Hearth Slab Transportation Help 28" Mattonne Cupola

Hi guys, just wondering how to manage the three Hearth Slabs that we poured simultaneously with the 59x55 base (59x52 per our own readjustments). I understand that the three separate slabs are intended to be poured as such to make it easy for two persons to move the slabs into place, but it appears that it is not so easy for the two of us. Unfortunately, we also poured them with no extra support to suspend the slabs off the ground of our garage, and we cant even get a crowbar underneath the slab to lift it up. We also still need to take all the planks off and transport it about 30 feet to the oven’s placement. What do you guys recommend to do? Will more manpower help us? Here’s a picture to help you visualize what we are dealing with :slight_smile: Thank you.

I did a quick calculation and those slabs weigh over 300 lbs. How does anybody move those. I am going to pour in place.

More manpower will definitely help! I would suggest taking the wood off the see if you cam get a couple big crowbars under the back side. Since the plywood is between the garage floor and the slab, it might give a little, enough to jam the crowbar in. Then, flip that side up so it is standing on its side. Have a three cinder blocks set up on the other side of it, and flip it over on to them (so that it is inverted and in the position you ultimately need it in. Then, have at least three others help you carry it over to your structure. But, if you all cant fit through your garage door with it, maybe strap it to a dolly to get it to the structure and lift from there.

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Hi Joseph,

Welcome to the BrickWood forums. It looks like you are well underway.

The slabs are a common issue, but it’s workable. Basically what @Joy said (thank you!), and having one more person will help.

I did not have nearly as far to go, but had to move them off a patio deck. I did have sticks under them, but it’s manageable even if you don’t.

The one modification I would suggest from Joy’s excellent advice is to leave the forms on for the time being. I rented an appliance dolly, which can take the weight that @Gio800 correctly states is over 300 pounds per slab. Position the dolly at one end of the slab, and prepare a spare length of 2x4 or 2x6 to slip under the other end. You need a grip: so nail one right into the slab form. Two of you can then raise that end by the grip, while the third person slips the 2x under that end to keep it off the floor. With that done, two of you should be able to raise it on end while the third person stabilizes and positions the dolly to receive it.

Once that’s done and it’s strapped on, roll the slab to your build, prepare a couple of boards to lay it on (because you don’t want to make the same mistake twice!), and lay it down. I’d use boards a little longer than twice the width of the slab, so that you can roll it over. There’s an alternative move you can make: lay it down from the bottom rather than from the top, sliding boards underneath as you roll the dolly back. That way it lays out bottom side up. Only then should you disassemble the form and remove any foam that clings to the void.

Hope that between us you’ve got enough to move those slabs along. Sorry I can’t come along to be your third helper. (Well, maybe not THAT sorry… :slight_smile: )

This is one place the internet is flat out wrong on. If you Google enough, you’ll find that 2 average men should be able to lift 300 lbs without issue. Maybe if it’s a 300 lb couch or something you can easily grab and lift a few inches off the ground, but NO WAY on these slabs. It took 4 guys for us to do it, and be able to lift them up to chest height to position on the base. It still wasn’t easy with 4 guys but definitely doable. 3 would have been awkward but maybe still doable. More manpower here. Keep the wood form so the crowbar can grip under that rather than risk chipping the concrete itself.

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Oh, for that step I agree. We did it with three, but two of them were my sons-in-law who are both hockey players. The key in my opinion is to make sure you never lose the opportunity to get a handhold.

@josephj 's immediate problem is how to get the slabs out of the garage with nothing underneath them. For that process, yes, the form should stay in place for the reason you mention. (It also gives you a surface into which to nail a furring strip or other scrap for a handhold.)

When he gets them out to the worksite, he’ll have to flip them and remove the forms before lifting them up into place. Four strong workers should be able to do that, as you say. The tricky part is getting a bed of mortar under those slabs, but also doable.

There is no doubt that this is the most physically and strategically demanding part of the entire process, but the three-slab method is also one of the most approachable ways for Jane and Joe Homeowner to do this.

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@bikerbudmatt @Joy Thank you all for your replies and the multiple perspectives. Taking them all into account, I managed to get two crowbars underneat the slab. We then have a cart with a flat bottom close to the ground to then place the slab onto, and roll outside to the work site. In about a week, the mortar and cinder blocks will have set, so we can continue the process by then flipping the slab over so that it is right side up. It will be flipped over onto a stack of cinder bloks so that the wood frames can be easily removed and lifting it onto the base shouldnt take more than 6 men.

The good news is being able to work the crowbar under, now it doesnt look as dire of a step as it had seemed, thank you all for your advice and will ipdate on how I actually did it out next weekend so that others may benefit if they find themselves in the same situation as me.

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   Me and my wife started to lift it, we knew it was possible but didn't feel like putting ourselves at risk...
  1. I enlisted the help of two good friends so we had 4 bodies available for safety.
  2. We stood it up on it’s side and removed the forms with a hammer to lighten it up a bit.
  3. We then used a dolly to keep on it’s side and one person could easily take a section to the site from the garage.
  4. finally used 4 people, 2 on each side to team lift and walk section over blocks, then it was easy to center just by sliding with help of 3 people.
  5. at that point I discovered my blocks weren’t perfectly level (big surprise) so it was a perfect time to use wood wedges and a hammer to support the concrete countertops evenly on top of cinder blocks to avoid cracking.
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I just set my top the other day, I was able to use the form boxes to make a platform. I then used 2x8s for ramps with the left over OSB and was able to get them up on the platform with a good handtruck. It took both of us to lean the slab against the base and lift it into place.

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