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Wood Bucks in Adobe Masonry

KZQuixote

Sawhorse
Joined
Nov 9, 2010
Messages
503
Location
Bend, Oregon
Any of you folks ever work with adobe masonry? In a couple of weeks I'm going to Death Valley to install the first of many wood bucks to accept wood doors and windows. I've got some ideas as to how I'm going to secure wood 2X6's to adobe bricks that were laid in 1926, but I'd appreciate any experience you may have had with adobe.

I know, who would go to do a job in Death Valley in June. In this case the job chose me.

Bill
 

fatboy

Administrator
Joined
Oct 17, 2009
Messages
6,611
Location
Northern CO
eeek! Death Valley? I would think some sort of epoxy anchor app would be best myself. Good luck! Hydrate!
 

KZQuixote

Sawhorse
Joined
Nov 9, 2010
Messages
503
Location
Bend, Oregon
fatboy said:
eeek! Death Valley? I would think some sort of epoxy anchor app would be best myself. Good luck! Hydrate!
Hi FB,

I've been doing a bunch of research and found that many restorers in the past have resorted to portland cement only to find that their repairs are too stiff. I'm now planning to use neutral cure silicone as a bedding for the bucks. Silicone will bond to the straw and still let the differential movements occur.

I'll post the pics after I've installed the first buck. This job is a multi-million dollar effort, I've only got to set the first buck demonstrating the technique, after which the RDP's get to pick at it and possibly approve it.

Bill
 

Alias

Registered User
Joined
Oct 26, 2009
Messages
1,649
Location
State of Disbelief
Frank said:
I would think mud and straw mixtureScotty's Castle?
Agree with Frank on that one. I have lived in an adobe home and it is definitely a interesting type of construction. You might want to check with someone in N.M. for how to do it if it is a historical building. I seem to remember a news article (20+ years ago) on someone in Taos, N.M. and making adobe bricks.

Sue
 

codeworks

Gold Member
Joined
Jun 12, 2011
Messages
580
Location
South Texas
look up some info on adobe buildings. i'd be inclined to use "gringo blocks". you may have to remove a couple of abobe blocks in each side of weach doorway to install them. they are small "frames" basically, that sit in the adobe, hold the door in place and the sides are hidden by trim and mud plaster
 

KZQuixote

Sawhorse
Joined
Nov 9, 2010
Messages
503
Location
Bend, Oregon
codeworks said:
look up some info on adobe buildings. i'd be inclined to use "gringo blocks". you may have to remove a couple of abobe blocks in each side of weach doorway to install them. they are small "frames" basically, that sit in the adobe, hold the door in place and the sides are hidden by trim and mud plaster
"Gringo Blocks"?

"they are small "frames" basically, that sit in the adobe, hold the door in place and the sides are hidden by trim and mud plaster"

Are you talking about a buck? If so, that's what I'm being asked to install.

Bill
 

KZQuixote

Sawhorse
Joined
Nov 9, 2010
Messages
503
Location
Bend, Oregon
OK, It's started. Till now no one has opinions but now that I'm coming the specs are flowing freely. Get this, I must anchor my pressure treated bucks to the mud and straw bricks with 3/4" anchor bolts set in epoxy. Additionally, the side bucks are topped by the head buck all of which are connected on the outside by steel angles. Let's see, I screw the head to the jambs and then get to fit a 41" buck into a 38" opening. Has this enjuneer ever installed a buck? Every buck I've ever installed in a concrete or masonry wall depended on the head to maintain the side buck spacing. That means sides first, head last.

Bill
 

KZQuixote

Sawhorse
Joined
Nov 9, 2010
Messages
503
Location
Bend, Oregon
I've accomplished the first step. I removed a door to one of the employee housing rooms and installed two side jamb bucks. Couldn't use a head as there wasn't enough height.

This is the building in which we're to replace all the windows and doors. My job is just to develop and document the technique of anchoring a wood buck to the adobe masonry.

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This guy was the quality assurance officer:

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Outside view of the jamb before we tore into it:

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It turns out that this building was built much like any modern masonry building using hollow metal doors today. The wood door frames were stood up and the adobe bricks were laid around them. The builders, at least on this building, used strips of plaster lath to attach the back side of the door frame to the courses of adobe masonry.

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After the masonry was laid the void space between the door frame and the masonry was at least partially grouted with abobe mud.

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The inside finish was portland cement plaster. The exterior was plastered with adobe mud and painted.

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I've reached the limit for photos. I'll finish in another post.

Bill
 
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KZQuixote

Sawhorse
Joined
Nov 9, 2010
Messages
503
Location
Bend, Oregon
It turned out that the builder even erected the door frames before the floor was poured. The pine jambs were in good condition despite being embedded in concrete for nearly 90 years.

attachment.php


I finally understand what Codeworks was meaning by "Gringo Blocks". This 1" by 4" block was nailed to the head of the door jamb before the concrete bond beam was poured. The bond beam is continuous all around the structure.

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This is what the opening looked like with the door frame removed.

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Here this jamb is prepped to receive the new side buck.

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The other side.

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I used 12" pieces of stainless steel threaded rod to secure the bucks to the adobe masonry. It turned out that the builder used very little straw to bind the bricks so I abandoned my plan to use silicone to bed the bucks. These pieces of threaded rod were installed alternately at 30 degrees above and below level to avoid straight pull out loading.

attachment.php


After I drilled the holes 13" deep I filled them with anchoring epoxy and plunged the rods in.

Picture limit again.

Bill
 
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KZQuixote

Sawhorse
Joined
Nov 9, 2010
Messages
503
Location
Bend, Oregon
The walls were built upon a poured concrete stem wall and the openings were capped with a concrete bond beam. I used 4" by 1/4" tapcons to secure the tops and bottoms of each piece of buck to the concrete.

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Here's the top of one side buck after attachment.

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Here's the bottom of the opposing buck.

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From here the general contractor has to repair the adobe plaster on the exterior. The interior trim will cover the portland cement plaster.

Some how I doubt that I'm done with this project.

Thanks for your interest.

Bill
 

adobe123

Registered User
Joined
Sep 22, 2022
Messages
2
Location
Texas
Are you able to repost the photos in a different format? For some reason they won't show up and we are doing a similar project and would love to see your progress photos.
 

Beniah Naylor

Sawhorse
Joined
Sep 10, 2020
Messages
341
Location
Manhattan, Kansas
Are you able to repost the photos in a different format? For some reason they won't show up and we are doing a similar project and would love to see your progress photos.
The poster visited this site last on Feb 3, 2021, so I don't think he is still around. The last post in this particular thread was June 28th, 2012.

I don't know you are able to see that information without becoming a paid member/sawhorse, so I thought I would let you know. Not trying to be a troll...
 
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