Author Topic: Anti bushcrating area for the wife...  (Read 1096 times)

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Offline xj35s

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Anti bushcrating area for the wife...
« on: June 13, 2018, 02:15:44 PM »
We have begun a patio area. It is taking a lot of work to get an area level. We are hoping to host a wedding in August or September. Lots to do but I'm having fun and hopefully raising the value of the place at the same time...


 I built a wooden contraption to connect to the bucket to level the width easier...
This is all sand and easy to move around, and it packs hard pretty quick without rolling or tamping.
This is all new to me. We used rebar and mason line with a line level. The two 4"x4" are the level guides. I could only get 16 footers at the local place so I have to move them out to finish the area.
I am renting a small cement mixer and picking up one pallet of quickcrete Friday. I have pathmark stone molds and each form takes one 80 lb bag. So 42 molded paver blocks on hard level sand !  I'm hoping we can get the ratio of water perfectly measured so one bag and a pitcher of water= one mold. Going to do it one bag at a time consecutively until it's done. Once the cement is leveled in the mold it can be lifted and moved to the next location, so no curing time needed between.



Here is my sad attempt and a leveling device. It does work okay if I only try to draw a few inches of sand at a time. It rained all day so not much getting done today giving me the time to make a post. It's held to the tractor by 3 ratchet straps so I can remove it quick get more dirt and throw it back on. There are two sections of 4"x4" with a wide spacing for lift and down pressure while still allowing some float.






Here I am planning to put a large koi pond where the small dirt patch is with a small zig zagging stream leading down the slope to a small water feature in the patio. That area will have a wooden bridge and a rustic log bench.  Also lemon grass and other anti mosquito plants and herbs to finish the landscaping of the slope. The water will be pumped back up to the pond keeping it healthy.



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Offline imnukensc

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Re: Anti bushcrating area for the wife...
« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2018, 03:02:02 PM »
Ambitious project!  Good luck with it!   :thumbsup:
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Offline wsdstan

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Re: Anti bushcrating area for the wife...
« Reply #2 on: June 13, 2018, 06:46:47 PM »
As long as you are on level ground that "contraption" will level the dirt.  If you ain't it ain't.  Looks like you about got it whipped though.

You got a lot of concrete to mix.  Leaving it gray or staining it a color?

Post more photos of it as you form it up and lay the molded pavers down please.
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Offline Orbean

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Re: Anti bushcrating area for the wife...
« Reply #3 on: June 13, 2018, 07:01:17 PM »
When building the pond are you going to use a liner, cement or clay? I have done many water features using felt liners and then 20mil rubber liner. Works great
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Offline Yeoman

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Re: Anti bushcrating area for the wife...
« Reply #4 on: June 14, 2018, 04:11:40 AM »
How very, very cool is that.
Love the "leveler".
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Offline xj35s

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Re: Anti bushcrating area for the wife...
« Reply #5 on: June 14, 2018, 07:48:50 AM »
As long as you are on level ground that "contraption" will level the dirt.  If you ain't it ain't.  Looks like you about got it whipped though.

You got a lot of concrete to mix.  Leaving it gray or staining it a color?

Post more photos of it as you form it up and lay the molded pavers down please.

The levelerator can float so if the rear tires off tilted one way or the other it'll level only because of the down pressure on the two 4x4's buried at pad level. Those guides are locked in with rebar for now and they'll be removed before the pavers go in.
The water feature at the house will be heaviest plastic sheet from lowes. It's all sand so I'll rake it out very well before laying it down.

 The pond out back (swimming hole) will be a liner of 30 mil, 50'x60'. This is the costly part. The entire pad area will be under $250.
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Offline wsdstan

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Re: Anti bushcrating area for the wife...
« Reply #6 on: June 14, 2018, 03:34:29 PM »
 :thumbsup:
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Offline xj35s

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Re: Anti bushcrating area for the wife...
« Reply #7 on: June 14, 2018, 05:48:28 PM »
We decided not to try and move and re level the 4x4's. So for the final leveling I drilled one hole in the bucket and put a lag screw into the 4 x 4 . then one lag bolt into a small 2 x 4 on the end for a handle. we leveled the bucket with the mason line and just swiped the 4 x 4 across leveling the last part of the dirt. Did that on each corner. I'm wetting it down with a sprinkler to get it consolidated. Tomorrow we'll use a rake and get any high spot or low spots filled in. The pathmark Paver molds are forgiving and the crete will fill gaps underneath anyway.

pessimist complain about the wind. optimist expect the wind to change. realist adjusts the sails.

