Bottom for Outside Coal Bin?

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Scottsman
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Post Sun. Aug. 03, 2008 4:27 am

I'm getting ready to build by outdoor coal bin using 4x4 pressure treated lumber for the base and then 2x4s for the rest of the framing. I bought some OSB for the walls, bottom and top, but now I'm wondering if I should bother putting the OSB on the bottom at all. Won't it just rot as any condensation/water runoff from the coal wears away at it over time? If the bottom framing is strong and the walls are strong, should it mattter if the coal just lays on the ground?

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coalkirk
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Post Sun. Aug. 03, 2008 8:16 am

Why not use pressure treated plywood?

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LsFarm
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Post Sun. Aug. 03, 2008 8:21 am

If the 'ground' is concrete, it will work fine.. if the ground is dirt, grass or other,, then the lower 4-6" will become mud, and the mud and coal will mix. The water will not drain and you will have a mess when you try to shovel near the bottom of the coal bin. You will lose about 6" of coal in the bottom of the bin.

You want to be able to shovel down to a hard surface. The fines in the coal settle to the bottom, and you need to shovel these up and use them.. If not, after several years of re-filling the coal bin, the bottom foot or so of the bin becomes mostly fines, and you have a real chore to use the coal near the bottom..

Concrete, or pressure treated plywood would be my choices.

Greg L.


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vtec350
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Post Sun. Aug. 03, 2008 8:22 am

I agree with Kirk, use PT on evrything. Why take the chance of having to rebuild it in a few years.

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Richard S.
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Post Sun. Aug. 03, 2008 1:41 pm

You can use PT but even if you use regular lumber and paint it you'lll get meny years out of it. You have to keep it off the ground and provide a roof for it.

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traderfjp
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Post Sun. Aug. 03, 2008 11:30 pm

Cement board is another option.


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Scottsman
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Post Mon. Aug. 04, 2008 7:24 am

Thanks for the advice. I never thought about it getting muddy down there. I also never knew there was such a thing as pressure treated plywood. Will have to check Home Depot.

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Richard S.
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Post Mon. Aug. 04, 2008 7:46 am

It's expensive, I know I wouldn't buying it for a coal bin. Like I said paint, keep it off the ground and put a roof on it.

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LsFarm
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Post Mon. Aug. 04, 2008 8:50 am

I think by the time you paint a piece of plywood on both sides, then raise it up off the ground on Pressure Treated 4x4's you will have the same cost as using a sheet of PT plywood.. The nice thing about the raised-on 4x4 design is that you can lift it up and move it to a new location if you want.. a sheet of PT ply on the ground will be stuck to the ground/mud within a month or two.

Greg L

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