Do we need an instructable for mixing concrete on a board? Answered
I spent a fair bit of time this weekend mixing mortar on a board with a shovel, the way I was taught by my dad, and the way his dad taught him.
As a little kid I used to imagine it like trying to stop a volcano erupting, and I would "helpfully" point out to my dad where the "magma" was about to escape.
I found this YouTube video which shows the method:
The advantage is that it is (relatively) ergonomic compared to working in a bucket, and you can mix large amounts (50kg / 100lb at a time).
You make a "volcano" with a crater out of the dry mix, fill the crater with water and then carefully fill in the crater with the dry mix. The advantage is that the water is kept in the mix and doesn't run off the board onto the surrounding surface. (You don't need a raised edge on the board if you do it right, so can use any surface)
An interesting variation can be seen in old films of railway construction where a long wooden trough was used with dry ingredients being shovelled in at one end and a gang of men shovelling the mix up and dropping it in front of the next man in line to create a constant flow of mix.