Masonry Fail

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vtgaryw

Member
Joined
Jul 24, 2012
Messages
610
Location
Milton, VT
So, of all things I've learned to do over the years, masonry ranks pretty low (just above welding) in terms of "I really need to learn how to do this better."

My latest project was an outside step, going from a mud room I had built on the side of my house. Pretty simple, about 2'x3', a couple of courses high. I had done the front last year. Well, it turns out, mortar mix doesn't really like to sit in my garage over the winter. I did the whole thing about a week ago, and the mortar never set. Turns out that yes, it does have a shelf life. And yes, it does not like being damp.

Had to tear the whole thing apart, clean it all up. Redid it with a quick set mortar mix. Like, really quick. Filled the wheel barrow with water when I was done, and when I went back out the next morning to finish cleaning it, the left over mortar had set up under the water, cementing my trowel in with it.

Two lessons learned on one simple (yeah, there is no such thing) project.

-gary
 
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monophoto

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Joined
Mar 13, 2010
Messages
1,484
Location
Saratoga Springs, NY
Yes, projects are great at teaching us things. We learn far more from failures than from successes. If only we could arrange it that the failures we learn from are made by others and not ourselves.

The top item on my list of things that I really don't do well is plumbing.
 

leehljp

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Joined
Feb 6, 2005
Messages
6,913
Location
Tunica, MS,
Masonry, I agree. I can do it but don't like it. Its kinda like trying to glue tubes in a dozen blanks with one mix of 5 minute epoxy! I hate guessing how much to mortar to make up at a time is difficult for me.

Welding, Love it. Easy for me, but I started welding when I was about 10 to 12 years old.
 

sbwertz

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Joined
May 11, 2010
Messages
2,919
Location
Phoenix, AZ
I was putting up a low retaining wall on our side yard with cinderblocks. It was getting dark, but I wanted to use up just that last little bit of mortar so I kept at it. Next morning I discovered that last few feet had a decided ripple...still there twenty years later!
 
Joined
Sep 24, 2006
Messages
7,264
Location
Tellico Plains, Tennessee, USA.
I was putting up a low retaining wall on our side yard with cinderblocks. It was getting dark, but I wanted to use up just that last little bit of mortar so I kept at it. Next morning I discovered that last few feet had a decided ripple...still there twenty years later!
Sounds like my first roofing job on my first house... since my father was a carpenter and roofer figured I could do it my self and save a few bucks... did fine on the side of the house that didn't face the street, but the street side had a very distinct wave in the shingle lines... may still be there now 48 years later unless they've reroofed the house since then.
 
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