A 55-gallon drum will float if made from light material such as plastic, but it will sink if it is made from heavy material such as iron.
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How much weight can a 55-gallon plastic drum float?
The table’s base will consist of pressure-treated 2x6s, which are 12 inches long. I’ll use untreated 1x6s for the decking. The deck will be made up of 27 pieces, each 1x6x12, and we’ll need an additional 27 planks, also 3′ x 1.
Treated can run close to 37 to 41 pounds per cubic foot. There should be three sheets of plywood and the rest of 1x6x3ft deck boards. Next, there will be 2x6x12, depending on how wet they are, which would weigh a minimum of 20 pounds each.
I can see you’ll have close to 600in the 12’x12′ dock with the gangplank resting on it. Since that weight is right at 300lbs, I’d recommend using four 55-gallon barrels to support it.
I’d be cautious of attaching the dock to shore and allowing it to float freely around. All that pressure will be on the hinges and the hardware attached. Furthermore, don’t forget to “capture” the barrels, so they stay near the pier.
The criss-cross would work if the pond level didn’t fluctuate. Go to dock builders. I like to do things DIY, and I bought their wood for my pier. The pier will be installed this winter.
I should look around before building my ferry for the grandkids. It is 8’x8,’ and I used 4 -55 gal. Plastic drums filled halfway with water to get it closer to the water.
I attached the drums to the platform using Lowes tie-downs. I found them at Lowes, and they are galvanized steel which is strong, and you’ll never have to worry about losing a drum.
How to attach the wood to the barrels?
Weld brackets to the drums? It seems like I could burn through and make a water leak unless I’m good at welding.
For attachment, it’s better to use some straps that are tight enough that the drums don’t slip around.
As for rust protection, maybe if you use thirteen or fourteen coats of bulletproof alkyd enamel. Duane, whatever you do, man-know what was in those drums.
Maybe if you’re lucky enough, you can collect enough ashes from the drums to have a teat washing party. I prefer using plastic containers because they’re reusable and only cost about 50$ apiece.
Styrofoam or extruded are not options. They seem adamant about that. People don’t use them because they are not durable. I suppose it would be alright if the barrel were inside boxed chambers that don’t need to be tightly fastened together.
We can get some gallon-size plastic that will stand up to a lot more abuse and weathering. We used plastic for things like concentrated apple juice from New Zealand. Consequently, there are no unsafe residues.
One way to start with marine equipment is to find a boat that’s crashed and salvage the steel drums. Then fill them with expanding foam.
How many 55-gallon drums does it take to float a dock?
I built a few docks on the little lake I used to live by, made out of food-grade drums covered with pressure-treated wood.
We used caulk of some kind to seal the threaded caps, and they’ve never had any issues. All of them are less than five years old.
You may want to look into Line-X or Rhino. They make excellent coatings that’ll seal the drums uptight, preventing any leaks or rust. You could also try looking for pontoons from an old pontoon boat.
I’ve been in touch with some farms that might be interested in our spent grain. One of the options I’m considering is gathering the grains and storing them in 55-gallon drums for this particular farm.
Floating dock query
It would take a lot of twisting effort to pop out nails like a potato gun when repairing a dock. Using the weight & square footage concerning people, I worked out how many can stand on a floating dock. I have been looking for a decent float and have researched various brands.
A US gallon of freshwater weighs about 8.3 pounds, while a 55-gallon drum full of air will take about 456 pounds less to sink.
If you’re using plastic, wrap them tightly in rope or webbing with the bung down and leave the bung off. A little water added to a float could reduce the load capacity a bit, depending on how much storage space you have. Plastic drums and tanks are everywhere, so go ahead and look around.
I usually have a small boat for fishing, but I haven’t had much time lately. There are plenty of small/medium size ponds around here to go fishing in, though, so it might be worth it when I eventually leave to go back.
I find strapping tools and rolls on display whenever I visit a lumberyard. You could use straps to tie hardware to the barrel.
You can find some straps in the Simpson catalog. The plastic ones are about $40, but the iron ones are much sturdier and more durable.
How much weight can you put on top of a 55-gallon drum?
We have anywhere from 4 to 7 55-gallon plastic drums depending on our brew. We keep two dozen in stock to cover 3 to 4 batches per week.
A 55-gallon drum is heavy, so it’s better if you move them by a forklift. You can only move 1/3 full of a 55-gallon drum if you’re doing it by hand.
There’s a 15 bbl system can regularly fit a malt bill between 800-900 lbs into four 55-gallon drums. The grain bill for this system is one of our beers, totals out to 880lbs, and it’ll fit three 55-gallon drums.
You can use 2-3 55-gallon drums. Please try to get as much liquid out as possible in your situation. Put them on a pallet for transport.
When I brew, I spend 300lbs of barley per 55-gallon drum. It is mounded about 6-12 inches above the top lip.