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Safety opinions

97gsxIA

Proven Member
405
41
Apr 22, 2011
Mount Vernon, Iowa
Ok, so I' have been prepping my garage for a new concrete floor. It was most likely improperly poured and it has since been subject to a lot of "use." So I tore up all the pre-existing concrete and layed down new gravel and it is all tamped down and graded (level and flat)

Here's the issue....

My landlord has decided that he doesnt want me messing with the garage anymore. So we have been in some nasty arguments over it. I mean after all.. HE's gettin a free new garage floor!!! :mad:

So until I can get this problem with him figured out (which could be well into the summer months) All i have to put my car on is tamped down gravel. So I'm wondering from you guys what I can do so I can be able to jack my car up on jack stands to work on it safely in the garage. the driveway is torn out too with just gravel so I can't park it out there and work on it, and I'm not a fan of doing big jobs in the street. Is there ANYTHING I can do to lay on the floor so I can safely put my car on jackstands? anything... I'm desperate to work on my baby. She's begging for my attention
 

snowborder714

Moderator
16,146
280
Oct 15, 2006
Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania
How deep is the gravel? Could you dig it up and lay down pavers or some other thick rock slabs (pending how thick it is) under the jack stand area? Or if you think it's compacted down well and it won't settle any more, you could put a fairly thick piece of sheet metal or wooden planks under the jack stands.
 

97gsxIA

Proven Member
405
41
Apr 22, 2011
Mount Vernon, Iowa
It's about 3" of gravel and then tamped down which probably flattened it to 2.25-2.5"
I'm sure if I got a motorized tamper it could go down another 1/2" and I'm sure I could dig it up and put some pavers in, but Can't those crumble like cinder blocks too? I just don't feel like dying anytime soon haha

I'm just worried if i put wood down and then jackstands on top of that, if the wood in anyway will shift and drop the car.

Maybe a good layer of 3/4" plywood all the way across where the car will sit? maybe 2x8 or 2x6's under the plywood too?

Thank you for your opinion by the way I find it best when it's concerning safety to PM a few knowledgable people after posting to get some solid answers
 

snowborder714

Moderator
16,146
280
Oct 15, 2006
Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania
I just don't feel like dying anytime soon haha

Well, you didn't specify that in the first post LOL


I don't have any experience with this, so everything is just off the top of my head. I don't want to say plywood would work, but then have something go wrong. Hopefully someone can pop in here who has attempted this before (and failed, so you know what not to do) and/or succeeded.
 

97gsxIA

Proven Member
405
41
Apr 22, 2011
Mount Vernon, Iowa
Well, you didn't specify that in the first post LOL


I don't have any experience with this, so everything is just off the top of my head. I don't want to say plywood would work, but then have something go wrong. Hopefully someone can pop in here who has attempted this before (and failed, so you know what not to do) and/or succeeded.

I should probably read up on some obituaries and see if I can find anything involving jackstands and plywood

Free R&D at the local library newspaper database :p

Also , did I post this in the right forum? I figured it's not a tech post, but I also want people to at least see it hahaha
 

krackit

Proven Member
340
0
Mar 19, 2009
kingston, ON_Canada
From a contractor. compacted gravel isn't going to shift any great amount. if it's clear stone, it's not going to settle. 3" of gravel is barely going to pack. Just grab a 2x2 patio stone and that will do just fine. Even a few pieces of thicker plywood would be fine cut to like 20x20. jack stand will sink into the wood slightly, but won't sink more than that.
 

97gsxIA

Proven Member
405
41
Apr 22, 2011
Mount Vernon, Iowa
Patio stone wont crumble or crack like a cinder block though, right? I was thinking about making a flat ribbed frame out of 2x8 the size of where my car would go, then 3/4 in plywood on top, then maybe patio stone where the jackstand will be? I just dont want that stone cracking or anything while the car is on it or the jackstand sinking in plywood on one side and not the other causing it to collapse
 

krackit

Proven Member
340
0
Mar 19, 2009
kingston, ON_Canada
verrry unlikely. hell, my boat sits on pieces of 2x4 and cinder blocks all winter on the ground and that boat probably weighs 3xs as much as our cars.

only way a patio stone will break is if it is put into tension. (ie. a big void under the stone allowing the bottom face to be put into tension.) in compression, the stones would hold probably 5 cars on top....a whole wooden sub frame is unneccessary.....garage strength concrete is typically around 25MPa, which is about 3,600 psi, i would assume the patio stones are at least 15 MPa (2200). so the stones are almost the same strength of the concrete that would replace it.

if you want to get super technical you can calculate the loads....but not worth it because i would feel very safe with just using patio stones. I've jacked my car up but putting my jack on a piece of 1/2" plywood just so i wouldn't dent the asphalt and it only sunk in maybe half way...and that was lifting the whole car from the front.
 

Calan

DSM Wiseman
7,253
292
Jan 16, 2007
OKC, Oklahoma
I've never had to deal with this, but my gut tells me that a couple layers of marine grade 9-ply plywood on packed gravel would be fine, as long as the stands have some good feet (i.e. not sharp).

If you wake up dead and come looking for me, I'll deny everything. :)

I'd throw down a couple of 2' x 2' pieces under each jack stand, and sit the car down on it. Let it sit for an hour or so, and then shake the hell out of it before climbing under to make sure it's solid and has found it's happy spot. Then I would go straight to the landlord and inform him that you are about to work on your car, and if you die he's gonna have a big lawsuit. Then ask about that nice floor again. :D
 

97gsxIA

Proven Member
405
41
Apr 22, 2011
Mount Vernon, Iowa
Thanks for the help guys! I'm going to take my time with this one. let her sit for a little and shake her a bit before climbing underneath. Krackit, you suggest any certain kind of patio stone in case i go that route?

I'm going to post up pictures while im under it just so you know what my ghost is going to look like when I come haunt the shit out of you ROFL
 

krackit

Proven Member
340
0
Mar 19, 2009
kingston, ON_Canada
just a standard one you would buy from home depot. 2'x2' by usually 1.5" thick. plain concrete.
 

WES_393

DSM Wiseman
3,818
69
Jun 6, 2011
Colo Spgs, Colorado
Go buy a sheet or two of OSB at Home Depot. There like 8x13 or something like that. Sturdy stuff but cheap enough to toss out once it's oil soaked.
 
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