Tuesday, 22 July 2014

10:08 – The crew just finished pouring and leveling the concrete walk. We may get some rain today, but it looks like it’ll hold off long enough not to damage the new concrete. If necessary, they’ll cover it with plastic sheeting before they leave. They said they avoid doing that whenever possible because it can cause the surface to dry unevenly, affecting the color/texture in patches.

I’m building chemistry kits today, and getting started on another batch of biology kits.


61 thoughts on “Tuesday, 22 July 2014”

  1. Do they typically smooth out the top of the concrete driveways and sidewalks they pour or do they give them a brushed finish? Here they take a broom and drag it over the top of the concrete after they pour and smooth it out to give it a rougher texture for added traction when it’s wet or icy.

  2. Yep, broom-finishing is the last thing they’ll do before they leave.

  3. RE: Craziness in Israel

    I saw an article on FoxNews.com that “More than 600 Palestinians and 29 Israelis have been killed since the new war began July 8.”

    Can Hamas just not do math? How is a 20:1 kill ratio something they can sustain? Mind you, this is Israel with one hand tied behind its back because the whole world is watching them with a microscope. Imagine if they were really pissed.

    It’s like Al Qaida (or however the hell it’s spelled/pronounced this week). They take down two of our skyscrapers so we take down two of their countries. Some sources estimate close to 1,000,000 Muslim deaths in the last 10+ years as a direct or indirect result of the “War on Terror,” but fewer than 7,000 US KIAs. So, a 140:1 kill ratio. These people are idiots.

  4. Yep, broom-finishing is the last thing they’ll do before they leave.

    They didn’t do that when we lived in Tulsa. Annoyed the hell out of me. Get some algae on a sidewalk and it was like walking on snot. Also, I think the broom-finishing allows the concrete to breathe more and to push/pull water which protects the surface from those unsightly spider cracks and other damage. Not sure if that’s a proven concept, but I don’t see the issues with broom-finished concrete that I do with smooth concrete.

  5. Yep, broom-finishing is good for most purposes.

    Back when I was playing tennis seriously, though, I much preferred smooth-finish concrete courts to broom-finished ones. The latter slowed the ball down noticeably, caused an even higher bounce than usual on concrete, and were hell on tennis balls. On smooth courts, we could usually get a couple sets from a can of balls. On brush-finished, balls would start to fluff up and show significant wear after only a couple games.

  6. “These people are idiots.”

    The followers, yes, not the “leaders.” This a time-tested concept; their losses at those ratios are perfectly acceptable to them, just as Red China’s would be in a major war, or in our own history, the Union’s against the Confederacy, under the butchering, mad-dog, war-criminal leadership of Lincoln, Grant and Sherman.

    Sure, Israel could vaporize the surrounding countries and probably Gaza and the other de facto concentration camps they run there but there would be major blowback from other actors; they’d have to also knock out Saudi Arabia, Iran and Pakistan.

    Again I say, a pox on them all. Why do we care? (Well, I know why, but it’s not good enough; we need to wash our hands of the whole rotten mess ASAP, and thus reap major benefits almost immediately.)

  7. protects the surface from those unsightly spider cracks and other damage

    I think the cracks have more to do with the size of the concrete and any expansion joints. Concrete is going to crack because of thermal expansion and contraction so the trick is to control the cracks. Cutting groves every few feet will isolate the cracks to those grooves where they will not be seen. The larger the piece of concrete without an expansion and contraction point the more chance there is of uncontrolled cracking.

    When I have had large pieces of concrete poured, last project was 15×60 feet, the concrete was mixed with fiberglass fibers in the concrete. Rebar was also used. The rebar is the main reinforcement, the fiberglass will stop small fractures from occurring. My slab was six to eight inches thick with 12×24 inch footer around the perimeter. Expansion and contraction grooves were cut every 15 feet.

    The fiberglass cost me a few dollars per yard. The oldest slab that was poured was done 15 years and there are no cracks anywhere to be found in the slab. Since it was for a driveway the surface was lightly broomed.

