a specialist on ferro cement

topic posted Mon, January 10, 2011 - 7:49 PM by  ROBO'
My name is Rob'O and I am a ferro cement instructor with over 40 years working with "mudd" I am very open to answer any Questions any might have on the subject
respectfully yours Rob'O
posted by:
  • I knew people that were doing ferro cement boats back in the 70s, most came out pretty ugly and not to fair.
    Christopher Alexander was experimenting with it in forming vaults with low compression light weight concrete. I think he was doing shotcrete techniques.
    So where and how do you use it? In housing or commercial structures. Specialty elements within a bigger structure?
    Chicken wire- rebar and troweling mortar like cement into it?
    Got a link?, sounds cool to me.
    • D
      offline 136
      how is it different from say type II portland cement?

      does the name refer to the technique more?
      • The best mortar mix for troweling onto the rebar-chickenwire form ?
        The sand - portland - lime ratio proportions for the mix ?
        • If I'm not mistaken, it's concrete not mortar. Though I guess you could use mortar but I think cement has structural and compressive qualities mortar would not?
          In the Pattern Language you pour concrete on top of the vaults that have an initial troweling of cement either making a floor or a roof. Pattern 219, pg 1032 in "A Pattern Language" Christopher Alexander et al..
          They use 40-60# concrete.
          • I meant initial troweling of concrete on the last post.
            • Mortar is concrete but in different component proportions. Mortar is stiffer because it has to stick to the brick while you butter it and move it into place. Concrete, of the type poured into a form, would drip right off the chickenwire into a puddle on the floor. Concrete will have way more sand and less portland to hold it together...and less lime needed for plasticity.
              • Not a cement guy. You can have thick concrete "like butter" and I don't think they put lime in ferro cement. I think the concrete that goes on the chicken wire is like paste.
                What I was referring to is a two step process. Paste on chicken wire then pour after that sets up or has cured for a time. I suppose mortar would work but the word mortar never came up in the Pattern Language instructions I was referring to.

                Oh! I have been a carpenter for 40 years, so I have been around brick masons and cement finishers and I have built forms and set forms and poured concrete!! But I am not a cement finisher or brick mason, stone setter, tile setter or any of those trades, I'm a Carpenter!! I have set steel in forms! Snap ties, she bolts, wailers, plywood forms, steel forms, footings, piers, caissons, sonotubes, I can't remember all of it. There are parts and and forming techniques i don't recall the terms for and I have done them too. I have never done ferro cement. I have laid block, stone and brick !! Not much but I did it! I have even done some stucco!! And plaster along with drywall and taping!!
                • The lime gives the mix a nice consistency like icecream or peanutbutter, and you can shape, form, and most of all smooth it down ... the surface slick like the inside of a swim pool.... simply by smoothing it with the flat of a trowel using circular motions --- all the while dipping the tool into water to prevent the mix from sticking to it. Try that without a healthy portion of lime and you get a rough sandy like surface. The lime allows doing things with the mix something like a clay. And this is basically a Rich Mix, meaning you don't skimp on the portland and lime.

                  Where is "Robo" in all this?
                  Another crank call? or a guy who toots his horn and runs off?
                  • This is the maximum depth. Additional responses will not be threaded.
                    offline 136
                    local guy here in Truchas who does it, Briggi, explained it just like that and in the concrete biz we provided mixes like that for masons all the time sometimes different guys like it a little different - lot of chemicals, though, not just portland and lime.

                    wonder if there is a purplish colored mineral that I can put in it ?

                    purple house would look nice out here
                    • I'll bet you could. Spanish red oxide with?? Something that would kick with it make a chemical change of some sort.
                      What's grout mix? I could google it, in fact googling ferro cement might be in order. Concrete coloring too.
                      • D
                        offline 136
                        i know you can get certain color with natural additives to the stucco mix so you don't have to paint it not sure if purple is an option - not a flamboyantly gay purple mind you but a regal, deep purple the kind of purple that says Dignity, you know?
                      • I just navigated away from a big post of links;
                        Small project mixes link;
                        No mix but process and projects description;
                        Arkie description and cost analysis;
                        Technical definition and mix, mix proportions recommended for common ferrocement applications are sand-cement ratio by weight, 1.5 to 2.5, which means more cement to sand!
                        Hippy pond;
                        A very cool Sikh Dome project with a mix table, they used river sand and a pozzolith mix. River sand is rounded and the recommended sand is sharp sand in other mix recommendations;
                        Wiki link;
                        Very good water tank ferro cement paper!
                        • In this Davis chart and the coloring dry powders in the link, I'm confident you could get happy purple or majestic happy purple and whore red is not a problem.
                          • D
                            offline 136
                            Florida Rock Industries sold to Vulcan Materials just as I left in 07 we used Davis for color and some other additives - huges dispensers that were suppose to simply process by allowing mix up and dump into mixer with concrete already in it give it a 100 turns and roll

                            always broke down guys covered in color climping truck lader with bags over their shoulders dumping it into hopper, breathing in particles big time no protection

                            i hated color always ended up in my lab too stupid Davis machines even when they worked didn't work right god forbid you ever had to send out to load of color, man - like asking home depot to color match something
                            • D
                              offline 136
                              god forbid had to send 2nd load of color, I meant

                              bag dosing you could nail it fine - easy to say from an office but hey if it were up to me swear to god i'd say we don't do color and then do it but only strategically - might of made money for the concrete contractors but I don't think we made much money off ot it, never that much of it even in a large, urban market
                            • When I was working for Generals Davis was it. Concrete guys would dust in color into colored mix as they troweled a lot of the time or before stamping. I like colored concrete, I don't like stamping in fake BS though. Stamped concrete should look like stamped concrete not a fake out.
                              • D
                                offline 136
                                we probably did one load of color a week - 22 plants over 400 mixers - ? but the color order would go through me, sales, the lab, the plant ... many man hours of coordination and 80 percent of the time it would go to shit somehow or other
                                • Well here in the heyday about 4-5 years ago I'm sure the batch plant was getting more than that. I was working in Santa Barbara and knew all the conctrete contractors and they were way busy doing all kinds of work from flatwork to massive structural. I know they were doing color concrete more than one a week among them all.
                                  • Seems to me way easier to do like everybody and simply slap on a coat of heavy duty paint to get your color.
                                    BTW, briggi! is hetero/man... by choice. No color discrimination intended.
                                    • Color concrete is different and not necessary and in a way it's less toxic than floor paint, I have painted porches.
                                      Lets say you're pouring a slab with warm floor, I would finish the slab with a color and forget expensive floor covering. Warm floor or not, a colored cement floor is good and you can wax it or put a poly wax on it, I like carnauba tho.
                                      You can get different effects by troweling in color and different texture like brooming and salt among other things, expansion joint patterns and on. Then you put down area rugs.
                                      Of course as a carpenter I like a raised floor but slabs are more affordable.
                                      I don't worry about my sexuality now, I am what I am and I never really make a choice in the matter, except when I was young and worried- I'm just fine.
                                      I have a nephew who just came out and it is not easy. Brave kid and he needs support and he's got it with his family, lucky in that respect.
                                      Glad my boys aren't gay, I'd have to kill them.
                                      • My favorite Color is Violet actually so purple is my ally, I will say D you should be more sensitive to the tribe members in your posting as it sounds homophobic and offenive, how if I said not a crippley purple but a regal purple!
                                        • D
                                          offline 136
                                          lighten up, jesus christ

                                          to all my gay tribe members - nothing but love

                                          to my especially flamboyant gay tribe members - cool it, you annoy the hell out of straight people and half the gay population, dammit

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