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Do It Yourself Silo Dismantling
Since dismantling an old silo last August, we've had inquiries from many area farm families wanting to know how we did it. Here, for the benefit of any FARM SHOW readers who might be interested, is how we went about tearing down a 35 ft. high concrete stave silo with over 500 staves, measuring 10 by 30 in. each.
First, we rented steel scaffolding which fit very well inside our silo. We pulled the sections up with a rope, from outside, with one person on top to pass them over the top staves and let them down to another person inside. It takes at least three people to do this.
To set the scaffolding up inside the silo, make a platform of 2 in. boards to go out to the edges so you don't step off between the scaffolding frame and the silo.
To start, remove the top section of the chute. Then loosen and remove the steel bands on the layer of staves that you want to remove. Be sure the staves you're working on are free from the bands but don't remove too many bands as lower staves could buckle from stress and vibration.
With a short-handled maul's pointed edge, knock the connecting cement loose around staves, then wiggle them by hand to work them loose one at a time. It takes quite a bit of work, but can be done without breaking them. They are very heavy (77 lbs.) and it takes two people to move them from the edge to the center of the scaffolding, where you have a pulley on a crosstimber on the top bar of the scaffolding section.
Next, tie a rope around the stave, and let it down to be handled by a third person inside the silo at ground level.
We completed the job for around $30 (out of pocket cost) in two weekends and a couple nights after work. You don't have to hire a lot of help.
The salvaged staves are excellent for feeding floors, sidewalks, etc. but don't drive on them with a tractor, or other heavy vehicle since the staves are hollow and will crush.
Mary Schnorenberg
Rt. 2, Box 215
Kasson, Minn. 55944


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1983 - Volume #7, Issue #6