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  1. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by eKretz View Post
    Right, so you come here and glean up all the freely given advice from career machinists, welders and mechanics but you're not going to share and help with a subject being discussed when you actually have the opportunity. Instead you just want to deride and tell everyone they're doing it wrong and bound to fail. You're a class act.
    I don't "glean up" any freely given advice on how to machine anything from this group. Some of you guys have been very helpful with projects I have had in the past, when I asked specific questions, I've gotten specific answers from a few very great guys that hang out here. Most of you tell the new guys that this is a professional machinist forum, and to go to home shop machinist.....over and over and over and over and over until it's sickening. I've contributed at least as much here with my knowledge of vintage machinery as I've received. Guys like John Oder and Harry (RIP) were always happy to help a guy learn. The guy complaining above your comment has nothing but vitriol to share with anyone with a question that is some expert level machinist....I don't think I need to explain myself any further than that.

    Tell you what.....ask a specific question about something you're stumped about, and I'll give you a specific professional answer about exactly how to solve the problem. Just like you can't teach me, with words, how to run a CNC lathe or mill ( I have zero interest in learning, btw, as I'm a manual machine guy that makes my own parts for my own business.....and I didn't learn any of that here).

    Raising slabs with buildings sitting on them requires a feel for the machine being used, and an understanding on how frequently to move on down the line, where to drill the holes, knowing where the cracks are already in the floor, and staying away from them so you don't make them worse. Pumping a bunch of material into a void to fill it up because animals dug it up can be done by anyone.

    We raise concrete with a high pressure, gas motor driven pumping system that I have been building myself for 24 years. We pump a very, very thick cement based mortar. If you understand slump factors, it's heavier/thicker than a 2. It sets up rock hard underneath, and also has the added benefit of penetrating into any loose gravel underneath the slab, and packing it tightly again. The reason why the slab settles in the first place is because of, typically, one of 3 problems....1. animal incursion 2. water erosion 3. poorly set base by the original contractor who set the concrete in the first place.

    My company has completed over 60,000 jobs in my 30 year career. I've seen the results, over time, of just about every possible home made remedy, cheap material used (sand or crushed limestone), the latest and absolutely worst ever, poly-foam, as well as quite a few jobs that actually had plain old mud pumped in.

    Low pressure systems can typically leave a lot of air voids under a slab. This happens unless you mix the material/slurry really, really wet (which means it won't set up hard and last a long time), or you drill so many damned holes close to each other in the slab that you are weakening it past the point of future stability anyway. What's the point of fixing a floor that has holes drilled in an 18" or 24" pattern. That floor is going to crack apart over time just from it's own weight, let alone the weight of a building, car, machine, fork lift, etc.....

    If you're the type of guy that doesn't place a value on your own time, and wants to invest days or weeks into devising a contraption to hand pump a slurry, and then not minding the fact that it's probably not going to keep the floor/slab raised a long time because of the low pressure and less than stellar nature of the material used, and then take several days to actually do the work......then there's no cure for that. Go for it.

    I've raised 100,000+ square foot factory floors in a matter of a couple of days. I can raise a 3 car garage floor that settled 8", with an additional 6" void underneath, in a matter of a couple of hours. The material we use sets up rock hard in a matter of a couple of hours. I raise state sanctioned weigh stations and large loading docks where 75,000 lb. trucks can drive over them the next day. Every once in a while, I'll have to go back and replace a few plugs that get blown out. Ideally, you'd want to wait a week before putting that kind of load on a slab, because the cement mix used to plug the holes doesn't reach acceptable strength for about a week.

    What else would you like to know????

    Oh yeah.....forget about trying the 2X6 and car jacks under a sidewalk trick. For every successful one shown on YouTube, I look at a 1000 that were broken in the attempt. Concrete is hard, rigid, and weak. It cracks really easily, and unsupported point loads, like bottle jacks and 2X6's typically break the slabs. 90% of the time.

    Edited: If you have a specific question about a job you're wanting to get done, I'll be happy to answer it. As far as contractors that don't call customers back.....there's no cure for that kind of stupidity. We call every single customer back, including the ones that are well outside our work area. I get calls for projects all over the country, as they find me via my YouTube video on mudjacking, and I call everyone back and at least talk to them and let them know how to find a decent contractor in their area.