  8. Broom concrete finish is a good compromise for sidewalks, but rubber float is much better, although I would never trust a contractor to do this lost art unless I had seen some of his recent work. Broom finish requires the least skill, and often produces the best results with modern mixes. Concrete mixes have evolved over the decades, and finishing has had some influence over that. You have trusted a good contractor to make the right decisions for you, and that is smart.

    Here, where we have dry conditions for most of the time. A smooth finish is nice, and very durable. Smooth finishes often evolve from broom finishes after just a few years of wear. My 35 year old driveway is polished smooth over much of its surface, and I have often considered grinding its surface to smooth the other areas that are still rough. That can be easy with the right equipment.

    I grew up shoveling snow, and liked smooth concrete best for that. Ice also peels off well. Nowadays, I might consider a smooth, sealed surface if ice were common. Thankfully…

  9. Ray, you did well. I have been out of the concrete world for a while, but the only addition I could make is to try to use low coefficient of expansion concrete, if available in your area. This is most popular for freeways, so maybe not available to homeowners. Modern concrete topped roads need no expansion joints because of this.

  10. I think the cracks have more to do with the size of the concrete and any expansion joints.

    I was referring to those spider cracks that only appear on the very surface of the concrete and usually cause the top ¼” of the surface to chip off (as opposed to deeper cracks caused by earth movement and insufficient control joints). I did some googling and I believe it’s called shrinkage cracking and spalling. The former is caused by rapid drying of the surface by high wind or heat and the latter is caused by an improper concrete mix or too much surface water when it was poured. So, I’m guessing it’s a problem that plagues concrete poured in hot months and is caused when the surface dries much faster than the interior because of crazy temps and direct sunlight. I suppose some people water it to prevent that problem, but overdo it and create a future spalling problem. It seemed to be a problem with a LOT of driveways in Tulsa. Of course, Summer temps there regularly exceed 100ºF so it’s no wonder.

    I can remember laying on the concrete patio in our backyard in Tulsa with my daughter playing with sidewalk chalk. You could tap your finger nail on the spider-cracked surface and it would give off a hollow sound.

    Tulsa is obsessed with asphalt and it’s their primary paving material, so I always attributed it to lack of skilled concrete pros. In the Omaha area most everything is concrete including interstates (until you get out of the metro areas and then they’re asphalt), access roads, residential streets, and driveways. So, we have a LOT of concrete contractors around.

  11. Alright, here’s a minor question on the current topic;

    We have a stone foundation here, supplemented by cement/concrete here and there and during my cleanup operations in the cellar have identified a section of the floor broken off and missing in one corner, maybe eight feet by three feet, but rough edges narrowing to a point, like a triangle. Underneath is rough dirt and gravel. I’d like to finish that off by pouring cement and leveling it and smoothing it.

    Any tips, insights, previous experience?

  12. If there is one down there I don’t know about it.

    But not far from here there are at least two “haunted” houses where strange events have taken place and in one of them a body was discovered in its cellar.

    I certainly wouldn’t bury bodies in or around the house here, cripes, shades of John Wayne Gacy and many others. Screw that.

  13. Second, don’t forget to bury a deserving body or two before you do the pour.

  14. when the surface dries much faster than the interior

    Concrete is not supposed to dry, but to cure. Drying stops the curing process and thus the concrete is never set properly. When my driveway, and the subsequent extension, were poured, the contractor covered the mix with a fabric and soaked the fabric before leaving for the evening. The next day the covering was removed.

    Any tips, insights, previous experience?

    Use mortar mix and silica sand, not run of the mill beach sand. Also look into using some type of latex binder that allow the mix to adhere to the existing concrete. The adhering is going to be the toughest part. This is what they did where repairing some concrete around my pool. I tried doing the same thing but my patches did not turn out as well so there is still something I am missing (perhaps skill).

  15. Thanks Mr. Ray; so noted. Your skill is no doubt many light-years ahead of mine on this sorta thing. But it doesn’t have to be picture-perfect down there anyway, just wanna fix the floor and cover up the dirt, and probably end up putting those interlocking tiles over large sections of the cellar, too. We have to go down there regularly for the freezer, checking the oil tank and humidifier, and occasionally to the fuse box, plus we’ll be putting a bunch of prep-type storage on shelving. But I don’t like going down there for obvious height-related reasons.

