One More Reason

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Kellemora
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Re: One More Reason

Post by Kellemora »

Shortly after I acquired this house, I dug out the existing driveway, and extended it through a dump area alongside the garage, where I had to dig down something like 3 feet to make a flat area up there, then branch like a Y to the garage.
I installed a wolmanized wooden frame on the edges, which I intended on leaving after the driveway was poured so put it in really solid, with rebars and clamps.
Then I took each of the steel grids and welded several pieces of rebar to use as stand-offs.
Added two dumptruck loads of gravel, one coarse and one crusher run to make the base for the driveway.
Then when I called the concrete company to come pour it, I couldn't believe the price of concrete down here, more than four times higher than back home in St. Loo.
So I talked to a couple of blacktop folks and got all set up for them to come do the job on a specific two day span.
The price was more in tune with what I wanted to spend, for a two-layer pour, one coarse and one fine.
The guy called me and asked if he could come put down the first coarse layer TODAY. If he could, he would knock a thousand bucks off my bill. Ironically, he did much more than I expected him to do. They came in and rolled my gravel bed, then sprayed it with hot asphalt, just ahead of where they would add the coarse layer.
Turns out he and his crew had a job to go do, and for some reason could not get to the location, a bridge out or something.
Two days later he came out, and added another thinner layer of tar over the coarse blacktop and put the fine layer over the top of it, and rolled that sucker with the biggest darn roller I've ever seen used on a blacktop driveway.
That was 20 years ago now, and it is just beginning to show some minor cracks, which I did have sealed, but they came back again. I don't think the last sealing company I used did what I told them to do.
In any case, the final price for my driveway was only 1200 bucks, it was supposed to be 2200 bucks.
Although I don't normally like blacktop, I was more than pleased with the work the guy did, and the extras he did I didn't expect. The blacktop is a full four inches thick, and a little thicker in a couple of spots. Plus he added a wing on the edge of the driveway down at the road where I park my trash cans.
I'll never get a deal like that again, that's for sure.
Doing concrete would have cost around 6 grand down here, around 2 grand back home, at that time.
Plus, I sold all the steel grid pieces to another contractor for the same price I paid for them, and they already had the standoffs welded to them that I did, which is why he agreed to the store price for them. Less work for him!

That stuff you were talking about as a high pressure installed sealant sounds interesting.
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yogi
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Re: One More Reason

Post by yogi »

I don't know what the price of concrete is here in the STL area, but it was close to the price of gold dust up in Chicago. During the seven years I've lived here I have not seen a single neighbor seal their concrete. That doesn't mean they didn't did it. I just have not seen it done. I don't think anybody on my street had ever sealed their concrete because several driveways and sidewalks have that same flaking problem as does my front porch. I figure that's the nature of the beast. Go with concrete and expect problems over time. The HOA folks seem not to care if your concrete is ugly or not; they simply insist you have concrete in certain designated areas. Come the day when I must sell this place and move into a state sponsored nursing home, the condition of the concrete will likely be an issue. The asphalt up north had to be replaced if I wanted to sell at the market price, for example. So, if I want to keep the 'crete looking pretty I figure that I will need to seal it every year, or maybe just once by these PermaSeal dudes. Doing that should make it presentable at selling time. Otherwise I couldn't care less if it all cracked and turned into ceramic tiles in appearance. If I knew I was going to die in Missouri, then I would not be as concerned about appearances. But, as of today, my final resting place has yet to be determined. :mrgreen:


So ... tomorrow (or today if you read this on Sunday) is Fathers Day. Some time last week one of my daughters messaged me asking what I would like to have for my garden. I don't have a garden, but I knew she was thinking of Fathers Day so that my immediate response was to have a stature of a naked lady. That was a whimsical reply but when I thought of it that kind of thing would actually look good in my yard between the fir trees and rose bushes. Several of the neighbors have religious icons, small ones but still, sitting in their front gardens. They are kind of like shrines. I guess that means there is no encumbrance forbidding such things, so that maybe a naked lady out front would be legal, or at least not get me a fine from the HOA.

Well, statues are not cheap and naked ladies are hard to find if they are not blow up dolls. Thus, instead of a statue, a card with a gift certificate arrived in the mail today. The certificate was for use with Doordash. The name rang a bell but to be honest I was not familiar with them. Looking over their website I discovered that they will deliver to my home any menu item from just about any restaurant within driving distance. The list of establishments was dominated by fast food joints. I could get a shopping bag full of Big Macs delivered if I so wished. There were a few real restaurants on the list too, but most of them were places I've never been to. I guess Doordash made their fortunes during the pandemic, but apparently they are still going strong. O'Fallon is plain vanilla, as I've told you many times, so that I'm not too too surprised at all the burger joints in town. I am not absolutely positive that an outfit such as Doordash exists in these parts of the world, however. I may just find out tomorrow and order a dozen White Castle burgers.
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Kellemora
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Re: One More Reason

Post by Kellemora »

About your flaking porch. Don't know if they still make PM-30 concrete topping or not, but even if they don't you can get some topping mix by another brand or type. First wash off the porch or stoop with strong force hose nozzle. Then paint the porch with concrete glue, then spread a thin layer of concrete topping over it, and trowel it out smooth. It should last for several years after that.
When my mom was ready to move, although her driveway still looked great, I used a paint roller to put concrete glue down a section at a time, and then just dusted over it with concrete topping mix lightly. Then sprayed a very fine mist of water over it to make the concrete topping wet but not get spots. Worked like a charm! Although I don't recommend doing it when dry, I had my reasons in her case, it was basically to make it look newer is all, not to fix any problems.

