concrete

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mtngun
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Location: Where the Salmon joins the Snake

concrete

Postby mtngun » Thu Feb 28, 2008 5:53 am

from the old forum:

The ready-mix driver wanted me to meet him at the top of the hill so he wouldn't get lost. On the way, I saw these deer.
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And then this bear. Sorry for the poor photo. That bear needs to learn to pose for the camera.
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And then a couple of miles down the road, another bear, and he was even more camera shy, so I didn't get a photo.

The driver asked me how wet I wanted it. I said "I'll let you be the judge," thinking he knew far more about it than I did. So it came out pretty darned soupy. Just as we had one side filled, one of the forms blew out. Damn @@!!!!###

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Partly because of the blowout, we ran short at the other end. That wouldn't have been a big deal, except the mix was so soupy that the low spot was sucking mix from the rest of the pour, and making it impossible to maintain a level near the low spot.

I was not happy. It's not really a big practical problem, since the problem spots can be patched up on the next pour, and they are mostly footers that will eventually be covered up any way. It's just that I wanted things to go perfect since it was my first big pour.

It is now nearly 3 hours since the pour began and the mix is still too soupy to float. What happened is that they added a bunch of retarder to compensate for the 2 hour drive out here. I don't think the driver had a great deal of experience with the retarder, causing him to misjudge how much water to add. If the mix hadn't been so soupy, it might not have blown out, and it would have been easier to patch up the mess. But I am not pointing fingers at anyone because it was a learning experience for both of us.

Lessons learned: 1) need better bracing 2) order a little extra and prepare a place to put the extra (there's plenty of projects that need concrete around here) and 3) ask the driver to take it easy on the water. You can always add more water if the mix is too dry.

On a positive note, I used hardware cloth in several places to patch awkward gaps in the forms, and it worked great. If I had used the hardware cloth instead of boards where the form blew out, I think it would have held. The hardware cloth is cheap, easy to cut and fit around rebar, and can fastened to the boards with nails or to the rebar with tie wire.
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mtngun
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Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2008 5:45 pm
Location: Where the Salmon joins the Snake

Re: concrete

Postby mtngun » Thu Feb 28, 2008 7:25 pm

Preparing for 2nd pour.,

More gravel, more styrofoam.
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Many trips to the river for gravel. A couple of mulie fawns sprinting down the Doumeck grade.

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6 mil plastic and rebar. A full days work in the hot sun.

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mtngun
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Posts: 1639
Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2008 5:45 pm
Location: Where the Salmon joins the Snake

Re: concrete

Postby mtngun » Thu Feb 28, 2008 7:39 pm

Well, the concrete company canceled the 2nd pour. They didn't give a reason and didn't offer to reschedule. There is only one other concrete company in the area, so I tracked them down -- literally -- after knocking on several doors, I eventually found the owner in a bar. He was able to send a truck up the next day.

The bad news is that they didn't put enough retarder in the mix, and the concrete was setting up before we finished unloading the truck. What a nightmare. Also, they charged $190 per yard.

I was ready for the third and final pour the next day, but things don't work that way. This is the busy season for the concrete companies, and they have a backlog of work, so I have to wait another week. The final pour is scheduled for July 13. I hope they get the retarder dosage right this time.

While I am waiting for concrete to show up, I keep busy hauling gravel up the mountain. It's amazing how much gravel is required to build a house.

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mtngun
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Re: concrete

Postby mtngun » Thu Feb 28, 2008 7:47 pm

The $190 per yard concrete showed up this morning, and this time the retarder and the water were perfect. The floor area floated quite nicely. The only problem was that the concrete set up before I could give the outside edges a final float job. Those edges are part of the footer and will eventually be buried, so no harm was done except to my pride. All in all, it was a success, and I even had fun doing it. :D Quite the contrast to pours #1 and #2.

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Then I spent the rest of the afternoon hand pulling a patch of thistle. They were about to go to seed, so I it seemed like a good time to pull them. I'm trying to improve the quality of my pasture to make it more attractive to deer and elk. If you haven't spent a hot afternoon pulling thistle, you don't know what you are missing. :shock:

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mtngun
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Location: Where the Salmon joins the Snake

Re: concrete

Postby mtngun » Thu Feb 28, 2008 7:48 pm

Today I pulled the forms, cleaned them, and stacked them neatly. They'll probably be resused somewhere down the road.

Then I installed the rest of the perf pipe around the perimeter of the foundation, and backfilled it with gravel. Yet another load of gravel will be required to finish the job.


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