Hello, my name is Mike Wadsworth.  I'm new to the vertical concrete world and have recently subscribed to Vertical Artisans Corriculum I courses. I'm finding a world of knowledge and couldn't ask for a better for better bang for my buck anywhere else.  I own a landscape curbing company and am going to introduce vertical concrete and the home show coming up in April.  I have a few questions for anyone out there that might be able to help.  My first question is about my curbing mix.  I'm looking for an additive to put in my curbing mix that would increase the workability of the concrete and something that would take better impressions from my stamps.  Polymers, plasticizer, fly ash?  I think I'm on the right track, just not sure what direction to go in. My mix is a zero slump with sand, Portland , and a pinch of fiber. 

 

My second question is for the one day walls.  Is there any kind of footing to support the walls? And do you usually cut and expansion joints in or is the relief in the stone joints themselves?  I haven't watched all the videos, so forgive me if the answer is in them.

 

Last question is on the concrete firepits.  Can the vertical mixes withstand the heat or should you line the inside with firebrick, scratch coat, etc?  And I was curious to how the vertical concrete mixes hold up in the colder climates. I live in upstate NY and that seems to be my customers biggest concern on the landscape curbing.

 

Thanks for the help guys.  Can't wait to post up some pics of my first sample boards. Thanks again. 

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Chad can prob help you with the mix design as he is a curbed.   As for the other question...

I personally suggest footings for anything over 24" and even with that you prob need a compacted surface with stone as well... 

as far as expansion joints I have found that the design itself of the stone work offers many expansion joints of sorts.. and would rather risk the crack hitting one of my "designed" joints the to create a non realistic one.

Fire clay in the mix helps the mix withstand the heat.

Thanks Nathan. I will hit Chad up for some advice on the curb mix

just my 2 cents for a great curbing mix as I used to have a curbing company - Sika AE-1. It's an anti-efflorent and plasticizer.  Using a good size blend of sand could get near a slurry finish (without doing slurry coat), plus it cut down on the water ratio and cut back on the efflorescence. One oz or less per mix added to the mix water. 5 gallon pail would last a whole season.

Thanks Glenn, I'll look that up and give it a shot.  Always looking for a way to improve my mix.  It would be awesome if I could get something close to the same characteristics as the vertical mixes.  A nice peanut buttery mix that takes good impressions from the stamps.  Thanks again for the input.  
 Glenn Baker said:

just my 2 cents for a great curbing mix as I used to have a curbing company - Sika AE-1. It's an anti-efflorent and plasticizer.  Using a good size blend of sand could get near a slurry finish (without doing slurry coat), plus it cut down on the water ratio and cut back on the efflorescence. One oz or less per mix added to the mix water. 5 gallon pail would last a whole season.

Mike, though I had not tried flyash in curb mix, would make sense that maybe 10-15% of cement could be flyash. Also that the sand is blended size and not just 'mason sand'.

have fun

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