Lessons learned on my first alt.home.repair mortar & flagstone job! (thanks to all)

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On Sun, 05 Feb 2012 07:37:54 -0500, Jim Elbrecht wrote:

Waking up, I'm learning that lesson right now!
I also learned the cloth kneepads I have are substandard to the rubber ones, if only because they get so soaking wet that you're soaked through to the pants leg.
I decided to raise the level the two inches ... so ... I have to form and concrete the footing to raise it up. But I can't raise it too high up because the sandstone 'tile' are uneven thicknesses.
I realize now that even thicknesses would have been a blessing when I have to pour the concrete and then after it hardens, plop the mortar on top to lay the sandstone 'tile'.
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On 2/5/2012 2:51 AM, Chuck Banshee wrote:

I use my wheelbarrow for mixing concrete.
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On Sun, 05 Feb 2012 09:04:02 -0500, Frank wrote:

Makes sense. I'll try that this morning.
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On 2/5/2012 10:02 AM, Chuck Banshee wrote:

Considering the multiple uses of a wheelbarrow and infrequent need for something to mix cement, it should do you.
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On Sun, 05 Feb 2012 12:17:32 -0500, Frank

Though I will say-- for the price- a tub has advantages. You can mix in it while the wheelbarrow is hauling 'stuff'. The flat bottom is a plus when trying to get things mixed. Easy to pick up and dump onto a site.
If your wheelbarrow is metal, the plastic tubs are a lot easier to clean. [Just leave them at the end of the day- and beat them in the morning to shake all the dried mortar off]
My mortar tub is also my soil mixing and potting tub-- and a mini-barrow when I'm doing pavers.
Jim
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On Sun, 05 Feb 2012 12:17:32 -0500, Frank wrote:

Yesterday I was buying new tools, dust masks, gloves, kneepads. Then I spent the day up to the game building forms I now know I need, and snapping lines for the drainage run ... so I didn't mix any mortar.

So today is the mortar mixing. Unfortunately, I goofed and bought the 5-dollar size - which - it turns out - can't even mix up a single 60-pound bag of mortar. So, I'll end up using the wheelbarrow I think.

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On Mon, 6 Feb 2012 19:40:05 +0000 (UTC), Chuck Banshee

I usually mix the mortar in a white bucket with a mud paddle on a 1/2" drill.
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On Mon, 06 Feb 2012 15:33:10 -0500, gfretwell wrote:

I had never thought of using a power tool to mix the 60# bags of mortar.
In the end, I switched to 1/2 mortar and 1/2 concrete (with the concrete on the bottom layer) so I gave up on the buckets, especially after going crazy mixing in a RECTANGULAR Costco detergent bucket (the corners were killing me!).
So, I progressed from mixing: a) In rectangular (new) Costco detergent buckets (corners are killers) b) To tubular (old) Costco detergent buckets (too small) c) To the wheelbarrow (which is just right for two bags of concrete/ mortar)
In the end, I learned to soak the cleanup towels in the wheelbarrow, used as a reservoir as shown in this picture: http://picturepush.com/public/7516864
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On Sun, 05 Feb 2012 06:20:47 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

The entire job is already on a concrete footer (of unknown thickness), so, I hope, it's sturdy!
Since the bag of concrete says "not to be used under 2 inches", I first started using 100% mortar for the inch and a half I needed to raise the shelf before laying the stone on top.
But, then I ran out of mortar (mistake #105 ... buy more mortar than you need). So I had to resort to concrete.
What I did was lift up all the stones again (for the umpteenth time), scrape away all the mortar down to the footer, and then dump the concrete and then lay a thinner layer of mortar on top.
One other lesson I inadvertently learned was that the form gets in the way of the wheelbarrow as shown in this picture here: http://picturepush.com/public/7516823
In the end, I should have planned this all out much better as I was correcting mistakes made in planning more so than in laying it all out!
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Chuck Banshee wrote:

Use "sand mix" mortar.
--

dadiOH
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Chuck Banshee wrote:

Yes, mortar tubs are handy. If you don't have a mason's trowel - the "V" shaped trowel - get one. A largish one. _______________

Gotta ask, why are you using two inches of mortar? I'd think a bed combed out with a 1/2" trowel would be plenty (might have to butter the bottom to even up).
______________________

We make "rocks" (cobbles) from excess mortar. Use them stacked to delineate flower beds sometimes. After they weather and get mossy they do indeed look like rocks.
--

dadiOH
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On Sun, 5 Feb 2012 07:51:42 +0000 (UTC), Chuck Banshee

It looks like your fingers are pretty well burned, too.

As others have said, wheelbarrow. I do use a 5gal bucket to mix mortar to set tile. It takes me too long to use 80# of the stuff.

Keep some mortar mix in reserve. You can add more (or water) to get the consistency right. Also, measure everything. When you get the mix right, you'll know what the right ratio is. You can scale from there to the size of the mix needed. The ratio might change a little from day to day (or bag to bag) but you'll have a good starting point.

Yes, and forms will allow you to calculate the quantity of mix you need (~120#/ft^3).

I don't usually have much more than I need, so just dump it where I clean the tools. If it's washed out thoroughly it'll just be a little gravel in the dirt.

NOW I see what you're doing. It's making sense (I thought they were steps). Lookin' good!

Be careful! CSI can use your toe prints through your boots. ;-)

They also cut away when the real work is done (by Mexicans).
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On Sun, 05 Feb 2012 11:38:53 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@att.bizzzzzzzzzzzz wrote:

I changed from sneakers to boots ... just to throw them off the trail!
Here's my 'new' wardrobe: - Rubber-palmed gloves (instead of bare hands & leather gloves) - Rubber boots (instead of leather sneakers) - Rubber knee pads (instead of cloth kneepads) etc.

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On 2/6/2012 1:25 PM, Chuck Banshee wrote:

Four decades ago, I had a summer job when I was on break from college. I got a job in a brick factory stacking brick after it cooled down enough from being fired in the big kilns. Cloth gloves lasted a day so the experienced guys had leather with a grit added rubber coating on the palms and contact areas of the fingers. Those gloves lasted a month at least. ^_^
TDD
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On Sun, 5 Feb 2012 07:51:42 +0000 (UTC), Chuck Banshee

Hey, I asked my next door neighbor to help me lift a square of sidewalk (not by the curb but smaller, near my front door) and he showed up with a pair of pink rubbermaid gloves for washing dishes with! I managed not to laugh and fortunately for his gloves, I had leather gloves to lend him.

A fallacy, some law-enforcment guy on the radio tried to convince me of. He said that those who had their prints removed ended up with even more distinctive prints, because to start with, everyone else has normal prints, and the very few who have "no prints" still have distinctive parts.

Alll the videos are dry. Very few are literally wet.

Glad you enjoyed it.
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Baltimore. Maybe his wife bought the gloves for dishes.
And he owned his home that was next to mine, and his previous home which he rented. I assumed he did some of the repairs himself.
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It sure is interesting to see all the problems and lessons learned. And you provided good pics , too.
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On Sun, 05 Feb 2012 22:56:09 +0000, RobertPatrick wrote:

If I hadn't made so many mistakes, I guess I wouldn't have learned anything!
Here, for example, is a picture of what happens if I pound too hard on a water-soaked sandstone block trying to level it with its neighbors: http://picturepush.com/public/7516879
The blasted thing broke in half!
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On 2/7/2012 1:50 PM, Chuck Banshee wrote:

like a helicopter is really a bunch of parts flying in formation, sandstone is sand just barely held together. it is very soft. don't beat on it.
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On 2/7/2012 3:50 PM, Chuck Banshee wrote:

You laid a 2x4 across it and tapped on the 2x4?
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