How to compact sand without a vibratory plate

DIY Ground Tamper Tool Fast Easy Cheap

What is it and what is it for?

When building a house under a foundation or screed, it is necessary to make a hard layer in the form of a lining of sand or gravel with fine dispersion. The tamping technique allows to provide the necessary density to such a base. To compact bulk materials, specialized equipment is used, and if the coverage area is small, a manual method of work is used. A sandy dense pad is necessary before starting construction work for the following reasons:

legend vids 1118 007

  • for full leveling and increasing the degree of rigidity of the base surface of the future structure being built;
  • to prevent the destruction of the foundation structure under the influence of moisture or low temperatures, when the soil begins to swell from excess water;
  • to prevent the curvature of the structure from the action of bending and compressive loads on it during soil shrinkage processes;
  • in order to eliminate hidden voids filled with air;
  • for the construction of an intermediate stable layer formed between the soil and the foundation structure.

The compacted sand creates a dense and durable layer, which is a reliable base for laying asphalt pavement, paving slabs, and building foundations. A properly formed sand layer is not subject to deformation and does not collapse if you step on it. Compaction technology implies performing these works in multiple passes over the entire surface of the sand layer.

Upon completion of these actions, the quality is assessed not only visually, but also with the help of special devices.

The ways

In order to carry out preparatory work for construction, a sand cushion can be formed by various methods. Their choice directly depends on what kind of tool is in the equipment, how large the area of ​​the working surface is, as well as what are the requirements for the density of the sand substrate.

There are several methods of performing work associated with compaction of sand.

  • A self-driving machine is used, which, with the help of its wheels, ramps the sand. Sometimes trailed-type special equipment is used, equipped with rollers for rolling, with the help of which layer-by-layer compaction is performed in several passes.
  • With the help of a crane, slabs weighing up to 2 tons are dropped onto the working platform.
  • Sand can be compacted with a vibrating plate. a special mechanical device.
  • With the help of a channel or a wide bar, sand can be compacted without a vibrating plate, that is, manually.

The selection of mechanized methods for ramming bulk material depends on the convenience for the operation of specialized equipment, the availability of access roads for it and the thickness of the sand substrate required by the project. On large areas, work is carried out using self-propelled tractors, and small areas are processed by self-propelled rollers. If you need to tamp the sand in a very small, confined space, manual tamping may well be suitable for this case.

In order to efficiently tamp sandy bulk material, several passes are made using a tool on the same working surface, and the tamping movements are performed in a spiral direction. this way you can be sure that there will be no untreated areas of the substrate surface. If, after compaction, the material has subsided greatly, it is possible to add sand to those areas where it is clearly not enough. For a denser compaction of sand particles, it is regularly poured with water, which helps to push air between the grains of sand.

Tamping is carried out by dropping monolithic heavy slabs if the pad consists of clay and sand of a dusty fraction. Such substrates contain air in their multiple cavities, which comes out to the surface under the weight of the monolith. The slab with the help of special equipment rises to a height of 2 meters and is dropped onto the working surface flat. This method allows you to work out the clay-sand mixture to a depth of 1.5-2 meters. Usually, this method is resorted to when preparing the foundation for the foundation of a capital structure.

Make a simple mini-plate compactor for sandstone paving slabs

A work process of this kind is carried out in a continuous mode, but at a fast pace. This continues until the desired result is achieved.

The manual method of forming a sand layer is resorted to when the treated area is small, and the thickness of the sand layer is small. To solve a similar problem, the tool is made from scrap materials. They take a bar of wood, a wide base in the form of a wooden or steel plate is attached perpendicularly to it. The attachment points of the two parts are securely fixed using hardware fasteners or a weld. The result of the work should be a solid construction for manual labor. It has a lot of weight, but a person is able to lift it and perform frequent blows on the sand. To work more efficiently and faster, the horizontal plate is specially weighted with the help of additional metal plates or cement pouring.

All about compaction of sand

Before the installation of foundation structures or preparatory work under the screed, as well as for laying paving slabs, it is necessary to tamp the sand cushion in order to expel the excess air volume from it, squeeze the fine fractions of sand grains together as tightly as possible. After compaction is completed, the sand base becomes very dense, ready for further construction work. To cope with this task, mechanized and manual methods of compacting bulk material are used.

See also  How to tamp crushed stone without a vibration plate. Sand tamping technology for the foundation

How to ram properly?

In order for the frame of the building foundation to be strong, the sand area must be perfectly flat and very dense. This effect is achieved due to the fact that with a well-executed ramming, the required shrinkage is guaranteed at the substrate. Whether it is true or not, after completion of the work, the result must be checked. Quality control of work is carried out with a rope pendulum or level.

