Concrete - Using Quickcrete, how much to mix?

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This is my first crack at concrete. Small job and I figure I'll need a bit over 1.5 cubic feet, and I'm planning to do the work this afternoon. I've almost finished my forms and am reading the instructions in my Reader's Digest Complete DIY book.
I read the instructions on the bag of Quickcrete (60 lb.) I bought, and it says to use 4 quarts of water with it, maximum 5 quarts. There's no mention of how many cubic feet (or inches, I figure a cubic foot is 1725 cubic inches) I can expect to get out of a 60 lb. bag. I don't want to mix much more than I'll need, and figure a sure don't want to mix less. How do I determine how much to mix?
To extend the mix, I figure to put in some crushed concrete or rocks I have. I have tons of that stuff around (maybe literally!), and figure I'll crush some with a sledge hammer. Not much, just some near the bottom of the pour.
Thanks for the help!
Dan
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snipped-for-privacy@privacy.net wrote:

...
http://www.quikrete.com/Calculator/Main.asp
A 60-lb bag will make just under 0.5 cu-ft, an 80 about 0.6. It's printed on the bags somewhere, I'm sure.
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: snipped-for-privacy@privacy.net wrote: :> This is my first crack at concrete. Small job and I figure I'll need a :> bit over 1.5 cubic feet, and I'm planning to do the work this afternoon. :... :> I read the instructions on the bag of Quickcrete (60 lb.) I bought, and :> it says to use 4 quarts of water with it, maximum 5 quarts. There's no :> mention of how many cubic feet (or inches, I figure a cubic foot is 1725 :> cubic inches) I can expect to get out of a 60 lb. bag. I don't want to :> mix much more than I'll need, and figure a sure don't want to mix less. :> How do I determine how much to mix? : :http://www.quikrete.com/Calculator/Main.asp : :A 60-lb bag will make just under 0.5 cu-ft, an 80 about 0.6. It's :printed on the bags somewhere, I'm sure.
Yeah, probably printed. I cut out the instructions and threw away the bag, storing the mix in plastic containers to seal out moisture. The instructions don't say.
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Info from a from a Jun 16 2007 thread
http://www.quickrete.com/PDFs/SPEC_DATA-ConcreteMix.pdf
60 lb bag .45 cu ft 80 lb bag .60 cu ft
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On Wed, 01 Oct 2008 10:58:58 -0700, Dan Musicant ( snipped-for-privacy@privacy.net) wrote:

They say you get a half CF from a 60lb bag but I usually seem to get a little less than that.
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Assuming you're planting a post, I'd say get a second 60# bag and bring the volume up to 1.5 CF with your aggregate. Remember to slope the surface for drainage away from the post.
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Dan Musicant wrote:

Get another bag. Mix up one bag. If it's not enough, mix up the second.
Unmixed concrete doesn't keep very long. It sucks the moisture out of the air.
Hint 1: A wheelbarrow makes an excellent mixing venue. Hint 2. Start mixing with much less water than you think you'll need. Add a little bit at a time. It is VERY easy to use too much water.
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wrote:
:Dan Musicant wrote: :> This is my first crack at concrete. Small job and I figure I'll need a :> bit over 1.5 cubic feet, and I'm planning to do the work this :> afternoon. I've almost finished my forms and am reading the :> instructions in my Reader's Digest Complete DIY book. :> :> I read the instructions on the bag of Quickcrete (60 lb.) I bought, :> and it says to use 4 quarts of water with it, maximum 5 quarts. :> There's no mention of how many cubic feet (or inches, I figure a :> cubic foot is 1725 cubic inches) I can expect to get out of a 60 lb. :> bag. I don't want to mix much more than I'll need, and figure a sure :> don't want to mix less. How do I determine how much to mix? :> :> To extend the mix, I figure to put in some crushed concrete or rocks I :> have. I have tons of that stuff around (maybe literally!), and figure :> I'll crush some with a sledge hammer. Not much, just some near the :> bottom of the pour. :> : :Get another bag. Mix up one bag. If it's not enough, mix up the second. : :Unmixed concrete doesn't keep very long. It sucks the moisture out of the :air. : :Hint 1: A wheelbarrow makes an excellent mixing venue. :Hint 2. Start mixing with much less water than you think you'll need. Add a :little bit at a time. It is VERY easy to use too much water. : OK, thanks. I'll go buy another bag. Even so, I figure I'll have to add rock, I probably have a couple of tons in the yard! I have to break up some, though. Did some already.l
I wish I was doing something as easy as a post, It's actually a tricky little border. The one that's there for some reason they didn't complete it and the rest was done with unmortared bricks, just stacked there. Tired of realigning the bricks I decided to complete the raised concrete border, which requires forms and some care so the whole thing matches.
I have a wheelbarrow I can use. I saw a crew do some concrete work in my yard around a year ago and have an idea how to go about it. They did a trenchless sewer replacement. I enjoyed watching them do the concrete.
Dan
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snipped-for-privacy@privacy.net wrote: ...

