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Country Discussion Topics
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How NOT to mix concrete!
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Lynn Kasdorf - Leesburg,    Posted 08-04-2003 at 08:39:13       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I recently picked up an old Wards cement mixer as part of an estate sale. It was lacking a motor, and had no means of moving.

I attached wheels and handles, so I can move it around like a wheelbarrow, and installed a 1/2 hp motor and scrounged a belt from my collection.

So- since I need to pour some post footings, let's use it! I dumped in 2 80# bags of quickrete, started the mixer and started adding water.

I quickly realized my mistake- a lot of the cement was caking at the bottom of the drum. I figured that the spinning of the mixer woudl break it loose, but it didn't. I had to shut it off, carefully break the caking loose with various implements, spin it, add more water mix, dump some, shut off, break loose, add water, mix, dump, etc until I finally got it all unstuck and cleaned out. Gee, what a great labor savor this thing is! :(

So- The next time I use it, I'll put water in first, then slowly add in the dry mix.


DeadCarp    Posted 08-04-2003 at 20:42:29       [Reply]  [No Email]
Oh there are lots of ways to screwup concrete - you don't even have to be a greenhorn! I asked one redimix driver about a nearby pile of concrete, so he told me - he said the well-attired customers were oriental - Korean or something - and didn't speak much English. But they wanted redimix and their money was green, so he pulled in with a load. They gestured that they wanted him to dump it on the front lawn, so he kinda made them a gift of a small tarp he had in the truck. Well, everybody just smiled and watched as he let the stuff fall, nobody got a wheelbarrow or anything, and when he was empty he pulled up a block or so and started hosing the drum out in the wash. To his surprise, the guys piled into a car and went driving off for lunch apparently. Next day the mud was still there, decidedly harder than it had been. Don't know how that one came out. :)


DL    Posted 08-04-2003 at 18:58:39       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I forgot to mention that the amount of water you put in the mix is paramount to the strength and durability of the concrete. In general, less water you put in, the stronger the concrete will be. However, if too little water, the concrete cannot be mixed well and all the chemical reactions needed cannot complete. The recommended portion should be strictly followed. Another important factor is how you place the concrete. There are many small air bubbles in the mixture. One should try the best to get them out. They have a very detrimental effect on the strength and durability of the concrete.


DL    Posted 08-04-2003 at 17:55:26       [Reply]  [Send Email]
By definition a concrete contains cement, sand, and gravel. The proportion has to be right which depends on the type of cement and the enviroment it will be in (i.g. freezing or not). But, in general, there are more sand than cement and there are more gravel than sand. The gravel inside a concrete mixer removes any cement or sand that stick on the wall the mixer. Are there gravel in your mix? If not, you have to use the type of mixer with blade in it.


Lynn Kasdorf, Leesburg, V    Posted 08-04-2003 at 20:54:33       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I am mixing bagged Quickrete, which has sand and gravel. My mixer has 4 blades in it.

It is a generally known fact that you always add the water first in a mixer like this?

When mixing in a wheelbarrow, I always put the mix in first, then add water, so I naturally tried this with the motorized mixer, without thinking.


JDK...lol    Posted 08-04-2003 at 10:25:51       [Reply]  [No Email]
BTDT,also tried running mixer with std gas engine-centrifical clutch,instead of reduction gear engine.As they say,"Live and Learn".Found out 50-70 RPM was about right speed on drum,also that different mixes mix better at different drum angle
settings.


Skinwhittler -    Posted 08-04-2003 at 10:18:58       [Reply]  [No Email]
makes me think. we got a old wheelbarrow whots got pounds of crete on it. must be all crete an no metal by now.


Cindi    Posted 08-04-2003 at 15:32:56       [Reply]  [No Email]
Oh...I didn't know that...water first, huh. You could have saved me some very real trouble there in my future. Thank you, and I am being sincere. Ask anybody.


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