In order to properly and with high quality compaction of sand with a vibrating plate, the following important nuances should be observed:

  • the vibrating plate will show its effectiveness if the thickness of the sand layer does not exceed 0.6 m;
  • before starting work, the sand layer is soaked evenly with water, but this must be done evenly and without frills;
  • on the working surface, it is necessary to perform 5-7 passes in both directions.

As soon as the layer of sand is reliably compacted, you can pour in the next batch of sand to continue working. But the thickness of this layer should not exceed 0.6 m.Layers are added until the result is a dense sand cushion of the required thickness according to the project documentation.

For arranging garden paths, before building a garage, before installing the foundation of a country house, a sand pillow is often prepared manually. Sand ramming can be done with a vibrating plate or manually. Self-preparation of the surface will be much cheaper than hired craftsmen.

Consider how manual sand compaction is performed.

  • They purchase a ready-made or independently make a device for manual ramming of a T-shaped type. a horizontal plate is made about 30×30 cm in size, and its weight should be at least 15-20 kg. For the convenience of work, 2 handles are attached to the handle bar on the sides. these grips are needed so that the device can be lifted with two hands at once. If the ramming structure turns out to be too light, it is additionally weighted down with metal or cement.
  • With the help of a self-made tool, uniform and repeated blows are applied to the working surface of the sand mixture. With the help of these blows, it is possible to achieve the removal of voids and air, as well as to compact the sand fractions together. Tamping is performed layer by layer. when 1 layer is tamped, the next portion of sand is poured on top of it.

The process of compaction of sand is not so difficult, but quite a crucial stage in construction. The success of all further work depends on the quality of its implementation, so you need to approach it carefully and conscientiously.

The following video shows sand ramming.

compact, sand, vibratory, plate

How to compact soil, sand under the foundation and paths

There are difficulties in the matter of compaction of soil or other materials, then in our article you will find many answers for yourself.

The foundation is the foundation of all construction, be it a house, a technical structure or just a walkway. From how well you prepare the base. further construction will depend.

This article is devoted to the issue of compaction of materials such as soil, crushed stone, sand, clay, hartsovki, namely, the correct choice of equipment and technology.

In the recent past, the compaction of bulk materials occurred due to spilling with water (hydraulic compaction), by the way, an effective but very energy-consuming method, moreover, and in time, a lot of water will also run away.

Currently, we have available faster and more advanced compaction methods, namely the use of various types of machines.

Sealing machines are classified according to the following:

Vibratory plate. for compaction of soils with a thickness of 5 to 50 cm (weight from 50 to 700 kg).

Distinguish on vibrating plates of direct and reverse motion, that is, according to the presence of control. Basically, vibratory plates weighing more than 150 kg are equipped with a reverse.

Vibratory rammer (vibro-leg). for compacting materials in areas with limited dimensions, such as trenches and gaps between foundations. Compaction depth from 30 to 50 cm, weight from 60 to 100 kg.

Due to the small impact plate, this equipment has a sufficiently high penetration depth with a relatively low weight, which makes it easy to transport it even to already built premises. The disadvantages include low performance.

Vibratory roller. machines for compacting large volumes and areas. Weight from 500 kg to tens of tons. Divided into manual and self-propelled.

Manual lawn rollers.

The choice of equipment depends on the material and its thickness. We recommend inserting material up to 20 cm thick and then compacting it in at least four passes. Below we give the recommended weight of the equipment, namely vibrating plates to the thickness of the material.

Equipment weight, kg

Optimum thickness of the compacted material, cm

How to lay tiles with a vibrating plate

Laying paving slabs using a vibrating plate is not much different from the usual compaction procedure. The only prerequisite is the presence of a special polyurethane or rubber mat, fixed on the working body of the equipment. The mat is necessary in order to avoid unnecessary damage to the tiles. Plates made of polyurethane are preferable because they are more wear-resistant and do not leave black stripes on the surface of the pavement.

When building foundations for houses, garages, country paths and much more, great attention is paid to the substrate consisting of gravel and sand. To ensure that the concrete monolith is laid evenly and does not begin to move over time, it is important to carefully level the underlying layer. For these purposes, you can use specialized vibratory rammers or rolling equipment, but manual ramming will be much cheaper.

See also  How to disassemble and reassemble the Makita screwdriver

The principle of do-it-yourself processing is that with the help of a home-made tool, blows are applied to the surface, due to which sand and crushed stone are compacted. In this case, ramming is performed after the laying of each of these layers.

We make a “shoe”

The next step in creating a tamping tool with your own hands is making a metal “shoe” from a sheet of steel. To cut the plate, use the following template.

Or, you can simply install the timber with its lower end on a sheet of metal and circle it with a pencil.

