Tru-Pac, Flex C Ment, SBC's Mix(3000$ to find out) or Urban Craftsmen($159)

Excuse me, but I am a beginner and I'm wondering what the big secret about these mixes. I am trying to find a cost effective way to learn this wonderful trade. I am not trying to take over someones business, just adding  a nice touch to my home. Can I make a mix from materials from Home Depot that compare to those listed above. Any input is appreciated. It just seems that this is such a big secret.

 

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Depends on the thickness, temperature , slump . If its in the sun yea it will go off quicker but you should have a couple hours with it at 3" thickness.


Hey Velimir,

you forgot to cite the author of the article you presented.

Stone


Velimir Drazic said:

There are many different concrete mixes and various additives and substitutions for ingredients. It is true that lightweight concrete can be created by adding vermiculite, perlite, peat moss or saw dust in place or partially in place of sand. The short answer is - yes you can do this with varying degrees of success and with more than a little trail and error. The concrete mix that is detailed below is specifically designed for two reasons:

1) Maximum strength
2) Maximum sculptability

This mix is engineered to produce a final concrete strength of 50-75 mPa. This is STRONG in fact this is VERY STRONG concrete. This will produce concrete that is far stronger than sidewalks and curbs, even stronger than swimming pool concrete and most concrete found in high rise construction.

It is important to note that you can make concrete batches of all sizes using the simple principal that the ingredients are all proportional to one another. For example the ratio of sand to cement is generally 3:1 or three parts sand to every one part cement. All other measurements in the mix will be based on the 'one part' cement that you are using. For this example the measurements are based on a standard 40kg bag of type ten portland cement being equal to one standard five gallon bucket.

respirator is a MUST as silica, concrete dust and fiberglass are dangerous to breathe!

Dry Ingredients:

-One bag type 10 portland cement
-Three buckets fine, clean washed sand
-One and 1/4 buckets un-densified silica fume
-1/4 bucket Fly Ash -Small handful of glass fibers (like a pinch of salt - not precise, but a small amount)

Wet ingredients:

-800ml of poly-plex or liquid latex (Liquid acrylic can be substituted where liquid latex is not available)
-300ml liquid water reducer
-Water**

NOTE: The liquid additives can be omitted and replaced with water with acceptable results. The water reducer and liquid latex are needed only where maximum strength and workability is essential.

**In order to make the concrete strong and workable the amount of water is critical and can change depending on a num



Depends on your application. If your troweling the mud over diamond mesh or some other thin application then the above mentioned mix might  be  more suitable. Anything that has to support itself structuraly needs steel in it with a 3'' min hardcoat of structural shotcrete. Additives donot replace steel and concrete is worthless without steel in it. Fiber is ok for thinner applications but you dont want fiber in anything you are carving. Fiber would do absolutely nothing unless enough is added which would be way too much for carving. Dont get hungup on chemical additives now. You need to learn the" how" and the" why"and forget the what for now. Meaning, learn about proper armature, chairing, backing and curing. These are what will hold your work together. Learning about the proportioning of your BASIC componants is more important as well as what effects varying these will have. Remember too that any mix design is no where as strong layed up by hand as it is blasted on.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks Mike I hear what your saying about the basics, sounds like its also probably a good Idea to invest in a mortar sprayer too :^) 

I spent some time researching some of these admixtures last night. I am intriqued by a couple of them. I could see a small hand application job being possible. No way would a mix like that be feasable on any job your getting your mud from trucks. The concrete company would charge you a small fortune p/yard.

Hello everyone, just cant help but see all these discussions about mixes. Again, we are concentrating so much on this that the actual art and techniques are being put second fiddle. I believe mike, ken, nathan and several others on here could probably carve a turd into a work of art. The point is this, as mike has mentioned in the past, a standard mortar mix found at any hardware store, with a few things added to it, cement, polymer, etc, will work just fine. This is coming from a guy who sells a carving mix. I know that the standard mortar mix will not stack up 2 or 3 inches at a time like my mix or other high performance mixes, but with patience, you can make it work. For most of us that are doing small commercial/residential jobs, merely taking the time to figure out how much mix you need, then bidding it accordingly, a mix like mine or others is wayyyyyyyyy easier to use than stressing out whether or not your homemade brew will work. Less upfront mess, and less clean up after. As an example, KirtBag, when ordered with shipping included, will cost you about $2.50 a sqft. You should be bidding this work no less than about $18 a sqft. The profit is in there. Saving a buck or less on these jobs are not going to make you go broke. The multiple bags of all this stuff, storage of it, and just the stress added to you worring about it is not worth it, believe me, been there. In closing, bid the job correctly, watch your spending, do what you can handle in a day, and use a mix that will do what you want it to do(KirtBag); shameless plug, the job will be profitable and will ease your stress. Practice with mortar mix, master your technique, then use what is relative to the job. Good luck and make this art/industry thrive.

