Brian Cady

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since Nov 11, 2014
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Recent posts by Brian Cady

Fox James wrote:In short, to answer your question…. A few air bubbles won't compromise the piece too much if it is cured properly but, how many internal bubbles, is impossible to guess.
I have already written a fair bit about casting refractory, vibrating the mix is a very important and often a critical factor.
The difference when using a high frequency concrete vibrator or a ‘compromising’ method is ten fold!
Any internal bubbles left in the wet mix can hold moisture, those tiny pockets of air can form steam and that expands to form cracks. ( dramatic if not cured properly)
That is why some manufactures add burn out fibers this allow micro channels to form when heated above 140c as this (in theory)  will allow steam to escape.

A few air bubbles should be ok and they do tend to form around the sides of the mold so the main body might be fine.

For many years I owned and used a proper vibrating table, it was a very expensive investment but after around 10 years of use it was beyond further repair.  At that stage I bought  an offset vibrating motor and made my own table but it was not even close to producing components of the same quality as my purpose made professional one.
However it does work to a fashion……
When a mold is placed a a steel bed, high frequency vibrating table, it will settle the mix in seconds, forcing the mix to tightly form a dense, void free component.
My more basic home made table takes ages before the air stops rising and never gets all the air out!...

How do proper vibrating tables vibrate differently than a sawzall strapped to plywood atop a tire? Are they vibrating at a different frequency? Or with more amplitude? Maybe we can figure this out, and make better castings without paying so much money. How about through-bolting and epoxying a sawzall blade to plywood, then attaching the sawzall to the blade?

I found this, below, here: VIBCO concrete vibrator catalog: (
A. First determine how much vibration force is needed for the complete form. Add form weight to concrete weight
with the following adjustments. It is important to know what slump concrete is used.
a. For concrete with 0” slump or dry concrete, add 200% to the weight of form plus concrete to get the vibration
force needed.
b. For 1” to 2” slump, add 75% to form and concrete weight to get total force needed.
c. For concrete with a 3” to 5” slump – standard for all over the road delivered concrete trucks – use vibrator force
same as the form plus concrete weight.
B. Placement of vibrators - Vibration force travels in a 3’ to 4’ radius from the vibrator on steel forms. It dissipates rapidly
thereafter. Place vibrators in a pattern so that vibration forces overlap slightly. The corners are usually very stiff, so place
vibrators close to the corners on a 2.5’ to 3’ radius.
C. Penetration - Vibration force penetrates concrete up to 6” to 8” depending on slump. Concrete is thicker than 8”,
vibrators (staggered) are needed on both sides of the form.
D. How many vibrators are needed? Make a layout of your form and place vibrators on 6’ to 8’ centers (vibration
travels a 3’ to 4’ radius). On corners, place vibrators on 5’ to 6’ center (2.5 to 3’ radius). Once you have laid out the
vibrator pattern and you know how many you need, divide the numbers of vibrators into the total weight of form and
concrete (see paragraph one). The sum is the VIBRATION FORCE needed on the vibrator...
F. Vibration procedure and vibration time.
1. Vibration Procedure: Place vibrators to be used in their lowest position. It’s a good idea to pre-mark the vibrator
position. Do not start vibrators until the concrete reaches them or is no more than 6” above them.
If internal vibrators are used, do not start the external ones until the internals have stopped or moved to a higher position. The reason for this
is, internal vibrators throw air bubbles away from the vibrator head against form side leaving air holes and pockets on the surface. External
vibrators throw air bubbles into the mix, up and out, leaving surface against form smooth and blemish free.
2. How long to vibrate? Some experimentation on the customer’s part is always necessary because the time you need
to vibrate varies depending on concrete slump, additives, stiffness of form, vibrator force, etc.Do not start the lowest vibrator until the concrete reaches them or is no more than 6” above. The concrete stiffens the form and if vibrated earlier,
the vibration might move the form, making it flex, promoting leaks and seepage.
a. If there is only one vibrator on the side of the form, keep it vibrating until the form is full and no more air bubbles
are breaking on the top of the concrete and a glistening surface appears.
b. If there are multiple vibrators per side, keep the lower vibrator running until the concrete pour reaches the higher
vibrator – then stop the lower one, start the higher one and let it vibrate until the pour is complete and no more
bubbles break on the surface of the concrete and a glistening surface appears.
G. Helpful hints and corrections after you strip the form (please see page 27 under septic tanks).
H. Additional Tips
1. Metal forms transmit vibration far more effectively than wood forms.
2. Always stiffen up forms to avoid distortion and flutter and for best vibration transmittal to concrete.
3. Rest forms on wood beams or rubber mats to avoid vibration transmittal to floor and surrounding forms, as well as for
quiet operation and increased vibration amplitude and uniform compaction.
4. Vibration time depends on height and structure of form. Vibrators should be operated until a flat, glistening surface
appears and no more air bubbles burst on the surface.
5. Concrete of proper consistency is not susceptible to over vibration and segregation. If segregating occurs, reduce
slump, not vibration time and tighten form joint.
Our experience has been to see “under-vibration” rather than “over-vibration” due to too short vibration time or force, to get a
homogenous, air-bubble-free mix."