    As far as small jobs go, contractors that don't call back on small jobs like sidewalks are not running their businesses very well. We do hundreds of sidewalks and minimum sized jobs every season. I use them to fill the holes in the schedule between the big jobs. If you can't find someone in your area, assuming you live near a populated area, to do your small residential job, then look harder. There are tons of mudjacking contractors all across the country. If you live out in a very small community that is a couple hour drive away from anything, then I can't help you. When I was younger, I ran 4 crews, and we serviced a 60 mile radius from each of my locations. Now, I run one crew, I'm on every job, and I like to fish and spend time with my grand kids. I could easily keep 3 or 4 crews busy now, but these 20-something aged kids don't want to work. I can't find good help anymore that I could trust to run a crew and not kill themselves in the process.

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    Now was that so hard? And yeah I'd say you do indeed freely glean information as a member of this board - does anyone ask you for payment when you get advice or answers to questions? The whole point of this board is to share information and knowledge. We all get and give information and knowledge freely here.

    There are lots here who are happy to help new guys learn - as long as they ask intelligent questions and don't want to argue about why their hobby level machine is just as good as a pro level machine - which is the exact argument you're making against guys using their slow homemade method to raise slabs. The difference is, the guy who started this thread and the other participants only want to fix their own slab. They don't want to go into business in competition with guys that cart around the pro level machines. Nobody is arguing that this equipment is as good as a pro level rig.

    A few tips in general, just like you did in that last post, would have been nice from the start. Nobody was expecting you to write a dissertation... Just a little better than "You're doing it wrong dummy."

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    Quote Originally Posted by hawkfan9 View Post
    I don't "glean up" any freely given advice on how to machine anything from this group. Some of you guys have been very helpful with projects I have had in the past, when I asked specific questions, I've gotten specific answers from a few very great guys that hang out here. Most of you tell the new guys that this is a professional machinist forum, and to go to home shop machinist.....over and over and over and over and over until it's sickening. I've contributed at least as much here with my knowledge of vintage machinery as I've received. Guys like John Oder and Harry (RIP) were always happy to help a guy learn. The guy complaining above your comment has nothing but vitriol to share with anyone with a question that is some expert level machinist....I don't think I need to explain myself any further than that.

    Tell you what.....ask a specific question about something you're stumped about, and I'll give you a specific professional answer about exactly how to solve the problem. Just like you can't teach me, with words, how to run a CNC lathe or mill ( I have zero interest in learning, btw, as I'm a manual machine guy that makes my own parts for my own business.....and I didn't learn any of that here).

    Raising slabs with buildings sitting on them requires a feel for the machine being used, and an understanding on how frequently to move on down the line, where to drill the holes, knowing where the cracks are already in the floor, and staying away from them so you don't make them worse. Pumping a bunch of material into a void to fill it up because animals dug it up can be done by anyone.

    We raise concrete with a high pressure, gas motor driven pumping system that I have been building myself for 24 years. We pump a very, very thick cement based mortar. If you understand slump factors, it's heavier/thicker than a 2. It sets up rock hard underneath, and also has the added benefit of penetrating into any loose gravel underneath the slab, and packing it tightly again. The reason why the slab settles in the first place is because of, typically, one of 3 problems....1. animal incursion 2. water erosion 3. poorly set base by the original contractor who set the concrete in the first place.

    My company has completed over 60,000 jobs in my 30 year career. I've seen the results, over time, of just about every possible home made remedy, cheap material used (sand or crushed limestone), the latest and absolutely worst ever, poly-foam, as well as quite a few jobs that actually had plain old mud pumped in.

    Low pressure systems can typically leave a lot of air voids under a slab. This happens unless you mix the material/slurry really, really wet (which means it won't set up hard and last a long time), or you drill so many damned holes close to each other in the slab that you are weakening it past the point of future stability anyway. What's the point of fixing a floor that has holes drilled in an 18" or 24" pattern. That floor is going to crack apart over time just from it's own weight, let alone the weight of a building, car, machine, fork lift, etc.....

    If you're the type of guy that doesn't place a value on your own time, and wants to invest days or weeks into devising a contraption to hand pump a slurry, and then not minding the fact that it's probably not going to keep the floor/slab raised a long time because of the low pressure and less than stellar nature of the material used, and then take several days to actually do the work......then there's no cure for that. Go for it.

