Rebar substitutes (light weight)

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Rebar substitutes (light weight)

Postby redly » Wed Jul 14, 2004 7:09 am

Looking for light weight alternatives to rebar. Was thinking about using hollow electrical conduite.
Any thoughts?
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Postby VerbenaMaya » Wed Jul 14, 2004 7:40 am

Hmm, I dont really know, but when I tried to use em in the yard for testing purposes the hollow bit got all clogged up with dirt an made it harder to drive em in further, but if you wanna try you could maybe cut the insert ends at an angle and you probably wanna find out what thickness you'll need.
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Postby Tancorix » Wed Jul 14, 2004 7:49 am

I've tried electrical conduit in place of rebar and had mixed success. For light loading and I mean very light, and driven to about 8-10 inches in, it worked. But for the deep stuff with some holding power, the 1/2 inch stuff couldn't be driven in without collapsing. And the rope loads also caused some compression, at least with my project.

I'd recommend you stick with rebar, and check out Bob Stahl's website and his rebar FAQ's. It's a pain in the rear to work with, but in a 70 mph wind gust, I'd want the most solid, non-yielding stakes I could get. Rebar gets it done.
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Alternative to Rebar

Postby scotto » Wed Jul 14, 2004 9:34 am

Screw-In Dog Stakes...

The 'Dog Stakes' are all I use now...NO MORE REBAR!!!

Rebar requires you to pound it into the ground as well as have to
either Cane the end ior place a plastic bottle / Tennis Ball over it...
Then of course you need to get the Rebar out of the ground, sometimes no easy task...

With the Dog Stakes there is NO FUSS NO MUSS...

The key to using them is to create a 'Starter' hole and then screw
the Dog Stake into the ground...Removing it is WAY EASY...Just a few
twists...

The best price I have found is @

http://commerce.omahavaccine.com/page.cfm?pageid=4&

Listed under SPIRAL TIE OUT STAKE $2.19 Each

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stakes

Postby Jp » Wed Jul 14, 2004 10:23 am

I got some extra long tent stakes from a local camping store, they had both 12" and 16" and are kinda a long "v" shape if that makes any sense. They are not going anywhere in the playa, the 16" ones were actually kinda overkill unless you've got something really serious to hold down. They also have little hook on the top which makes it easy to attack rope and easier to get them out. Alas they still must be covered to save feet.

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Re: Rebar substitutes (light weight)

Postby Charlienyc » Mon Aug 01, 2011 8:33 pm

Came across this old post. Is it possible using long stakes or dog stakes instead of rebar? I am trying to pack most things in my backpack if possible. looking for anything that have less weight.
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Re: Rebar substitutes (light weight)

Postby waxpraxis » Mon Aug 01, 2011 8:42 pm

Yeah, I'm really curious to see if other folks have used the spiral stakes. If I did rebar I'd have 24'+ feet of metal in the ground - with those stakes I'd only have 15" or so. Now, granted, it is spiraled in, but I'm concerned about overall strength.
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Re: Rebar substitutes (light weight)

Postby ygmir » Mon Aug 01, 2011 8:52 pm

I've had good results using auger stakes.
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Re: Rebar substitutes (light weight)

Postby Sham » Mon Aug 01, 2011 8:58 pm

Those spiral stakes are sold at Dollar Tree for--you guessed it, a dollar.
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Re: Rebar substitutes (light weight)

Postby waxpraxis » Mon Aug 01, 2011 9:00 pm

Oh! Thanks for the tip, I'm not even sure where a Dollar Tree is around here, but looks like I have an excuse to do some research (I also have a very deep feeling I won't be able to get out of there with just those stakes!)
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Re: Rebar substitutes (light weight)

Postby trilobyte » Mon Aug 01, 2011 9:15 pm

I wouldn't recommend using pieces of EMT conduit pipe, they may not stay in the ground very well if (well, when) the wind picks up. There are already some good suggestions in this thread, I'll add that I don't use rebar on any of the structures I've designed over the years. For anchoring, I use an 18 inch hurricane stake that's held up (well, held down) under some of the worst conditions on the playa.
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Re: Rebar substitutes (light weight)

Postby oneeyeddick » Mon Aug 01, 2011 9:20 pm

Shambala wrote:Those spiral stakes are sold at Dollar Tree for--you guessed it, a dollar.


And those are rated for 300# of pull.

There are some THICKER ones at home depot for about $4 each, they are 3 times as thick and 750# rated.

