How to set

Before the forms can be set, footings must be installed. Footings can be dug by hand or machine, and grade elevation at the top of the footings is determined with a transit. Then concrete is poured into the trenches and roughly leveled with a 2 x 4. Minor high and low spots (up to 1/2") create no problems because the panels will ride with these imperfections and still anchor to the footings. After the concrete has set, mark the footings for form setting with a chalk line.

To begin the setting operation, it is convenient to start at a corner and work in both directions. Set an inside corner and one panel each way on the inside footing. Place tie wires in the tie slots, making sure the flat of the tie is horizontal.

Now set the outside panels opposite of the inside ones, threading the ties through the corresponding slots in the outside forms. It is a matter of personal preference if the outside corner fractions are set now or left until later. Before engaging the levers over the tie wires, take a level and check all edges for plumbness on both the inside and outside forming. It may be necessary to slightly adjust one or both of the starter panels to plumb them. Once plumb, engage all levers. Make sure to check the succeeding panels for plumbness, too. A check should be make to see if the inside and outside panels are set squarely opposite each other. If they are set squarely, all the ties should be 90 degrees to the panel face.

After about ten or twelve lineal feet of wall has been set, attach a sidewall brace for protection against the wind. A brace for approximately every 15-20 feet.

Any fractions needed are best placed near the middle of a run. However, do not finish setting the forms in the middle of a run. Try to end near a corner, because a minor misfitting can be corrected by moving the corner slightly. Be sure to check for plumbness again. If walers are to be used, attach the waler brackets now. Place brackets on every form at the height desired. These are usually placed on the outside forms, but can be utilized on the inside also, if needed. Place the waler planks on these brackets. If waler brackets and planks are needed, place them at this time. Next, oil the forms. Any windows, doors, beam pockets and bulkheads may be put in now. Make sure windows and doors are set squarely and securely. Make sure all levers are locked, and install top walers. This provides positive alignment of the panels, and you are now ready to establish grade elevation for the top of the wall, using a transit. Drive a small grade nail into the outside forming at the corners. Snap a chalk like between these nails and put grade nails into the panels along this line. After completing these requirements, you are ready to pour the wall. But first make sure you check:

  1. All walls and panels for plumbness

  2. All levers locked

  3. Top walers installed

  4. Windows, bulkheads and other inserts secured

  5. All forms adequately oiled

Always start your pour at or near a corner, because this is the strongest point of the form setting. The two main factors that put stress on forms are the rate of pour and the outside air temperature. We recommend pouring at no more than four feet of concrete per hour.