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Old 09-27-2012, 04:59 PM   #1
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Concrete Retaining Wall made to look like Natural stone - Stonemakers


If you search y o u t u b e for "Stonemakers" or "Teamempowerment" you will see videos selling franchises for a way to build retaining walls and just about anything you can think of out of concrete without using forms.

The key seems to be the ability to make the concrete VERY workable like a soft clay that takes a LONG time to harden. Due to this smooth texture that readily accepts impression, they are able to press shapes into the surface to make it look like natural stone.

Facts:
1. They order the ready mix with a 2- 2.5 inch slump (dry)
2. The ready mix has no aggregate, just sand
3. They add 10 gallons of their trademark admix on-site for 10 cubic yards.
4. The admix makes it 3- 3.5 inch slump (clay-like creaminess)

Someone posted that it's no big secret and anyone who knows concrete knows what admixtures to put in. I'd like to know too!

Would anyone here tell me what exact products I can add to get the concrete to act like a slow hardening smooth clay?

Thanks





Last edited by shinyhalo; 09-27-2012 at 05:38 PM.
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Old 09-27-2012, 07:48 PM   #2
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Concrete Retaining Wall made to look like Natural stone - Stonemakers


Sure,it's a water reducing agent that we in the redi-mix industry have used for years,just google concrete plasticizers,or super plasticizers,and you should be in business.

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Old 09-27-2012, 09:04 PM   #3
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Concrete Retaining Wall made to look like Natural stone - Stonemakers


Thanks.
It looks like Melflux is a good super plasticizer, but where do you buy the stuff online?
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Old 09-27-2012, 10:00 PM   #4
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Concrete Retaining Wall made to look like Natural stone - Stonemakers


You probably could not afford to buy clay and chemicals/additives on line and have it shipped, so it probably not available for such a limited application.

The durability will probably be limited in most climates.

Dick
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Old 09-28-2012, 08:45 AM   #5
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Concrete Retaining Wall made to look like Natural stone - Stonemakers


I was really hoping for info more like "Buy X amount of WYZ Product at this online store for one truck of ready mix."

People are using these plasticizers for concrete counter tops. I don't understand why it's so hard to buy the stuff.

And BASF says their Melflux INCREASES the strength of the concrete.
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Old 09-28-2012, 03:06 PM   #6
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Concrete Retaining Wall made to look like Natural stone - Stonemakers


Quote:
Originally Posted by shinyhalo View Post
I was really hoping for info more like "Buy X amount of WYZ Product at this online store for one truck of ready mix."

People are using these plasticizers for concrete counter tops. I don't understand why it's so hard to buy the stuff.

And BASF says their Melflux INCREASES the strength of the concrete.

All of the plasticizers we used were in powder form and were water soluable,and were added to a batch by timers,and yes all water reducing agents increase the strength of concrete by using less water.

If you intend to do a job using a water reducer,why not see if you can buy enough of it from your redi-mix producer who will be supplying the concrete??
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Old 09-29-2012, 10:28 AM   #7
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Concrete Retaining Wall made to look like Natural stone - Stonemakers


We carry super-plasticizer on our trucks (liquid), but 10 gallons of that stuff would ruin a load.

Another cool way to do something like that is Shotcrete (Gunnite). Its not for the DIYer, though, since you need a pump, a gun, and a crew with a few screws loose. If Mike Rowe says that Shotcrete is the worst job he's ever tried, that should be a clue.
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Old 09-29-2012, 03:04 PM   #8
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Concrete Retaining Wall made to look like Natural stone - Stonemakers


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We carry super-plasticizer on our trucks (liquid), but 10 gallons of that stuff would ruin a load.

Another cool way to do something like that is Shotcrete (Gunnite). Its not for the DIYer, though, since you need a pump, a gun, and a crew with a few screws loose. If Mike Rowe says that Shotcrete is the worst job he's ever tried, that should be a clue.

