Basement wallsfor shop - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 20 Old 08-19-2015, 06:49 PM Thread Starter
Jeff G
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 189
View buktotruth's Photo Album My Photos
Basement wallsfor shop

Hi guys,

Any idea what this wall material is (the stuff in the left...not the brick)?

It's all over my basement where I'm putting a new shop. I'd like to smooth the surface so I can attach shelves/cabinets and whatnot. I'd like to avoid framing wood walls and wonder if there's a way to smooth this out. Maybe grind it flat? Plaster? Something that will still let me put masonry anchors in it.

Thanks!
Jeff
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	image-671259001.jpg
Views:	102
Size:	83.6 KB
ID:	179258  


-Jeff G
buktotruth is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 20 Old 08-19-2015, 07:13 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 997
View BigJoe16's Photo Album My Photos
You should find a hidden spot and chip a small section of it off.

It could be a field stone wall or just a bunch of bad patch jobs. Is the whole wall like that?
BigJoe16 is offline  
post #3 of 20 Old 08-19-2015, 07:21 PM
Senior Member
 
Chamfer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Mechanicsville, VA
Posts: 1,450
View Chamfer's Photo Album My Photos
Looks like plaster over cinder blocks to me. You could use masonry screws to attach shelving or the sort, but to me that'd be a real pain.

Personally I'd frame walls. Not only is it easy and cheap but gives you an opportunity to insulate while you're at it.
Chamfer is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #4 of 20 Old 08-19-2015, 07:58 PM Thread Starter
Jeff G
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 189
View buktotruth's Photo Album My Photos
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chamfer View Post
Looks like plaster over cinder blocks to me. You could use masonry screws to attach shelving or the sort, but to me that'd be a real pain.

Personally I'd frame walls. Not only is it easy and cheap but gives you an opportunity to insulate while you're at it.
Yah, I'm trying to avoid framing the walls as I won't need lots of hanging space. Almost everything will be floor based cabinets, so seems like a waste to frame everything just for a few shelves. But I really would like to get a smoother surface.

-Jeff G
buktotruth is offline  
post #5 of 20 Old 08-19-2015, 08:00 PM Thread Starter
Jeff G
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 189
View buktotruth's Photo Album My Photos
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigJoe16 View Post
You should find a hidden spot and chip a small section of it off.

It could be a field stone wall or just a bunch of bad patch jobs. Is the whole wall like that?
Most of the exterior wall is like this. I doubt it's a bad patch job. If it's field stone, what can I do to smooth it?

-Jeff G
buktotruth is offline  
post #6 of 20 Old 08-19-2015, 08:50 PM
Senior Member
 
Chamfer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Mechanicsville, VA
Posts: 1,450
View Chamfer's Photo Album My Photos
You're going to spend a lot of time tying to make that "smooth". Either you chip away whats there (if you even can) and then would have to go back over with something, or you go over it like it is with something else.
Chamfer is offline  
post #7 of 20 Old 08-19-2015, 09:13 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Florida Panhandle
Posts: 11,807
View GeorgeC's Photo Album My Photos
You do not give any clue about the material in question.. Is it soft? hard? medium? Does it appear to have joints?

Your picture is of too small an area and too little detail to be of much use.

George
GeorgeC is offline  
post #8 of 20 Old 08-19-2015, 09:17 PM Thread Starter
Jeff G
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 189
View buktotruth's Photo Album My Photos
Fair point. Here are two more photos. Hope they help.

This is a 100 year old house in Pittsburgh, PA. I don't know the wall material. What's the best way to find out?
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_4099.jpg
Views:	76
Size:	77.9 KB
ID:	179337  

Attached Images
 

-Jeff G
buktotruth is offline  
post #9 of 20 Old 08-19-2015, 09:22 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 25,991
View Steve Neul's Photo Album My Photos
I think the simplest solution would be to apply some furring strips to the wall shimming them out in order to keep them all running the same like studs in a wall and then apply sheetrock or pegboard to the furring strips. I believe I would only put screws in the wall above ground level and use something like liquid nails below grade to prevent perhaps causing a leak in the wall.
Steve Neul is offline  
post #10 of 20 Old 08-19-2015, 09:39 PM
Senior Member
 
Chamfer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Mechanicsville, VA
Posts: 1,450
View Chamfer's Photo Album My Photos
That definitely looks like someone just slathered on plaster over whatever type of masonry the building is constructed of to give it a "semi-finished" look. Typical for older basements.

The easiest thing is to just screw your shelves to the walls as is. As Steve pointed out anything below grade risks water intrusion.
Chamfer is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to Chamfer For This Useful Post:
buktotruth (08-20-2015)
post #11 of 20 Old 08-19-2015, 10:03 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Syracuse, NY
Posts: 321
View Tom-G's Photo Album My Photos
It might be a sealing / waterproofing product like Thoroseal. In any event, if it is really old be careful as you don't know what is in it (lead, asbestos, etc. ???).
Tom-G is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to Tom-G For This Useful Post:
buktotruth (08-20-2015)
post #12 of 20 Old 08-19-2015, 11:19 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Maine
Posts: 1,931
View Hammer1's Photo Album My Photos
It's called, "parging". Field stone foundations develop cracks, mortar breaks down, water infiltrates, there is staining and discoloration. Parging is something of a cover over in your case. It's a thin coat of a cementitious mixture, like mortar. It's reasonably hard but adhesion to the rocks might not be solid. Nailing into it can cause large chunks to come loose.