  16. Wow, Netflix now has 50 million subscribers:
    http://www.chron.com/default/article/Netflix-tops-50M-subscribers-as-2Q-earnings-soar-5636241.php

    “Netflix Inc. ended June with 36.2 million subscribers in the U.S. and another 13.8 million customers in roughly 40 other countries. The Los Gatos, California, company picked up 1.1 million subscribers outside the U.S. in the second quarter, a figure that also topped management’s projections.”

  17. Netflix better smarten up and 1.) add some much better shows to stream, and 2.) hook up with the NFL and do the entire league’s broadcasts, maybe for a premium on the existing subscription. I’d even say they could double the monthly sub fee.

  18. First, OFD, tell us whose body is buried there.

    My thoughts exactly. Except, bodies.

  19. I just wondering when HBO will add an internet service. Looks like to me they are missing the boat big time.

  20. No bodies buried here.

    Slide on by and you can check for yourselves.

    It’s just down these stairs here…you first…

  21. HBO has an internet service. However it’s only available to subscribers. HBO to go. On my Roku and laptop.

  22. Well, coming down my sidewalk today, an illegal alien, crimmigrant was tossing yellow page phone books on our entryways. How ’80s and unnecessary. Why can’t the obamanations in the ICE can’t arrest them for trespassing and littering and deport them?

  23. Why can’t the obamanations in the ICE can’t arrest them for trespassing and littering and deport them?

    It would be racist.

    Don’t you realize by now that anytime you disagree with this administration and it’s policies that you are a racist. Playing the race card is the standard.

  24. “However it’s only available to subscribers. HBO to go. On my Roku and laptop.”

    Yeah, we have Roku and I see a bunch of stuff like that that is available, but you gotta pay. We’ll manage without, although I would pay for full NFL seasons live, not the stupid chit they do where you can watch games after they’re played and done. I can’t believe anyone would pay for that.

    The way Mr. Slim keep on talkin’, he gon git hisself ‘rested before any crimmigrants or crimaliens, or whatever, and lissen up, y’all: Cardinal Pelosi hath decreed that the chillens crossin’ the border should be treated like the Baby Jesus. She done forgot that the Baby Jesus got pretty poor accomodations in His travels at the time, and we was wonderin’ how many chillens she takin’ in at her crib out in Kalifornia so far?

  25. Well, coming down my sidewalk today, an illegal alien, crimmigrant was tossing yellow page phone books on our entryways. How ’80s and unnecessary. Why can’t the obamanations in the ICE can’t arrest them for trespassing and littering and deport them?

    As long as employers hire them, they will keep coming. A large fine for the employer, with half going to the person turning the employer in, would make a big dent in the problem.

    Rick in Portland

  26. She done forgot that the Baby Jesus got pretty poor accomodations in His travels at the time, and we was wonderin’ how many chillens she takin’ in at her crib out in Kalifornia so far?

    Pelosi wants you and the Mrs (and all other red blooded Americans) to move into the crypt XXXXX basement first and give your bedroom to those poor deserving chilluns before she will open her home. Of course, after they sleep in your bed and drop a few lice off, you may not want to sleep in that bed anymore.

  27. As long as employers hire them, they will keep coming. A large fine for the employer, with half going to the person turning the employer in, would make a big dent in the problem.

    Two words: independent contractor. AKA, day laborer picked up down at the Home Depot.

  28. Any tips, insights, previous experience?

    Rebar in the old slab, like 6 inches in the old and new so that it doesn’t move separately

  29. Speaking of crimmigrants. Stephen King has been bashing the “Christian Tea Partiers” (he hates both) on Twitter on how they don’t give a shit about those poor crimmigrant kids. He was then blasted numerous times about how Christian organizations (including Glen Beck) were about the only ones helping besides the useless Border Patrol. Someone posted a pic of his mansion in Maine asking “post a pic of some of those kids playing in your gated backyard.” Many comments on why he isn’t down in McAllen helping out with his millions. Another limo libturd. He also likes to spout off about he should be taxed at least 50%, but won’t volunteer a dime.

  30. Two words: independent contractor. AKA, day laborer picked up down at the Home Depot.

    Who’s hiring them? The phonebook company. The small business owner. House cleaning services. Landscape services. Contractors. The home owner. How many of those people are complaining about illegals? How many people here have hired illegals, either directly or indirectly?