Get two, once you're started you won't have time for a trip.
...

You have a trowel and edging tool to use to put a finish on it?
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: snipped-for-privacy@privacy.net wrote: :... :> OK, thanks. I'll go buy another bag. Even so, I figure I'll have to add :> rock, I probably have a couple of tons in the yard! I have to break up :> some, though. Did some already.l : :Get two, once you're started you won't have time for a trip. : :... : :> I have a wheelbarrow I can use. I saw a crew do some concrete work in my :> yard around a year ago and have an idea how to go about it. ... : :You have a trowel and edging tool to use to put a finish on it?
Well, don't have an edging tool and thought of making or buying one but the concrete edging I'm duplicating here doesn't really have an edge. The edge is basically sharp, or almost, so I'm not concerned about it. I do have a trowel.
I bought only one extra bag, but it proved more than enough. I wound up using a little over 1 1/2 bags. I mixed one, used it and then mixed the other.
What I decided was that I'd dug down too far and I filled in a lot of the trough with dirt. I think it was really too deep and a waste of concrete.
I think it probably came out pretty OK, but won't know for sure until it's cured, I guess. I don't know when to remove the forms. Should I wait 5 days until the concrete's cured?
I was disappointed in the Quikcrete. It seemed to me that there was too large a proportion of rocks, not enough cement. It was a LOT of work getting a smooth surface. Maybe I didn't put in enough water, but instructions I read suggested that too much water is apt to produce crumbly concrete, whereas too little will produce concrete that's hard to work. Rather than risk the former, I went with being maybe bit conservative in the amount of water.
To cure, I think I'm supposed to keep it damp. How important is that? It's supposed to rain here starting in a couple of days for maybe 1/2 a day.
Dan
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snipped-for-privacy@privacy.net wrote:

You can remove the forms after an hour or so. I watched a professional crew do a driveway ramp last month at a Habitat for Humanity house, and they took off the forms after 30 minutes.

Quikcrete is fast-setting, hence the name. You only have about 15 minutes to mix it, pour it, and work it, maybe a little longer if you mix it wet. Sakcrete is the regular stuff, with the long open time.
I like the consistency to be about like peanut butter.

Don't worry about it. It's already cured. You used Quikcrete, remember? You can spray it lightly with the hose a couple of times per day if you want, and you can put some old tote sacks over it to keep it moist longer. The "keep it moist" recommendation is for big jobs, like a slab, where you worry about cracks.
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Steve Bell
New Life Home Improvement
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On Thu, 2 Oct 2008 03:46:18 +0000 (UTC), "SteveBell"
:Quikcrete is fast-setting, hence the name. You only have about 15 :minutes to mix it, pour it, and work it, maybe a little longer if you :mix it wet. Sakcrete is the regular stuff, with the long open time.
I took a lot longer than that. It wasn't too warm. Maybe 72-70, and the sun was obscured by clouds. It was damn hard to smooth the surface though, but I resisted the temptation to add water. I did spray one area a tiny bit with water. : :I like the consistency to be about like peanut butter.
Must be the chunkiest damn peanut butter ever. To me it seemed like almost all rocks. : :> To cure, I think I'm supposed to keep it damp. How important is that? :> It's supposed to rain here starting in a couple of days for maybe 1/2 :> a day. : :Don't worry about it. It's already cured. You used Quikcrete, remember? :You can spray it lightly with the hose a couple of times per day if you :want, and you can put some old tote sacks over it to keep it moist :longer. The "keep it moist" recommendation is for big jobs, like a :slab, where you worry about cracks.
Next time I'll look for slower stuff. I was in no hurry. It seems set OK now. The sides are very rough, though. Since they were against the forms I had no chance to smooth them with the trowel. I did try to force the mix down very will with a narrow tamping tool, but even so, the sides are just stones exposed. Only the top is smooth.
Here are some pictures:
Rough sides:
http://fox302.com/index.pl?s=vf&user=Muse&category=Muse_JPGs&file=Roughsides.jpg
Is there something I can do to fill in the sides? I figure it will hold up, it just looks lousy.
Forms:
http://fox302.com/index.pl?s=vf&user=Muse&category=Muse_JPGs&file=Forms.jpg
Net effect:
http://fox302.com/index.pl?s=vf&user=Muse&category=Muse_JPGs&file=Neteffect.jpg
Dan
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snipped-for-privacy@privacy.net wrote:

http://fox302.com/index.pl?s=vf&user=Muse&category=Muse_JPGs&file=Roughsides.jpg
http://fox302.com/index.pl?s=vf&user=Muse&category=Muse_JPGs&file=Forms.jpg
http://fox302.com/index.pl?s=vf&user=Muse&category=Muse_JPGs&file=Neteffect.jpg
You needed more water. Oh well, live and learn. It will work just fine.
Let the concrete cure for a few weeks (or months if you want) until it gets its final color, then apply some sanded mortar. The store will have a color chart you can use to get the best match. I have a Mapei (brand name) chart that must have 60 different colors, so there's bound to be one that will suit you.
Heck, go wild and cover the whole border with the nice turquoise color. ;-)
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New Life Home Improvement
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On Thu, 2 Oct 2008 23:44:45 +0000 (UTC), "SteveBell"
: snipped-for-privacy@privacy.net wrote: : :> Rough sides: :> :
http://fox302.com/index.pl?s=vf&user=Muse&category=Muse_JPGs&file=Roughsides.jpg
:> :> Is there something I can do to fill in the sides? I figure it will :> hold up, it just looks lousy. :> :> Forms: :> :
http://fox302.com/index.pl?s=vf&user=Muse&category=Muse_JPGs&file=Forms.jpg
:> :> Net effect: :> :
http://fox302.com/index.pl?s=vf&user=Muse&category=Muse_JPGs&file=Neteffect.jpg
: :You needed more water. Oh well, live and learn. It will work just fine. : :Let the concrete cure for a few weeks (or months if you want) until it :gets its final color, then apply some sanded mortar. The store will :have a color chart you can use to get the best match. I have a Mapei :(brand name) chart that must have 60 different colors, so there's bound :to be one that will suit you. : :Heck, go wild and cover the whole border with the nice turquoise color. :;-)
I have some Quikcrete mortar, 60 lb that I've been storing in plastic, sort of like drywall mix containers to remortar my external brick walls. I'll maybe use that or if I don't like the color go for a color match. Thanks!
Dan
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snipped-for-privacy@privacy.net wrote: ...

...
Too dry--it's got to have enough liquidity that it will flow and this obviously didn't.

... Now you can use another Quikrete product! :)
Either the vinyl patching concrete or the surface repair will work. I'd do either right away, however, while the other is still green and damp for better bonding.
I've had good success on the old barn foundation w/ some chips, etc., that weren't very deep w/ it holding using the vinyl patch.
The stucco overcoat isn't bad idea other then doing whole thing rather than patching the new section only...of course, that has the advantage of it then does all have same finish.
--
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: snipped-for-privacy@privacy.net wrote: :... :> Next time I'll look for slower stuff. I was in no hurry. It seems set OK :> now. The sides are very rough, though. Since they were against the forms :> I had no chance to smooth them with the trowel. I did try to force the :> mix down very will with a narrow tamping tool, but even so, the sides :> are just stones exposed. Only the top is smooth. :> :> Here are some pictures: :> :> Rough sides: :... : :Too dry--it's got to have enough liquidity that it will flow and this :obviously didn't. : :> Is there something I can do to fill in the sides? I figure it will hold :> up, it just looks lousy. :... :Now you can use another Quikrete product! :) : :Either the vinyl patching concrete or the surface repair will work. I'd :do either right away, however, while the other is still green and damp :for better bonding. : :I've had good success on the old barn foundation w/ some chips, etc., :that weren't very deep w/ it holding using the vinyl patch. : :The stucco overcoat isn't bad idea other then doing whole thing rather :than patching the new section only...of course, that has the advantage :of it then does all have same finish.
Well, this was a good lesson in how to and how not to. I'll go down to that hardware emporium (OSH) and I'm sure they'll have those products.
The Quikcrete bags said to start with 2 qt water and add more a little at a time and in no circumstances use more than 3.5 qt. I started with a gallon jug, starting with 2 qt and used about 2.5-2.75 qt all in all, sort of in between their min-max values.
I suppose since it was mixed dry, proper curing is even more important. I've been spraying a few times a day with a mister.
Dan
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snipped-for-privacy@privacy.net wrote:

I intended to comment on this before -- the earlier comment that "all" Quikrete products are fast-setting is simply not so--"Quikrete" is a registered trademark for the Quikrete companies' products. Everything is branded w/ the trademark. They do have quick-setting products, but they (iirc) come in red bags and are easily identified.

