Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Little Red Bucket

I guess I love my little red grouting bucket. It was my mortar bucket for the entire bathroom project, and now I'm using it to do the tuck grouting on my pergola stone. What a sweet little bucket. (No, I can't marry my bucket, but thanks for the suggestion. I am very happy with my redheaded wife.)

Because I'm mixing my own grout (1 part Portland and 3 parts sand) and I'm using very little water in the mix, my bucket holds just the right amount to work before it gets too dry.

One trick, as I learned after scanning through several YouTube videos, is to get the mixture just wet enough to hold together and not too wet or the cement will leach out and stain the stone. The other trick is to use a tuck grouting tool (because we are tucking the grout into the cracks), which is thin enough to get into the cracks and just the right stiffness to work the grout. And it has a pretty red handle.

When things are just right, I pour out a small amount--it sprinkles out on the stone like damp, crumbly flour. This isn't something new--people have been doing this for thousands of years.

I use my tool to sweep it into the cracks, then pack it down.

Then I sweep more into the cracks. It takes two or three packings. When it dries, this stuff will be as hard as the stone.

And not to forget my cool new masonry brush, which magically sweeps the remaining grout crumbs off the stone without crushing them.

It is so much fun that I can't wait to do more.

However my "real job" keeps interrupting me. More later

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