[TowerTalk] Tower base

Mickey Baker n4mb at arrl.net
Sat Jan 4 12:03:16 EST 2014

I hate to bring chemistry into this, but using sulphur or its compounds
around structural metal is a bad idea. Sulphur easily reacts with many
different materials... which can result in compounds with a very low pH,
like sulfuric acid. Sulfur is one reason that calcium gets dissolved and
caves form.

Your mileage may vary - in a sealed anerobic environment, molten sulphur
will last for a very long time.

Mickey N4MB

On Sat, Jan 4, 2014 at 11:47 AM, Ray, W4BYG <w4byg at att.net> wrote:

> When drilling into concrete or stone for mounting bolts, I many years ago
> learned a neat trick from an old time machinist, Grover Shank.  He advised
> me concrete injected around bolts or hardware store expansion devices will
> vibrate and eventually come loose.
> He suggested the way they would anchor bolts into concrete for heavy
> equipments, was to drill the holes larger and deeper than needed for the
> bolts.  Then buy a bag or two of powdered sulfur (purchased at a local Drug
> store, inexpensive) and melt it in a melting pot, with a butane torch.  Set
> the bolts in place and temporarily wire them to stay in position.  Then
> pour
> the melted sulfur into the holes.  Let it cool.
> The logic is there are only two natural substances that will expand when
> cooled, water and sulfur.  The sulfur expanded and locked the bolts in
> place
> securely for years.
> I did this for a 72' tower carrying a 2 element 40 meter beam on top and a
> 5
> element tribander below, while living in Atlanta.  Years later the tower
> has
> was moved to another city, but I'm pretty sure the 2 bolt guy brackets
> which
> were attached to granite rock at the surface, are still there.  The bolts
> showed no sign of loosening or cracking.
> Since then, I understand hydraulic concrete in tubes has become available.
> I have seen it used for metal fence rails and have noticed cracks in the
> holes after just a short time.  Therefore I wouldn't put much trust in it
> for tower foundations.
> But my experience with the sulfur even though it stank pretty bad while
> being melted, worked so well I would use it again today "in a heartbeat"
> for
> similar applications.
> 73,
> Ray, W4BYG
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