    Rick in Portland (who has his house cleaned by Sherpas, who are here legally)

  31. “Rebar in the old slab, like 6 inches in the old…”

    Pardon my execrable ignorance but how does one get rebar into the adjacent old slab?

    “Someone posted a pic of his mansion in Maine asking “post a pic of some of those kids playing in your gated backyard.” Many comments on why he isn’t down in McAllen helping out with his millions. Another limo libturd. He also likes to spout off about he should be taxed at least 50%, but won’t volunteer a dime.”

    And probably no answer, either, ever, to why he isn’t taking in those poor chillens himself or tossing a few million out there for their med care, shelter and food. And he may get his wish someday; the State in its desperation for revenue may eventually come after libturd celeb ass-hats like him.

    “Rick in Portland (who has his house cleaned by Sherpas, who are here legally)”

    Seriously? Sherpas?? Only in Portland, I guess. Wow.

    OFD in Saint Albans Bay, who has his house cleaned by a grunt navvy, who is mos def here legally

  32. Seriously? Sherpas?? Only in Portland, I guess. Wow.

    Seriously. We live in the hills, after all.

    Rick

  33. how does one get rebar into the adjacent old slab?

    You start by buying the old slag a couple of drinks. When the time comes, make sure to use plenty of lube.

  34. I’d have to buy more than a couple of drinks, some for the old slag, some for me, plus extra lube, as the current rebar is significantly longer than six inches, sad to say.

  35. Pardon my execrable ignorance but how does one get rebar into the adjacent old slab?

    Hammer drill, then epoxy the rebar into the existing slab.

  36. … how Christian organizations (including Glen Beck) were about the only ones helping …:

    Sorry to disillusion you, but all the religious relief groups dump the crimigrants on the local welfare agencies within a month or two of their arrival. It’s our tax dollars all the way down.

  37. “Hammer drill, then epoxy the rebar into the existing slab.”

    Got it, Mr. Ray; thanks!

    My new WORX electric chainsaw came today, yay! And the other day two books by SGM U.S. Army (Retired) Kyle Lamb.

    “…It’s our tax dollars all the way down.”

    There it is. With such characters as Her Eminence Nancy Cardinal Pelosi, Archbishop Steven King, and Rabbi Bloomberg showing us The Way, The Truth, and The Light.

  38. Warren Buffet got the same reaction from fiscal conservatives when he said he should be taxed at a MUCH higher rate than he currently is. The response was, basically, if you feel the government should have more of your money then put your money where your mouth is and get out your checkbook and send them a few extra billion. As per usual with these people, there was no response.

  39. Sorry to disillusion you, but all the religious relief groups dump the crimigrants on the local welfare agencies within a month or two of their arrival. It’s our tax dollars all the way down.

    My point is, charity is providing support. I didn’t say charity should provide cradle to grave for crimmigrants. The Feds should be sending them back, to every state they can sneak them into. And, yes, our tax dollars at that point will support these people forever since they have no skills.

  40. @OFD: If I understand you right, you have a section of basement with a floor that is partly dirt and partly concrete, and you want to pour concrete to finish it off. Is that about right?

    If so, I have done something pretty similar in our basement. We had a room that was originally intended for cellaring vegetables and fruit. The center of the floor, running to one wall, was finished with brick, but they left 2 feet of dirt on all other sides. The room was damp, but too warm for cellaring, so the only thing that grew there was mildew.

    I left the brick, dug out the dirt to a depth of three inches or so, poured in concrete, put plastic sheeting over the result (moisture barrier, mainly because of the brick), then XPS styrofoam, then flooring boards. Since this is just a workroom, I just put oil-proof paint direcly on the flooring boards; otherwise you could lay tiles or whatever.

    If the floor is a mix, it clearly isn’t structural in any way. The main issue (at least in my case) was to reduce the dampness, and to provide a stable base for a decent floor.

    FWIW, I didn’t bother trying to avoid movement in the floor (with rebar or whatever). I mean, where’s it going to go? If there’s enough movement to matter, we have bigger problems. The styrofoam serves not only as insulation, but also floats the flooring over the base.

