How much concrete is too much?

I need to make three footer pads for an ornamental metal fence/gate I am making. The upright posts will be 3x3x.120" and six foot or seven foot high depending on which gate. They will have approximately 8'w x 6' high (or 7' high) gates on them. The fourth post will anchor to an existing concrete slab by way of a 12" x 12" baseplate.
I want to pour a substantial footing so that they do not move in the ground when opened. Both will be supported from one in line direction with the additional fencing, but when the gates are open, they will be hanging 90 degrees from that reinforcement/support. I have decided to pour approximately 18" square by 24" deep footers into sandy soil.
Question: when using sack concrete, what is the most you can mix up at one time. I would like to mix enough to pour each footer in one homogenous pour rather than mixing bags and pouring each on top of the previous one, which by now has had time to dry and set. I will be using rebar.
Do I just use a large trough, and mix enough? A wheelbarrow full? Will the time differential make a difference if I make up say two sacks at a time in the wheelbarrow and pour when mixed?
Just want to do it once and have it last longer than I do. And not sag or move.
Steve
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<< what is the most you can mix up at one time. I would like to mix enough to pour each footer in one homogenous pour rather than mixing bags and pouring each on top of the previous one, which by now has had time to dry and set >>
Been there, done that many times. Use a good heavy wheelbarrow for mixing. One bag (80 lbs.) is convenient, not too strenuous. Setting time is way slower than you think but if you're out in the desert sun, buy some bag ice and throw it in your water bucket to make a cool mix , and don't work in the heat of the day. Good luck.
Joe
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Just get a teenage boy to do the mixing. You can mix and pour, even if the first pour is set by the time the last one is poured, don't worry, it will still be a single chunk.
For the best results however get ready mix. It may even be cheaper than the bags. You have an easy pour. You also could get a towable mixer, but I don't think that is necessary.
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Joseph E. Meehan

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On Tue, 2 Sep 2003 08:07:38 -0500, "Mike Dobony"

------------------------- That is excellent advice!
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If I did the math right that is 7 80lb bags per footer. 2 bags at a time is a fairly easy mix. If you have a young strong helper to do the mixing you won't have any problems. Let him mix, take a break while you shovel and mix again as fast as you can. Buy one 94 lb bag of Portland at the same time and at it to the quickcrete at approx 5 lbs per bag and you will have a very strong mix.
I personally think that one of those 3 x 4 plastic mixing tubs sold (at Lowes and HD) where ready mix is sold is superior to a wheelbarrow.
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Colbyt
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It's strange to me that no one has questioned the 3 X 3 post. Seems very small for 6 or 7 foot high gates to me. It also seems that setting in concrete only 24 inches deep in sandy soil will lead to tilted post and dragging gates in short order. JMHO
Tom J

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True, I with a gate hung like that, I wouldn't go for less than a footing as deep as the gate is high. A four foot high gate = a minimum four foot deep footing. Four foot deep footings are considered the norm out here where there is winter. High stress items would rate a deeper footing. I have a gate beside my house set in 5 foot deep postholes filled with concrete.

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On Mon, 1 Sep 2003 16:17:32 -0700, "Desert Traveler"

3x3x10 posts? Let alone finding a 3x3, you may want a sturdier post. Unless these are 3x3 box steel or 3" pipe, since you mention metal fence and gates. You also don't mention the gate width, so there's no real way to offer advice on this. Be sure to set at least one third of the post in the ground, 3 feet or so in your measurements.

18 x 24 doesn't make sense if you set the posts in the concrete. You'll want at least 36 and 12" diameter should be fine. Use a Sonotube to form it.

The most *I* can mix? Three bags no trouble, four if I push it. But I have a small concrete mixer. If you rent one, you can get a larger one that can take 5-6 bags at a time.

Concrete doesn't set that fast, you'll be fine a bag at a time if you just work steady. It only takes five minutes or so to mix a bag in a wheelbarrow or tub.

Not enough time to worry about. Don't use quick setting mix, just standard concrete. Mix it a little dry and pack it with a rod as you pour. You don't want an easy to pour soup.

You *could* call a pro to do it. But I wouldn't either. Concrete's not rocket science, it's pretty forgiving and except for the weght and the damn digging of the holes (rent an auger) it's not that hard.
Jeff
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Jeff, As one person suggested... use a sonotube and dig the hole 3x's as deep as it is wide. you have no need to worry about mixing..... pour a dry 50lbs (not 80lb) bag in the tube (one at a time) then not adding too much water, just tamp with a piece of pipe for several minutes to mix well. Make a temporary support to hold fence post for a day! Good luck, Mike
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