Yes 10 gallons would be too much for a 10yd.load,71/2 gals. is the correct amount, and add 21/2 gals. water for 10 gal. total to attain the proper slump.
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Old 09-29-2012, 03:12 PM   #9
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Concrete Retaining Wall made to look like Natural stone - Stonemakers


I went to a ready-mix supplier and asked about this stuff.
They said they already added a set-retarder and a plasticizer to their concrete.

They seemed really perplexed when I told them the mix should have no aggregate, but if you look at the videos stonemaker's concrete looks like it has none.

I wish this was more standard so I could just tell them what I want to do and they'd know right away what concrete to sell me! I don't really give a dam whether it's $80 or $120 per cubic yard, I just want to be able to work it for 2-3 hours, stack it into a three foot wall shape, and press and carve rock-like shapes into it.
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Old 09-29-2012, 05:53 PM   #10
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Concrete Retaining Wall made to look like Natural stone - Stonemakers


They seemed really perplexed when I told them the mix should have no aggregate, but if you look at the videos stonemaker's concrete looks like it has none.


Well,i'd look the same way if you told me that, tell them it should have no COARSE aggregate,in other words just grout.
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Old 09-29-2012, 06:26 PM   #11
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Concrete Retaining Wall made to look like Natural stone - Stonemakers


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Well,i'd look the same way if you told me that, tell them it should have no COARSE aggregate,in other words just grout.
See, that's good info. Thanks. So there IS aggregate, it's just Fine, not Coarse.

Maybe I should just ask for a sample of their concrete with fine aggregate, the longest set time possible, and 3 inch slump.
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Old 09-30-2012, 10:26 AM   #12
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Concrete Retaining Wall made to look like Natural stone - Stonemakers


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Originally Posted by shinyhalo View Post
See, that's good info. Thanks. So there IS aggregate, it's just Fine, not Coarse.

Maybe I should just ask for a sample of their concrete with fine aggregate, the longest set time possible, and 3 inch slump.

Slump needs to be 2 -2.5 inches,which is very dry,before adding plasticizer and water.
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Old 09-30-2012, 11:50 AM   #13
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Concrete Retaining Wall made to look like Natural stone - Stonemakers


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Slump needs to be 2 -2.5 inches,which is very dry,before adding plasticizer and water.
Yes, but the ready mix guy said they already add set-retarder and plasticizer to every batch by default. 8/

They sell it by the strength 3000 psi...4500 etc
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Old 09-30-2012, 02:05 PM   #14
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Concrete Retaining Wall made to look like Natural stone - Stonemakers


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Yes, but the ready mix guy said they already add set-retarder and plasticizer to every batch by default. 8/

They sell it by the strength 3000 psi...4500 etc
Well,i don't understand why they are adding a retarder to begin with,and since this will be a custom mix,it should be mixed according to your specs,not what they use on an everyday basis.

Years ago concrete was sold by the bag mix,but as you say it's now sold by strength mix's,which allows them to cut back on the amount of the cement actually used,and use additives such as plasticizers and fly ash as fillers,to attain the specified strengths,tell them you want 564 lbs.of cement per yd.and nothing else added to the mix,that's equal to a 6 bag mix or 4000 PSI.
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Old 09-30-2012, 04:21 PM   #15
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Concrete Retaining Wall made to look like Natural stone - Stonemakers


Quote:
Originally Posted by Canarywood1 View Post
Well,i don't understand why they are adding a retarder to begin with,and since this will be a custom mix,it should be mixed according to your specs,not what they use on an everyday basis.

Years ago concrete was sold by the bag mix,but as you say it's now sold by strength mix's,which allows them to cut back on the amount of the cement actually used,and use additives such as plasticizers and fly ash as fillers,to attain the specified strengths,tell them you want 564 lbs.of cement per yd.and nothing else added to the mix,that's equal to a 6 bag mix or 4000 PSI.
Ahh, I suspected something like that was happening. Using plasticizers to increase the final strength and then cutting back on the expensive cement used to maximize profit. Thanks for confirming it.

The stonemakers video actually mentions they use 9 bag mix.

Ok. Now I have more specifics that I can take to the local retailers of ready-mix.
Thanks.

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