It's a good thing I'm not getting paid by the hour - but at least I'm
learning how to make mistakes in my first alt.home.repair sandstone tile
& flagstone walkways:
First lesson learned was to wear better gloves!
The tips of the middle & pointer fingers of both hands are worn through
the skin already!
Another lesson learned was that 5-gallon buckets are just too small to
mix mortar well! I will go to Home Depot tomorrow to buy a concrete pan!
What I did learn was that buckets are still needed. Lots and lots of
Another lesson learned is that I made the mortar far too wet! And, I put
far too little in the first, second, and third time I tried! And I didn't
make enough. Given that, the sandstones were at first too low, and then
they were sinking in the mud. There must be a fine line between lousy and
just right - and I'm no where near it!
In addition, forms are MANDATORY! I tried doing it without a form, but,
in the middle of laying the first two stones, I found myself hastily
building a form just to hold the two inches of mortar back!
Along that vein, it's helpful to have two jobs going at once. The first
job is the critical one. The second is simply a place to dump the extra
mortar... perhaps to fill the bottom tier of a form. With a second job
handy, I don't feel so badly making more mortar than I need.
Another thing I learned is that the location of the sandstone laid out as
flagstone is vastly easier than choosing the flagstone to be then cut
into tile to fit a defined space. Here's the flagstone, for example, that
I very roughly laid out in a semicircle out of the waste products left
over from the tiling job:
I'll leave it with those of my lessons, for now. I'm sure tomorrow will
The most painful of all the lessons was that these leather gloves, while
fantastic for outside work, stink for working with wet concrete!
The only good news is that I now have no more fingerprints - so - I guess
I can rob a bank and not get caught (as long as I don't bleed on the bank
Thanks for all your help. It looks sooooo easy in the videos. But they
don't tell you all this stuff!