Technically, I never put any sealer on my concrete driveway back home in Creve Coeur. But I did use a very light tan stain on it once right after I did the outside, because I didn't like the harsh gray/white with the new finish on the house.
A friend who had a steep driveway, got a few bags of white sandbox sand from somewhere, and he too used concrete glue and just a touch of cement powder mixed with the sand, and just swept it all over the driveway after he put down the concrete glue. It really looked good too and lasted for about 4 years before you could see where his wheels when up to the garage.

I have a Grecian Lady here in my office holding an Urn. It was an expensive gift at my very first wedding. She not naked but close to it, hi hi. I repainted her in Dark Blue to match some other things in my office. I painted my old 9-drawer desk in Claret Wine, with the trim pieces in Nutmeg. Then painted my woodgrain desktops in Nutmeg to match.
The four bookcases I left as woodgrain, but all the statuary and some trinkets they held were all painted in that same Dark Blue, it was actually called Midnight Blue. It looked nice until all the shelves got overfilled with junk.

You are making me hungry now. The two things I miss most about back home are White Castles, and Lion's Choice Roast Beef sandwiches. We have Krystal's which are similar to White Castles, but nothing at all like a Lion's Choice.
My son's wife got four of them for me and had them FedExed to me. She froze them first, then packed them between gel-packs and froze the whole block together. I let them thaw first, then nuked two of them, and left the other two in the oven on warm for later when I got hungry again. Loved 'em, just like I remembered them to be.
We had a small restaurant here named Vic's, which was more like a truck stop lunch counter actually, and I ate there several times, even though it was out of the way, because he made an awesome roast beef sandwich. It was the taste of the beef the way I like it. Right before he closed down, he gave me the exact name of the beef and style he bought from the food service place. I knew if I cut it the way Lion's choice did, it would appease me, hi hi. Unfortunately, the particular food service company who carried it would not sell to anything other than an established restaurant, not even if I bribed them, hi hi.
I checked on-line several times to see if I could get a whole roast by that name and style. Nope, only from them, grrr.
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yogi
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Re: One More Reason

Post by yogi »

Thank you for the information about how to heal the scars on my front porch. Didn't know there was such a thing as concrete glue, but apparently I can get a gallon of it for around $20 +/- a few. I'm pretty sure the size of the area I'm interested in fixing is well within my capabilities, but there is a slight problem. There are three metal pillars sitting on that concrete stoop. I'm not sure how they are anchored in place, but somehow they have not blown away over the seven years we owned them. I suppose the right way to put on a cement topping would be to remove the pillars and then add the topping. Of course the pillars would no longer fit into their original space due to the additional height of the topping. Then, too, I could just leave them in place. The footing of the pillars come to the edge of the step. It would be clearly obvious if I just poured the topping around the pillars and left them in place. Given it would be my first attempt at doing such a thing, I fully expect the pillars to be coated with speckles of glue and/or cement topping. I doubt it would look very good. Maybe I'm just pessimistic, but I have lots of experience starting projects that turned out to be nightmares because I didn't figure on all the possible mistakes.

We are going to have NY Strip steak for dinner tonight and forego the use of DoorDash until some other time. However, I did take the time to look up what is available in O'Fallon. Apparently Lion's Choice is on the list. Not only do they have places in this town, but also St Charles and Wentzville, and many other places further away. The menu looks awesome, even though I'm not a big fan of fast food. My wife of many years will be heading up to Chicago come Thursday and will not return til Sunday or Monday. That will give me some opportunities to try out DoorDash. And, the first place I will test is going to be Lions Choice. The problem, however, is the menu. It's overwhelming. I can't decide where to start. LOL

https://www.doordash.com/store/lion's-c ... on-166946/
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Kellemora
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Re: One More Reason

Post by Kellemora »

You can wrap the pillars with newspaper, then after you are done, and everything is dry, wet the newspapers and tear them off leaving only what was down under the concrete.
By the way, I'm only talking about a 1/8 to 1/4 thickness of concrete here. 1/8 where there is still good concrete, and about a 1/4 inch where you need to fill, or deeper if the flaking is that deep.
I don't think you would need a gallon of concrete glue, 1 quart should be enough for close to 50 square feet.