After that it is necessary:

compact, sand, vibratory, plate
  • Cut the workpiece, as in the picture, using special metal scissors or using an angle grinder.
  • Remove metal burrs from the “shoe”. To do this, it is most convenient to clamp the workpiece in a vice and remove the excess with a file.
  • Without removing the “shoe” from the vice, drill holes for the screws, according to the previously marked points.
  • Sand the surface.
  • Bend the “wings” of the workpiece and install the bar in the “shoe”. If the workpiece turned out to be a little wider, it is necessary to knock out the “wings” with a hammer.
  • Place the drill bit in the screw holes and drill the wood with a slight slope.
  • Fasten screws on all sides.

How to tamp sand with a vibrating plate

The procedure for compacting sand using a vibrating plate is as follows:

  • the layer thickness should not exceed 60 cm;
  • the surface of the entire sealing area must be evenly moistened with water. Water is required so that excessive dust does not rise during work, which has a detrimental effect on filters of construction equipment. At the same time, excess moisture should be avoided, only a moderate amount creates the desired cementitious effect;
  • it takes about 3-5 passes with a vibrating plate;
  • if the achieved degree of compaction suits its characteristics, then the next layer can be poured, etc.

We make blanks

We will prepare the structure according to the drawing shown below.

In order not to get numerous splinters during work, it is recommended to sand and grind the surface of the bar.

Features of sand compaction

Do-it-yourself ramming of sand has some nuances that should be considered when creating a solid foundation for a concrete slab.

First of all, it is worth deciding on the type of sand that is best suited for these purposes. It is better to use gravelly material, but it is not recommended to fill up fine sand for compaction. The larger the grains, the more compressive strength the base will have, so that shrinkage of the future house or parking area can be avoided.

If you are planning to build a monolithic structure, then it is best to give preference to river or quarry sand of the middle fraction. However, even in this case, the underlying layer will be influenced by groundwater. Therefore, in order to prevent the process of erosion of the base, it is necessary to lay geotextiles at the bottom of the trench, and only then fill up the sand.

In addition, before filling the sand, it must be sieved, since the presence of impurities (especially clay) can affect its properties. Monitor the moisture level of the material, the ideal consistency will be if a small ball can be rolled out of the sand, which does not immediately crumble. Accordingly, the moisture level of the sand should be within 8-14%.

Accordingly, 50% of the successful laying of a gravel-sand bed depends on the material itself, the remaining 50% falls on the equipment. As mentioned earlier, specialized machines can be used for these purposes, however, it is much cheaper to make a manual rammer yourself.

In custody

With a hand tool, you can compact sand, gravel or soil. However, it should be borne in mind that in this case the muscle strength of a person is used, therefore it will be expensive to use such a tool to compact large areas. Such rammers are recommended for use when building foundations for small buildings or when arranging garden areas.

Vibratory plates

Vibratory plate is a surface vibratory soil compactor designed for ramming incoherent or poorly cohesive soils and dumps of insignificant thickness. from 10 to 30 cm. Vibratory plates of various capacities compact sand, gravel and gravel, as well as paving slabs and asphalt. The vibratory plate for soil compaction copes with the ramming of areas with a slope, where it is difficult or impossible to use a large-sized roller. Among developers, vibratory plates are rightfully in greatest demand and are gradually replacing vibratory rollers.

Helpful! Sometimes the not quite correct name is attributed to vibrating plates. a surface vibrator. This misunderstanding is due to the fact that the operation of the surface vibrator resembles the compaction of sand with a vibrating plate. However, it has a different field of application. the compaction of thin-layer concrete fill in monolithic construction. A surface vibrator is sometimes used to make homemade vibrating plates.

The quality of compaction depends on the level of soil moisture: with sufficient indicators, the soil becomes plastic and the compaction process is faster. If there is a lack of moisture, the rammed layer is additionally spilled with water, if there is an excess of it, they wait for drying. The humidity level is controlled by an electronic moisture meter.

Soil type Moisture level at maximum compaction,%
Sandy 8. 14
Sandy loam 9. 15
Loamy 12. 18
Clayey 16. 26

Helpful! When tamping loamy and sandy loamy bases with a vibrating plate, to protect against soil adhesion, additional wetting of the working plate of the device is required.

Stages of work on the device and selection of material

Tamping sand under the foundation begins with marking the future foundation using a tape of a non-building level.

How to compact sand without a vibrating plate. Special equipment

The creation of a dense sand layer is one of the main tasks of the preparation stage for screeds or foundation structures, it is important to use the correct methods and tools to expel air and compress particles. for 1 m2. The choice of a specific method determines the purpose of the layer, the captured area and the budget.

  • Purpose of work
  • Sealing methods
  • The cost
See also  What Is A Vibratory Plate For?

