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Old 09-20-2009, 12:39 AM
kebwi's Avatar
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Location: Seattle, WA, USA
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Default Working concrete without crushing metal mesh?

So the metal mesh (about a 6in spacing) and the rebar are suspended off the ground at about the half the height of poured concrete, whether the foundation or the hearth (I suppose the hearth doesn't call for mesh, but whatever). In pictures and videos I always see people standing in the concrete so they can reach all areas of the slab while raking the concrete across the pour. This stand-in-the-middle method will be particularly crucial for me because my design because my foundation is right up against the corner of a retaining wall so from two sides I won't be able to directly access the slab (In fact, I'm a little unsure how I'll screed it for this same reason).

Question is, how do you stand in the concrete and walk around in it for several hours without crushing the metal mesh to the ground and completely deforming the rebar into a mess. You might not necessarily bend the rebar, but I can easily imagine that as you accidentally (you can't see it after all, since its embedded in the pour) kick it or step on it you would completely mess up your original placement.

This seems like such a silly question, but I'm rather confused about it at the moment.

Thanks.
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  #2  
Old 09-20-2009, 03:16 AM
Serf
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Altadena, CA
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Default Re: Working concrete without crushing metal mesh?

For the foundation pour you step between the rebar (unless your feet are huge, with crossings every 12" to 18" on center, this is actually very easy). 3" dobies will keep the entire assembly mid-slab and you'll be done before you know it.

The hearth is (IMHO) much more likely to benefit from mesh as it is a little thinner than the foundation. Again, this is easy if you set up your form correctly, so take the time to do so. For screeding purposes, you could always use a couple of expansion bolts or a bunch of tapcons to secure a 2x4 to the wall at your desired height, then screed against that.

Be absolutely certain to rod the hell out of the hearth form, so that the concrete will properly liquefy and squeeze out any air bubbles. The hearth will be much stronger if you give it a little tough love while pouring, troweling, and slicking it -- really hammer at the sides of the form and get any/all trapped air out of there.

JMHO...
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  #3  
Old 09-20-2009, 07:16 AM
olddude's Avatar
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Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: brentwood ca
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Default Re: Working concrete without crushing metal mesh?

second option is to snap a chalk line on the wall screed back work the pad to full depth as you go and you can lift up on the rebar if get pushed down to far

use blocks of concrete adopes at all cross of rebar then you sould be able to walk on it try it first you can add more adopes to make it not bend

i watch guys walk all over this stuff at work all the time they just reach down and lift it when the concrete gets there it will hold the rebar off the ground
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