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Paddle mixer all the way for me. A drum mixer is the only way to go for concrete as John mentioned.


I read somewhere,cannot remember where,if a drum mixer is used to mix mortar,3 stones from softball size down should be placed in drum to facilitate mixing. Somehow,I cannot imagine big rocks bouncing around in a mixer can be good for a mixer or ones' ears.:laughing:
 

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The load lifters are brutes. They plow through anything, but I'm not crazy about the mud they produce.

I've used a drum mixer for mortar, as I said before usually really dry stone mud and what I have to do is use a shovel and reach in every so often and pull the stuff off the sides. Not something for production work that's for sure, you need to baby sit it and on top of that you don't get much mud from a batch.
 

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I've used a drum mixer for mortar, as I said before usually really dry stone mud and what I have to do is use a shovel and reach in every so often and pull the stuff off the sides. Not something for production work that's for sure, you need to baby sit it and on top of that you don't get much mud from a batch.



Try putting the three stones in it like I read somewhere and let us know how that works,you may not have to baby sit,just hold your ears.:laughing:
 

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Man I need to barrow your laborer for a day to hold a tutorial on keeping my equipment CLEAN!!
When I use a stow mixer (which will be soon again) I use this ice scraper (there is another one called the ice hog I think too) to clean the mixer. Stand right up on top of it and scrape the sides after each batch.

It cant be used with the stone's because of the rubber seal being exposed inside the drum.

Anyhow, the sides and bottom stay clean without banging.

http://www.homedepot.com/p/Razor-Back-3-75-in-Forged-Ice-Chisel-81106/205352554
 

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I have a drum, but all I mix is concrete. I tried mortar one time, didn't work so well
I use mine for mortar all the time, mostly because I'm cheap and don't want to pick up a paddle mixer yet.

Best way to do it is do about 3/4 of your batch and mix it dry for a minute, then wet the sides down, get it a little loose so it isn't clumping on the fins then add the rest of the dry mix and wet it to where it needs to be.

I've used it on block and stucco jobs, you can get good mud from it with some practice.

It requires a clean drum though, after each job with it I bring it back and fill it with number one stone and water and roll it for 30 minutes, cleans the drum right up.
 

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When I use a stow mixer (which will be soon again) I use this ice scraper (there is another one called the ice hog I think too) to clean the mixer. Stand right up on top of it and scrape the sides after each batch.

It cant be used with the stone's because of the rubber seal being exposed inside the drum.

Anyhow, the sides and bottom stay clean without banging.

http://www.homedepot.com/p/Razor-Back-3-75-in-Forged-Ice-Chisel-81106/205352554
I just run water in it and scrape the sides with an old trowel (after it's shut off)
 

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The best mixer I've used for the size projects we do: Crown 8 cu. foot with poly drum:



DSC00200R.jpg




Can mix a triple batch at half throttle without lugging, is way lighter on the tongue, making it easy to move alone, and the enclosed gear box is a huge improvement over the old cog & spur gear. When it's new and clean inside, the paddles actually have about a 1/4" gap to the drum, I assume if they touched the barrel would wear quickly. THis gap allows you to mix with torpedo/sharp/concrete sand if needed, and although I wouldn't recommend it, we've even mixed pea stone concrete in it a few times. The down side is that it leaves quite a bit of mortar around the drum to clean at the end of the day, or pound out the next morning.

As for the drum mixers, we use a little electric one in winter inside sometimes, but I would never want to use it for anything that involved any kind of production. Just too small and slow, sticks too much, and as mentioned, doesn't fluff the mortar enough for us.

As for the spirals, we demo'ed one made by Crown before we bought this one. It did mix fast, it would allow us to easily and safely mix pea grout on a regular basis, and was well constructed. The deal killer was that it seemed like it was going to take 30 minutes at the end of every day to clean out, it really was a PITA. My FIL worked for Gilson for many years, and I know he told me they had a spiral option as well years ago.
 

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I use shovels or sometimes pails. 20 heaping shovels of sand, if a labourer can count to 10 twice he's hired. Or 4.5 pails of sand if for whatever reason the sand and mixer aren't beside each other
 

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I use shovels or sometimes pails. 20 heaping shovels of sand, if a labourer can count to 10 twice he's hired. Or 4.5 pails of sand if for whatever reason the sand and mixer aren't beside each other
You guys got it good. We have ACOE and mortar testing agency viewing our process daily. We've come up with some very ingenious methods through the years. We're always under the microscope.
 
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