Attaching to the parged rock can be tricky. The brick is much easier and less likely to cause other issues. You can use Tapcon, http://www.tapcon.com/products, screws drilled into the mortar joints to attach wall cleats for hanging wall cabinets or for directly attaching them. On the rock areas, I'd hang wall shelves or cabinets from the ceiling.
Hammer1 is offline  
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Hammer1 For This Useful Post:
buktotruth (08-20-2015), Chamfer (08-20-2015), mikeswoods (08-20-2015)
post #13 of 20 Old 08-20-2015, 10:57 PM
Senior Member
 
Quo Fan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: South West VA
Posts: 439
View Quo Fan's Photo Album My Photos
A 100 year old house would be a field stone foundation. That one looks to have been painted over several times. There is no way to efficiently "smooth" the wall. Your best option is to frame out the wall. You could use 2 X 3 studs, resulting in a wall the reduces the least amount of space, and attach peg board above the cabinets.

Tact is for people not witty enough to be sarcastic.
Quo Fan is offline  
post #14 of 20 Old 08-20-2015, 11:29 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 997
View BigJoe16's Photo Album My Photos
I would not try to fasten anything to the wall. I wouldn't try any anchors or drilling into it.

Those stones were set using a soft type of mortar that just clumbles and falls apart after this long. Once you start drilling or chipping on it, it tends to keep coming out. The stones will come loose and more mortar will come it. It's really hard to effectively fix it. Because the mortar that's there is so soft, when you patch it, the mortar around the patch falls off. The fieldstone walls around my area are around 18" thick. Once you have a water problem, it's tough to fix it.


I would hang your cabinets or shelves from the joists above or frame in walls and leave the foundation wall be.
BigJoe16 is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to BigJoe16 For This Useful Post:
buktotruth (08-21-2015), mikeswoods (08-21-2015)
post #15 of 20 Old 08-21-2015, 12:25 AM
Carpenter saving lives!
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Southern Colorado
Posts: 90
View Stodg73's Photo Album My Photos
Why not make bottom cabinets and then mount 2x material on the backside then attach pegboard to the 2x material. Free standing cabinet/walls?
Stodg73 is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to Stodg73 For This Useful Post:
buktotruth (08-21-2015)
post #16 of 20 Old 08-21-2015, 12:31 AM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 305
View ed_h's Photo Album My Photos
I believe Hammer1 is correct. When I saw the picture, my first thought was parged stone. The later fact that the house is 100 years old supports this.

Anchors into the stone should be pretty strong, but as someone else offered, 100 year old mortar may not be as stable as you'd like.

I can think of a few ways to "smooth it out", but they all would be more work than putting up a frame wall.

Ed

For just a little more, you can do it yourself.
ed_h is offline  
post #17 of 20 Old 08-21-2015, 08:45 AM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Florida Panhandle
Posts: 11,807
View GeorgeC's Photo Album My Photos
Quote:
Originally Posted by buktotruth View Post
Fair point. Here are two more photos. Hope they help.

This is a 100 year old house in Pittsburgh, PA. I don't know the wall material. What's the best way to find out?
Pictures do not convey whether or not a material is soft or hard.

What does your hand tell you?

George
GeorgeC is offline  
post #18 of 20 Old 08-21-2015, 01:27 PM Thread Starter
Jeff G
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 189
View buktotruth's Photo Album My Photos
George: It's hard material.

And it seems the consensus is to just finish the parts of the wall that I need and/or hang from the ceiling rafters. I'm fine with that. I would love a slightly more aesthetically pleasing wall, but so be it.

Thanks everyone!

-Jeff G
buktotruth is offline  
post #19 of 20 Old 08-22-2015, 01:54 AM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Maine
Posts: 1,931
View Hammer1's Photo Album My Photos
Many people would find the character of the 100 year old stone, nicely parged and painted, undulating natural surface, covering but still exposing the history and structure beneath, far more aesthetically pleasing that the flat, ordinary, boring type of wall everyone else has. No other place in the world does fieldstone quite like Pennsylvania. I wouldn't put up anything to block my view.
Hammer1 is offline  
post #20 of 20 Old 08-22-2015, 12:13 PM
Senior Member
 
yank's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Prattville, Alabama, USA
Posts: 320
View yank's Photo Album My Photos
I would be for building a 3 x 3 fir wall and attaching it to the floor and ceiling. Leaving the natural wall free of any fasteners. That way you are maintaining the integrity of the original wall. The using pegboard and paneling or ply of your choice to finish the wall.

My father was my inspiration for woodworking, wish he was still around for more advice. Luv ya Dad.
yank is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome