The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Mushroom tower scissor jack

IBC water tower scissor jack

We used a scissor jack to secure the front part of our new mushroom tower.

Next up is to re-direct the gutter and design a misting system for the logs.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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Before anyone asks, the jack is to deal with the issue where I added fill dirt where the front legs of the tower were going to be. Mark is pretty sure that as water slowly dries out of that sodden clay, the ground will subside a bit below that leg. Thus a jack, which will allow him to lengthen the leg as needed. We can always add a leg of the right size when we drain the tower this winter and the soil below is (hopefully) compacted.
Comment by anna Mon Mar 30 16:20:19 2015

Unbraced columns can fail in buckling (a more in-depth explanation can be found here).

Use this online calculator to verify that your columns are sturdy enough to carry at least 1/4 of a full tank.

Comment by Roland_Smith Mon Mar 30 17:50:58 2015
Roland --- Good call! If I input the right numbers into that calculator, though, there should be no problem. It's giving me 7,570 pounds for the buckling limit under our application, and the whole tank (with water) shouldn't weigh more than 2,300 pounds. Since it's really divided over six support points, that means each post will only have to hold 383 pounds --- not too bad!
Comment by anna Mon Mar 30 18:39:31 2015

Looking at the picture, in a equilibrium situation basically the whole load is carried by the three stacked beams running under the middle of the tank where the outlet is. The rest of the structure only acts to keep it balanced.

But this is a classic example of a unstable situation. If one of the extra columns sinks into the soil, the IBC will tilt a bit and the load on the columns will increase. This is a self-reinforcing feedback loop. :-(

Structurally the extra frame that you've attached under the edge of the IBC is almost useless if it is only fastened with the visible L-bracket.

Comment by Roland_Smith Mon Mar 30 20:25:14 2015
I too am concerned about this as it is. Assuming all downward force is being applied (which there are other forces going on as Roland pointed out,) I would still want the partial height column tied to the upper part with a temporary brace. This would be so if the column and base settle or the tank rocks/settles towards the trailer and unloads the column the jack/column won't just fall or be easily knocked out if you have to access a log. This brace would just be to keep the jack and column from being bumped out from under the corner of the tote not to actually add any structural support.
Comment by Brian Wed Apr 1 09:43:23 2015

hat tip from a new subscriber of Ur blog.

I wonder what kind of mushroom U have inoculated.

Last year I (& hordes of snail :-( )enjoyed fruits of one trunk of oyser mushrooom (Pleurotus ostreatus)

and I tried to get some shiitake but failed - I believe)

Comment by Rafał Thu Apr 2 04:05:07 2015

Having read former entries of the blog I found answer to the question I had paid so U may skip answerring so as not to lose Ur precious time.


Comment by Rafał Thu Apr 2 04:36:55 2015

This is a dangerous solution to the problem of keeping your water tank suspended.

Scissor jacks are not infallible as all automobile mechanics know. Heck, all mechanical lifts can fail, and they tend to so suddenly and violently when under load. It is the reason why jack stands are used for any car that you actually have to crawl under. Should that "support" column fail for any reason whether because the jack gives way or because it gets knocked over or because the ground gives a little after a heavy rain or one of the animals brushes against the column at the wrong time, then you have the rough equivalent of a small car headed to the ground. The more water in the tank, the greater the forces involved and the greater the likelihood of failure. Given that you have a bunch of your logs directly under the tank, I fear for your safety when gathering their bounty.

Please, please, please reconsider this solution and install something more solid. Roland is absolutely correct that L bracket holding the extension in the picture isn't up to the task of keeping that bit of structure connected to the two main cross-member supports. When in doubt, add more bracing!

Comment by Bobby Thu Apr 2 10:19:18 2015

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