Anchor bolts are used to secure objects, such as sill plates, equipment and mounting hardware, to concrete. They are commonly called “J-bolts”. Place anchor bolts before the concrete sets. Measure accurately because bolts cannot be relocated after concrete sets. When placing anchor bolts for a building such as a garage or shed, the placement may need to be inspected and approved to ensure that it meets local building codes.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Tape measure
- Permanent marker
- Plumb bob on string
- Petroleum jelly
- Hot, wet, soapy, cloth
Measure the combined thickness of the object that will be mounted to the J-bolt, the washer and nut. Mark the location on each J-bolt with a permanent marker by measuring that distance from the threaded side of the J-bolt.
Use a tape measure to measure the placement of each J-bolt depending on the plan for your project. Use a nail to mark the location for each J-bolt in the concrete.
Coat the threaded end of the J-bolt with petroleum jelly to be sure concrete does not get in the threads.
Press the curved side of the J-bolt into the concrete until the surface of the concrete is flush with the mark on each J-bolt.
Hold a plumb bob by the string next to each J-bolt and position the J-bolt so the protruding section of the J-bolt is flush with the side of the plumb bob from at least three sides. Accuracy is very important.
When the concrete has set up for at least 48 hours, wash off the petroleum jelly with a hot, wet, soapy cloth.
Tips and warnings
- If you have access to a drill press, drill a hole in a small block of 2-by-4 that is only slightly larger than the threaded end of the J-bolts. Place one of these over each J-bolt and leave in place while the concrete sets to ensure that they are plumb in the concrete.
- The J-bolts must be plumb or it will be difficult to mount objects to the J-bolts. Take your time when using the plumb bob to keep the top of the J-bolt plumb.
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