epsilonGreedy

Strong small buckets for a pedestrian brickie.

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When visiting another self builder the other day (who had laid 18,000 facing bricks) we both confessed how easy it is to loose count when loading a cement mixer with set ratios of sand/cement. He resorted to pre filling a set of buckets with sand or cement before loading the mixer and I now intend to do the same to achieve visual mortar consistency above ground.

 

My Question: Can anyone recommend a source for small buckets where six would equate to a half mixer load? Many moons ago I sailed on a french yacht that had a strong mini rubber bucket, this was small enough to be thrown overboard with a rope attached when the vessel was under way and adopt a drogue position without pulling the person overboard. Six such a buckets would be ideal at my mortar mixing station.

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If that's the sort of thing, I think our last one was about 4 quid from Tesco - no hold on - B&Q...

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27 minutes ago, Big Neil said:

no idea what a 'drogue position' is

 

 

I was just using the analogy to convey a notion of how small a bucket I was looking for i.e. something larger than a paint kettle but smaller than a full sized garden/builders bucket.

 

On a moving sailing boat if you were to throw a regular size bucket overboard and hang onto a line, it would skip over the waves for a few seconds then bite on solid water as it fills. At this point the operator standing on deck would either be dragged overboard as the filled bucket adopts a drogue (sea anchor) position or would have to let go.

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Posted (edited)

10l paint pot.

They won't last but there are always plenty left over from the previous job...and they are free

Edited by bassanclan

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12 minutes ago, Big Neil said:

If that's the sort of thing, I think our last one was about 4 quid from Tesco - no hold on - B&Q...

 

 

Thanks looks like an good option, I will experiment.

 

One thing I realized last year when doing the footings is that the traditional builders technique of tipping a loaded shovel into the mixer is quite safe as it keeps the operator away at arms length. Tipping a full size bucket with a metal handle within the aperture of the drum has the risk of the bucket handle snagging one of the mixing paddles.

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3 minutes ago, AnonymousBosch said:

buckets.jpg.a84dfdf077795ac1574ec5977aa29ebb.jpg

 

Well there is pedestrian and Pedestrian, I hope the better 10 bricks a day 😄

 

The bucket & spade seafront of Skegness is not so far away and it is raining hard here. 

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52 minutes ago, epsilonGreedy said:

traditional builders technique of tipping a loaded shovel into the mixer is quite safe as it keeps the operator away at arms length

 

Its actually pretty dangerous and there are plenty of accidents where shovels get caught in the mixer blades. The handles will spin round and break wrists or do other damage.

 

What you are describing here is a gauging bucket or gauging box - see this for a useful guide

 

 

 

  • Thanks 1

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4 minutes ago, PeterW said:

What you are describing here is a gauging bucket or gauging box...

 

 

Ok so rather than using x sand and n cement pre-filled buckets you are suggesting one measuring box for each component sized to the ratio?

 

7 minutes ago, PeterW said:

Its actually pretty dangerous and there are plenty of accidents where shovels get caught in the mixer blades. The handles will spin round and break wrists or do other damage.

 

 

Is there a lower risk method of loading a mixer? Buckets involve getting much closer to the drum.

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Peter beat me to it

make up a gauge box

it saves lifting lots of heavy buckets

you will find your perfect bucket will get nicked  by the bricky and used for water, it will then get split and chucked in the corner

make a gauge box and it will sit by the mixer for ever 

generally have a sheet of ply on the floor by the mixer, you fill the gauge box and after lifting you have a nice flat surface to shovel off. 

 

Simple innit. 

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You didn’t used to have a gauge box for cement, as the big mixers took a half bag and then you just use the box for sand. 

However if you are using a small mixer, 1barrow load , then you will need a box or bucket for the cement also

 

remember also a set of measuring spoons for the febmix. Sorry only joking. 

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4 minutes ago, Russell griffiths said:

Peter beat me to it

make up a gauge box

 

 

I am swinging strongly to this solution having thought about it for 20 minutes.

 

Shoveling off a sheet of ply sheet is a key tip. Thanks.

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3 minutes ago, Russell griffiths said:

You didn’t used to have a gauge box for cement, as the big mixers took a half bag and then you just use the box for sand. 

However if you are using a small mixer, 1barrow load , then you will need a box or bucket for the cement also

 

 

The limiting factor is my brick laying rate which is 1 barrow full in the working life of a mix.

 

The mixer is an electric Belle 150 I think.

 

7 minutes ago, Russell griffiths said:

remember also a set of measuring spoons for the febmix. Sorry only joking. 

 

 

Too late, I hit send on the Amazon order before reading the second half of your sentence. That's Swmbo's birthday present sorted 😄

  • Haha 1

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9 minutes ago, Russell griffiths said:

remember also a set of measuring spoons for the febmix. Sorry only joking. 

 

You may joke.... but I know a brickie that had 2 plastic mugs, one for admix and one for cement dye so the mix was always perfect. He also mixed from 2 different bulk bags of sand so that there was no shading across bags..!

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6 minutes ago, PeterW said:

 

You may joke.... but I know a brickie that had 2 plastic mugs, one for admix and one for cement dye so the mix was always perfect. He also mixed from 2 different bulk bags of sand so that there was no shading across bags..!

 

Perfection. 👍

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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, bassanclan said:

10l paint pot.

They won't last but there are always plenty left over from the previous job...and they are free

I,m with him !!

you can try a dry run and see how many your mixer will hold 

from memory of doing the same i think you will find 10ltre size plenty big enough 

you could always rake out edge of bricks and do  final pointing at later date  ,or even use a mortar gun for the final pointing and buy ready mixed of colour you want? 

I know with fancy facing brick  at old house my dad used a mix  with some linseed oil which gave really nice finish to mortar and did not shrink  or crack  .

It was very dark red colour same as bricks

that's maybe not correct name ,maybe even something new and better now 
 

Edited by scottishjohn

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I get half a bag cement into a belle drum.

 

Put it in your chosen bucket see where it comes to. Ie top or 3" down etc then just fill bucket up that high with sand. 

 

You develop technique of throwing the sand into the drum so not actually that close. As opposed to tipping it in. 

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With a small mixer (like yours) I do a mix of 12 decent shovels full to half a bag of cement. Personally I put the dust in halfway through so I just count out loud each shovel as it goes in,eliminating the risk of mis-counting. As for mixer safety-no reason the mixer has to be turning as you load it. 

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To get your half bag of cement, cut the bag in half with an old saw. The result is quite easy to empty into the mixer.

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14 minutes ago, Brickie said:

Personally I put the dust in halfway through

 

 

Same here but a number of UK trade college YouTube guidance videos claim the sequence should be:

  1. Spinning drum.
  2. Half portion of water to wet the drum.
  3. Then all the cement.
  4. Wait for cement to mix into a consistent slurry.
  5. Add all the sand.
  6. Then the rest of the water.

Maybe my second hand mixer had too much mortar caked on the inside of the drum and when I tried the cement first technique the dry cement attached to the old dry mortar.

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Posted (edited)

as I suggested earlier

lay bricks -rake out when still soft, clean all brick faces etc  -then point all of it later with premixed mortar to keep colour spot on 

EG

https://www.marshalls.co.uk/commercial/product/coloured-mortar

 

https://www.kingfisheruk.com/coloured-pointing-mortar-item-69dg#69dg

what my dad used was pointing mastic -- all i can say is it looked great and worked fine 

https://www.buildingmaterials.co.uk/sika-trowel-mastic

guessing it was something like this  a mix of sand and other things

Edited by scottishjohn

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