft-lbs, I’ll bring both but try using that one first.

Kenshiro
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Re: Lag screws vs everything else...

Post by Kenshiro » Wed Jul 31, 2019 5:14 pm

sunrise_giraffe wrote:
Wed Jul 31, 2019 2:30 pm
Oh that’s great to hear. I’ve also got a much smaller and lighter Milwaukee 2555 impact wrench that can drive 250ft-lbs, I’ll bring both but try using that one first.
The Stubbie is such a cool tool. I’d still pay some attention not because of the power (it has more than enough), but because of the small size relative to the potential for heat accumulation. Disclaimer because this is me speaking speculatively based on experiences I’ve read from other people, but driving lags while not requiring that much total torque relative to what impacts are made for present a sustained load on the tool, and several lags in succession only stack on to that. And it’s already hot out on the playa so the tool has less ability to vent heat out. I don’t think any of this is anything magical, just pace a bit, pay attention to how hot the tool gets. And try not to let too much dust get in the tools.

sunrise_giraffe
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Re: Lag screws vs everything else...

Post by sunrise_giraffe » Wed Jul 31, 2019 7:00 pm

Kenshiro wrote:
Wed Jul 31, 2019 5:14 pm
The Stubbie is such a cool tool. I’d still pay some attention not because of the power (it has more than enough), but because of the small size relative to the potential for heat accumulation.
Makes sense, thanks for the warning. In prior years using rebar I’ve partially anchored down the structure while building it, and then fully tightened the supports after it’s fully assembled. Was planning to do the same this time so the impact wrench should have an opportunity to cool down.

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