  41. “@OFD: If I understand you right, you have a section of basement with a floor that is partly dirt and partly concrete, and you want to pour concrete to finish it off. Is that about right?”

    Yup; only about a 3-foot by 6-foot section in one corner is bare dirt/gravel and I just wanna fill that in and have a fairly even cement floor down there. Someone previously had put plastic sheeting over the dirt but the cats peed all over that and I tore it out. Not sure when I’m gonna get around to doing this, but probably in the fall. Thanks for the info!

  42. Glad to help. I’ve done a lot of learning-by-screwing-up in this old house of ours, but it’s actually kind of fun. A good detox after sitting in front of a screen for too many hours…

  43. “I’ve done a lot of learning-by-screwing-up in this old house of ours, but it’s actually kind of fun. A good detox after sitting in front of a screen for too many hours…”

    I am finding out the same thing; did you also find yourself regularly acquiring various tools as each new “project” reared its head? In just the past couple of weeks here; a circular “trim” saw; an electric chainsaw; three pairs of plastic saw-horses; and assorted small bolts, screws, washers, nails, electrical tape, etc., etc.

  44. That’s been the implicit quid pro quo since caveman days: the wife gets the project she wants done done; the husband gets new tools and pieces/parts.

    For example, when the guys were out there doing the new sidewalk (which Barbara really wanted done), I was eying their Kubota backhoe/dozer.

    https://www.kubota.com/product/kx121-3s/kx121-3s.aspx

    I told Barbara that I wanted one, and it’d only cost about $50,000. She considered my request briefly, but ruled unanimously against it. Unfortunately, she’s also the sole judge on the appeals court, so I decided to give in gracefully.

  45. Oh, yes, I have quite the tool collection now. Every project seems to require something a bit different. Toys for the boys…

  46. I’d say that at least a third to a half of the new tool acquisitions here are a direct result of Mrs. OFD’s needs for various projects; this is exacerbated by her jewelry manufacturing operations with various materials, including beach glass, shells, stone, copper and silver wire, and the use of a Dremel with various attachments, grinders, sanders, cutting tools, etc., etc. Mine is also generated by the firearms-related stuff.

    Right now I can see a need for a couple of extension ladders and for the coming wintuh, a snowblower.

  47. I am beginning to wonder if the coming winter will be … extreme. We are bouncing in the 90 F to 95 F range most days now. Usually we are bouncing off 100 F by now. Not complaining!

  48. We’ve had a couple of days where it hit the low 90s, which is about average for northern Vermont in the summers, a couple of days of it, max. And that sucked. We had a few days recently where it was in the low 80s but the humidity was pretty bad and that sucked, too. Today is gorgeous, probably high 70s and blue skies with puffy white cumulus clouds here and there.

    I reckon our t-storm last night cleared the air here.

  49. Right now I can see a need for a couple of extension ladders

    As the owner of a lot of tools, from a significant wrench collection (open, closed, sockets and accessories), 3 dozen or so screwdrivers, pneumatic tools (impact drivers, ratchets, nail guns, sanders, drills), cordless drivers and screwdrivers, circular saws, table saw, drill press, scroll saw, electrical tools and multiple accessories, and the owner of of these bad boys:

    http://www.littlegiantladder.com/little-giant/type-1a-revolution.html

    i highly recommend that ladder. Expensive, yes. Versatile, indeed. Along with the ladder get the stop that mounts on the ladder. It will really save your feet from standing long hours. I also own the Little Giant step ladder and highly recommend that ladder.

  50. “…i highly recommend that ladder.”

    Now that is one wicked pissah ladduh! Thanks for recs, Mr. Ray and MrAtoz!

    I’ll pay that for that kind of versatility and safety! Probably about all we need around the estate here, too; anything higher and pros can come in and deal wid it.

    Outstanding!

