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Thread: Cement Mixer?

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Cement Mixer?

    Hey, folks,

    I've got a ton of post holes I need to work on. And maybe a "slab" for the storage shed. And maybe some other stuff...

    So I've been thinking about a cement mixer. Went into Harbor freight yesterday and saw this one:



    http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=31979

    Before you say it: renting would not be good. Just doesn't fit the way I work... I'd be going back and forth and back and forth so often that pretty soon it wouldn't make economic sense.

    So my real question: is this just a trashy cheap tool, or would it perhaps serve me well for a while? Or would I be better off sticking with a big old bucket and a mortar mixer on my big old drill?

    Thanks,

    Bill

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
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    Bill, IMO it would be a sound investment. I only installed 6 posts with a bucket, mixer, etc. and it was no fun. (didn't help that I had to pound out the old post's concrete with a sledge hammer) If you have a large number to do, $200 seems like a no brainer to me. I bet you could sell it for $150 after your done with it too!

    How much do you need for each hole?? I saw this one on the website too. Smaller, but cheaper too!

    HF tools have been good to me...when a tool went bad, I had a reciept and they exchanged it for another or gave me store credit. "you get what you pay for" doesn't always hold true if you ask me...
    A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone. -Henry David Thoreau
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  3. #3
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    Jeff,

    I looked at that one: it was going for 80 bucks a few weeks ago. It's a cheap little thing, and I've learned to never buy the lowest of the low end...

    I've got at least 30 postholes to do. I've got some backfill work to do, where the runoff from the rain off the house has opened a pretty fair hole under the front walk. And the storage tent floor is just dirt/turf, and it gets pretty yucky in there. Not to mention the base of the deck stairs...

    so, yes, there's lots to do. The 200 bucks is already out of my price range, but I know I'd use it... I just don't know if it would last...

    Thanks,

    Bill

  4. #4
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    If I recall, Marty got one of those when he started his shop project. What I can't recall however, is whether it did what he wanted it to do.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  5. #5
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    I'm pretty sure it's the same thing as this one: http://www2.northerntool.com/product/200356930.htm



    The only difference (besides using a wheel instead of a lever for tipping it) is that the northern tool says it runs at 30 RPM. The HF one says it runs at 1720! Now, we know there's no way, but the manual doesn't show any gearing, nothing like the pulley setup that would be required. I must be missing something.

    Manual is here: http://www.harborfreight.com/manuals...1999/31979.PDF

    It's got a tiny little 1/3 HP motor. I wonder if they're counting on overloading the motor to slow it down?

    Thanks,

    Bill

  6. #6
    Bill,
    I've considered that unit a few times - then ended up doing it by hand. In retrospect, I'd get it. I think your arms will thank you.

    Just another thought. My Dad had a few posts to set and he went with Quikrete Fast-setting concrete. He did so because it's poured in dry and water is added in the hole. I'm not sure of the up charge for the convenience though.
    http://www.quikrete.com/ProductLines...oncreteMix.asp

    Wes

  7. #7
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    Jun 2008
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    Kettle Falls Wa
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    18
    Im prolly a bit late on this one but, Ive had that same mixer for a fiew years now. Got it from a neibor for $100. used and have been using it ever since. I have no complaints with it except that it is too low for my wheelbarrow as John said. If your planning on pouring a fiew slabs its definately worth it IMO.

    I have a bigger heaver mixer but I use the lighter one because its just easyer to use.

  8. #8
    Bill, before you scoff. I friend was planning on buying that same unit but "Round-2-it" never happened and then we were set to pour for 12 piers for his barn addition. Went to the local hardware and rented a smaller version for $20 for the day and was able to pour all the pier supports due to its grand advantage over Hoe and wheelbarrow as we have always done.

    So, don't completely dismiss the renting aspect. Although it would be nice to have one (when you want it) At the rate we paid you can rent it 10 times and always have a working model and don't have to store it (or loan it out to friends)

  9. #9
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    As I remember, Marty took his back the next day. IIRC it burned up real quickly. I've never found the wheel barrow and hoe a problem to do. When I did my fence 3 years ago, there were either 39 or 40 posts. Jim.
    Coolmeadow Setters...
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim O'Dell View Post
    As I remember, Marty took his back the next day. IIRC it burned up real quickly. I've never found the wheel barrow and hoe a problem to do. When I did my fence 3 years ago, there were either 39 or 40 posts. Jim.
    Well, as some of you now know, I've been very busy recently, and haven't had a chance to reply to this thread.

    Bill, I did indeed buy the exact mixer you're looking at.

    But...

    Jim, I didn't return it the next day. I set about 'fixing' it.

    It seems that that very first day, the machine threw a keyway off the main motor shaft. Between that, and the machine not liking 100+ degree days in the bright Georgia sun, it decided to quit.

    Once I found and replaced the keyway, moved the machine into the shade of the pine grove and let it cool down, it worked quite well...for what it is and what I paid for it!

    Denise and I put about 100 bags of gravel mix through it during the shop build, with no further problems.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    We have a few more 'projects' in the wings and intend to put the mixer back into service!

    Hope that helps...
    - Marty -
    Fivebraids, Inc.
    When you earnestly believe you can compensate for a lack of skill by doubling your efforts, there’s no end to what you can’t do…

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