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RE:Concrete Mix


Pat and I have made a number of tufa troughs using the following mixture
with excellent results. All measurements are dry, by volume. If you want to
make a small trough you might use something like a large coffee can to
measure, or a 5 gal bucket for larger troughs. We screen the peat moss
through 1/4 in. screen. If you don't screen it, large pieces will decompose
and leave weak spots in the trough. It is very important to use portland
cement, accept no substitutes. You can obtain fiber mesh at about any
redi-mix concrete supplier. It comes in small fabric bags that will give you
enough for several troughs. It is used to give the trough additional
strength. Separating it and mixing it in is a bit difficult, just take your
time.
2 parts portland cement
3 parts screened peat moss
3 parts perlite
fiber mesh--about 1 cup for a 14x28x8 trough
water to the consistency of cottage cheese or bit drier

Make drainage holes in the bottom, stick, pencil, whatever. Let dry in shady
or cool spot. After about 3 days you can use a wire brush, file, etc. to
shape the trough. We use a forming tool made by Stanley that works very
well. Let it stand a few weeks before use. You can use a cardboard box
(filled with sand to prevent collapse), or wood, or plastic or styrofoam
containers to make a mold or just do it freeform. We make ours about 1 1/2
in. thick. You can use concrete tint in the mix if you want a different
color.

Tom Moore Bardstown, KY  Z6

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