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Monthly Archives: May 2016

Concrete conditions

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So it’s our second day of thunderous skies and heavy rain – perfect for curing concrete, not so good for anything else! A few days ago we bravely faced the daunting task of jacking up the front end of the container so that the temporary blocks could be removed and replaced with strong concrete columns. Turns out that jacking up a 9,000lb metal box a couple of inches isn’t actually that difficult (thanks to the generous loan of a floor jack from a neighbor), and after that, pouring a simple slab, setting some blocks, and pouring a small concrete topper were a piece of cake. Now the 100% humidity is surely curing the columns into the strongest concrete you ever have seen. Below is a quick step-by-step of the (very rudimentary) concrete setup, poured slab, and building the concrete-filled block column. You could use this method for any small outdoor concrete project – for this particular task we used quickcrete readymix as the quantities were too small to warrant buying a truck-load of sand and one of gravel. You’ll note that I was lazy and laid rough stone “forms” for the ground-level pour, rather than assembling a wood frame – it’ll all get covered up eventually so aesthetics were not important. The quickcrete was “stretched” by adding small stones as it was troweled into the forms (and block holes) – this halved the amount of mix required while still maintaining full strength. The columns will cure for several days before the container is set back down on them.

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A rough stone “form” with rebar. During the pour a rebar “U” shape was added, to reach up into the blocks. Small stones keep the rebar from sinking too low in the slab.

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Poured slab, nicely leveled, ready to cure overnight before building up.

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Laying the first blocks – note the rebar coming up through the centers.

 

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Form for the top cast – during the pour it was clamped in place with bar clamps.

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I hope this was a useful little outline! Feel free to ask questions if any of the details aren’t clear and you’re planning a similar project.

It’s Sunday, and that means Nidulari and Queen CariBEE are open for orders! Head over to our Produce & Products page in the menu bar above to see everything that we have available this week. Cheers!