In my shop-floor pouring travails (at least preparing for them), I gained
some inneresting insights.
1. Harbor Freight, ito of info, is even more useless than HD, if you can
In their various cement mixers, it is not clear from the cu ft declarations,
if the cu ft refer to the *mixable*
cu ft or the drum cu ft.
Plus, the prices for the various "sizes" are all over the map--no
correlation between size and price. Supposedly $199 for a 3.5 cu ft unit,
altho it's not at all clear what that 3.5 cu ft refers to.
The Husky mixer at HD is clear: $299 for a 5.0 cu ft drum, which will mix
2.5 cu ft.
An 80# bag of ready mix yields about 0.6 cu ft of concrete, so the HD mixer
will take, at least on paper, about 4 bags--considerably more than the vague
references on the HF site.
2. Next, I was shocked to discover the following.
That it winds up being more than 2x as expensive to mix yer own
cement/gravel/sand as it is to just mix typical ready mix! I calc'd
$6.66/cu ft using ready mix, vs. about $14+ mixing the ingredients yerself.
You can approx'ly check the calcs: $10 for 94 lbs cement, which yields 4.5
cu ft concrete, and which requires 250-300# sand (at $4 for 60 lbs) plus 300
lbs of gravel (at $4/60 lbs). Some of the data posted conflicts, but this
is more or less correct. HD prices.
Which means buying ready mix is a no brainer.
But why would ready mix be so much cheaper??
3. HD can be surprisingly close to HF in prices, for things like moving
dollies, 100 ft 12-3 extension cords, other stuff.
HD of course nails you on myriads of other stuff (including nails), as does
even HF, when they attempt to sell Merkin items, like Channellock, etc.--no
bargains at all.
But HD is the supernova example of the ongoing fleecing of America. W/ Bob
Nardelli swearing that HD is a savior of society.
It is, in fact, the moth eggs on our social fabric.
Support your local hardware store, whenever possible.
formerly Droll Troll