I'm not done with writing. Something happened and when I backspaced, I ended up on this screen, so sending this part and moving back to where I belong, hi hi.
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Kellemora
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Re: One More Reason

Post by Kellemora »

I'm going to let you in on a little tradesman's secret here.
I'm sure you've seen houses that hand concrete block foundations, or flat faced stone, and for one reason or another, they just look poorly under a good looking house.
Older homes built around 1900 or later, used to coat the outside of the foundation with a sand rich mortar mix, and it looked nice. However, they didn't have concrete glues or adhesives back then, so quite often these coatings would chip off or freeze and crack off. And the folks who patched them made them look hideous.

Now for modern day stuff. As I said, I used PM-30 concrete topping mix, which may not be available anymore.
However, PM-30 was simply a mortar mix with adhesive built into the mix. But you still needed to use glue under it for perfect results. So basically, any topping mix with the adhesive in it will work like PM-30 did. I used some by Buildex down here and it worked about the same, but the sand in it was coarser than I like.

Concrete glue is almost like Elmer' Glue, but designed for use on concrete, and is basically waterproof when dry. It also gets tacky fairly quick as well, which is how you want it before putting the topping mix on. Especially when working on vertical surfaces.

OK, working around a foundation.
Tools needed:
#1 A soft normal style paintbrush, about 2-1/2 to 3 inches in width.
#2 A White Tampico brush (which you probably won't be able to find), so choose a very stiff coarse hair paintbrush.
I would cut about 1/3 of the bristles off of the White Tampico brush because they usually have long bristles.
The brush needs to be stiff enough for you to scoop smooth mortar with and paint it on the wall.
#3 A small plastic bucket for mixing a little mortar in at a time. About a 1 to 3 gallon size bucket.
#4 An even smaller bucket for your concrete glue, a peanut can works well.
#5 A small trowel for mixing your concrete with water in the bucket, and for patching deeper holes.
#6 A gallon jug of water.

You start by painting on concrete glue to the foundation for a distance of about 2 to 3 feet. I'm thinking about a 1 to 2 foot high foundation is what you are working around here.
While that is setting up, move down and paint concrete glue on the next 2 to 3 feet of the wall.
Now move back to the first section you put concrete glue on, and paint on the mortar mix keeping it smooth and even.
When you finish this section with mortar, move down two spaces and paint concrete glue on the unpainted spot.
Move back and apply mortar to the area next too it, between where you already did, and where the new glue is.
Just keep repeating these two steps until you are all the way around the foundation.

It's a fairly simple job to do, but hard work due to all the moving back and forth from spot to spot.
And your arms will get very tired as well. Been there, done that, way too many times, hi hi.

I have no idea what all is on Lion's Choices menu. The only thing I ever buy is their Roast Beef Sandwich or two, with packets of BBQ sauce to squirt on them. I do think they have one with cheddar cheese and maybe other styles of sandwiches now too.

Each store cooks their roasts a little differently. I like mine medium well, so when I found a store that cooked them to that, this is the one I would frequent. Some of them leave the meat nearly rare and nuke it if you want it more done, which makes it not only taste different, but it makes it tougher also.

I think I mentioned before that years ago, due to the Patent on their Roast Beef Sandwich, any Arby's that popped up in the area could not use the same type of beef, which is why Arby's in the St. Louis area used Processed Beef, which I hated. The Arby's down here uses normal beef, so it is OK, and I imagine the ones in the St. Louis area do now too. Even so, there is nothing like the Lion's Choice style of roast beef sandwich anywhere else that I know of.
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yogi
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Re: One More Reason

Post by yogi »

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Since a picture says more than I can, I included two to give you an idea of what I"m talking about. I believe you have a good understanding already, but I"m not exactly dealing with a wall. That step is only 6-8 inches tall. However, in the bottom picture and hidden by the hasta plant in the upper right corner is a deeper gouge at the corner. That would be the only vertical patch needing to be done. I suppose the entire length of the rise should be covered to make it all look continuous. The top picture shows my concern about the pillars. Perhaps if only 1/4th inch or less of PM-30 is applied the aesthetics won't be ruined very much. I like the idea of paper up against the pillar and then tearing it off after it all dries. It might not look too bad when it's all finished, but as I noted before this would be my first attempt at this kind of project. I don't know how neat I can make things look, especially against that bit of siding near the door step.

I've mentioned in the past that our house is built into the side of a hill. The back wall of what would be the foundation is fully covered with siding. On either side of the house has exposed concrete that is coated with something that looks like tar and plaster combined. It's painted white. They told us when we bought the house those sections would need to be sealed periodically as well as the driveway. I don't see any flaking at the sides of the house yet, but we have only been here seven years. If it does deteriorate, I'm going to have a pro do the sealing.

