2015 - Volume #39, Issue #4, Page #29[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
“Do It Yourself” Concrete Blocks
“We use Block Bond designed for dry stacking cinder blocks,” says Alan Marcelino. “We dip the blocks in it, and it hardens on the outside like a structural skin. When set up, they are as solid as can be.”
Marcelino, a concrete and asphalt recycler, crushes concrete and turns it back into redi-mix concrete used for precast concrete products. Initially, he began recycling styrofoam too. He would break it up into BB-sized pieces and mix it with Portland cement and crushed concrete for its thermal insulation properties.
The Stumbelbloc casting system gave him the option of making blocks with the styrofoam mix and later filling them with the same mix. While he couldn’t use them as a load-bearing wall, they could add 8-in. of insulation to the inside of a metal building.
“We live in New England and operating out of a metal prefabricated building can be a challenge,” he says. “Two years ago, we lined one wall of our workshop with styrofoam blocks and filled them with styrofoam concrete,” says Marcelino. “That end of the building was noticeably warmer. This year we are lining the rest of the shop.”
Making the blocks is simple. After oiling the surface, the two halves of the mold lock together with wing nuts, leaving one end open. The concrete mix is poured in. Tapping the sides with a mallet or setting the mold on a vibrating table settles the concrete into place. Once the block has set for 24 to 48 hours, it can be removed from the mold and set aside to cure.
Although the method is labor intensive, Marcelino believes it has potential for use in remote locations where it is easier to bring in bags of concrete mix than pallets of blocks. It also works well with customized mixes, such as his styrofoam concrete.
Marcelino is pricing the molds at $50 each. Half block molds are $25 each, with price breaks for larger quantities. Instructions and some plans included. He says he can do about 50 blocks at a time with a 1-yard mixer.
“We don’t have a large inventory yet, so it may take a month to fill an order,” advises Marcelino. “These are not likely to be cost effective as a way to manufacture blocks, but they will work great for the DIY market. The molds are heavy duty and don’t wear out.”
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, A. Marcelino & Co., 4050 Williston Rd., South Burlington, Vt. 05403 (ph 802 862-6383; firstname.lastname@example.org).
Click here to download page story appeared in.
Click here to read entire issue
To read the rest of this story, download this issue below or click here to register with your account number.