    I've raised 100,000+ square foot factory floors in a matter of a couple of days. I can raise a 3 car garage floor that settled 8", with an additional 6" void underneath, in a matter of a couple of hours. The material we use sets up rock hard in a matter of a couple of hours. I raise state sanctioned weigh stations and large loading docks where 75,000 lb. trucks can drive over them the next day. Every once in a while, I'll have to go back and replace a few plugs that get blown out. Ideally, you'd want to wait a week before putting that kind of load on a slab, because the cement mix used to plug the holes doesn't reach acceptable strength for about a week.

    What else would you like to know????

    Oh yeah.....forget about trying the 2X6 and car jacks under a sidewalk trick. For every successful one shown on YouTube, I look at a 1000 that were broken in the attempt. Concrete is hard, rigid, and weak. It cracks really easily, and unsupported point loads, like bottle jacks and 2X6's typically break the slabs. 90% of the time.

    Edited: If you have a specific question about a job you're wanting to get done, I'll be happy to answer it. As far as contractors that don't call customers back.....there's no cure for that kind of stupidity. We call every single customer back, including the ones that are well outside our work area. I get calls for projects all over the country, as they find me via my YouTube video on mudjacking, and I call everyone back and at least talk to them and let them know how to find a decent contractor in their area.

    As far as small jobs go, contractors that don't call back on small jobs like sidewalks are not running their businesses very well. We do hundreds of sidewalks and minimum sized jobs every season. I use them to fill the holes in the schedule between the big jobs. If you can't find someone in your area, assuming you live near a populated area, to do your small residential job, then look harder. There are tons of mudjacking contractors all across the country. If you live out in a very small community that is a couple hour drive away from anything, then I can't help you. When I was younger, I ran 4 crews, and we serviced a 60 mile radius from each of my locations. Now, I run one crew, I'm on every job, and I like to fish and spend time with my grand kids. I could easily keep 3 or 4 crews busy now, but these 20-something aged kids don't want to work. I can't find good help anymore that I could trust to run a crew and not kill themselves in the process.
    Wasting time with home made pumps ?

    what part of "you professionals won't even return our phone call as the job is not good enough"

    Vitrol ?
    Look in the mirror.

    Looks like I gave of my time and knowledge to you sir:
    Boring bar selection questions

  6. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by eKretz View Post
    Now was that so hard? And yeah I'd say you do indeed freely glean information as a member of this board - does anyone ask you for payment when you get advice or answers to questions? The whole point of this board is to share information and knowledge. We all get and give information and knowledge freely here.

    There are lots here who are happy to help new guys learn - as long as they ask intelligent questions and don't want to argue about why their hobby level machine is just as good as a pro level machine - which is the exact argument you're making against guys using their slow homemade method to raise slabs. The difference is, the guy who started this thread and the other participants only want to fix their own slab. They don't want to go into business in competition with guys that cart around the pro level machines. Nobody is arguing that this equipment is as good as a pro level rig.

    A few tips in general, just like you did in that last post, would have been nice from the start. Nobody was expecting you to write a dissertation... Just a little better than "You're doing it wrong dummy."
    You make some very valid points, Erik. I respect that, and acknowledge it. However, I never, not once, ever said "you're doing it wrong, dummy." Just sayin'. I don't have time to argue back and forth like a bad tennis match, like some guys here love to do. It's the exact reason why so many very talented guys, many who are knowledgeable and willing to help people, don't visit this website anymore. You have to read through such a HUGE pile of bullshit to get to the good stuff. It's tiresome for those of us who aren't retired and have hours and hours and hours to get our jollies trolling people who are just trying to get some help.

    To your point about a what a forum is about.....yep, I'm well aware. I don't feel like regurgitating my resume, but I was a forum moderator on a fairly well respected woodworking forum for a long time, a long time ago. I understand all about the sharing of information. You will never, ever find a post written by me calling out a poster for being basic, rudimentary, or otherwise very beginner-like......unless they've fired the first shot. I don't understand why a machinist group wouldn't want to help and coach along the new, younger guys.