The very first house I owned had a poured foundation, but it didn't exactly come up to ground level. On top of that short foundation they built the remainder of the wall using cinder block. Those blocks were never sealed but the concrete was. It didn't look bad, but then the house was 50+ years old and we didn't expect much. I just thought it was odd to put cinder block on top of concrete. I have no clue whey they just didn't go all the way up. Perhaps it had something to do with the fact that the house was moved onto that foundation from another location. It was odd to me whatever the reasoning was.
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Kellemora
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Re: One More Reason

Post by Kellemora »

Hi Yogi
You won't need a 1/4 inch coating, it looks like only about 1/16th inch is needed, maybe an 1/8th in where the divots are.
It looks like your post has a decorative molding around the base. You should be able to slide that molding up on the post about a foot or so to get it out of your way.
I think I see why it has those divots. Looks to me like after they poured the concrete, they tossed some cement over the concrete as they were troweling it out smooth, instead of just keep troweling to bring up the already mixed concrete.
That little expansion seam near the post in the picture can also be filled in as well. The extra section of concrete under the post area isn't large enough to expand and contract. Unless they put a footer under that concrete pour and not under the rest of the porch.
If you want it all to match, I would do the leading edge of the porch as well, using a stiff brush. If you want smooth, you can always trowel over each section while it is still wet. Personally, I prefer the anti-slip surface you get by brushing, sorta like your sidewalk.
FWIW: PM-30 was known as a Concrete Vinyl Patch. However, the Vinyl was just the type of dry adhesive used.
Sorta like PVA Primer the V stands for Vinyl, as in Poly Vinyl Acetate, aka white primer for drywall.
You can probably do your threshold step also at the same time, top and front, so it all matches.
If you have an old concrete block laying around, you may want to experiment on it using a thin layer of brushed on glue, waiting for it to get tacky, then painting on a little topping mix with a stiff brush, to see if that's the finish you like. If not, while the topping is still wet go over it with a trowel to see if you like that better.
Your current porch looks to me like it also has a sealer over it of some type, don't know what thought.
At least in Missouri, patching cement is still cheap. Small bag about 4 bucks, larger bag around 8 bucks or less.
I think Beihle (sp) still carries PM-30, which is what I prefer, but it will be priced slightly higher. I only used PM-30 myself.
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yogi
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Re: One More Reason

Post by yogi »

I'm pretty sure that when I bought the house they told me all the concrete was sealed with something and that I would have to keep it up. About 3/4 of the driveway was replaced because there were foot prints in the concrete. They said it started to rain after the job was finished and one of the workers drove back to the site to cover the driveway with plastic. Apparently he left some of his footprints as evidence. Anyway, that part of the driveway was replaced and not sealed. That's the reason why I had it done the second summer I lived here. The porch in the picture was never sealed by me. It's the original installation, potholes and all.

Thank you for the brilliant, and obvious, suggestion regarding the footing on the pillars. They sure do look like they would slide up easily and I may try to do that just to validate the concept. Your description of how to go about fixing the problem is straight forward and easy to understand. I hank you for all the effort you put into the explanation. I'm not so confident that I can patch it up to look good. I'm particularly concerned about the stories I hear about patches coming loose and peeling off after a year or two. That would look a lot worse than what I have. I think I have all the tools needed to do the job except for the hard bristle brush. I am sure I can find one online if the local shops don't have one, and I will take your other advice and cut down on the bristles to make the brush even stiffer. It's just a little scary because that concrete is my front porch and very visible. If it were the back patio I would not care as much. But, should I decide to sell this place, I don't want the curb appeal to be less than what it could be.
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Kellemora
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Re: One More Reason

Post by Kellemora »

Almost all of the inner city houses I renovated, one of the last things I would do is put a thin topping on all the flatwork.
They make a short stiff nap roller just for this purpose, some are even made with tiny loops in them, but I don't like that one, because it makes the surface look too rough.
I also had an short nap normal paint roller for putting down concrete glue.
I would mix cement with white sandbox sand, fairly thin so it could be rolled on like a thick paint.
I would put the glue down on a section, just like as if I was painting with a roller.
Then move to the next section and paint it with the glue.
Then I would go back to the first section and roll it with the thicker cement sand mixture.
Repeat of course for each section.
Then I would come back with an edge tool, like you see on the edges of your sidewalk, and run the edges of all with the edger.
However, in practice, I would use the edge tool right after painting on the cement sand mixture.
I've never seen any that flaked off, and I've been by some of those houses a few times over the years.
Great thing to do right before you sell a house, hi hi.

Many years ago, in my dad's era, there used to be a cement paint mix called White Medusa.
My dad did his basement walls in this stuff, and they looked great, bright white, and it never flaked off.
He built our house in 1949, and although we did move out in 1966, grandpa's basement was done the same way.
Grandpa's house was built around 1908 I think, but the walls were not painted with the White Medusa until around 1920.
I will admit that they were repainted with light green normal oil based paint back around 1956 or 1959 after the new Cut Flower shop was built and the basement was emptied for a short time of all the stuff that got moved over to the new flower shop. When I moved into that big house, I repainted the residential side of the basement with a golden yellow color, but only because it was left over from doing the inside of the back of the cut flower shop. Everyone hated that light green color, it wasn't a pretty green either.

