Making Concrete Blocks For Walkway


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Old 03-26-07, 01:30 AM
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Question Making Concrete Blocks For Walkway

Hi,

Can anyone advise me on how to make concrete/cement block(tiles) for walkways. I'm talking about the old looking kind of stone block that is usually either square or rectangular in sizes from 250mm X 250mm to about 750mm X 750mm and is either light or medium brown/tan color or even dark grey to black.

Any help would be appreciated
 
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Old 03-26-07, 08:24 AM
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Making Concrete Blocks For Walkway

You can cast them individually, but it would be more expensive and time consuming than pouring concrete in place.

If you pour in place, you can cut joints in the concrete the next day to simulated the appearance you want.

Making individual slabs would require building forms, buying sand, cement and rock and having it delivered (costly for small amounts). You will also have excess materials to dispose of when you find out it is difficult to estimate your needs. You will also need a mixer or a means of mixing the concrete.

If you pour individual units, you can expect differences in colors since you would be making many diffferent batches of concrete. You would have to make/buy as many diifferent forms as you wish. The more forms you fill at one time, the greater the uniformity and the faster you can make the number required. You may be able to buy forms and cast the slabs "face down" against the forms. Larger sizes may require mesh for handling while "green" and prevent cracks in larger sizes. Vibration of the molds and concrete may be required for consolidation and to acheive the desired appearance. The concrete will have to cured a day or two or three.... before removing from the forms, depending on the mix and the conditions.

Color is a completely different situation and a greater chance for variables.

It you are in a cold climate, the concrete should be air entrained and at least 4000 psi for freeze/thaw durability. Warm climates do not need as good concrete.

You wil not be able to make your own concrete to the quality standards that you can buy from a ready-mix company.
 
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Old 03-27-07, 12:21 AM
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Thanx for the response. I do prefer making my own slabs and the un-uniform colors is exactly what I want. Now the question is if I dont want the light grey color of cement what do I use to make tan color and very dark grey almost black slabs. Is it some kind of coloring that you would use or is it the sand you use in your mixing. Then how would i get the texture of the finished slab to be like sandstone and not to be one smooth and slippery slab?

Thanx for any advice in advance.
 
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Old 03-27-07, 04:20 AM
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Many home centers sell liquid colorant for concrete. They sell it near the bagged concrete mix. Quikrete is one brand.
To get a sandy finish, use a rubber float instead of a magnesium float or steel trowel. When the concrete has set fairly firm, rub the rubber float on the surface and it will create the sandy finish.
 
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Old 03-27-07, 11:38 AM
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Personally, I think it is too much work, but here are a few things to do to make it easier:

First, use bagged concrete and pay the extra quarter for 4000 PSI mix.

Next make your mold set volume equal to whatever batch size you will use. For example, if you have a mixer that will mix 2-80# bags, then you need molds that will hold 1.32 Cubic Foot of concrete (or some multiple, thereof).

Set your production area up so that you move the mud to the mixer with no steps, and your mud from the mixer to the molds in as few steps as possible.
Keep in mind that it is a wet, messy procedure, espcially if colorant is involved.

Finally, spend the time to maintain your molds, since this will probably be a long term project. The specific mold manufacturer you buy from will have proper instructions for that.
 
 

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