Concrete @ your Fingertips

Methods and mixing small quantities by hand

Concrete can be mixed in one of two ways for household projects: in a mechanical mixer, or by hand on a board or in a wheelbarrow. Mechanical mixing is less strenuous and much more reliable than hand mixing. The latter should therefore be used only for very small quantities. Mixers should not be overfilled and revolve at speeds recommended by the maker.

For small quantities of concrete (around the house an garden for instance) the materials should be batched using a suitable gauge box or bucket not larger than 10 litres or it will be difficult to handle. The materials should not be batched by shovelful, as a shovelful of sand is not the same volume as a shovelful of cement or aggregate.

Step 1 Measure all the required dry materials for the batch onto a board or into a wheelbarrow.
Step 2 Mix dry materials together until a uniform colour is achieved.
Step 3 Mound the material and form a crater in the centre.
Step 4 Add water slowly into the crater and turn the material into the water.
Step 5 Re-mound and repeat the process until a workable mix is achieved.
Step 6 Continue turning and mixing the material for a couple of minutes to ensure all the aggregate is uniformly coated with paste.
Step 7 Use concrete.

Repeat the process until the required amount of concrete has been produced.

Never add just water to the concrete to make it more workable, always add cement. Also, when handling and using cement or fresh concrete, avoid skin contact.

Acknowledgement: The Concrete Society

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