I had a customer once who wanted his blacktop driveway painted in a light tan color. I told him the tar in the blacktop would soak through it make it look horrible in short order. He told me to go look at his small tennis court down at the bottom of the hill. Said it was made using blacktop and just coated with a green paint with sand in it.
Well, I knew they didn't use sand in paint, they used a white sandy plastic powder.
But NO, when I inspected his tennis court, it was normal tan river sand in the paint, which was fairly well worn by the gate, and a little bit at each end of the tennis court.
I told him how nice his tennis court looks, and he said he would buy the color topping he wants for his driveway from the same company he got the tennis court paint from, if I would agree to paint it for him. Sure, no problem.
Turned out to be a bigger job than I though it would be. There was a thick primer that had to do down first and dry overnight. Then the sand colored stuff he bought was very thick, almost like honey in a way, but you couldn't pour it on and roll it out, you had to use a roller pan and put it down like you would when painting with a roller. The roller with the paint on it was super heavy also. But I will say, it looked great and dried even and smooth too. Once dry it was not slippery at all, almost like walking on a sheet of rubber. But it didn't look or act that way when I was rolling it on.
It was over 50 bucks a gallon 20 years ago, so I have no idea what that stuff would cost today.
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yogi
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Re: One More Reason

Post by yogi »

After doing a little research, very little, I discovered white Medusa Cement can be purchased fairly easily, at Grangers for example. I don't think this is exactly what your dad used on the basement walls, but I have read where the white cement can be mixed with paint and applied that way. So, if you are willing to do your own mixing, you can make White Medusa Paint. I wish I would have known about that in my last house. I never finished off the basement and most of the walls were a dingy concrete gray in color. I bought some Kilz and painted one wall where the laundry machine was, and it brightened things up considerably. But a gallon of that stuff barely covered 150 sq ft of wall. So, if I were going to spend that much on making the basement walls white, I'd be more than happy to mix up a batch or two of Medusa Cement and get a really classy look. LOL

I'm not sure exactly to what extent that front porch of mine will deteriorate. A few of the neighbors have something that looks like my porch and my house is a lot newer than theirs. Thus it seems as if what I have is about as bad as it will get, but I'm not counting on that. If things stay pretty much the way they are, I think I can live with it. Should we try to sell this house, that would be the time to make it look pretty. Then a thin coating of something will be better than ugly pit marks. I'll admit that I don't feel as ambitious about this house as I have for previous ones. I'm a lot older now and less energetic, although I think I can do what you describe needs to be done. It's just easier to pay somebody else to do it right.
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Kellemora
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Re: One More Reason

Post by Kellemora »

White Medusa paint goes on about 1/16th of an inch thick, so a gallon doesn't go very far at all.

I put down an epoxy finish on my carport floor way back in 1981, and part of that finish was exposed to outside elements, especially near the front of the carport. The only place it faded, even just a little bit, was in the back walkway entrance to the carport, which had a storage closet on the outside back corner, and even then the fading was so slight you couldn't tell it.
Now I did enclose the carport around 1996, but both outside the back door and outside the front windows, the epoxy was outside. It never chipped, peeled, or bubbled up from the hot sun.
When I sold the house in 2001, the buyer took out my windows and returned it to a normal garage with a garage door.

I brought that up, because instead of concrete topping mix, you might consider doing your front porch in an epoxy finish. It is even easier to put down that cement. But what I don't know is if it will work over whatever sealer they have there now.
We washed my carport in Muriatic acid before applying the epoxy coating. It had no grease spots to worry about getting clean first, so the acid did its thing and made the surface like a matte finish.

I've also put down pour-chip floors where they got heavy usage, such as the drive-in theater concession stand, and the locker room of our local swimming pool, where it was wet most of the time, hi hi. The only problems I had doing the locker room floor was the lockers were on a 4 inch high raised concrete base, which was poured at the same time as the floor. It is hard to do a vertical surface with pour-chip and not have it sag down as it dries.
Normally a pour-chip floor is put down over a Luan plywood. But we couldn't do that in the always wet locker room, for fear water would get under it and mildew. So it was poured right over the concrete. I did do the vertical concrete areas first by hand, ever so slowly, using super thin coats of the clear top coat until it was built up as thick as it was supposed to be, then we did the rest of the floor. I did that floor around 1985 I think, and it was still looking good in 2001 when I took Debi to see our park and pool. The one thing I did notice is that they replaced all the steel lockers, probably because the old ones rusted out at the base, even though they were up off the floor. Very humid around a pool, and the chemicals ruin a lot of things.