I judge based on mixing and how stiff I want the mixture for a given purpose--a little practice and you'll learn. It shouldn't be exceedingly runny, of course, but as you learned it does need to be able to flow sufficiently to fill voids.
No larger a pour than you have and since you've said the weather hasn't been hot, there's no concern over excessive drying out too quickly on this.
Get whatever you choose for the patching/surfacing and go ahead while it's green so it'll bond better than if you wait a month...
--
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: snipped-for-privacy@privacy.net wrote:
:>
:> :... :> :> Next time I'll look for slower stuff. ... : :I intended to comment on this before -- the earlier comment that "all" :Quikrete products are fast-setting is simply not so--"Quikrete" is a :registered trademark for the Quikrete companies' products. Everything :is branded w/ the trademark. They do have quick-setting products, but :they (iirc) come in red bags and are easily identified. : :> Well, this was a good lesson in how to and how not to. I'll go down to :> that hardware emporium (OSH) and I'm sure they'll have those products. :> :> The Quikcrete bags said to start with 2 qt water and add more a little :> at a time and in no circumstances use more than 3.5 qt. I started with a :> gallon jug, starting with 2 qt and used about 2.5-2.75 qt all in all, :> sort of in between their min-max values. :> :> I suppose since it was mixed dry, proper curing is even more important. :> I've been spraying a few times a day with a mister. : :I judge based on mixing and how stiff I want the mixture for a given :purpose--a little practice and you'll learn. It shouldn't be :exceedingly runny, of course, but as you learned it does need to be able :to flow sufficiently to fill voids. : :No larger a pour than you have and since you've said the weather hasn't :been hot, there's no concern over excessive drying out too quickly on this. : :Get whatever you choose for the patching/surfacing and go ahead while :it's green so it'll bond better than if you wait a month...
I'm doing it today. It's going to rain some tonight. I figure that's OK if I get this done ~10 hours earlier. I could easily tarp, otherwise. Should I tarp? Thanks.
Dan
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snipped-for-privacy@privacy.net wrote: ...

No need, no...it'll have nearly cured by then being such a thin application.
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On Thu, 02 Oct 2008 06:51:37 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@invalid.com wrote:
:On Wed, 01 Oct 2008 20:23:38 -0700, Dan Musicant ( snipped-for-privacy@privacy.net) :wrote: : :>I was disappointed in the Quikcrete. It seemed to me that there was too :>large a proportion of rocks, not enough cement. It was a LOT of work :>getting a smooth surface. Maybe I didn't put in enough water, but :>instructions I read suggested that too much water is apt to produce :>crumbly concrete, whereas too little will produce concrete that's hard :>to work. Rather than risk the former, I went with being maybe bit :>conservative in the amount of water. : :I have always felt that Quickcrete (all brands), never contain enough :raw cement. It's weak. I either mix my own using sand, stone, and :portland cement, or if the job is real small I use Quickcrete, but I :add a little more portland cement. (I bought a bag of portland some :years ago, and keep it in a well sealed plastic pail).
THAT idea I like! Portland cement to supplement the Quikcrete. It was murder getting that stuff smooth. I was just lucky I didn't have a lot to do. Less than 2 square feet to smooth. It was tricky, though. There was a tight corner where I couldn't use my trowel and I used a small wood & compressed board one I made many years ago. Lucky I had that.
: :As far as keeping it moist, for a small job like yours, wet rags over :the pour work well. Saves soaking it several times a day. In hot :weather, a tarp or plastic trash bags over the rags help too. : :Dont wait 5 days to remove forms. They will be hard to remove. :Remove within 24 hours. In hot weather that can mean an hour after :the pouring, but I prefer to wait several hours to avoid sag. You can :usually tell when it's set.
I'll remove the forms today for sure. Thanks.
Dan
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