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PopularMechanics.comFor more on concrete, check out the original story.Concrete is an age-old pillar of civilization, on a par with beer, steel and th...
Float: A wooden or magnesium surfacing tool (wood is slightly coarser) used to smooth a screeded, or leveled, surface. Edger: To round the corners o...
Build the form out of 2 x 4s, nailed at the corners with 16d nails. We chose duplex nails, because their double heads make them easy to remove. Long d...
Rough out the rest of the form bed, but be careful to not dig too deeply. Backfilled soil settles, so over-excavation will require compacted sand, whi...
When you have the bed roughed out, set the form in place. Drive 1-in. stakes around the perimeter to just below the top of the form. This prevents the...
Fasten the stakes with 2-in. drywall screws, leveling the form in both directions as you go. After you're done, recheck the form bed for high spots. A...
Pour about 2 gal. of water into the mixer drum and then add the aggregate. If you have a sand-and-gravel combination, throw in one shovel of cement fo...
If you have a separate pile of coarse aggregate, use 2 1/2 shovels of sand, 2 1/2 shovels of coarse gravel and one shovel of cement. We find it works ...
After you're satisfied with the consistency, load the mix into a wheelbarrow and deliver it to the form. Wash your hands immediately after handling ...
Dump the mix into the form, being careful to avoid skin contact with the wet concrete.
Spread the concrete around with a shovel and press it against the sides. Then mix another batch. When you have about half the form filled, use a 2 x 4...
Finishing is all about timing--and surface water is the timer. Each pass with a tool brings up water and cement, but overworking the surface can weake...
We recommend you round the edges of the slab, as that prevents chipping. Use an edging tool, running it back and forth along the form with downward pr...
A rougher finish may be good for outdoor slabs, as they provide more traction. But using a trowel will give you a smoother surface, if that's what you...
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Posted:Mar 21, 2007
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