Offline xj35s

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Re: Anti bushcrating area for the wife...
« Reply #8 on: June 15, 2018, 07:38:47 PM »
I rolled it with the lawnmower and roller. It packed down very nicely. We could walk on it without leaving impressions. So the molds are not 80lb bags. we got a mold and a half from an 80lb bag. Still we poured 42 bags and are going to need another 60 I think. Here is how far we got in 7 hours of work. Carla did all the hard work of bending over and filling/leveling the forms. I didn't mind the view.





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Offline wsdstan

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Re: Anti bushcrating area for the wife...
« Reply #9 on: June 15, 2018, 07:53:00 PM »
A question if you don't mind?  Why no sand under the poured pavers?

By the way......... you did great with the concrete form and layout of the pavers.
« Last Edit: June 15, 2018, 09:29:51 PM by wsdstan »
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Offline wolfy

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Re: Anti bushcrating area for the wife...
« Reply #10 on: June 15, 2018, 08:07:07 PM »
I think they look MAGNIFICENT........ .the homemade concrete pavers look OK, too. >:D
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Offline wsdstan

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Re: Anti bushcrating area for the wife...
« Reply #11 on: June 15, 2018, 09:31:50 PM »
 :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:
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Offline xj35s

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Re: Anti bushcrating area for the wife...
« Reply #12 on: June 16, 2018, 04:44:46 AM »
believe me all questions are welcomed. This is our first time doing this so if there's anything I'm missing it will be good to know.

Our land is sand. It has some other dirt too but it is mostly beach sand. That is why we can drive about anywhere on our front lawn year round and not tear it up. The water just drains through it. It's the reason the big pond won't hold water too.
I'm considering screening the sandy dirt we pulled away from this area to sweep into the crevices between the stones. It sure would be cheaper then buying sand. They sell a white sand though, that would really make this pop.
Going out now to outline the water reservoir and stream that will collect water to send up to the koi pond. We need to run an electric line and pvc tubing before paving it over.
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Offline xj35s

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Re: Anti bushcrating area for the wife...
« Reply #13 on: June 21, 2018, 02:32:41 PM »
Well, As usual life just got in the way. This is as far as we are going for a while. It's 42 80lb bags and 56 60lb bags. We could really go one more pallet but we had an accident.


We came upon a Chevy Suburban stopped dead in the driving lane. No brake lights, no 4 ways, and on the blind side of a hill.
I jerked the wheel and decked the brakes but still made corner contact with him. if we hit straight on all four of us and the four rabbits in the back of his truck would have been very injured. his tow hitch and my front bumper might have folded them both in half.
As it turns out we just mushed together and we ended up crossing the ditch and hitting a tree stump that stopped my truck pretty quick. It bent the drag link and possibly the tie rod. the wheels are toed out. I will drill the pinch welds and have the body shop re weld this bent inner fender piece. crumple zone did it's job...



Up close and ugly.


So we were looking at a Chevy Equinox but the 4 cylinder is weak and the v6 is not really available. We test drove a Nissan Rogue Select with a 4 cylinder and a CVT transmission. I like the transmission it works like a snowmobile. It's a 2015 with 25,000 miles on it. This will give us the gas mileage and dog friendly travel to get out and do more hiking/camping. I never took the ford more than 100 mile radius of the house.






pessimist complain about the wind. optimist expect the wind to change. realist adjusts the sails.