Purposes and objectives of ramming

It is carried out when preparing sandy and finely dispersed soils before building houses, backfilling a pillow under slab or strip foundations, forming a hard underlying layer when arranging floors on the ground or laying a foundation under paving stones and fences. Among the tasks are:

  • Protection of erected structures from frost heaving and removal of moisture from them.
  • Leveling the base and strengthening its rigidity.
  • Prevention of deformation of structures under the influence of compression and bending loads, elimination of the risk of their destruction during shrinkage processes.
  • Obtaining a dense and stable layer separating the base of the foundation or screed and straight soil.
  • Elimination of voids and distillation of air.

Sealing methods

There are two ways to compact soil and asphalt pavements: static and vibration.

compact, sand, vibratory, plate

Varieties of vibrating plates

Vibratory plates are classified by weight into:

  • lightweight (up to 75 kg). designed for landscaping and finishing works, effectively compacting a layer of soil 10-15 cm thick;
  • medium weight (from 90 to 140 kg). provide processing thickness up to 35 cm; designed for layer-by-layer compaction;
  • heavy (from 200 kg). used as an alternative to vibratory rollers;
  • universal (75-90 kg).

Depending on the engine type, the soil compaction plate can be diesel, electric or petrol.

The most popular are gasoline models. They are economical and provide freedom of movement around the site and the ability to work at negative temperatures.

Diesel vibratory plates are reliable and durable. Like gasoline, they are independent of the power source. Disadvantages due to heavy weight, high noise levels and difficult work in frosty weather.

Electric vibratory plates limit the working area to the length of the power cable, but are the most environmentally friendly. Used in closed rooms, with limited access to fresh air, where the use of gasoline models is unacceptable due to the risk of poisoning from exhaust gases.

According to the method of movement, vibratory plates are divided into:

  • Reversible. Such models are more maneuverable, but they are distinguished by their high price and high weight. As a rule, they are equipped with a diesel engine. The advantage of reversible vibrating plates is the possibility of reverse movement without turning the equipment. Therefore, they are indispensable for compacting sand and bulk soil in narrow trenches.
  • Translational. Cars of this class are cheaper and lighter, but additional space is required to turn them. When choosing reversible or translational models, you should correctly evaluate the available freedom of movement, so as not to buy expensive equipment in the absence of a real need.

The performance of vibrating plates is determined by:

  • base area;
  • operating frequency;
  • vibration force;
  • engine size (for gasoline and diesel cars).


Rock dumping is used as embankments in road construction, in the construction of platinum and dams, as well as in the construction of runways and seaports. Rock boulders can reach sizes up to 1.5 meters and have significant strength.

The primary laying of rocks is done by bulldozers, they form a fairly flat surface. For further compaction, vibratory rollers of heavy and medium class are used.

Vibrating rammers

The original name of the vibratory rammer for soil compaction is “vibro-leg”. Unlike the vibratory plate, which provides surface compaction, the vibroleg works “in depth” and is capable of compacting soil layers up to 70 cm thick.

A small area of ​​the steel base (up to 10 cm²) is designed to deliver powerful point impacts on the working surface. The engine transmits high-amplitude jerky vibrations to the piston, which drives the steel plate. In the process of work, the force of impacts on the surface makes the vibratory rammer jump up to 60 cm, which is why it is also called a “jumping leg”.

Vibrofoot is the optimal vibration compactor of soil in areas that are difficult to pass for other equipment: in narrow trenches, along foundations and drainage wells, when laying cables and pipelines.

Despite its advantages, the vibratory rammer is not used when compacting asphalt or paving slabs: these surfaces can suffer from strong impacts. In terms of productivity, vibratory rammers are inferior to other types of vibration equipment. Therefore, in large areas, it is better to compact the soil with a vibratory plate or vibratory roller.

Like vibratory plates, vibratory rammers are diesel, gasoline and electric. The choice of the unit by the type of engine is carried out by analogy with vibrating plates.

The efficiency of vibratory rammers is determined by:

  • impact force;
  • base area;
  • operating frequency;
  • weight (possible options. from 50 to 80 kg);
compact, sand, vibratory, plate


Arrangement of a pillow without tamping sand under the foundation is used in the following cases:

  • On problem ground. Erected on heaving, mobile soil, in other words, a peat bog, the strip base warps quickly enough, which leads to its destruction. How to tamp the sand and is it really possible to tamp it with a vibrating plate weight as an option. A sand cushion allows you to increase the strength of the soil, preserve the integrity of the foundation, not its stability;
  • For leveling the base. The sand poured in a thin layer helps our client to hide the unevenness of the soil before the foundation is poured;
  • To prevent shrinkage of buildings and structures. By virtue of its qualities, the compacted sand is not subject to compression or tension;
  • To prevent the negative effects of moisture on the foundation. Since the sand cushion prevents water from contacting the substrate, its lifespan is greatly increased.