*Hand Mixing Concrete*
When you canít afford a cement mixer and you need to make concrete it can easily be done by hand. All youíll need for tools is a decent sized wheelbarrow, a shovel and a garden hoe.
Iím using a 94 pound bag of concrete mix. This isnít Sakrete where all you do is add water. This stuff needs to be mixed with sand, but it lasts much longer. Itís just as strong too. An 80 pound bag of Sakrete made me one wheelbarrow full. This 94 pound bag makes 7 wheelbarrow worth. Itís about the same price as Sakrete. 1 wheelbarrow load of Sakrete filled 1.5 tubes. 1 wheelbarrow of Quikrete and gravel fills 3. (32" high) So 21 holes per 94 pound bag of Quikrete or 1.5 holes per 80 pound bag of Sakrete. You do the math.
Ratio= 1 shovel full of cement (a touch more doesnít hurt) for every 5 shovels full of gravel.
Ok hereís how itís done. Have a dry shovel dedicated for the Quikrete bag only. Donít allow it to get wet. Shovel 10 shovels full of clean gravel (grittier the better) into the wheel barrow. Clean means that you donít want clay clumps or other clumpy material in it. Then add 2 shovels full of Quikrete. This will give you a good mix, I tend to throw in an extra Ĺ shovel full just cuz. It makes it even STRONGER! DONíT ADD WATER YET!!
Quikrete on top of gravel--------------------------------------Mixed up dry
While itís all still dry, use the hoe and mix it up. Be sure to scrape the entire bottom of the wheelbarrow. Keep mixing until thereís an equal consistency of Quickrete and gravel. In other words you donít want a big huge line of gravel or Quikrete. Doing this first will make this next part much easier.
Now you can add water. Soak the top of the mixture and have a big puddle on it. Then use the hoe and start mixing. Be sure to constantly scrape the entire bottom. Once everything is mixed youíre good to go. For the purpose of filling cement blocks as I am, the mixture needs to be slightly soupy. This allows it to settle into the tubes and cracks better. Takes a little longer to dry and harden, but thatís ok. It makes a much stronger bond by doing so.
A couple pointers. Each time youíre done with the hoe, rinse it off, thatís after EVERY mix. Periodically rinse the wheelbarrow too to prevent the cement from sticking to it.
There you have it, the poor manís way of mixing up concrete. The using it article will come shortly.
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