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Old 06-25-2013, 01:25 PM   #1
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Smile Rebuilding a Dock for Alaskan Sea-Duction

Well this is the first step into retirement for me and the Admiral. We purchased a dock in SW Washington on the Lower Columbia River. This is special because these types of docks are never available (and the State is not allowing new construction) and we were in the right place at the right time. Once it became known the dock was available, there were a few folks that tried to undercut us and offer the owners more than we had agreed upon, but the owners are of good character and upheld there side of the deal.

This has been an 8-month ordeal for us. The main reason was that in the State of Washington if you have a dock, you do not own the land under the dock as this is owned by the state. You must lease this land from the state and there are all these different rules and regulations. The lease is for 12 years and is renewable so long as you follow the requirements, so in short we purchase the strip of land on the bank, and then have the privilege of having access to our dock. My lease covers a square 100' wide, by 85' into the water.

This important first step as we are also going to buy a larger (44-60ft) boat and want to have a nice place to put it in the winter. Summers will be spent in the Inside passage and Puget Sound.

So far I have been able to burn off the old dried up vegetation on the bank, re-wired the electrical box so i could have power on the dock and replaced the water line. This past weekend I stripped half of the main dock (40') inspected it and placed additional floatation (plastic barrels) under the logs. This week I will be pricing out pressure treated (PT) lumber.

I will build upon the frame that is already there. First I will place some 6 X 6 X 10 footers over the existing 4 X 8s that are there. I will pre-drill them and install big long lag bolts clear down into the log. Then I will place PT 4 X 4 over the 6 X 6s to create the deck framing. At the same time I will also build 4 X 4 housings for the log pilings, then screw down 2 X 8 X 10 footers for the deck. Instead of cleats here in the PNW they use 4 X 4 and run them down the entire length of the dock for tie downs. This is nice as you can tie up anywhere on the dock. Will keep the blog updated.

So join us on our adventure. Admiral has already caught a steelhead off the dock, see pic) I will be updated our blog and this thread just about every weekend. Feel free to ask questions and as always advice.

Here is the blog:

Alaskan Sea-Duction
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Old 06-26-2013, 05:41 AM   #2
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Having built a number of docks the most important tool you can have is a slow speed (3/8 is OK )hi torque slow speed electric drill and a couple of long bits that pull themselves into the wood.

Usually used with the older woodworkers "Brace & Bit" style , the ability to clamp the lumber , hammer it right where it should be , drill a hole for 12 or 14 bolts with one hand , and then hammer the bolt in is invaluable.

Beware on old wood , the bits don't like old nails.
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Old 06-26-2013, 11:43 AM   #3
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Having built a number of docks the most important tool you can have is a slow speed (3/8 is OK )hi torque slow speed electric drill and a couple of long bits that pull themselves into the wood.

Usually used with the older woodworkers "Brace & Bit" style , the ability to clamp the lumber , hammer it right where it should be , drill a hole for 12 or 14 bolts with one hand , and then hammer the bolt in is invaluable.

Beware on old wood , the bits don't like old nails.
Thank you. Good advice.
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Old 06-26-2013, 03:21 PM   #4
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I have a Home Depot purchased Milwaukee right angle drill that turns at 500 rpm. It will turn those bits Fred recommends above all day long with no strain for the operator. Leverage is your friend. Best $240 I ever spent.
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Old 06-26-2013, 03:29 PM   #5
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I have a Home Depot purchased Milwaukee right angle drill that turns at 500 rpm. It will turn those bits Fred recommends above all day long with no strain for the operator. Leverage is your friend. Best $240 I ever spent.
Thanks. I will look for one.
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Old 06-26-2013, 08:19 PM   #6
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Is your nice new dock located in Ridgefield?
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Old 06-27-2013, 12:31 AM   #7
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Is your nice new dock located in Ridgefield?
Longview....
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Old 06-27-2013, 05:28 AM   #8
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As a safety , should you drop the electric drill, Hubbel makes a GFI extension cord / box that might help.

IF you prefer cordless , the right angle drills are geared much lower to drill holes in studs with spade bits.

Studs are new and dry so a spade bit works , Not so on pilings or treated lumber.
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Old 06-27-2013, 06:58 PM   #9
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Thanks FF. I just spent $3200 on pressure treated lumber to be delivered next week. This is only for the 80' dock portion. Still have the 2 other docks and gang plank, but once it is done it will be done.
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Old 06-27-2013, 11:20 PM   #10
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stck with the electric milwalkee right angle drill. get the one that has the clutch in case it gets away from you. dont worry about the gfi, its double insulated so if you drop it in the water you can just return it to home depot for a new one. btw this is the drill you should get.. Milwaukee 1/2 in. Super Hawg Drill-1680-21 at The Home Depot .
when you use it with ship auger bit (electicians favor these bits) make sure you clear the wood chips often . dont rty to drill through those beams in one pass.
also dont forget your plumbig ans elecrical before you install your deck boards.
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Old 06-28-2013, 05:39 AM   #11
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Frequently you will have bolts (dip galvanised , not flash coated) that are too long.

Sure the proper bolt would be better and save 10c per inch of excess , but brequire a trip to the bolt store.

To tighten them a socket wrench works till the socket is too short.

