Old 08-19-03, 07:21 PM
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I needed some mortar so I bought a bag of cement since I still had several bags of sand in my garage.
the cement is Basalite type I-II (the only one they had at HomeDepot). I tried several mixing ratios (4:1, 3.5:1, 3:1) but my mortar does not have any strength at all; I can break a 1" thick
peace easily with my fingers and it crumbles. What is wrong here, did I buy a bag of bad cement?
Old 08-20-03, 09:16 AM
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Never heard of "Basalite".....and a websearch on returns info on Basalite retainer wall blocks, nothing about cement.....

Sounds more like you got a bag of lime......which IS what older mortar was made of , but it doesn't harden like portland cement based mortars. Thats why you can scratch the mortar out of old brick joints real easy.....or clean the brick up off a tear's lime mortar. The strength came from HOW the brick was laid.

Go to another lumber supply and ask for brick mortar( type N or S .....S being the stronge of the two ) or portand cement.
Old 08-20-03, 09:27 AM
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The portland cement association says:

Typically, a mix is about 10 to 15 percent cement, 60 to 75 percent aggregate and 15 to 20 percent water
According the the Basalite site, what you have is cement.

From what I understand, you have to mix the cement and sand thoroughly then add the appropriate amount of water to achieve the desired consistency. From the Portland Cement Association statement, it appears that a mixture would be on the order of one part cement to six parts sand. Perhaps the ratio you are using needs adjusting.

Hope this helps.
Old 08-20-03, 09:56 AM
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Well, Chris is a better web searcher than me......

So it is a porland cement.....even without enough sand, I'm surprised you can crumble a one inch thick pc of it easy......Maybe you got too much water in the mix.....that will weaken it.....use just enough to make the mix plastic but no more.
Old 08-20-03, 11:40 AM
bungalow jeff
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I agree with Andy, something isn't right. The bag of cement could have been old. They do have a useful shelf life.

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