3 weeks ago
This low but wide/deep electric fence has research showing it's worth:

And here's an article on 'slashwalls' of logging debris used to protect tree regeneration:
2 months ago

Jack Edmondson wrote:I am not a bed maker.  It was not part of my childhood training; and other than the time I was required to I have never like the practice.  As an adult I still don't.  However after encountering this speech it made sense to me for the first time.  It is an interesting perspective and I can see why it made sense to others.

I wonder if Admiral McRaven, when saying 'Make your bed' means what others mean by 'Feather your nest' - . Seems to me he's smirking in the video.

But maybe it's me.
2 months ago
To Nick Van Horn:

A great 2 hour chestnut orchard establishment video by Tom Wahl suggested that vigorous pasture/meadow plants would harmfully compete with the chestnut trees, and suggested a mix of white dutch clover and specified lawn grasses [ ].

This reminded me of a presentation years ago by Jackson Madnick, a member of: . The presenter explained that the grasses and plants in this mix establish very slowly, discouraging the unknowing; grow slowly, thus needing less mowing, and withstand drought and hardship well, with their deep roots.

I wonder if Pearl's premium or similar slow-growing groundcover mixs would partner well with the chestnut trees that fascinate me. And since chestnuts tolerate acid soils well, perhaps an acid-tolerate low-growing N-fixing and P-accessing lupin would compliment chestnuts well.

Hope this helps,

2 months ago
I made a grapefruit marmalade that was popular among family and friends.
I juiced the fruit, then from the rinds and all removed seeds with a spoon, then sliced thinly with a knife on a cutting board, then boiled with a dash of baking soda some water, and the sugar. I've lost that recipe, found on the internet.

Recently I made tangerine marmalade similarly, except I blended the peel and all, but there's no bitter note, which is missed.

Next time I hope to use Seville oranges.


5 months ago

Susanne Hh wrote:Hi everyone,

we have bought a piece of land with about 10 orange/ citrus trees.

Now I want to know what to do with
- the peels from all the oranges/citrus we eat...

I've made marmalade from good fruit minus the juice and the seeds, cooked with sugar and a touch of baking soda.

5 months ago

Kristine Keeney wrote:Since I'm here and have geese, I'll guess at the answer to your question (not that I have tested my soil pre and post goose "processing" ).
Since birds all poop the same basic way, and geese graze and poop a lot - think feathered sheep or small feathered cows - large quantities of mostly processed vegetative matter with uric acid mixed in.
I'm betting she was referencing the uric acid as being the "lime" component in the goose equation.

And she's right. Goose poop is better than chicken poop because it's not as concentrated. There's a lot of it and geese will spread it as they go. It washes away in rain and, unless you have your geese confined and don't clean up after them, it's not that noxious. A good watering of some sort will wash it into the soil.

Two Questions:
- Since all the goose poops out comes in from the same spot so that there's no external alkalinity source, how does this increase soil pH?
- Isn't uric acid an acid, not a base?
5 months ago
Ridge flashing and patching roof jack mounting spots done today.  Now there's taking down the chicken ladder and staging tomorrow.
6 months ago
Second roof half's top slate installed. Now there's flashing the ridge and patching where the roof jacks/brackets were attached to be done.

6 months ago