If you can afford to pay someone else to do something, that is always the way to go! If they do it right that is, hi hi.
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yogi
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Re: One More Reason

Post by yogi »

I like the thought of epoxy on top of the concrete porch. I'm pretty sure muriatic acid would take care of any possible adhesion problems because the current sealant isn't all that thick anymore. I am concerned, however, about an epoxy finish being too slippery. We get some ice on that step which is what caused all those pock marks in the first place. Ice on top of smooth epoxy seems like an accident waiting to happen. Of course Ice anywhere is a problem especially for my wife who has had problems with her legs affecting her ability to keep a solid balance when walking. I don't have a lot of confidence that I could find a contractor who could do a good job of refinishing that porch. It's just easier and they would have to fix any mistakes they made.

Moving to a little different topic, I decided to DIY and repair my shoe laces. Most of the shoes I buy are New Balance and the laces are always way too long. It could be that I'm missing something critical about how to lace shoes properly. After all I've only been doing it for about 70 years now. Because the laces are too long there are times when I step on them while walking. Fortunately I've not fallen, yet, but the aglets on the end of the laces come off easily. I went through the trouble of buying shorter laces, which is not an easy thing to do. I had to find a custom house online in order to get something suitable. I ordered a few conventional laces and one pair with gold metal aglets. I figured those babies would last a lifetime, and so far so good.

So, now, I have a few shoes with laces sans aglets. There are a ton of DIY aglet vendors online and it's very confusing to determine exactly what I wanted. I ended up ordering and receiving metal aglest of various sizes. As you might suspect they are U-shaped tubes of various diameters. All that's needed is to place the lace in the groove and ... and ... hmmm. How does one crimp those babies shut? Well I found a few places online that sell crimping tools. The exact same tool can be had from $19 all the way up to $79 on Amazon. That low end tool comes direct from the manufacturer which happens to be located in China. Where else would it be? I hate sending cash to foreign countries, especially directly to China. But they had the best price so I began the ordering process. When I got to shipping, the cost was approximately $50, which brought it right up to the Amazon price. Plus it would take a minimum of six weeks, and most likely more, to get it to me. They would ship it right from the factory on mainland China.

I have not found any other tools suitable. There is only one other company that makes an aglet crimping tool, and the pictures of it didn't look all that great. A lot of places sell this Chinese tool and in the end the price always comes close to that $79 figure. I love odd tools, but paying $80 to repair a couple shoe laces is extravagant even for an independently wealthy old codger as myself. Then I thought of you. I think we had a similar discussion many moons ago. So, if you have any crimping ideas, I'd love to hear about them.
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Kellemora
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Re: One More Reason

Post by Kellemora »

To do a non-slip epoxy floor, you first put down the epoxy and then spread quartz sand over it.
Watch for areas where the sand sinks and add more sand over it. You can never get too much sand at first.
When it is dry, you can sweep up the sand or use a vacuum with a second bucket to catch the loose sand in.
Mixing sand in the epoxy first does not produce a non-skid surface, and is harder to put down.
You also need a spiked roller if you do it that way to prevent air bubbles.
Another way is to just blow a light coating of quartz sand over the epoxy as it begins to get tacky.
This means it will be thin and some of it might sink into the epoxy, but it will be smooth with some non-slip to it.
You can get quartz sand in white, or light tan, or even in rose colored if they use rose quartz to make it.
But don't expect the surface to be as smooth and flat as finished concrete when you dump sand over the whole surface.
it will look smooth, but feel a little bit hilly as some sand sinks and other sand builds up and wicks the epoxy up a bit.

When I needed to replace missing aglets, I took the easy way out.
I just used Thick Wall heat shrink tubing.
If you dip the ends of round laces in clear adhesive glue, then put the heat shrink tubing on, it won't come off.
If the lace is the flat style, glue about an inch of the end, fold it in half widthwise, add more glue over the end and slip on the heat shrink tubing, and push it up so the fold looks natural, then trim off the excess from the end.
I don't think I need to add you need to heat up heat shrink tubing to get it to shrink down, hi hi.

If you don't want to mess with heat shrink tubing, you can always wrap the end of the lace with electrical tape, several turns until it looks right, and then add clear Duco cement over the tip covering the tape.
When my kids were young, I used colored metallic tape on theirs first, then a layer of clear Duco cement.

As far as laces being too long, take a look on-line at some decorative ways to lace up your shoes.
My step-daughter had a fancy herringbone pattern done with her laces for a few years.
I've also seen some kids that did them so they looked like sunbursts.

