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Old 06-03-2009, 04:58 AM   #151
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my kitchen reno - complete remodel (with concrete countertop)


for what its worth... here's what i learned about cement mixing that was not explained well (or at all) in the books/videos:

- it is really worth your while to get the 12cuft mixer for batches 4cuft or more. this is so the engine is powerful enough to start the mix easily and not stall out. and also so you can put the mixer in a horizontal position while it is turning so the stuff on the bottom gets pulled to the top easily. if its too full (because you have a smaller barrel) the wet mix will start to fall out of the mixer while turning, so you have to but it more vertical and then just live with the pour mixing.

- a piece of plastic tarp (i used vapour barrier) and bungee cord is great wrapped around the mixer opening when mixing the dry ingredients.

- wear goggles. when you are watching the cement mix to assess if its working and quality of the mix, you get splattered in the face, even if your face is 3ft. away from the mixer opening.

- you need 3 people (at least two of which must by strong men)

- you must NOT allow the concrete to setup IN THE MIXER because it will ruin the machine. this is why following the time lines given in the product instructions are important. this is a job for the 3rd person. while the other two are working the cement by hand and vibrator, the 3rd person is cleaning out the mixer post haste.

- the cement pencil vibrator gets HOT to hold. maybe some oven mitts would work good overtop your durable shoulder length rubber gloves during this part.

- its a messy job


Last edited by Knucklez; 06-03-2009 at 05:05 AM.
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Old 06-03-2009, 05:56 AM   #152
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my kitchen reno - complete remodel (with concrete countertop)


that sucks about loosing part of your load! the good thing about pouring it upside down it prolly wont affect your overall countertop appearance. Maight have to shim a little if the mold wasnt completely full- right?

were you able to take some pics during the process or was it crazy trying to mix and pour? Im sure since it was the 1st time the adrrenaline was flowin. Hope it all turned out. cant wait to see the pics
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Old 06-03-2009, 06:49 AM   #153
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my kitchen reno - complete remodel (with concrete countertop)


sorry to here that - thanks for the "lessons learn't" ...

do you think what you have done will be usable ?
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Old 06-03-2009, 04:50 PM   #154
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there were some tense moments.. well, pretty much tense the entire time. i give it 40% probability it will turn out. i didn't even check the camera to see the pictures; i was so focused on trying to save the countertop and mixer from being ruined. the concrete must cure for 4 FULL days. when the countertop starts to separate from the melemine walls you know its ready to be released from the mold.

for now, the cement is covered with a blue tarp (as per instructions) and another blue tarp is shielding the sun (it says do not cure in sunlight, so i hope this works). i checked it today and there are water pools on top of the cement. does this mean there is high humidity?

is this good, or bad? i have no idea. i just left it...

i am SOOOOo bumbed out right now
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Old 06-03-2009, 06:52 PM   #155
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From the man: page 127: http://books.google.com/books?id=Ozw...tops#PPA127,M1 Be safe, G
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Old 06-04-2009, 07:46 PM   #156
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thx GBAR, i misted the concrete & put damp towels over some of it because all the water droplets seemed to have dried up. amazing how much hydration there is.

the BIG REVEAL is scheduled for saturday at 5pm (four full days of curing before 50 grit grinding). wish me luck!


Last edited by Knucklez; 06-05-2009 at 11:30 PM. Reason: date correct the first time, concrete to be revealed saturday
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Old 06-04-2009, 08:09 PM   #157
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Doncha hate when you spill yer load early ??
bummer
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Old 06-05-2009, 01:51 AM   #158
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my kitchen reno - complete remodel (with concrete countertop)


wow, you're doing an awestome job. I can't wait to see how this turns out. I have my quickrete concrete countertop mix sitting on the patio waiting to go. Now all i have to do is finish the bathroom so I can start making it. Nice to hear trial and error's from someone else though! I'm sure it will be fine. My HD held a countertop class but recommended not going face down because it comes out awkwardly smooth. Can't wait to see your pics!
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Old 06-05-2009, 03:53 PM   #159
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my kitchen reno - complete remodel (with concrete countertop)


did you end up using the quick-crete? how many bags did it take?

