Introduction: How to Mix Concrete or Cement

What inspired me?

If you have seen a couple of my other Instructables, you will have noticed that I love obscure materials such as pallet wood, concrete and metal. I love using these in weird but wonderful projects such as phone holders, lamps and jewellery. I absolutely love this urban material. And this instructable will show you how to make simple cement.

Depending on what materials you have depends on this step. You can get all sorts of colours, finishes, tones and types of concrete. Snow-Crete looks great as its white tone is modern but rustic. I used plain cement, sand and concrete. But you can get ready mixed concrete which is much better.

You can add different chemicals to the paint such as pain, stones, glass or dyes. This enhances the dull grey colour of your concrete.

You will need;

- Concrete mix

- water

- A container such as a bucket

If you haven't got concrete mix use;

- Cement mix

- Building sand

- Water

- a stirring stick

- A container such as a bucket

Step 1: Step One - the Materials

Step one - The materials

Okay, so if you dont have Concrete mix, this is the second best thing.

The material are can all be purchased at the local Wicks or B&Q. The items I bought came up to around £11 as I already owned a bucket to use and had a left over bit of dowel I could use to stir. In this Instructable I lost my dowel so I used a fork.

Step 2: The Cement and Sand

Step two - The cement and sand

Before you mix in the water with the two dry materials, it's best to mix the cement and the sand. First, place about 500g in the container. Add about 200g - 300g of sand and then use the fork to mix them together. Mix until the mix goes light grey.

Step 3: The Water

Step three - The water

Its now time to add the water. Never put in all of the water in one go. You will need to add about 20ml then stir. Complete this step until the mix becomes like cookie dough. If you add too much or too little you will end up with a weak mix.

Step 4: Finished!

Finished!

Concrete does not harden. However it goes through a chemical process known as curing. The concrete sets within a few hours but it takes an entire 28 days to reach its maximum strength.

If you wish to apply this to a mould, remember after adding the cement into the mould, vibration is key. Either gently hot the mould onto the worktable until all air bubbles get realised. Remember to also cover the mould with cling film to reduce the amount of water being lost from the concrete.

Comments

author
Winston101 (author)2016-12-03

Duly noted zac, thanks for the information. Will try considerate finding another subtiture

author
Winston101 (author)2016-12-02

Hi zac, i was just wondering what difference does it make if i just using pure cement to do DIY stuff? It's really hard to find concrete mix here in my country( indonesia) and to get a sand, i have to buy a whole bunch :(

author
zaclewis98 (author)Winston1012016-12-03

Well, pure cement isn't string, its a powder compound and without anything to make it string and hard, the cement on its own, when mixed with water, will become weak. However, for most of the projects I have completed, strength isn't really needed. I'm sure you will find another solution for example very small stones (aggregate)

author
goat80 (author)2016-08-27

hi all, how long does the concrete take to cure? Is there a way to test? Especially when using a mould? Thanks, this has been super helpful!

author
zaclewis98 (author)goat802016-08-27

Well, you can buy a rubber mat from a tile shop. Place the rubber mat on top of the concrete. Leave it for about 5-20 minutes, take off the mat and see if the there is a wet patch

author
goat80 (author)zaclewis982016-09-02

thanks so much zaclewis98! I will try that most definitely.

author
armorer243 (author)2016-08-21

I do concrete countertops as a hobby and the best way is to mix the cement, pea gravel, and water together first,then add the sand. The reason for it is to use the gravel as a sort of ball mill to break up any clumps and give the cement the chance to hydrate properly. Once those ingredients have mixed for about 5 minutes you can add the sand and let it wet out. This ensures all the cement has a chance to hydrate properly and lessens the chance of dry clumps in the mix

author
zaclewis98 (author)armorer2432016-08-21

Thank you so much. I did not know that. I'll be sure to follow this process when I complete the job again.

author
sokamiwohali (author)2016-08-21

Keep in mind, water is an enemy to concrete. It should only be used to activate the chemical process that cures the concrete and to attain the proper slump (easiest explained as the viscosity). Too little water, and the different components won't mix very well. Too much water will affect the strength negatively (it will lose strength). Also, you don't want to trap the water in with cling wrap. This will affect the end strength as well (makes water the enemy). Good 'Ible

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