Mike , in your last message it sounded like you were referring to like the one day wall style of carving ? where you get the concrete from the trucks, as opposed to making it yourself or purchasing it from walt tools or Jeff Kirt ? :^)

Mike Vernelson said:

I spent some time researching some of these admixtures last night. I am intriqued by a couple of them. I could see a small hand application job being possible. No way would a mix like that be feasable on any job your getting your mud from trucks. The concrete company would charge you a small fortune p/yard.

Amen !! I like your style Jeff :^) 

jeff kirt/ kirtbag Carving mix said:

Hello everyone, just cant help but see all these discussions about mixes. Again, we are concentrating so much on this that the actual art and techniques are being put second fiddle. I believe mike, ken, nathan and several others on here could probably carve a turd into a work of art. The point is this, as mike has mentioned in the past, a standard mortar mix found at any hardware store, with a few things added to it, cement, polymer, etc, will work just fine. This is coming from a guy who sells a carving mix. I know that the standard mortar mix will not stack up 2 or 3 inches at a time like my mix or other high performance mixes, but with patience, you can make it work. For most of us that are doing small commercial/residential jobs, merely taking the time to figure out how much mix you need, then bidding it accordingly, a mix like mine or others is wayyyyyyyyy easier to use than stressing out whether or not your homemade brew will work. Less upfront mess, and less clean up after. As an example, KirtBag, when ordered with shipping included, will cost you about $2.50 a sqft. You should be bidding this work no less than about $18 a sqft. The profit is in there. Saving a buck or less on these jobs are not going to make you go broke. The multiple bags of all this stuff, storage of it, and just the stress added to you worring about it is not worth it, believe me, been there. In closing, bid the job correctly, watch your spending, do what you can handle in a day, and use a mix that will do what you want it to do(KirtBag); shameless plug, the job will be profitable and will ease your stress. Practice with mortar mix, master your technique, then use what is relative to the job. Good luck and make this art/industry thrive.

Ryan most of the rock I do comes out of a truck and dumped straight into a shotcrete pump to be applied. Its pretty much the norm.

Ryan W.Rall said:

Mike , in your last message it sounded like you were referring to like the one day wall style of carving ? where you get the concrete from the trucks, as opposed to making it yourself or purchasing it from walt tools or Jeff Kirt ? :^)

Mike Vernelson said:

I spent some time researching some of these admixtures last night. I am intriqued by a couple of them. I could see a small hand application job being possible. No way would a mix like that be feasable on any job your getting your mud from trucks. The concrete company would charge you a small fortune p/yard.



Mike Vernelson said:

Ryan most of the rock I do comes out of a truck and dumped straight into a shotcrete pump to be applied. Its pretty much the norm.

Ryan W.Rall said:

Mike , in your last message it sounded like you were referring to like the one day wall style of carving ? where you get the concrete from the trucks, as opposed to making it yourself or purchasing it from walt tools or Jeff Kirt ? :^)

Mike Vernelson said:

I spent some time researching some of these admixtures last night. I am intriqued by a couple of them. I could see a small hand application job being possible. No way would a mix like that be feasable on any job your getting your mud from trucks. The concrete company would charge you a small fortune p/yard.

Jeff and Richard said it perfectly. Oh and Richard, you forgot to mention the scenario of the mason guys stealing out of your sand pile lol! Richard you are also so right in the amount of mud on the wall. Too many times the guy behind the nozzle puts 4" of mud on an area that needs to be thin and flat with just surface textures. I prefer to shoot the mud on because I know exactly where I need thickness and mud to move. I can save myself alot of time and physical torture, but that is in the perfect scenario which doesnt seem to take place on a regular enough basis lol! This entire thread has got me thinking alot and everyones input has been very helpfull. The next project I do I'm going to employ some of these ideas and maybe change some of my old ways. I guess my ultimate goal would be to make it work on something large utilizing 3 yard loads from a truck. Its not all about the money with me, anyone that knows me well will tell you I'll make some serious sacrifices if It means a better finished product. I am very high on my square footage price and if I can make the finished product better you bet your ass im into it!

Ha, those are great pics! Yes Mike Torres is the man!  I forgot those guys brought that little pump over! That was fun.

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