Cement--will this work?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Jena, Jul 17, 2006.

  1. Jena

    Jena Well-Known Member

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    I want some stepping stones, but I am too cheap to pay that much for them.

    I was thinking that if I carve out the sod in the shape of a stepping stone, line the hole with some sand, then fill it up with that mix-with-water cement...I'll have cheapo stepping stones.

    I have heavy clay soil and the sod comes out leaving a hole a good 4-6". Figure an inch of sand, 2-3" inches of cement and I have ready-made, easy mowing stones.

    What do you all think?

    Jena
     
  2. ericjeeper

    ericjeeper Well-Known Member

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    I do not see any reason why it would not work.. I myself, would not make them over 2 inches thick., (saves concrete). Do not step on them for a couple of days and after they set up. keep them wet for a few days.. take a burlap bag and wet it then cover with plastic sheeting, to hold in the moisture.. should last a lifetime.
     

  3. Jan Doling

    Jan Doling Well-Known Member

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    Let us know if it worked...it would save a step (excuse the pun!) of digging out the area to install the stepping stone.
     
  4. rwinsouthla

    rwinsouthla Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Sounds like it would work. What I do is buy a bag of cement when I have a few bucks handy. Or, if you really like being frugal, go to HomeDepot or Lowes and look for some busted bags. Ask for a discount of if you can have them. Then, when I get it home, put it into 6 five gallon buckets. Makes them about 2 1/2 inches thick. No mess, no digging. Nice and smooth on the bottom.

    Just a suggestion.
     
  5. omnicat

    omnicat Well-Known Member

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    Abosultely, it works! I've done that myself.

    My daughter likes to help "decorate" by pressing marbles and tile chips into the cement before it dries. If the bottom of the mold will be the top of the stone, we've put decorations on the bottom before adding the cement. That works, too.

    I've also since seen pre-formed molds at hardware stores to just this purpose.
     
  6. motdaugrnds

    motdaugrnds II Corinthians 5:7 Supporter

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    works fine! If you want the stepping stones smooth, use a small piece of flat wood and just "tap" the top so the smother part of the concrete comes to the top; however, a smooth stone can be a slippery one in bad weather.
     
  7. james dilley

    james dilley Well-Known Member Supporter

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    You should use A sand gravel cement mix at the ratio of 1-2-3, 1 cement 2 sand 3 gravel , that would make A strong mix.
     
  8. Fire-Man

    Fire-Man Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Jena----Keep in mind you can get Coloring to mix in the cement if you want a different color. Randy


     
  9. DaleK

    DaleK Well-Known Member

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    I'd put some vapour barrier in on top of the sand before pouring, that way, if you decide you want the stones somewhere else later, the bottom will be smoother for handing.
     
  10. uncle Will in In.

    uncle Will in In. Well-Known Member Supporter

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    A sidewalk or step tends to appear to have sunk after a while. It probably doesn't sink, but the sod keeps getting higher, and grows over the top of the concrete. If you could put a little edge around the wet concrete you could pour it a inch or two above ground level. That way you could still mow right over it, but the sod wouldn't cover it so soon. Pea gravel troweled into the top gives it a professional pleasing look. A small piece of welded wire in each step will hepl prevent cracking. I made some with Sac-Crete on the picnic table covered with plastic, using circles made from pieces of black plastic lawn edging formed into circles for forms. 2.5 inches thick was plenty.
     
  11. minnikin1

    minnikin1 Shepherd

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    The colored stones that go in the bottom of a fishtank are nice for decorating the stones, also.
    The last stones I made we decorated by pressing fern leaves into the top.
     
  12. mtman

    mtman Well-Known Member

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    1 bag of ready mix in a bag will cover a 2x2 at 2in. deep that could get costly allso they allso sell forms that fit in together to look like pavers
     
  13. chuckhole

    chuckhole Born city, love country

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    There are molds available to make the stone pathways. They are about 30" square and have the stone pattern built in. Put it down on a flat prepared bed of sand and fill it in with concrete (mix well: 1-part Portland Cement, 2-1/2 parts sand, 2-1/2 parts gravel, 3/4 to 1 part water). Then pull up the mold, rotate it 90 degrees and pour the next set. It even has the rounded corners built in so that the "stones" have smooth tops. Fill in the gaps between "stones" with sand.
     
  14. ann

    ann Well-Known Member

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    the tops of metal trash cans make a pretty good mold.