How is concrete made?

Sand, gravel, limestone

This is the site that greeted me when I drove up to the concrete plant today to pay my bill for the concrete tomorrow.  Piles of sand, pea gravel, and limestone.  Then along came this big front end loader and . . .

Limestone

dumped a load of limstone in the hopper . . .

sand

and then a load of pea gravel . . .

Sand

and a load of sand.

Conveyor belt

It goes up, up, up the conveyor belt and into the aggregate hopper.  The tractor driver has a cool button that he pushes that makes the ramp slide right and left to make sure the product goes into the right compartment.

Control center

Mr. D. has the great responsibility of keying in the type of concrete mix ordered.

Equipment

The computer then synchronizes the machines to add the right amounts of each aggregate  . . .

Silos

and the right amounts of cement powder and ash from the silos,

Chemical barrells

and then the correct chemicals depending on the type of concrete needed.

See the truck in the background?  It is backed up under the drop site, mixer turning, waiting for the DROP of concrete into the truck.

Drop hopper

Control center pushes the button and the aggregate drops from the hopper onto another conveyor belt . . .

Conveyor Screen

where it goes up as seen on this live TV screen and is joined by all the above listed additives to make the perfect concrete for the job.

It is then dropped down into the truck, along with water, where it goes round and round until it is mixed to the correct consistency and viscosity, which is checked one last time before the truck heads to delivery.

Gerald and Mr. D. at Terrebonne Concrete gave me a great lesson today in how concrete is made.  The most important thing I learned is that CEMENT is not what we drive on but rather a powder added to the aggregate to make concrete.  Understand?

And now, how about a pop quiz?  Dyepac?  Sharpen your pencil and spit out that gum!

Front bunk beds

Here’s the new bunk bed in the front room.  I finished putting them together this week.  I cut and installed the 1×6 slats today . . .

Slat adjustment

and I had to lie down with my lens, and look up to make sure they were all spaced the exact same distance apart.  I can’t have my guests lying on the bottom bunk and obsessing over uneven gaps, now can I?  This one needed a little adjustment.  There, perfect!

Back bunk bed

The one in the back bedroom looks the same, except it hasn’t been adjusted yet.  Once I put the new mattress down (which I bought, hauled, and dragged upstairs BY MYSELF late today) I’ll be able to lie down and adjust the upper slats properly!  Things are moving forward quickly now!

Tomorrow is the big pour day!!!

BW

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Comments

How is concrete made? — 13 Comments

  1. You are a fascinating individual with a highly inquisitive mind. You’re also generous with your knowledge by sharing it with us.

    I like to watch concrete being made and poured. Thanks for the pics. The bunk beds look great. I can see you hauling the mattresses up the stairs. That landing really came in handy huh?

  2. While you were doing all that, my head was being crammed full of license law and code of ethics violations. The table is still in the car. Will move tomorrow – probably by myself.

  3. Oh this brings back wonderful memories of the time the Farmer treated me to a tour of a gravel pit in Mexico!!! Actually, it was fascinating. I bet some of the stone used in your cement came from the Calica pit in Mexico. Almost everything produced there is shipped to the U.S.

    The first start by blowing stuff up. At 1 p.m. everday they have a megablast and I got to photograph it. Woo hoo.

    What are you pouring? A patio?

    – Suzanne, the Farmer’s Wife, who’s hoping to someday win a trip to Camp Dularge to experience the wetlands up close and personal and write about it on her road trip blog. HA.

    • Suzanne, you gave yourself away with that question—meaning you haven’t been keeping up with the progress of the elevation!! That’s okay, you do have a life apart from blogging! This concrete will go underneath the house–otherwise it would just be a big dirt pile and then a mudhole when it rains. Anyone who stays with kids just won’t be able to keep them out of it and then all that goes into the camp on their feet, and then I get to fuss and cuss while I clean up all the muddy foot prints when they leave!! I have faith that you will stay at least one night at Camp Dularge and it would be my pleasure to take you out and show you around!

  4. You made bunk beds! Seriously….I don’t even make up the linens on my bed and you freaking made beds. Of course, if I came to stay I promise to make my bed daily!

    • Okay, Tara, calm down. I have designed and made solid wood bunkbeds for my boys in the past; however, I did not have time to make these myself. I did, however, assemble and stack them. I then went and bought the lumber and measured and cut the slats–no big deal. I don’t like bunkie mattresses, so I had to make a more solid foundation for the mattresses I bought. I see now, though, that I might have to buy more lumber and add two more to each bed. I wish I had more time to do woodworking. I take after my daddy in that pleasure!

  5. This post also brought back memories for me. Not about concrete…….about bed slats. When Hubby and I moved into our 1st home, I was given a bed which had belonged to my Great Grandparents, and the slats were too short. This was when we still had the “Blue Laws”, so we couldn’t buy lumber and just had to use what was around the house. The only thing available were 2×4’s. They worked, we never replaced them and when we moved to our present location (5 yrs later) they came with us. On moving day, 5 trucks filled with Firefighter friends pulled up to help us. When they took out the bed, I got teased and Hubby got the “back slapping” congrats for needing 2×4’s. Still have Hubby, still have those 2×4’s and I’m still getting teased occasionally…38 yrs. later.

    • Okay, I’m showing my ignorance here, but by Blue Law you mean that you were setting up the bed on a Sunday so the lumber yard was closed, right? You must have really needed the bed and had to use what you had on hand—the 2×4’s, understandable! Am I getting your meaning here? Anyway, that’s a GREAT story, Steffi! And slap hubby on the back for me, will ya? LOL!

  6. You got it right on all accounts. Only Pharmaceuticals and groceries could be purchased on Sundays. Hubby and I were both skinny in those days, so 1×4 ‘s would have supported us. Hence the jokes. You read between the lines perfectly!

  7. I remember the Sunday Blue Laws!!!! AAArrrrrrrrgh! I never noticed I needed panty hose until Sunday evening and couldnt buy them!! Solved that problem, I quit wearing them and move out of state where they didnt have any danged blue laws!!! Hey Steffi, Do you remember they also used to have a seperate door to buy liquor? I was sooo shocked the first time I ever saw wine displays stacked in the middle isles of Albertsons….Gosh, that was a blast from the past.

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