    To your point about comparing my comment as being the same as not wanting to help guys out with their homeshop-type machines. Not the same at all, as it compares to concrete raising/mudjacking. The difference is, if all a guy has is a Southbend or Atlas lathe, he can still make an steel, brass, or aluminum part to perfect specs off a print. He can hit his number perfectly to a thou if understands how to run the machine. It might take all frickin' day long to get there, pulling .010" a pass, but in the end, if the part fits........perfect ending.

    Not so in my industry. The material used and the strength and pressure at which it is pumped in means everything. A home shop built pump that isn't up to proper specs is going to leave a self-made mudjacking project fall short in terms of how long it will last. Going through all that effort to put together a less than stellar system to raise a shop floor, a grain silo, a patio, a front sidewalk, or any other concrete raising project, and have the job last a year or two before settling, is just an unwise expenditure of money and time in my opinion. In that instance, it would be a lot less expensive and more efficient use of time to pay a pro to do it.

    To Digger Doug

    I have no idea where you live. I am not from Pennsylvania. I find it difficult to believe that you can not find a contractor to raise your sidewalk. My minimum charge is $375, and that is for small sidewalk jobs, 1 to 5 squares of sidewalk, that need raising and leveling. Front entrances. We do a thousand of them a year, and I don't make a lot of money on them, but they lead to thousands and thousands and thousands of happy customers who refer us, and that leads to the much bigger jobs. Like I said in my previous post......the small jobs pay off over time. We take them all, and we treat the customers with the same level of professionalism that spend $400 as we do for the customers who spend $40,000. Over the course of a career, it all adds up to a happy life, a fishing rig, and a decent workshop to play in.

    As far as metalworking equipment goes, I don't have home shop type stuff. I have vintage machines, because I love them. I have a 1957 Monarch Series 61 tool room lathe, 18" X 54". Works absolutely awesome, and I regularly pull .500" in one pass, and the machine doesn't even notice it. My mills (2) are a 1946 K&T 2K universal with the hi-speed vertical head attachment and parking attachment. Horizontal mill, of course, that's also doubles as a powerful vertical mill. I also own a Bridgeport 2J that I really don't use as a mill. It's used strictly for drilling and boring. I do all the milling jobs on the K&T. Stronger and faster.

    Doug-thanks for your input on the boring bar thread. You're a very wise and knowledgeable machinist. It's obvious when you post with that intent. What pisses me off is how often you feel the urge to be the forum bully. Turns my stomach to be truthful. Maybe pretend some of these young new guys are potentially the future of the trade, and help them out a bit. Besides being a mudjacking contractor, I've run a pretty successful cabinet and furniture making business for 35 plus years, as well. I don't dip the new guys asking beginner questions in acid on the woodworking forums. I answer their questions and try to help them. You never know when you're helping a young guy, who's just getting started, to become the next talented success story that keeps the trade alive. When we die with our knowledge, and don't pass it along to the next 2 generations, it's gone forever. That's my .02 on that subject, so you won't see my firing away at the new guys asking dumbass questions. No such thing to the new guys......

    Keep looking for a mudjacking contractor. You're bound to find someone who will take care of your sidewalk. If you weren't 800 miles away, I'd do it for you for free, just as an olive branch extended.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hawkfan9 View Post
    You make some very valid points, Erik. I respect that, and acknowledge it. However, I never, not once, ever said "you're doing it wrong, dummy."

    To your point about comparing my comment as being the same as not wanting to help guys out with their homeshop-type machines. Not the same at all, as it compares to concrete raising/mudjacking. The difference is, if all a guy has is a Southbend or Atlas lathe, he can still make an steel, brass, or aluminum part to perfect specs off a print. He can hit his number perfectly to a thou if understands how to run the machine. It might take all frickin' day long to get there, pulling .010" a pass, but in the end, if the part fits........perfect ending.

    Not so in my industry. The material used and the strength and pressure at which it is pumped in means everything. A home shop built pump that isn't up to proper specs is going to leave a self-made mudjacking project fall short in terms of how long it will last. Going through all that effort to put together a less than stellar system to raise a shop floor, a grain silo, a patio, a front sidewalk, or any other concrete raising project, and have the job last a year or two before settling, is just an unwise expenditure of money and time in my opinion. In that instance, it would be a lot less expensive and more efficient use of time to pay a pro to do it.
    Snipped a little, but as regards your first point, you didn't say as much in so many words, but when I read your first post, that seemed to be the gist to me. I tend to shorten things and get to the point; I'm not as wordy as you. I can be a little blunt, but no offense intended.

