calling all masons
OK, here is the story.
I need to lay some rock faced concrete block, the kind of stuff they made long ago. I made my own with an antique machine. Let the stuff sit for 28+ days. Now I am ready to lay it.
The block will be used to form “wing walls”. That is to say that they will be perpendicular to my porch, running on either side of the wood stairs. They tooth into the existing rock face foundation. The block will be layed only four high with a concrete cap set on top. These are essentially hand rails for my bungalow. I have layed block before so no big questions there on basic technique (although advice is thoroughly welcome).
My question is … the temps in my neck of the woods ar getting to the 40s, maybe 50 by day and starting to hover around 30-35 at night. Can I lay it at these temps? Any special ad-mix to use with the morter? Or will the heat generate by the mortar curing be enough?
Help, I want to get this done in the next week or so.
Get some anti-hydro, and mix it into the mortar. You could also add calcium chloride to the mix to get it to set faster. Keep the sand covered, and try to heat it before mixing (use a salamander heater). Lastly, cover the blockwork at night to help retain the heat from the day and from the mortar curing process.
You shouldn't have too much of a problem- it's when you start laying block in 20-30 degree weather that you start seeing major problems.
Your block-making process sounds very interesting. Got any photos or details? I'd like to know more. Thanks!
Where did you get the block machine? I had some old rock face blocks that I used to make a pattern for some blocks . I just made the faces and attached them to cement block. The old block I had looked as if they made the faces out of a finer grit and then made the rest of the block out of course aggregate(for block) .
I bought the vintage 1911 machine after a year+ search for rock face block. I only found one maker of the stuff but he was in Oregon or Washington, I am in the Chicago area. At $13/block plus shipping it just wasn't doable.
Just by chance I discovered this machine. I couldn't pas it up. We need approx. 600 block for an addition to our bungalow and the block will be used quite prominently.
As soon as I get some time I will post pics of the block made so far and maybe a drawing I did of the addition. At the moment I am prepping the block with a lite acid stain to try and more closely mirror the aged look of the existing. hope to get this stuff in right after Thanksgiving.
Thanks all for your comments and interest.
North side , Suth side, or western berbs? I am only about 90 miles from Chi. I was looking for a machine also . I gave up and made my own set up to make faces and small block (4" size) . I just use mine for facing masonary walls.
Actually NW Indiana, Valparaiso to be specific. The faces idea seems a good idea. Veneering a block wall probably cuts down on weight. The small cores on these things really add to the weight considerable.