Offline Yeoman

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Re: Anti bushcrating area for the wife...
« Reply #14 on: June 23, 2018, 06:36:07 AM »
xj,
I'm glad you were all okay after the accident. I hope you're able to carry on with the landscaping.
I've never seen someone do homemade paving stone forms before.
Any chance you can show us the process?
Looking forward to seeing it all finished.
"Learning: a continuation of the failure process"

Offline wsdstan

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Re: Anti bushcrating area for the wife...
« Reply #15 on: June 23, 2018, 09:03:57 AM »
Glad there were no injuries XJ.

I would echo Yeoman's request for photos as it the project goes along.
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Offline Orbean

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Re: Anti bushcrating area for the wife...
« Reply #16 on: June 24, 2018, 08:23:57 AM »
https://www.lowes.com/pd/Sakrete-40-lb-Tan-Brown-Polymeric-Sand/3502168. The sand you might want  to think of using is this stuff. It is paver sand that has additives that help it and the pavers to stay in place.
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Offline xj35s

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Re: Anti bushcrating area for the wife...
« Reply #17 on: June 24, 2018, 11:50:12 AM »
Thanks Orbean. A friend works for a landscaping business and mentioned he has stone dust. I asked for a price and haven't gotten a reply yet.

I dumped a pile of our dirt on the cement pad and started to sift through it with a leaf rake. That's going to take months!!!


Here is the quick and dirty in one picture. It's easy. Lay the form on the ground. Fill the form with crete making sure all the edges and corners are filled in. Level the cement with a board or piece of flat metal. lift the form and smooth the edges of the stones to make it pretty(we didn't).


If you have two forms as we do, we leave the first one in until the second is finished. Then pick it up and move it past the other form. There is no waiting for the cement to "set". It will hold the shape for a long time as it cures. We even experimented with real wet mix. It still held it's shape just fine.


We mixed and poured one bag at a time with a wheel barrow style mixer. In this picture one form is leveled and ready to remove. Carla is still filling the next one and about to throw some cement that landed outside the form. It has dirt mixed in with it and got thrown behind the cinder block wall in the back of the patio.


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Offline Yeoman

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Re: Anti bushcrating area for the wife...
« Reply #18 on: June 25, 2018, 04:44:25 PM »
Carving the "leaf" patten into the blocks while they're still wet is a neat idea.
Thanks for the little tutorial.
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Offline xj35s

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Re: Anti bushcrating area for the wife...
« Reply #19 on: June 26, 2018, 08:11:47 AM »
No carving anything. That's how they come out after you lift the mold.
Internet example of the mold...

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Offline Yeoman

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Re: Anti bushcrating area for the wife...
« Reply #20 on: June 26, 2018, 08:05:53 PM »
Ahhhh! Now isn't that the coolest jig?
You've inspired me to set a concrete bed for under my bonfire pit in the back yard. $11 and change vs $9 each for paving blocks.
Tks,
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Offline xj35s

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Re: Anti bushcrating area for the wife...
« Reply #21 on: July 06, 2018, 04:52:52 PM »
Well. I have the used piece about to come off. Then I have to work on removing it from my truck carefully. I bought a spot weld cutter from Harbor Freight. It works fantastic for $4.99.
I have to be careful of the antilock brake controller and somehow will need to swap the mounting bracket. Hopefully without removing any brake lines... I can cut the bent parts off a little at a time until I have the room to work.



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Offline wsdstan

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Re: Anti bushcrating area for the wife...
« Reply #22 on: July 06, 2018, 05:04:55 PM »
xj does one bag of concrete (60#) fill one form?  I thought you said it earlier but I cannot find it.
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Offline xj35s

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Re: Anti bushcrating area for the wife...
« Reply #23 on: July 07, 2018, 08:54:11 AM »
It does. It seems our forms use 40 lbs. we had a lot left over using the 80lb and had a little left over from the 60 lb bags.
pessimist complain about the wind. optimist expect the wind to change. realist adjusts the sails.

Offline wsdstan

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Re: Anti bushcrating area for the wife...
« Reply #24 on: July 07, 2018, 10:50:31 AM »
Thanks.  I think that is the cheapest and best looking way for us to build a walkway from the house out to the garden. 

Your patio looks great.
A man who carries a cat by the tail learns  something he can learn in no other way. 
(Mark Twain)