    To your second point, I'd say that at least a couple guys here have mentioned having their jacking done by a "pro" and had it sag back within a couple years - exactly what you say shouldn't happen when the work is done by a pro. So... If it's going to happen anyway, what's the harm in doing it yourself?

    Your work might be better than these other "pro" guys, but how is a common fellow to know that? You could call around for hours and visit sites that have been jacked by different "pro" contractors but that could take ages if you could even do it. If the chances are that you could just about do as good a job yourself and have the equipment sitting for the eventuality of another sag, I don't see the problem.

    Edit: just took a peek at that boring bar thread link. You are making your own mud pump? Kinda' confused on why it's okay for you to do that but someone else doing it is doomed to failure?

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    Quote Originally Posted by eKretz View Post

    Edit: just took a peek at that boring bar thread link. You are making your own mud pump? Kinda' confused on why it's okay for you to do that but someone else doing it is doomed to failure?
    A fair assumption without more information, but incorrect. I've been fabricating my own mudjacking pumps for 24 years. I have an engineering education with knowledge in hydraulics, and finally put that over priced education to work for myself (nothing special about any of that, btw....all information can be gotten with a little online research, as I'm sure every one would agree).

    I'll try to be less wordy in the future.

    I had a business relationship with an elderly gentleman who did all my machining work for me. I handled fabrication, assembly, and acquisition and application of all the hydraulic components. Ron (my machinist) made all the components of the pumping assembly that required precision machining. At the time, I had no experience running a lathe or mill. My last order from him was 15 years ago, and I had him make me, what I thought, was a lifetime of parts. 50 pumping tubes, along with a bunch of other assemblies. He was happy to get that business, and I was happy with the prices he did the fantastic work for. Sadly, fast forward 15 years, and I used up all my machined parts, and he sadly passed away.

    I couldn't find a local machine shop that wanted to work with me to make the parts I needed for anywhere near what I deemed a reasonable price, to me. So, I decided to learn to do it myself.

    Those parts were being installed in my pumps for the past 24 years. I just needed a whole bunch more, and several mudjacking contractors who purchased pumps from me also needed replacement parts. I would supply those who didn't want to source their own machinists locally to them.

    Hope that clears up the issue.

    To be clear......I couldn't care less if anyone builds their own mudjacking pumps. I started building my own because the ones available on the open market were poorly constructed and lacking. I already owned 5 of them from a large supplier of mudjacking equipment, and already had rebuilt all of them to be better. Trial and error....

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    Erik

    To your comment about "how" is a fella to know who the good professionals are?

    My answer to that would be doing your homework. With todays internet, you can check online ratings of a company from verified customers pretty easily. My company is rated on FB, Google, Yelp, and quite a few other services, as well.

    I agree, it isn't easy to know which process is correct. A lot of contractors in my industry use less than desirable processes and materials. Poly-foam is one of them. I've never seen a material that has such short lasting results, even though the companies selling it's use declare that it's the greatest thing since sliced bread. I've had a couple different companies go in, and quickly out, of business pumping with poly-foam. The stuff is biodegradable, and the insects/ants get into it quickly. I've literally pulled sheets of the stuff out from underneath concrete that was raised with it, and they were filled with ants, and completely crushed by the weight of the concrete. Stay away from that stuff at all costs. We are currently re-raising quite a few jobs in the past few years that were raised by a local new guy that is doing a great job of destroying the reputation of the industry, as a whole.

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    what is "poly-foam"? polyurethane? 2-K?

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    turns my stomach too when I see diggers name.
    Gw

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    Quote Originally Posted by dian View Post
    what is "poly-foam"? polyurethane? 2-K?
    Polyurethane.....the cheap way to do a raising job, but with a lot of pitfalls down the road. In my area, several contractors have come and gone that used this product, and we've had to re-raise a lot of them just a few years after they were done initially. Not recommended.

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    If around 100 psi is needed just grab the cheapest large compressor on craigslist and fill the pressure tank with grout. Plumb a hose to the drain valve and voila, you have a grout pump. Probably works for sausage meat too.


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