Need opinions about what to do about slag after pouring concrete

I posted a few weeks back about some work I was going to get done, steps, sidewalk slabs, slab by back door, and corner patching on front porch slab. Well I found somebody who saved me a little over $400, but I paid him before the dirt fill is back in which he plans to do.
Am I being neurotic to want all the slag chipped off? He didn't want to do it and I said I wanted it off of there. He chipped a lot of it off with a regular hammer. I thought one of those spikes and a small sledge hammer might be better, but what do I know? Anyway, he gets a lot of it off, then says, "see I am undercutting the concrete". I agree and asked if he could saw it off. Yes, but why do I want it off?
I want it off so when I dig for flower beds and landscaping I can dig right up to the cement and not hit that horrid stuff. I want to be able to plant edging plants there or put in a little border fence. If the slag isn't off, I won't be able to do that.
Am I being unreasonable about this? I guess most people just have the dirt cover over whatever slag slips through the forms and don't care about it.
What do normal concrete people do in cases like this? I like things to be done right, and am already having trouble getting my way about some things. I told him not to take the molds off too soon. He is a professional concrete finisher. He took the molds off too soon and one step is chipped and now I will have to put up with a crappy patch job. That's what I get, but it it weren't that, it would be something else no matter who did it.
How did I know not to take the forms off too soon? Because I did a little homework and read it on this newsgroup.
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I Love Lucy wrote:

If its under a inch I personally dont care. Why nopt get a diamond or masonary blade and cut it off with a circular saw? If its bugging you...
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An inch I could probably live with. Some of it was big globs spreading out to almost five inches and longer parallel to the sidewalk.
I don't have a circular saw and diamond blades are expensive. I just wanted to know what SOP was. Now I am finding out.

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I Love Lucy wrote:

SOP is to leave the "slag" as you call it & back fill to cover it.
Chipping (hammering) it away risks undercutting the good stuf (as you have learned)
You are assuming that diampnd blades are expensive.............I guessing that if you don't have a circular saw, you've never bought a damond blade.
I bought one about 20 years ago, it was expensive but now they're much more resonable.
Unfortunately the concrete is getting stronger (I assume it's still less than 2 weeks old?)
Never thought I suggest this but get a 4.5" grinder & a cheap diamond blade at Harbor Freight (since time is critical).. Use it to score the slag. If you remove the dirt out from under the slag & not the good stuff; the break will occur with little or no undercutting.
Green concrete is easier to remove than cured stuff
You can get what you want, you just have to do it yourself or pay someone.
My suggestion is get it done the way you want it (DIY or $) you'll be happier with a clean edge every time you have to deal with it.
cheers Bob
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Maybe it's called something else then. It's good to know that it's SOP. I'd wager I'm not the first one who didn't think about the consequences ahead of time. Probably most people don't care. My son had a huge driveway poured and wasn't concerned about his. Maybe edgers don't go down that far so it's not a problem, and I don't have to plant that close, normally you wouldn't want to anyway. So we're down to being able to dig adjoining area more easily and putting in little border fences with stakes on the bottom.
I see there are only a couple bad spots left, but one still looks pretty bad.

Yes, new lesson learned.

I had one; it disappeared. It's a little dangerous for a novice to tackle anything with that. I could borrow my son's and just get the blade. Plan A.

June 2.

That will be Plan B.

That makes sense. The guy who poured it was chipping it off for me, but I could tell he wasn't happy about it.

I'm over budget (several things needing done) so I will have to do it myself or see if my son will take valuable time out to help with it. I am 64 years old and am not very fit to do tough work and the stress of all that lies ahead is starting to get to me. If I can get the other jobs done I have in the works (everything moves so slowly now), maybe it's little jobs like mine that few people don't want to bother with any more). I don't feel up to it today at all frankly. I feel like just giving up.
I've asked for measurements for rails, have heard nothing, have an order for millwork for weeks now, haven't heard anything. I've called two or three times, haven't bugged the rail people. It's frustrating.

It would be nice to have things the way you want them, but that isn't always possible. So you learn to live with it. This is small compared to some of the other problems that need addressed. And what some others have to live with.
Thank you (and the others) for taking the time to give an opinion.

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I Love Lucy wrote:

Our company never chips away previous boil outs as we call them. Too time consuming. Ass for the forms, chipping happens not always from taking them off too early, but in how they are removed. Inexpirienced people pry the forms off wrong and you get this problem. At the buyers request, we can use deeper forms which helps with boil outs, but this is at an additional cost.
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That's what I figured. One thing I didn't know to negotiate in advance.

That is probably true about removing the forms. All I know is that the sidewalk looks beautiful, he wants to use it for advertising, I'm obliging with free quality photos, and the corner looks crappy and will never match the mix that was used for the cement (pea gravel vs. plain). Some things you just have to live with and that is going to be one of them.
Like I told the poster above, I tried to gather as much info beforehand about something I knew little to nothing about, and that was a question I neglected to ask. If you don't ask, you aren't going to know. I didn't even know enough to ask about slag, never thought about it before.
So it seems a compromise is in order. I will settle for as close to an inch on all of it as can be done.

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