The solution is the style of box wrench that has a ratchet in the head.

Just one will probably be required as most folks use one size bolt.

We use 1/2in carriage bolts and a 3/4 wrench is all thats needed.

Use hot dipped nuts and washers too, even if its a PIA to go find the real stuff.
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Old 06-28-2013, 02:59 PM   #12
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Great info thanks
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Old 06-28-2013, 09:02 PM   #13
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I've spent many a day drilling for bolts on docks too for our club docks.
Even with a good ships auger with the screw tip, a heavy duty drill it was stilll necessary to pull the drill most of the way out of the hole to clear the chips or it would jam. Those chips act like a wedge. I never stopped the drill, just started pulling upward which would pull the screw tip free and the chips would keep moving up the the drill. When there was about 2-3" left in the hole down it would go again.

Faster than pulling all the way out and no need to fight to get the tip back into the hole.
We were drilling for 3/4" bolts and through up to 24" of wood.

We had several Makitas. The drill I liked the best though was an OLD Black and Decker. It barely slowed and never got hot. However, there are other good drills out there and Milwaukee is one.
Have fun.
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Old 06-28-2013, 09:17 PM   #14
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80'. That's a pretty big float! Lucky you.

I have yet to meet anyone who has used a HoleHawg for any length of time who hasn't injured themselves in a unique way. Be sure to share your story...
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Old 06-28-2013, 09:34 PM   #15
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Be sure to share your story...
Half way up an 8' ladder the 3 5/8" wood bit stopped turning but the clutch equipped hole hog didn't. I made a complete 360 degree rotation with the drill motor and when my feet touched the ladder I let go and fell off.

$240 at Home Depot later it never happened again. Like I said above, leverage is your friend.
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Old 06-29-2013, 02:08 AM   #16
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Half way up an 8' ladder the 3 5/8" wood bit stopped turning but the clutch equipped hole hog didn't. I made a complete 360 degree rotation with the drill motor and when my feet touched the ladder I let go and fell off......
Man, that must have looked a sight. Oh to have captured that on video Craig...
Would be a pushover to win the "funniest clips and videos" comp.
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Old 06-29-2013, 06:02 AM   #17
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Half way up an 8' ladder the 3 5/8" wood bit stopped turning but the clutch equipped hole hog didn't. I made a complete 360 degree rotation with the drill motor and when my feet touched the ladder I let go and fell off.

$240 at Home Depot later it never happened again. Like I said above, leverage is your friend.
BWAHAHAHA. Oh man what a mental image I had. I have a similar story happen to me when I was a 4th year apprentice carpenter. To set the scene, I was on a roof installing guttering spikes. The roof was at a 35 degree angle, I was lying down the roof with my chest/head hanging over the edge of the house, almost like going head first down a slide. Drilling into 100x50 seasoned jarrah with a two speed makita high torque drill. I was drilling back towards me and ultimately was using the drill backwards. The drill bit grabbed and stopped spinning, the drill itself began to spin and with my current roof position saw my lifted off the roof an thrown to the ground. Felt sad and sorry for myself then but PMSL at myself when I think about it lol

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Old 06-29-2013, 12:42 PM   #18
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80'. That's a pretty big float! Lucky you.

I have yet to meet anyone who has used a HoleHawg for any length of time who hasn't injured themselves in a unique way. Be sure to share your story...
I am a plumber by trade. I worked with hole hawgs on a daily basis drilling large holes. I have not lost any teeth, but I have had smashed and broken fingers, black eyes, fat lips, stitches (once i had the drill resting on my lap, and somehow accidentally activated the trigger with the cord and it drilled into my thigh), sprained back etc. the funny thing is that I am a safe operator and I feel I have avoided serious injury because I am safe, but even so, the drill itself is dangerous and over 20 years or so, injuries still occurred, and some were due to negligence.

I once saw an apprentice knock himself out cold with one.

Safety and leverage are your friends. If you are on a ladder use the largest most stable ladder you can. Re-arrange the ladder if you dont feel safe. Remember the drill can bounce you around at any time. Take the time to build scaffolding if you can. the drilling will go much faster and will be safer. Keep your hands where they will not get smahed if the drill grabs and starts to spin. (that one always hurts) Where good leather gloves. Remember to take out the chuck before you start drilling (that one is my most common mistake and really smarts.) Always use a sharp bit. If you encounter a nail, use a hole saw to free it up or your self feeding bit is toast. But I dont think you are drilling very large holes. Just keep a supply of sharp bits on hand and you should be ok.

Im not an osha representative, just speaking from experience.
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Old 06-29-2013, 10:03 PM   #19
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I had a guy drilling through studs with a long auger bit. The bit hit a nail, and threw him around in a 360. I saw one of our pumbers drill through joist while on a ladder with a hole saw. The only thing that kept him for doing a 360 was slamming up against the floor system. He dropped from the ceiling without using the ladder.
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Old 06-30-2013, 12:55 AM   #20
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Found a Milwaulkie at HD for $249. I will be drilling 135 holes for just the 80' dock. Lumber will be dilvered on Tuesday. Then I came to the realization I had not ordered any hardware! auggggggg

135 5/8 x 16" long and another 150 1/2 x 6" man this sucks and will be a nice dime...
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