Thoughts on Pouring Concrete

Concrete is a strange thing. Magic rock goo.

Small Check Dam

You will be unsurprised to learn that I used the concrete to build another dam. This one is much smaller, about a foot and a half high, and five feet long, with the purpose of slowing water descending the trough into the ravine, and catching some in as a rain garden.

That was not however, the primary purpose of the project. Indeed it was simply the use of some leftover concrete. The primary purpose was dad wanted sidewalks into the barn from the driveway. For the measly price of $650 or so, he got 4 and a half cubic yards of concrete brought in by one of those giant concrete trucks and poured into frames he had made. I was, of course, required to help.

The bigger of the two sidewalks, before and after.

The initial spreading of concrete is not really that hard to do. You spread it rather like frosting, smearing it into the corners and leveling it off with various special tools until its mostly smooth. The hard part, indeed, almost impossible part, is getting a perfectly smooth finish, again, like frosting a cake. The concrete truck driver was surprisingly helpful. In the end I let the parents trouble themselves with the polishing up of it, and myself took the extra concrete to my dam, and a few other places.

It didn’t turn out perfectly, but it wasn’t too bad either. After all, it just needs to get us in and out of the barn and be easy enough to shovel in winter. The fun part was writing on it at the end. Felix didn’t want to be left out either, and promptly walked on it as well, leaving a nice set of cat prints.

Conclusion: concrete is satisfying when done, not particularly hard, but a nightmare for any perfectionist.

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