Purchasing a Jack Post
A jack post, oftentimes referred to as a lally jack or an adjustable steel
column, is an essential tool for any home or professional reconstruction
project. A jack post is basically a glorified two by four; its intended use
follows the same function and can be used in its stead should a two by four
need to be removed for a remodeling project. Purchasing a jack post, however,
is not as simple as buying a chunk of wood; each post has a specific height,
weight limit, and intended use.
Before purchasing a jack post you must decide for what task you will need it.
At its core the post is a very basic tool, however, it is quite versatile - the
jack post can be applied to a variety of jobs. Despite its name, the jack post
is not intended for jacking up anything. They exist to support. Before
installing a post, it is important that a proper jack be used to raise a
ceiling or floor to the appropriate level. Heading to the store with the
intention of buying one implies that you are in need of a versatile two by
Height and Weight Requirements
Consider where you will need your portable post. Are you supporting a floor,
or a high ceiling? The type of column you need is dependent upon your answer.
The posts come in sizes that range from as small as a foot to as large as
twelve feet. Obviously, this disparity in size is a result of the sheer
versatility of the tool, but also raises important questions about the maximum
height and weight you need to support. While deciding between whether you need
a one or twelve-foot column is simple, the debate of whether to use a seven or
eight foot post is more problematic.
As a general rule choose the shortest possible post that satisfies your needs.
Reason dictates that this limits the usefulness of the tool; you can only
support beams that are short enough for the column to reach. The trade-off,
however, is the amount of weight that a given post can withstand. The taller
equipment is only capable of sustaining around a ton before it gives, either
folding or snapping in half. The shorter posts, however, are denser and can
hold incredible amounts of weight. The smallest lally jack can support up to
nine tons of weight, making it perfect for supporting floors and even corners
of entire buildings. Two or three of the smallest jack posts are more than
capable of sustaining the weight of a house for prolonged periods.
The Versatile Two by Four
The question of why not simply use two by four braces is answered by the
strength of the jack post. Typically made of metal, the braces are stronger
than wood, and provide a safe, secure support for a relatively low price. In
addition, their adjustable size means they can be applied to a multitude of
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