Here is a video showing 35 ways you can tie your shoes, hi hi.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FJK1tgSS1LM
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Re: One More Reason

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Back in the previous house my wife had some fears about going down the basement stairs, of which there were 13. There was nothing special about them; they were just wooden stairs with a standard rise and run ratio. But she would slip once in a while and wanted me to make the stairs less slippery. A trip over to the local Ace Hardware solved the problem. They had something like a 2" wide tape with grit on one side and some super adhesive on the back side. It looked like the core was some kind of tar material and resembling roofing shingles. Well, it was great stuff and worked very well. However, it was outrageously expensive. Those 13 steps required about $75 worth of that safety taping. It couldn't have been more than 25' of tape for that price. Something similar to that would work on the front porch if we really needed to make it non-slip. But, that's only half the problem. Making those pot holes look good is the other half. I'm not sure what we will do yet, but I am very grateful for all the ideas you have given me. :grin:

Before I bought the metal aglets I was looking on E-Bay for a solution. There were several companies who offered heat shrinkable aglets. Looking back from here that probably is what I should have purchased. But, I have a pair of laces with brass aglets and they look very cool. I don't need cool looking sneakers, but I figured metal would last longer and be more permanent. Unfortunately, I didn't have the foresight to anticipate the real cost. Then again, if I got the tool, I could go into a shoe lace repair business quite easily. The laces I bought with metal aglets were over $7.00 which seemed very extravagant. Of course they were new and I'm certain they had a bench machine for the aglets and not a hand tool. I wonder (thinking out of the box) if there would be a market for such a service.

Today is THE day. I placed an order with Doordash to deliver a beef sandwich and a frozen custard desert from Lion's Choice. I got what they call a meal and paid just under $20 for it. Delivery was advertised as being free, but guess what happened at check out time. They added a (selectable) dasher fee that would go right into the delivery person's pocked. The lowest tip was $3.50 and the highest was whatever I cared to make it. To my surprise the closest Lion's Choice is next door to the CVS pharmacy that I use to get my prescriptions. I never noticed the Lion being there and will have to look for it next time I'm in the neighborhood. They claim it will be delivered to my front porch between 5:10 and 5:25 this afternoon. I could have had them deliver to me personally, but the porch is good enough. So, be prepared for a critical review of tonight's dinner.
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Kellemora
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Re: One More Reason

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Wow, I wish I knew you back then.
You could have used contact adhesive, like is used to install Formica countertops, and a waste product from iron ore, semi-glittery sand. Just put down a couple of strips of masking tape about 3 inches apart right at the leading edge of the step, paint on the adhesive between the two pieces of tape, remove the tape, and then sprinkle over the a adhesive with the iron ore sand. It would have looked great and cost next to nothing. And if you ever wanted to take it up, adhesive remover would have done that fast.

The only crimping tools I've ever used were those used for electrical connections, and they dimple the metal piece, so don't think that would look nice for the end of a shoelace.
Now have seen metal shoe lace tips that if opened up flat, look sorta like a butterfly.
These are closed end aglets, with a metal ball at the end, they are spread open when you buy them, one one half of the butterfly tucks into the other half of the butter fly, and the tool to close them is nothing more than a pliers with notch ground in the end of the pliers. You can sometimes find this type of pliers in the electrical department.
Little late to mention that now I guess.
Most of the crimping devices for aglets make a slotted dent, which I never liked. An aglet should be round, hi hi.

I don't know how you like your meat, and each Lion's Choice cooks theirs to a different doneness.
Which is why when we found one that made them the way I like them, we would drive to that one, even if we had to pass two others to get there, hi hi.
I hope you enjoy them as much as I did!
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Re: One More Reason

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I have had the same thought as you, it's a shame we didn't know each other many years ago. You have a lot of experience with things I never heard of, which is why a certain trivial fact came to mind while reading your comments. There happens to be two separate and distinct supply chains in this country: a retail supply chain and a commercial supply chain. That fact became obvious during the pandemic wherein the two chains collapsed and ultimately mixed in with each other to create nothing less than chaos on the supply side. The iron ore sand of which you speak probably is freely available from the commercial suppliers and a rare find for us retail chain users. Thus even if I did know you and you gave me the same advice as you did here, I'd have no idea where to go get a bucket of iron ore sand. Even if I found the guys, I'm sure they only deal in dump truck quantities.

I don't know what was in that safety tape I picked up at Ace Hardware. It could have had iron ore sand embedded in it for all I know. As I recall that tape was intended to be laid on a factory or warehouse floor which is typically cement. It was still on my wooden stairs when I sold the house. I probably can pick up some of that tape at a place like Grangers or U-Line, and I have a feeling the cost of the tape would be less today than what I paid many years ago. However, those guys who sell industrial supplies online charge an arm and a leg for shipping. Usually several hundred dollars must be spent before they will ship free.


