2/23/12

How to Mix Concrete by Hand

I'm sure the manly men in the audience are aware of how to mix concrete without a mixer. Until now, I had been blessed with good experiences with mixers. Well, one day the mixer was disinclined to function, so we mixed it by hand. Here's how it goes.

  1. Put down four wheelbarrow loads sand, then a bag of cement spread over the pile. Then do that again on top of the load.
  2. Start on one side of the pile with shovels and move it to make another pile. Start at the bottom of the pile to allow the falling sand and concrete to mix as it collapses. Then, when you're good and tired of turning the pile. Do it again until you're back to where you started. Now the mixture is ready for water.
  3. Make a "volcano" from the mixture that is low and flat. Dump in about 10 gallons of water.
  4. Begin working around the outside of the volcano moving dry mix from the outside to the "rim" gradually making it higher and allowing mix to fall into the water in the center. Add about another 10 gallons of water. 
  5. Continue working the pile up higher and higher without allowing the water to spill out. The goal is to build it up high and slowly, constantly moving dry mixture from the outside up to the top where it can hold water in as well as spill into the center. 
 You're done when a.) the water spills out and you have to work even harder to mix it, or b.) the mixture is pretty much evenly wet and about 3 feet tall. You may need to add a little more water from here to get it to a good consistently, but you're at a great start.

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