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OffTopic~ Big block of stone

JoeE.

Titanium
Joined
Aug 31, 2006
Location
Kansas
OffTopic~ Moving a big block of stone

My employer is having some new railroad track laid. There is a contractor out there doing lots of dirt work. Was out there snooping in the brush and found a bunch of these big blocks of cut limestone along the right of way. From some early railroad installation... not from a bridge abutment or culvert.... no streams close. Not sure what they were for.

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I got to thinking~ One of them would sure look good in my yard. Maybe make a mailbox holder out of one :)

So, my maintenance of way contact spoke to the trackhoe operator and he said he'd pick them up and load them on our trucks, no problem.

Well, the first one he brought out was broken... about 1/3rd of it had broke off, but laying in the brush it looked all together. He brings it up and proceeds to gently let it out of the bucket and lay it on the bed of my old 1962 1 ton Dodge. I didn't see it was two pieces til it was too late.

First thing that happens is the small piece slides out and plops right down on the bed. The big piece, however, tumbles out over the hump created by the bucket teeth and proceeds to flip over and roll off the side of the truck and land on the ground :eek: . That about mashed the springs and everything else flat. THAT IS ONE BIG BLOCK OF STONE! It's about 4 foot square and 32" thick.

So, the operator gently scoops the block back up and this time places it right on the bed.

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Truck is wayyyy down on the overloads. I was a little dissatisfied with having a broken block of stone. But, there was more to load on the other guys 1 ton Chevy... a newer model. So, they told me to get out of the way so he could load his TWO blocks.

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I think the two he picked were just one big block that happened to be split exactly in half. Anyhow, he got his truck in place and the skilled operator scooped up those 2.
I asked what size that bucket was classified as... 4 yard is what I think he said. It's a monster. So, he got those loaded on the Chevy.

I got to thinking that I may have bit off more than I could chew. Number one, the block is a MONSTER and I actually would have no way to move the thing once it dropped on the ground. Number 2, it was broken and that was unsuitable. I went down and pointed out one of the smaller blocks and told him I'd like to dump what I had and have him pick that smaller one out and load it for me, instead. He agreed.

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Here it is sliding off the bed. There is a video, but it is lost in cyberspace. Tried to get it to youtube so I could link to it, but no luck. It's lost out there.

Those springs raised up probably 6 inches when that block slid off! If you look at the back of this side of the bed, you can see how the edge is bent over. That's a 10 gauge steel lip about 5 inches tall. The sides of the bed stick up that far and the wood sides that are usually on there rest atop that lip... keeps sand and gravel from getting out from under the sides. It smashed that steel right over when the block slid off when he first loaded it.

So, he scooped the broken block parts up and dumped them over to the side and fetched the smaller one and loaded it for me. It's 42" x 32" x about 25" thick. I can probably manhandle that block.

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Ray Behner

Diamond
Joined
Mar 27, 2009
Location
Brunswick Oh USA
You sure wouldn't get away with that in Ohio. You need a breakaway mailbox. Can you imagine someone sliding on the ice and hitting your big rock! Lawsuit time.
 

JoeE.

Titanium
Joined
Aug 31, 2006
Location
Kansas
A guy who works setting gravestones for a local company saw my facebook pictures of the big blocks and wrote me and said by the dimensions of the large blocks I had listed- if they were granite- would weigh in the neighborhood of 8000 pounds.

He said he has a chart detailing the weights of assorted types of stone that he has to use when making lifts and setting stones out in the cemeteries with their big boom truck... what they weigh per cubic foot and all that. I wouldn't have thought that a cubic foot of limestone would have much difference in weight compared to a block of granite the same size, but they do.
 

Ray Behner

Diamond
Joined
Mar 27, 2009
Location
Brunswick Oh USA
Really? Wow, what happens when someone slides into a stop light or power pole?

Hey, it's the government! Everything has to have a degree of breakaway. They say no brick, stone or other masonary structures for mail boxes. Even though they're everywhere around here. And I guess I'd rather not hit one myself.
 

JoeE.

Titanium
Joined
Aug 31, 2006
Location
Kansas
You sure wouldn't get away with that in Ohio. You need a breakaway mailbox. Can you imagine someone sliding on the ice and hitting your big rock! Lawsuit time.


Didn't know that. If that' true for Ks., there is a fellow I know who is in violation of the law. Years ago he was having trouble out in the country with vandals smashing his mailbox, even driving over it and knocking the whole thing down.

In retaliation, he drilled a hole with his tractors' posthole auger and shoved a piece of 8 inch pipe in place and mounted the box atop that. After that, they would drive up against it and shove the whole thing over at an angle~ didn't mess with the box, just showed him he hadn' won yet. He'd straighten it back up and they'd do it again.

So, next step he pulled the pipe out, made a bigger hole and embedded the pipe in concrete below ground level, filled the pipe with cement, then welded what look like harpoons sticking out horizontally in all directions from the pipe and , with his reasoning that "if the sumbitches come driving up and think they're gonna push the pipe over and ruin the thing again, they'll be stuck to the post and won't be able to get away."

