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Build this beautiful concrete bench

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Concrete has excellent compression qualities, which means it’s difficult to crush. However, it lacks tensile strength when used across a span, so you’ll need to reinforce your bench with rebar. Cut в…њ-inch rebar with bolt cutters, and bend the pieces into shape by hand or with a rebar bender.

concrete garden bench

 

Mix enough concrete to form both legs (see Eric Weil’s concrete mix below). Many of the ingredients are toxic and irritate the skin, so wear a cartridge respirator, eye protection, and gloves. Use a calibrated mixing container to measure the cold water, acrylic additive, and pigment, and combine them in a 20-gallon trash can. Next, measure the cement and В­aggregates (the sand and gravel) into separate 5-gallon buckets. Add half the cement to the liquid mixture, and combine В­using an electric drill and a universal mixing paddle. Then add half the aggregates; mix well. Add the В­remaining cement; mix again. Add the remaining aggregates, and mix once more. The concrete should have the consistency of yogurt.

plastic garden bench

 

Recipe: Eric Weil’s Concrete Mix

This time-tested mix sets smooth and hard and can be honed to a graniteВ­like finish. Make two separate batches of this recipe: one for both legs, another for the bench top. Not ready for concrete alchemy? Pick up two 80-pound bags of Quikrete Pro Finish 5000 Concrete Mix instead.

folding garden bench

 

  • 20 lb Type I white portland cement
  • 30 lb Multipurpose sand
  • 30lb Pea gravel
  • 77oz Cold water
  • 54oz Acrylic additive
  • 7 oz Black alkali-resistent pigment
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