Hand Mixing Concrete


Old 06-11-19, 09:17 PM
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Hand Mixing Concrete

How do I hand mix small batches of concrete that will stand up to freezing temperatures. Please note I will be pouring this concrete during the warm summer months but it will be placed outdoors and exposed to freezing temperatures long after it has cured.

I have heard that I need air-entrainment agents but have also been told that it is almost impossible to accurately measure out the admix for very small batches. Too much weakens the concrete, too little does no good. By small batches I mean about 2 gallons of sand/aggregate + the cement and water; I don't know that the little mixer I have will handle much more. Any suggestions will be appreciated. Possibly a departure from the usual 1:3:3 mix. Thanks
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Old 06-12-19, 02:11 AM
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I have a pad next to my front steps that was poured using bags of concrete [sackrete] about 25 yrs ago and it's still in good shape. While we don't get the cold you do it does occasionally get down to zero and we have many nights below freezing along with a few days.
Old 06-12-19, 02:20 AM
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you shouldnt really have to do anything special since you are mixing and pouring in the summer common mix here would be 1 part Portland and 2 parts sand and 3 parts aggregate takes about 30 days to cure.
Old 06-12-19, 04:09 AM
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Like Marksr, I too have laid a cement walkway about 40 years ago that has held up ever since. I used a wheelbarrow and a hoe to mix. Will be doing the same for my triangular piece on driveway apron.

You're putting too much think into this!
Old 06-12-19, 04:17 AM
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I would focus more on having everything needed close at hand and a helper so you can quickly turn out batches and get the pour done without cold joints between batches.
marksr voted this post useful.
Old 06-12-19, 09:02 AM
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Thanks for the advice. I admit, I have to agree with marksr, I do have a small pad for my garage steps that was made from Sackcrete and it appears to be standing up well. I guess the question is; is Sackcrete specially formulated for outdoor temperatures? It was the local cement contractor who has supplied me air entrained concrete for all my slabs that recommended adding an agent.. There may be some merit in the statement that I am overthinking this. Like they say, if it was a perfect world...
Old 06-12-19, 09:06 AM
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You only need it if your mixing/pouring in cold weather, also curing in cold, Good luck.
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