I know all the details because I am friends with both sides of that situation :D and got to hear the story as each episode occurred. The guys doing it were a couple of farmboy neighbors of his. They didn't do the original damage- smashing the mailbox- but they said after listening to the victim piss and moan about it so much they decided to egg him on by keeping up the post shoving so he'd really get wound up. Didn't hurt the mailbox itself, just shove the post over. Ah, teen age boys and their 4x4 trucks ;) .

Well, I was being facetious when I said I'd use it for a mailbox holder. I have this old railroad switch stand to hold my mailbox.

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I actually want to put it up in my yard and mount an old steam locomotive bell on it. It's already mounted on a block of stone that came from a building being demolished downtown.... but that block isn't impressive enough. I want something BIG.

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hickstick_10

Stainless
Joined
Oct 26, 2009
Location
BC Canada
Was that truck buried under the rock you found?
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wgnrr1

Hot Rolled
Joined
Feb 14, 2008
Location
Spooner, WI
When I was in High School, we had kids going around smashing mailboxes. I can't remember who it was, but he took the big box, and put a small one inside it, then filled between the 2 with concrete. He would sit up at night and listen. They came one night and he said he heard the hit and lots of screaming in pain. Next morning he found a shattered Louiville Slugger. They never tried it again!

As far as I understood, its illegal to put your mailbox on anything that can not be broken off.

Josh
 

CBlair

Diamond
Joined
Sep 23, 2002
Location
Lawrenceville GA USA
As far as I understood, its illegal to put your mailbox on anything that can not be broken off.

Josh

I understand that the post office does have rules about that, although I have never heard of anyone actually getting in trouble for it. I suppose like some other laws, it only takes effect if something bad does happen. Around here there are old iron plows and other bits of farm machinery holding up mailboxes and some brick ones. If someone was to hit one and gets hurt I could see where they could use the law to sue you for it but I doubt that any cop in town would really bother his time to write you a ticket for a mailbox stand not meeting standards.

Love the RR switch, that block should hold the bell just fine, get us a photo once you have it sorted out.

Charles
 

Hdpg

Stainless
Joined
Feb 19, 2009
Location
Vancouver, B.C. Canada
.... It's 42" x 32" x about 25" thick. I can probably manhandle that block.....

At this point I stopped and thought 'that is a bit optimistic'. So I looked up the density of limestone: If you can manhandle that I would never challenge you to an arm wrestle:D

But I like your ambition. No insult intended, more admiration; this is the type of over the top crazy venture I have occasionally taken on mostly for fun. Some wroked some didn't but all were fun.
 

bridgedog

Hot Rolled
Joined
Feb 22, 2012
Location
southern Or.
Being in the bridge building industry I often find bridge salvage to bring home. It almost always grows in size from loading to unloading at the house. I also would have brought them home.:D
 

dgfoster

Diamond
Joined
Jun 14, 2008
Location
Bellingham, WA
Really? Wow, what happens when someone slides into a stop light or power pole?

Modern road signs, guard rails, and traffic signals are engineered to be reasonably strong and yet shear off when needed. This is most obvious if you look at guard rail posts installed in the last ten years. Just above ground level they are bored with a large hole oriented parallel to traffic travel. If you look at photos of crashes of cars and trucks into light signal standards you will see they often shear off at the base where the four leveling bolts are located--that is no "accident."

Weakening power poles would not make sense as as they are already of a minimum size to do the job---but they are located as much as possible back from the edge of the road whereas mailboxes have to be close to the road edge to function.

I think it make s a lot of sense to have a regulation preventing placement of potentially lethal structures next to roadways. This is to prevent the many people seemingly lacking common sense from needlessly endangering others. Not so important until you are the one sliding down the road in an ice storm etc. Having lived in the Midwest while growing up, I have had my share of experiences driving on snow and ice. Probably not a real issue in a residential area with low speeds (as it looks in the OP's photo) but a real issue on country roads and highways.

Denis
 

JoeE.

Titanium
Joined
Aug 31, 2006
Location
Kansas
Being in the bridge building industry I often find bridge salvage to bring home. It almost always grows in size from loading to unloading at the house. I also would have brought them home.:D

A friend is in the salvage yard business. Back in the late 70's he got hooked up with a guy who was tearing out abandoned railroad lines and bridges up in Illinois (or Indiana, 1 of the 2). He brought home all kinds of big, neat stuff.

He brought home a bunch of big sandstone blocks~ several semi trailer loads. What he ended up doing was building a house and having some masons split the blocks into usable size stones and they veneered the side of the house with that!

Best part was the fireplace he had them build. The room has a cathedral ceiling, and the rough stone goes all the way to the ceiling. The mantle piece is a big long, wide block that has the date 1882 engraved in nice big Roman lettering... for the date the bridge was built. Excellent reuse of material, I thought.
 

bridgedog

Hot Rolled
Joined
Feb 22, 2012
Location
southern Or.
We are currently replacing a railroad swing bridge over the Willamette river that was built in 1906. When I first got to the job I commented on how good the concrete was on top of the piers.
When they stopped laughing at me they told me to look again. All of the piers are capped with marble! This includes the swing span pier which has a 27 foot dia. ring gear. The next 30 hour tear out is scheduled for the end of the month. I will try to get some pictures.
 








 
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