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Old 06-22-2008, 04:05 PM   #1
Tyler E
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Default Compacting base gravel?

I had base gravel delivered on Friday, and spent yesterday spreading it. I am going to rent a plate tamper/compactor tomorrow or the next day. What is the procedure for this? Do I wet the gravel, soak it, or tamp it dry? Also, what is the compaction rate of base gravel? I want to have it 4" below my forms when done. The gravel is about 5" thick. How far below the forms do I level the gravel before I start tamping?
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Old 06-22-2008, 04:46 PM   #2
wakeboarder311
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Default Re: Compacting base gravel?

what stone type is it? 57's 8's or 304's? if its 57s leave it about 1/2" high
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Old 06-22-2008, 07:05 PM   #3
Tyler E
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Default Re: Compacting base gravel?

Most of the larger stones are 3/4"-1". Lookiing at pics on the net, I would say that they are 57's. My inexperience lead me to believe that base gravel was base gravel. I told my gravel guy that I needed it for under a garage slab. He sent me that.

Let me tell ya, hand bombing 12 yards of gravel is hard on the back.

OK, so leave it about 1/2 inch high for compacting. What about the wet vs. really wet vs. dry?
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Old 06-22-2008, 08:23 PM   #4
wakeboarder311
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Default Re: Compacting base gravel?

dry is fine no need to add water
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Old 06-22-2008, 08:34 PM   #5
Bigger Hammer
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Default Re: Compacting base gravel?

If it's dusty when you are running the compactor wet it down. Aggregates with fines in them will compact much tighter with a bit of moisture. In addition to that, adequate moisture can already be there straight from the pit.
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Old 06-22-2008, 10:30 PM   #6
Tyler E
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Default Re: Compacting base gravel?

Thanks for the quick replies. I appreciate the info.
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Old 06-23-2008, 04:02 AM   #7
Kevin54
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Default Re: Compacting base gravel?

Quote:
If it's dusty when you are running the compactor wet it down. Aggregates with fines in them will compact much tighter with a bit of moisture. In addition to that, adequate moisture can already be there straight from the pit.
I always took the hose and sprinkled it down. Run the tamper and you can tell. Wet it down a little more and tamp some more. When you thing you have it all done, dampen it and run it again. If water then lays on top, you are pretty well done. Now one thing to also remember and this is for others...if it is round stone, it does not need to be tamped. A lot of concrete guys like the washed gravel vs. the crushed stone because they feel that the round will compact itself because it will not lock together like crushed stone. crushed stone will lock against itself and leave voids. Houses built around here with slab foundations get a block wall then filled with sand, because they feel that sand is compacted as far as it will go due to the size. I have not heard of any complaints of any concrete cracking on the sand base, so maybe there is something to it.
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Old 06-23-2008, 05:41 AM   #8
Bigger Hammer
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Default Re: Compacting base gravel?

Kevin, that is a common misconception around here as well. You are right about the crushed stone, but pea gravel and the like should be compacted. Everyone says it doesn't settle but I've seen it several times. A couple of those times it was under asphalt and the asphalt had to be cut back and repaired due to sub grade settlement. Anymore, pea gravel as a fill material is looked upon as a sort of DIYer or hack residential contractor way of doing things. In order to compact it though a jumping jack style compactor is needed.....and they generally suck to operate. lol
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