These will require a bigger pilot hole if you gonna get them into the ground all the way.
I use a 3/4 inch concrete bit for said hole.
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Re: Rebar substitutes (light weight)

Postby The Bee » Mon Aug 01, 2011 9:27 pm

I've used those "heavy duty" tent stakes that are 12 to 16 inches long, 'V' shaped, with a hook at the top. They did hold my tent down OK, but they are pretty crappy on the whole. Sometimes the top collapses when you hit it with a hammer. They're harder to pull out than rebar because you can't rotate them as you pull. They rust like crazy. If you're going to use them, bring extras. And don't expect them to last more than one or two seasons.
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Re: Rebar substitutes (light weight)

Postby mrebikr » Mon Aug 01, 2011 10:21 pm

I'm using both the dog tie downs, stakes, and for my tower, the truck on the windward side.
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Re: Rebar substitutes (light weight)

Postby oneeyeddick » Tue Aug 02, 2011 2:27 am

ya can't go wrong with a truck!
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Re: Rebar substitutes (light weight)

Postby CapSmashy » Tue Aug 02, 2011 6:39 am

You want the military surplus tent stakes, not the cheap aluminum kind from a camping store.
http://www.sportsmansguide.com/net/cb/cb.aspx?a=571929

Another good option are landscaping stakes.
http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs/sto ... =202048202

Like these.
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Re: Rebar substitutes (light weight)

Postby waxpraxis » Tue Aug 02, 2011 6:49 am

Not to derail this thread, but the reason why I was looking at lightweight alternatives to rebar is that my wife and I are flying in and I hate the idea of paying to fly something as common as rebar out to Reno. I'm perfectly fine with buying rebar in Reno... but I'm concerned that since we're coming in on Wednesday afternoon (not by choice :x) I'm worried that burners would have already wiped out local supply at big box stores. Is that a valid concern?
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Re: Rebar substitutes (light weight)

Postby Bob » Tue Aug 02, 2011 8:23 am

First, rebar is stupid, especially if all you're staking is a tent or awning. It saws through webbing loops and grabs grommets.

Second, don't expect to find it cut to short lengths on short notice. Don't expect to find any particular camping gear on short notice in Reno.

Third, how did you plan on putting an L- or J-bend on the top?

Re: the cheap flimsy V-shaped steel tent stakes -- bring twice as many as you need, because that's how many you'll ruin when hammering into the playa.

Best tent stakes on the playa are the aluminum W-shaped military surplus type, or 12" steel timber spikes from the lumber yard. The latter are smooth-sided so they don't tear tent loops.

Dog augers are just silly, unnecessary, and too much work.
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Re: Rebar substitutes (light weight)

Postby waxpraxis » Tue Aug 02, 2011 8:33 am

Bob - I have a tension-based shade structure, so I need some serious strength. The stakes don't hold the structure down - they hold it up! The original designers of the structure highly recommended rebar for that reason. Everything I'm directly hooking onto the rebar is metal - no worries about it sawing through anything!

As for pre-cut rebar, it's available that way in all of my local big-box hardware stores without a problem. Are you saying it's not available out there or that it's not available after burners come through?

As for bending, I've done done that here at home with some scrap steel pipe. I figured I would just pick up some in Reno rather than paying 3-4x it's cost to fly it out (my camp just got a storage space in Reno I can keep it for next year as well).
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Re: Rebar substitutes (light weight)

Postby Bob » Tue Aug 02, 2011 8:53 am

Most people are just bringing tents. Anything bigger than a tent or small awning, I'd use 3/4" dia steel stakes (for concrete formwork). Or real augers from a rigging supplier.

But sure, you'll find rebar, and might be able to get it cut if you wait around long enough.
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Re: Rebar substitutes (light weight)

Postby The Bee » Tue Aug 02, 2011 8:59 am

The lumber yard in my town will cut rebar for a nominal cutting charge. They use a big-ass bolt cutter that goes through rebar like butter, and it takes no time to cut a 20 ' length into 12" or 18" stakes. Granted, this is not a fru-fru city lumber yard, it's not a big box home cheapo yard. I don't know Reno too well, but try to find a real lumber yard there and call ahead to see if they'll cut it for you. They might even bend it too.
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Re: Rebar substitutes (light weight)

Postby Bob » Tue Aug 02, 2011 9:13 am

Stakes are usually a small percentage of your typical gear weight. Maybe you people should leave your clothes at home.
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Re: Rebar substitutes (light weight)

Postby waxpraxis » Tue Aug 02, 2011 9:21 am

My full structure is 28' in diameter, but only the center triangle (14' on a side) and two of the sides (10' x14' diagonal down to the ground) are covered. The rebar I used for testing my backyard worked well even in the soft soil we have around here (I live just outside of D.C.which is basically a somewhat drained swamp).

We need to stop by a lumber yard of some sort anyways to grab the 2x4's my structure needs as supports. I think plan A will be try the Home Depot that's on our way first and see if they have pre-cut. If so, awesome. If not either head to, as you say, a *real* lumber yard or just buy a bolt cutter at Home Depot and walk back to the concrete aisle and get snippin' (plus, bolt cutters will be very handy in tear down!)