Do you think a 5 cf mixer would be worthwhile if I had someone mixing while I was working the mold?

I found a mixer like this on for only $80. It can mix 3 bags at a time, SO I would have to do 2 or 3 mixes for a countertop? do-able?

http://www.masterwholesale.com/mwist...dID=1060393696
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Old 06-05-2009, 04:00 PM   #160
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it's got to be 5:00 Somewhere....arent you going crazy to take a peak at it?
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Old 06-05-2009, 09:41 PM   #161
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Wow.

Rock on.

I plan to do countertops in a few months.

I've made the pour table, but realized I too had a floor to contend with first.

Right now I am (ha, and have been) polishing an existing concrete slab that was rough broom finished.

I can tell you a bit about that process if you like.

Wet pads make a huge mess, so I hope you are planning to do that outside.

They do sell dry pads. That is what I eventually went with.

It is a choice between thrown muddy slush or a dust bomb.

Clean between grits.

I just finished my 800 grit pass (first hint of polish). Next is 1500.

Perhaps by the weekend's end I will have a floor and you a counter.




Concrete is kind of cool isn't it?
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Old 06-05-2009, 09:46 PM   #162
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Ah, SAT at 5pm
I was expecting pics tonite
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Old 06-05-2009, 10:01 PM   #163
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Cjanlui, the bags of concrete are outside? Most bags are not air tight, and will absorb moisture from the overnight air like a wick.......... Be safe, G
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Old 06-05-2009, 10:11 PM   #164
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my kitchen reno - complete remodel (with concrete countertop)


a long post to respond to all the comments (thanks!)

stay patient. the quickrete 5000psi "commercial grade" (yes i did end up using it) was recommended by the pro, and if you watch his first video you can clearly see what he is using as its stacked up there on the floor.

the mixing and pouring and vibrating is quite complicated and time sensitive. because the water is not much (compared to if you are pouring a slab) and the addition of water reducor. so the cement sets up fast.

each 60lb bag of premixed cement makes 1/2 cubic foot. my countertop was calculated to be 3.67 cu ft, so i mixed 4cu feet (8 bags) into a "6 to 8" cubic foot cement mixer. this mixer was probably not big enough for the job, or i don't know how to mix cement properly. when dry mixing ingredients, i got all the cement at the bottom NOT MIXING and the stones all went to the top and was mixing. then, i had to stop the mixer. ram a crow-bar to break up the dry material at the bottom and then try to start it up and pray it would mix. did this a few times. i even had the mixer fully horizontal (with plastic tarp over opening to hold ingredients IN the mixer) to help it out. so i definately think bigger mixer is probably better than too small. when you add water the mixer pulls from the bottom a lot easier and you get better mixing.

pro recommends that this particular concrete (5000 psi type) cure for "4 full days" before grinding. if you grind with heavy grit too early it could actually ruin the countertop. you want it a bit hard so it will take a grinding, but not too hard that it takes 87 pads to do it! my grinder is a variable speed WET grinder, so it will be mixing water with it automatically. i am doing this work where i poured the concrete - out side.

concrete is a really neat product. i have lots of plans for it, so long as this first attempt turns out nice. we'll see the results together.. sunday night.

stay tuned,
Knucklez

Last edited by Knucklez; 06-05-2009 at 11:29 PM. Reason: date correct the first time, concrete to be revealed saturday
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Old 06-05-2009, 10:28 PM   #165
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what i have done - specific to your question.

there are a few complications with concrete countertop which really drives the craftsmen to chose a larger than usual cement mixer.

1) this is for high visibility product, a countertop, where excellence is demanded. this is not your driveway, or shed slab. your colour mixing must be uniform and tightly controlled. can you guarantee this if you mix 3 separate batches?

2) the countertop concrete sets up fast, you have less than 30 minutes to go from dry mixing, to vibrating the mold. you don't really have time to do several batches, you need it all in one go just to save the time.

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