Latest Discussions : Basement & Foundation


10:46AM | 04/26/04
Member Since: 04/21/04
4 lifetime posts
When poured concrete foundation is done, forms ties are left protruding from inside and outside of foundation walls. How to snap those ties and what to use to patch the cavities left from them? Thanks.


10:17AM | 04/28/04
Member Since: 01/28/03
693 lifetime posts
Several sharp blows side to side from a hammer will cause the ties to snap off usually flush at the concrete level.

There is no need to fill in any 'cavities'.


05:52PM | 04/28/04
Member Since: 11/06/02
1278 lifetime posts
While the brute hammer blows will work, that is hard on the person doing ot after a few hours.

There is a tool made for this. Without having the tool, there are two ways to similate.

Find an open end wrench that fits the tie at the break point snugly and use it to twist.


use a pair if vice grip pliers to lock on and twist.

Sometimes a small cavity is created depending on the quality of the concrete and when forms are stripped. On th einterior, this is cosmetic only and a patchjing mortar can be used to fill.

On th eoutside, it definitely needs attention. A small trowel should be used to dap on fibred roof cement at each tie location before rolling on the foundation coating to moisture proof the foundation wall.

Excellence is its own reward!


01:51PM | 05/02/04
Member Since: 01/28/03
693 lifetime posts
Piffin said:

"While the brute hammer blows will work, that is hard on the person doing ot after a few hours..."

My reply is that any removal of poured foundation clips I have ever experienced has never taken any more than a 1/2 hour on most foundations for homes 3000sf or less.

Cannot imagine finding it hard on a person to make two blows from a framing hammer for each clip for a total of about 15-30 minutes work.

Wondering....? :(


07:32PM | 05/02/04
Member Since: 11/06/02
1278 lifetime posts
Maybe you be superman mon!

My last job - a crew of six who do this day in and day out came to strip the forms from one a wee bit bigger than that.

The six of them stripped and stacked all the forms to the gates and snapped the ties in six hours. Most of the tie snapping was done by the one guy on the bottom of their pecking order. After four hours of it, he was out of juice and could not do it with two whacks anymore. Th elast wo hours were an agony for him 'till I managed to get the rest of the crew into the hole.

It is darn hard work for anyone. The snap tool makes it easier , even if it is a bit slower. The original Q came from someone I suppose to be a DIY who may hurt them selves whacking away al day like that. Tired people at heavy labor adds up to injuries

Excellence is its own reward!


07:35PM | 05/03/04
Member Since: 01/28/03
693 lifetime posts
"It is darn hard work for anyone".

Not in any of my experiences.

Snapping metal form ties with a framing hammer is a very light duty and very easy job.

Unless your ties are not MY ties I cannot even conceive of how your experience is true to fact and all that hard.

I mean no disrepect at all.

It just does not jive to my experience with PCC forms under any condition at any time.


12:55PM | 05/06/04
Member Since: 11/06/02
1278 lifetime posts
Milendorf has a full selection of options now for methods to do it regardless of whether his/her forms and ties are the same.

Excellence is its own reward!


06:01PM | 05/08/04
Member Since: 04/23/04
10 lifetime posts
Snapping off form ties is pretty easy. 45 minutes tops!

If someone took 6 hours they are milking the clock.

With respect,



01:15PM | 05/09/04
Member Since: 04/23/04
10 lifetime posts
I have once seen this method used. Get a piece of steel pipe the proper diameter to fit over the foundation tie. Have the pipe cut to approximately 2 feet in length. Insert pipe over tie, then use the end of pipe as a lever and push/pull. This will snap off the ties and may be easier then the hammer method.


05:19PM | 05/09/04
Member Since: 11/06/02
1278 lifetime posts
there are lots of methods easier than a hammer to keep you away from the doctor.

Excellence is its own reward!


06:27PM | 05/09/04
Member Since: 01/28/03
693 lifetime posts
And unless you are already an inept physical invalid, a hammer will put no one in the hospital for a 10-20 minute exercise in smacking off of several hundred concrete ties....


08:53PM | 05/23/14
Some ties are stronger than others. So a tool might help.


02:54PM | 07/03/14
I'm a general contractor. The old foundation crew I used would use the flat metal ties. . .maybe 1/8" thick by 1.5" wide. That style of tie would usually snap with 1-2 hits of a hammer side to side. The crew that I have been using for the last 10 years or so use the wire type where once their forms are pulled, become 2 small wires sticking out about 1.5". These type are WAY harder to break off, plus there seem to be a million of them. This style does take hours to break with definite arm weakness kicking in from the endless hammer swinging.


06:20PM | 07/09/14
I'm in the middle of it now. And while I do not do this for a living I can assure you that snapping these particular ones off with a couple of hammer blows is not an option. They bend over, like a nail. Then you can twist them and they usually break off about 1/8 to 1/4 under the surface of the concrete. If the entire tie twists through the wall then you have to bend them back the other way and then they will break. Based on the discussion here there must be a couple of different varieties that take more or less effort to break off. I have the more difficult ones, to be sure.


01:00PM | 07/14/18
I used Map Gas and an old framing hammer, until the broke off. Seemed to go faster when heating them first.


04:05PM | 04/18/20
So, I've snapped most of my ties off by spinning and breaking them off. Some of them were spinning in the concrete and wouldn't break. Tried the hammer thing and they just bent over. Tried a bar over the tie and now have 2 small steel pokers sticking out from the wall. Any ideas how to fix those and remove the rest?


04:31PM | 04/18/20
Some people (Piffin) should not work in construction if it is too hard on their tender bodies. Maybe a spot at Jo Ann fabrics would suit you better.


01:41PM | 07/12/20
My Dewalt cordless grinder with a metal cutting wheel works great on the new style.


04:18PM | 10/05/21


10:11PM | 04/21/22
Take a piece of 1” steel conduit about 2ft in length. Thick pvc or abs will work also if no conduit scraps are available. You can hit the end of the snap tie with a hammer, if desired to loosen up the plastic cone. Slide the pipe over the snap tie and bend it toward the wall. Rotate in a circular motion and it will break off. These comments regarding the hammer are the hard way to do it, and a good way to get fired off a job in my world.

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