Concrete Forms

Here you will find general information, strategies, and techniques when building concrete forms in carpentry. Concrete forms are built to hold wet concrete. Once the form is built the wet concrete gets poured in the form, this is usually done by a truck, wheel borrow, or shovel.

When the concrete dries the form is then stripped. After the form is stripped you will have your finish product. This method is used commonly when building bridges, curves, and foundation of buildings, pillar, and walls. Majority of this work is done outside in extreme weather conditions.

Doing this work is very exciting. Sometimes carpenters are working in the middle of highways as cars are passing by at high speeds. Or they may be required to walk across a plank carrying a sheet of plywood on a windy day and one wrong move and they fall into a lake. Now that’s exciting. In this area carpenters get dirty as well, having to work in the mud and rain swinging a hammer trying to put nails in wood or using a sledge hammer trying to sink a four foot steak in muddy ground. This is the Hardcore part of carpentry building concrete forms.

TOOLS-that you will need are as follows; hammer, pliers, chisel, speed square, level, chalk box, utility knife, tape measure, sledge hammer, plumb bob or laser

Common Power Tools- skill saw, drill, chop saw, screw gun, generator, demo saw

MATERIALS-2by4's, plywood, Symons forms, sheet metal, J clamps, snap ties

Tips and Techinques

_Before building the concrete form all material such as plywood and two by fours should be inspected for cracks and serious flaws. Using messed up material will give you weak parts in your form and result to a blow out meaning wet concrete pours or blows out the form which means you failed to do the job right. A carpenter’s main objective is to not have blowouts plain and simple.

_While building remember to build accordingly to what your customer wants

_Always brace and support your forms correctly. There are no short cuts.

_Its better to overbuild than it is to under build. Overbuilding assures you that there will not be any blow out.

_Using the right nails for the job is very important. Using the wrong size nails can result to a blow out. Also use enough nails.

_All steaks metal or wood should be nailed in the ground until they are at least 3 feet in.

_When swinging your hammer remember it’s all in the wrist let your wrist do the swinging

_After you are done building the form look over your work make sure you did not forget anything

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Here are some more tips in concrete and carpentry training.

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