    Dunno if I mentioned it before, ’cause short-term memory loss for us oldsters is a terrible thing, but my ’96 Dodge Ram 2500 Magnum truck is now gone; needed some minor stuff done, but then new doors, new rocker panels, both of which I would have attempted myself, but the killers are a leaking fuel line and the undercarriage is all rusted to hell and gone, not long for this world; the cost to do all this is just too much; we’ve turned it over to a local farm, where it won’t need reg or stickers or plates on private property and the engine, brakes, tranny, etc., are all good so it will be put out to pasture literally doing medium- to heavy-duty farm work now. So now we’re down to one vehicle again until I start making money; we’re looking for another truck but also for decent fuel economy and a good service record; maybe Toyota Tacoma or Tundra?? We need a double cab but a short bed is OK, although I’d prefer the regular long bed. Also want 4WD, a necessity up here.

    Thoughts from the cognoscenti here??

    Really beeyooteeful day here on the bay; got all my stuff outta the truck and outta the Saab and will be taking that in tomorrow for tires, speedometer fix, antenna fix, oil change and inspection stickah. Then off to the VA appointment and pick up Mrs. OFD after her Philly caper this week.

    Oh, and that WORX electric chainsaw is here; will be playing with it this weekend.

  51. I have the Tacoma 2013 with suicide doors. Made in San Antone according to my O6 lawyer friend who still lives there. I’ve heard nothing but good about it. I saw an OD green double Tundra last week. Tricked out with cow catcher, winch, etc. My knees got week and I’m not really a truck guy. Got the Tacoma to haul all the wife’s and relatives shit around from storage area to houses. It’s 4WD with a tow package (oil cooler) hitch, etc. Though I might need that when the water dries up here and I have to head to Leavenworth. They still have an Old Sparky at the prison BTW. Plus plenty of troops who would probably pony up for firing squads if the States keep fucking up lethal injection. Hey, we could start a business! Death By Firing Squad, Inc. ™ and travel around the country providing a much needed service.

  52. All good to know; the Toyotas, Old Sparky, and a new biz idea!

    Boy there sure is a lotta concern and hand-wringing and ashes and sackcloth and rending of garments and gnashing of teeth when one of these execution capers goes South; curiously not even a hundredth of such concern for these animals’ victims. What a sick country and media. Some of these creatures really deserve being savagely tortured to death but we’re supposed to be civilized and all that, so at least we ought to be able to do them in with as little fuss and muss as possible; I strongly advocate the guillotine. Strongly. We can test it out on about 535 politicians in Mordor for starters and then move on the other two branches of mis-gummint. Once the mechanisms and procedures have been ironed out, we can begin with the banksters and speculators and actual violent capital-penalty criminals.

  53. I third or whatever the recommendation of the flexi-ladder. I have basically the same thing though a different brand. If available for the one you buy, I suggest getting the tool-n-stuff holder that can clip onto any rung; it’s much better to put the paint can on that than it is to hold it or try to balance it on the top rungs. I also got some big rubber boots that let me lean the ladder (as a straight ladder) against the house.

  54. Good tips from y’all, thankee kindly, from northern Vermont, on the bay, in the village, formerly known as Port Washington, for some odd reason.

  55. One of the things about executions is that it takes such a damn long time to get done. The guy in Az should have been executed in the early Nineties at the latest.

    I don’t see what’s wrong with traditional methods, such as the noose, firing squad or Madame La Guillotine.

  56. The noose has to be properly tied and the drop calculated; the idea is to snap the neck and cause death PDQ, not have the person strangle for half an hour, though that dancing at the end of a rope used to entertain crowds who brought lunch, drank, and took their kids along for the fun. Firing squad; some guys aim, some don’t; guys have been hit with a dozen rounds and still been alive, thus the famous coup de grace. The guillotine is a heavy, razor-sharp blade that does the job in a nanosecond, so fast that some claim the head can still see as it drops into the basket.

    You get a death sentence? You should be ready to go in 24 hours, max.

  57. I still like my idea of putting the defendant on a trap door over a tank of piranha. Each jury member has a switch on a series circuit. When all 12 switches are thrown to the “Guilty” position, the circuit is completed and the trap door opens.

  58. I still like my idea of putting the defendant on a trap door over a tank of piranha.

    But give the poor chap a fighting chance. Hang a four sided razor sharp blade from the ceiling directly over the opening. When the trap door opens they can grab the knife. If he/she/shim/sher manages to hang on for 58 seconds they go free.

Comments are closed.