After getting up both the outer and inner forms for our concrete wall pour we needed to tie the forms together so they wouldn’t spread as the heavy liquid concrete splashed down into the forms. This took all day. It’s very important because there is a lot of force involved, far more than we would get with a 4′ high column of water because concrete is so much more dense.
The first step was to put long brace boards on the outsides of the forms. These run perpendicular to the form’s vertical brace boards. We then wired straight through the forms from one horizontal brace to the other. The steel wires are in tension – steel’s forté – making it so the forms won’t spread or bulge.
I drilled holes through the form – one above the long horizontal bracing and one below. The holes were also offset on either side of vertical braces as well. This produces an X of bracing that is supported by the wires to support the plywood of the forms and keep the liquid concrete in place until it cures.
Wiring the Forms
Feeding the wires through from one side is a little tricky. Get the wire very straight and then either peek over the top as you feed it, if possible, or look through the hole as you attempt to hit the center of the hole on the other side of the forms.
This is best done by two people, one on each side of the forms. The person in back catches the wire and then sends it back through the other hole after properly placing it around the braces.
Usually I just twist the wires using the same technique I described for connecting rebar in the Iron Work post the other day. Unfortunately, occasionally a wire will break. Rather than rethreading one can set screws into the braces and tie off each end of the wire to those. Always good to have a backup plan.
Holly Fixing Gaps
We had a few spots where our footer was rough. In retrospect I would not have done the 4′ forms where I had to reach down into them to do the 2′ high footers. I was trying to avoid wasting wood but it produced an uneven footer top. Live and learn. In the photo above Holly’s filling the gap with additional 2×4’s and some foam in place. The wall pour will take care of the problem so the resulting structure will be 100% up to par.
The forms are all up, vertical and level. We added the diagonal braces and cinched a few pieces of rebar away from the form walls to the center of the concrete space. Everything is ready for the big wall pour.
Outdoors: 50°F/26°F Sunny
Farm House: 65°F/53°F
Tiny Cottage: 65°F/55°F