Sidewalk advice needed


I'm preparing to put in a sidewalk along the back of my house, maybe 30 or 40 feet total. I have a big pile of aggregate, lotsa cement power, a pile of sand, and some basic cement working tools. What I don't have is any pracitcal experience. Are there any good resources for DIY sidewalk makers, and any practical advice anyone would like to share?
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sections so that it will crack in the joints and not elsewhere. It will probably need to be 3 to 4 inches thick to not break up later. Use as little water as possible and still be able to smooth the cement. Keep it damp and protected from the sun for a few days. There are lots of DIY books and other information on cement work. Try one section and see how it turns out before tackling the whole job.
Don Young
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Zootal wrote:

That is a lot of area. You are likely going to find that it is going to be cheapest to order readymix concrete from a truck. One in-experienced person is not going to be able to keep up with the truck and the job.
Finishing concrete right (to look good and to last a long time) takes not only book learning, but hands one experience with someone who knows. Check around with your neighbors to see if anyone has the experience. Also check for a couple of good strong high-school boys (or girls) for some grunt work and a good learning experience for them.
--
Joseph Meehan

Dia \'s Muire duit
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One idea is to make your own pavers. Make or buy molds that you can set up in your garage. Have enough molds to use up one batch of concrete. Each night you mix one batch, cast your pavers and in short order you have enough for your side walk.
On the weekends you can prepare your ground. Dig out the area you want to have your walk and bake a nice base of crushed rock and sand over that. Then you can set your pavers into the walk way and spread sand around to fill the cracks.
By doing it this way future problems with tree roots, or plumbing issues are no problem as you can always remove the pavers and get to underneath without a jack hammer.
This method also allows you to play with color and patterns.
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Roger Shoaf

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Funny, I"ve thought of doing exactly that, and also pouring some custom border sets also. How big would you make the pavers, and how thick? I also looked at buying some, but the ones at the local hardware store are more then I'm willing to pay :(
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"Ook" <Ook Don't send me any freakin' spam at zootal dot com delete the Don't send me any freakin' spam> wrote in message

I would think that 2 to 3 inches would be thick enough. The size you make is up to you, but I suspect that somewhere around a square foot or less would be about right.
As for the shape you are stuck with the off the shelf molds unless you make your own. If you were going to make your own I think that some interesting patterns can be obtained with Penrose tiling. Some examples:
http://www.scienceu.com/geometry/articles/tiling/penrose.html http://mathworld.wolfram.com/PenroseTiles.html
You really want to get inspired, look at some of M. C. Escher's work.
Other neat things you could do if you made your own would be to make Styrofoam cutouts that you could set in the bottom of the mold and then cast the concrete in one color and when you remove the paver from the mold, you could then fill in the space with another color. By using Styrofoam you could cut the pieces with an angle so the inlay would interlock.
I really like the idea of pre-casting concrete. I want to make a picket fence out of concrete just to see if I can do it.
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Roger Shoaf

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