Bob - we're flying out and going pretty damn light. The weight of rebar or steel stakes would have put us over our 150lb (over 4 containers) weight limit we've imposed on ourselves. Oh, and I didn't realize you were the bob of Potato Trap - I did a lot of reading on your site when I was planning and building my structure. Thanks for all the great information.

Bob and The Bee, seriously - thanks for your help. The rebar question has been the only thing bothering me since I decided on this structure based on the limitations of flying and yet still wanting shade AND someplace to hang my hammock.
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Re: Rebar substitutes (light weight)

Postby illy dilly » Tue Aug 02, 2011 9:39 am

I've never been to the Home Depot in Reno.
But if its anything like all the other major "one stop shops" between Reno and Fernley, or Winnemuca and Fernley, they will be prepared.
They know Burners are coming from all over the world, and are going to need supplies. They know what supplies are commonly needed for Burning Man. And since they want to make the sale, they will likely have it in stock.
And likely, it will be piled right inside the store, right when you come in.
Obviously, 2x4's can't really be stacked right in the front, but I'd imagine that rebar, rope, and tarps are readily available.

Though, of course as previously mentioned, go ahead and call ahead! Never hurts.
Another idea, is to call the Home Depot you plan to hit, get ahold of the Pro-desk, and pre-purchase what you need. I don't know if they do it for individuals, but we do it for work all the time. When we're going to another city to install medium sized satellite dishes on flat roofs that are still under warranty we'll call the closest Big Box and pre-pay for our cinder blocks. We'll also ask that they have them on a pallet out front, so that when we pull up we can start throwing them in the truck right away.
If you pre-ordered you material they would be required have it there for you.
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Re: Rebar substitutes (light weight)

Postby waxpraxis » Tue Aug 02, 2011 10:01 am

That's a damn good idea illy - I'll look into the pro desk option.

It's funny, I never think about the pro desk even though my dad has been in construction for 30+ years! Then again, he does commercial construction and almost all of his supplies are delivered...
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Re: Rebar substitutes (light weight)

Postby Drizzt321 » Tue Aug 02, 2011 10:02 am

If you want some decent sized stakes, check out an Army/Navy surplus store. Usually they have those angle 12" tent stakes. Don't know if they're strong enough or not, but I suppose since they're (relatively) light weight and small you could just double or triple up on them to spread the load.
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Re: Rebar substitutes (light weight)

Postby illy dilly » Tue Aug 02, 2011 10:41 am

waxpraxis wrote:That's a damn good idea illy - I'll look into the pro desk option.

It's funny, I never think about the pro desk even though my dad has been in construction for 30+ years! Then again, he does commercial construction and almost all of his supplies are delivered...

Yeah we do mostly commercial construction, and a bit of satellite stuff. Most of our specialty material gets delivered to us. But when working in another city, there is no reason to ship/haul cinder blocks, ply wood, and other bulky heavy generic crap.
Such as.... rebar. :wink:
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Re: Rebar substitutes (light weight)

Postby Bob » Tue Aug 02, 2011 11:07 am

Glad my web pages were useful, though I really need to update them. I've used everything from 1/4" smooth rod to truck axle shafts and 6" augers. I understand some of the recent platforms for the Man have used big blocks of concrete poured in place as deadmen. For the shade structures around Center Camp etc., all they do is sink posts in the ground and add a flat roof, with no stakes or guy lines. Military stakes pounded below the playa surface might work for some guyed structures, and do as well as short rebar stakes. I don't think Home Depot and its ilk usually carry rebar larger than half-inch, which is why I often suggest concrete stakes. Half-inch stakes can be wiggly if you don't put a long J-bend on them and drive both points in the ground.
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Re: Rebar substitutes (light weight)

Postby The Bee » Tue Aug 02, 2011 2:26 pm

Sounds like for you, the best bet is to have it pre-cut. If you do it yourself, and you're using half inch or greater rebar, you'll need some really beefy bolt cutters. As I recall, the rebar cutter at the lumber yard is more than just a set of bolt cutters: it's a box with a huge freaking jaw and a 5' handle. I'm not really experienced with cutting rebar, but other methods are a hack saw or a sawzall (bring lots of blades) or a circular saw with a diamond blade or cuttoff wheel. Most fun method (and appropriate for the occasion) would be a cutting torch. :D
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Re: Rebar substitutes (light weight)

Postby The CO » Tue Aug 02, 2011 3:18 pm

I can vouch for the Mil-spec V-stakes. Either length. I've been using them for nearly every structure I put up for 12+ years at the burn.
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