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blue barrel dock

  1. #1
    Lifer nt650hawk's Avatar
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    blue barrel dock


    anyone build a blue barrel dock?

    i have lil pond in NH that has a dock that used the styrofoam blocks. Obviously over time the styrofoam has been destroyed. I go an idea to use the blue barrels to re-float the dock. If the dock is to far gone rebuild it.


    thinking 8'x8'x12" maybe 10'x'10'x12" PT Marine grade with trex on top. I do not want to strap the barrels to the frame as i want the barrels to be free to slightly wiggle around in their slots. I'm thinking this would put less stress on the frame when frozen in




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    Last edited by nt650hawk; 02-27-19 at 09:11 AM.
    Gino
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  2. #2
    Lifer Falko's Avatar
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    Re: blue barrel dock

    What you show there is a bad design for a couple reasons. I know you probably just posted a picture for example, but I'll use that example on a few things to consider.
    1. The barrels are sitting between two fairly unsecured runners. The barrels will work their way up between those stringers and push them apart. A couple things you can do to help this is cope those stringers to lay in two 2x4's across the top of each barrel to both hold those stringers together and give the barrels something to push up against.
    2. Couple of screws going into the end grain of the wood. You are in a constant wet environment. The wood will be soft much of the time. Couple of decking screws into the end grain will not hold that well. Use angle ties where ever you can to hold the frame together, at minimum the big stress points, corners and where the barrels are secured. (I do see now that they used ties for those cross members, that's good.)
    3. Position the barrels so the bungs are faced outward. There might be a time when you get some water in one, ease of getting to those fittings to open and get the water out is a nice feature.
    4. What are you using for decking? If you go with real wood, that structure is fine, composite should be a little closer with the stringers. These docks twist and even with the heavier composites that twisting motion will wear the screw holes over time and will get loose.

    These are just a few things I've gone through in the past using someone else's dock. I've not built one but now know several things to be careful of.

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  3. #3
    Lifer nt650hawk's Avatar
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    Re: blue barrel dock

    thanks for the input
    just found these connectors. just what i was looking for.

    Dock Builders Supply -



    yup. agree on joist. i'm planning on Edge half lap joint to lock everything together

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    Gino
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  4. #4
    Super Moderator TheIglu's Avatar
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    Re: blue barrel dock

    Do yourself a favor and yank that thing onto shore for the winter. You'll thank me.

    Unless you like building docks. Then by all means, let that thing get crushed.

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  5. #5
    Kosher Assassin Stoneman's Avatar
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    Re: blue barrel dock

    Where in NH? I have a few plastic "bladders" made specifically for your need that we may be willing to part with.

    Similar to these: Molded Foam Filled Plastic Dock Floats | BARR Plastics Inc.

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  6. #6
    Lifer nt650hawk's Avatar
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    Re: blue barrel dock

    cabin in Whitefield NH

    i'm thinking 4 should work

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    Gino
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  7. #7
    Lifer nt650hawk's Avatar
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    Re: blue barrel dock

    its a 200' x 100' dug pond. not a whole lot of ice crushing activities

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    Gino
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  8. #8
    Senior Member capitalcrew's Avatar
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    Re: blue barrel dock

    Quote Originally Posted by Falko View Post
    What you show there is a bad design for a couple reasons. I know you probably just posted a picture for example, but I'll use that example on a few things to consider.
    1. The barrels are sitting between two fairly unsecured runners. The barrels will work their way up between those stringers and push them apart. A couple things you can do to help this is cope those stringers to lay in two 2x4's across the top of each barrel to both hold those stringers together and give the barrels something to push up against.
    2. Couple of screws going into the end grain of the wood. You are in a constant wet environment. The wood will be soft much of the time. Couple of decking screws into the end grain will not hold that well. Use angle ties where ever you can to hold the frame together, at minimum the big stress points, corners and where the barrels are secured. (I do see now that they used ties for those cross members, that's good.)
    3. Position the barrels so the bungs are faced outward. There might be a time when you get some water in one, ease of getting to those fittings to open and get the water out is a nice feature.
    4. What are you using for decking? If you go with real wood, that structure is fine, composite should be a little closer with the stringers. These docks twist and even with the heavier composites that twisting motion will wear the screw holes over time and will get loose.

    These are just a few things I've gone through in the past using someone else's dock. I've not built one but now know several things to be careful of.
    All of this is what I came to say.

    I don't recommend using trex, it's heavy.

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  9. #9
    Angry Gumball RandyO's Avatar
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    Re: blue barrel dock

    Quote Originally Posted by nt650hawk View Post
    its a 200' x 100' dug pond. not a whole lot of ice crushing activities
    a small pond may not push as much ice up the shore, however, it's the same amount of ice immediately surrounding a barrel, if not more (small ponds have less wave action, etc, and the ice depth gets deeper) I would say more likely to crush a barrel in a small pond

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  10. #10
    Lifer nt650hawk's Avatar
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    Re: blue barrel dock

    if the barrels has a low draft i don't think i would worry about it that much. i'd be more concerned more around the ends of the barrel that could get locked into the ice. the pond does rise and fall 6'-8' depending on the wet /dry season/

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    Gino
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  11. #11
    Kosher Assassin Stoneman's Avatar
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    Re: blue barrel dock

    Quote Originally Posted by capitalcrew View Post
    I don't recommend using trex, it's heavy.
    I'd say use it. We used it on our latest dock, and it's awesome. Actually, it may not be "Trex", but it's the composite stuff. Yeah, it's a bit heavier. But for a small dock, it won't matter much. Ours is roughly 5 x 12'.

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  12. #12
    Lifer FirstDuc-1098's Avatar
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  13. #13
    Senior Member capitalcrew's Avatar
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    Re: blue barrel dock

    Quote Originally Posted by Stoneman View Post
    I'd say use it. We used it on our latest dock, and it's awesome. Actually, it may not be "Trex", but it's the composite stuff. Yeah, it's a bit heavier. But for a small dock, it won't matter much. Ours is roughly 5 x 12'.
    Depends on your situation I guess. I'm not sure on dimensions for ours but it comes out every year and it is plenty heavy already.

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