It can be frustrating to brace concrete forms in loose, sandy soil — especially when the stakes begin to creep outward as the forms are filled. Faced with these soil conditions, I recently used a 2x brace plate to anchor my form braces.
As shown in the drawing, I positioned the plate far enough from my forms to give my braces about a 1:2. slope. The plate has 1-in. holes drilled 2 ft. on center. Through these holes I drove 2-ft. lengths of #4 rebar, oriented at opposing angles. Secured this way, the plate served as a sturdy anchor for my 2×4 braces.
If you’ve got some steel stakes, use them to anchor the plate. As the end of the stake draws near to the plate, insert a 16d nail halfway through one of the holes and drive the stake a little farther until the nail begins to bend as it engages the wood. When it comes time to remove the plates, lift them out of the ground with a backhoe. Lacking the backhoe, a pair of locking pliers makes a good handle on each stake.
—Michael Hermann, Nevada City, CA
Edited and illustrated by Charles Miller
From Fine Homebuilding #41