Summary: Learn how to use a cement mixer, mix concrete, mix mortar and using a cement mixer safely.
Mixing cement is always physical regardless of whether you do it by hand or using a cement mixer. Cement mixers inevitably make it easier, as most of the hard work is done by the machine, however, transporting and loading buckets of sand, cement, stone chippings or other material into the mixer will be heavy and tiring after a while.
Using a cement mixer
- Cement mixers come in various shapes and sizes, and some are electrically powered while others are fuel powered. If you need to buy a mixer as you will be using it a lot, you can, however, they can be hired too.
- To use the machine, make sure it is on level ground. A good example would be a base of concrete that is firm, level and can be washed down easily after you have finished using the cement mixer. It is also recommended that the mixer is located as close to where you are working as possible to avoid travelling long distances with a heavy load of cement.
- You should know the limits of your mixer so you do not overload it. The limit will be stated in the manufacturer’s instructions. When loading the mixer with the materials, it is best to do this in bucket loads; using the same bucket each time to make sure the ratio stays correct.
- When ready to use, start the machine running and add half of the materials you will be using in your mix. You should know the mix needed for the type of mortar you want to achieve.
- Add a small amount of water and allow it to mix in for a minute. When you add water, you need to be careful not to add too much, so it is best to add little bits at a time until you have the right consistency.
- Now add the cement and allow it to mix in again for a couple of minutes before adding the rest of the sand, chippings or whatever material you are using.
- After another couple of minutes, add water until the concrete/mortar is the right consistency.
- Tip the mix into a wheelbarrow positioned under the mixer while it is still turning. Do not allow the lip of the mixer touch the barrow.
- When empty, wash the cement mixer out thoroughly so none of the mix remains as this will dry onto the metal which will eventually degrade the machine.
- Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Petrol or diesel driven cement mixers should never be used in confined spaces. Always ensure there is adequate ventilation.
- Never put your hands or head in the mixing drum while it is revolving.
- Keep all tools well away from the mixing drum while it is in operation.