I didn't mention how the meat was cooked in my review of Lion's Choice. It was fine as far as I was concerned, but I have a feeling they don't cook it in house. The shavings of meat were basically round and pink from edge to edge. The outer edge appeared to be seared, but the color did not penetrate into the pink meat at all. I've cooked meat by searing it on a high heat and then letting it finish in the oven. This produces the seared outer edge and consistent pink throughout the cut of meat. But searing the meat always makes the char penetrate to some visible depth. That did not seem to be the case with the Lion's meat. It appeared to be cut from a rolled loaf, which more than likely was processed. How they browned the outer skin would be an interesting question to ask them. It truly looks as if it was painted on. I've seen this kind of meat preparation at various dinners which were catered. They run the fillets under a hot broiler and then bake them after that. The center of those fillets are done rare and the outer surface is very thinly darkened; I hesitate to say seared but that is the effect they are going for, I'm sure. So, I'd guess Lion's Choice nukes their meat to cook it to a certain temperature and then paints on a coating of ... something to make it look brown on the outer surface. I'd guess my sandwich was more toward the medium level of being cooked than toward the rare side. That is just perfect for me.
Last edited by yogi on 26 Jun 2022, 20:28, edited 1 time in total.
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Kellemora
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Re: One More Reason

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When I owned a couple of lots out at Clearwater Lake, the developer used iron ore mill tailings instead of gravel on the gravel roads. The reason being, he could get all he wanted for free from the iron ore processing plant. It's a waste product to them.
Sometimes you can find it bagged already as sand, coarse sand, small pea sized gravel, and larger 1/2 inch gravel, but rarely bagged as 3/4 inch gravel. Well, unless you find rose quartz, that's usually 3/4 inch bagged, hi hi.

For an anti-slip tread, you can use almost any aggregate you can find from coarse builders sand, to decorative sands.
At least we could back in the '60s to '80s with no problem. Brahm's Ace Hardware always carried Rose Quartz for me in the '80s because I used so much of it back then.

If you know WHAT a product is normally used for, and in fairly large quantities, you can usually buy smaller amounts real cheap.
For example: And I know I probably told you this story before. There are strips of tar that come rolled up in small boxes for use by AC installers to wrap around the pipes where they go in and out of the furnace holes for the pipes to the A-Coil. They also use it anyplace that might rub or rattle.
For this reason, a small company may buy the 2 foot diameter rolls of the tar strips and repackage them in the small boxes with perhaps 10 feet in a box. Or some companies may buy 4 foot wide rolls about 4 feet in diameter and cut them down themselves, and do the same thing.
I used to buy the 10 foot long rolls already boxed, so this way I had the box to put them back in without buying boxes.
I would coat this tar strip on one side with finely crushed limestone, or coarse sawdust in various colors, usually brown, tan, or a medium dark green. I had a printed page that was glued over the boxes to hide the fact of what the item originally was, and I sold this product to several hobby shops who specialized in train layouts. Because I bought it bulk, what I paid 50 cents for, plus the topping I used, came to about 60 cents materials cost, about 15 minutes labor to open the box, glue my printed paper cover over, and coat the tar strip with the topping, and get it all back in the box again. I sold these to the hobby shops for $1.88 each and they sold them for $3.75 each. So I was making about 5 bucks an hour for my time, in an era when the normal salaries were only $1.50 to $1.75.

There are all kinds of products that get repurposed and/or slightly modified and resold by retailers. Especially to hobby shops who were big on buying things used in various hobbies that they couldn't get in small quantities, or in a neat display for their counter. Heck, I can't count the number of glass Pyrex, brass, and aluminum tubing I sold to Des Peres Hobby Shop over the years. The whole key was having a nice looking display that held them all, and since I was in the store at least once a week anyhow, I kept a lot in my car and would refill the display, and they would pay me cash on the spot.
Don't know if you remember the Gilbert Chemistry Sets or not? Our Hobby Shop was BIG on keeping everything Gilbert sold on hand for resale. But Gilbert didn't make some of the things folks were asking for. Either because of insurance liability reasons or too low of sales on such products. The hobby shop kept track of requests for things, and would often let me know what folks were looking for that nobody made. We didn't have home printers back in those early days, but we did have Xerox machines, so I could design a label, keep it in a folder, and then make copies when I needed labels. Worked out great. I managed to pick up about 144 square glass bottles that looked close enough to those used by Gilbert super cheap. And being in the florist business had no problem buying certain fairly safe chemicals or powdered items in smaller bulk sizes.
I sold a lot of things to the hobby shop up until the guys son took over and ran the place into the ground.

Well, it has been over 20 years since I moved south. But Lion's Choice did have their own ovens and baked their own meats back then. But it could be they are buying it already cooked now, although I doubt they would pay the extra price to do that.
I like mine somewhere between medium well and well, but will eat medium also, rather than let them nuke my sandwich.
I talked to my son last night and brought up Lion's Choice, and he said their normal size Roast Beef sandwich is a whole 2 ounces less now than their original. That was how they managed to keep the price down. I doubt they still have their 5 cent ice cream cones either, hi hi.
FWIW: Most of the sandwiches down here that used to be a buck, are now around 3 bucks, or more at some places.
Krystal's, that at one time were 15 for a dollar, are now $1.89 each here now. My son said White Castles are now a buck each, and will be going up to $1.25 soon, if they haven't already. He don't frequent White Castle much anymore. But then too, he recently moved to Florida and misses the Lion's Choice sandwiches too.
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Re: One More Reason

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When I was dating my wife I would stop in the White Castle restaurant on my way home. That was usually close to 2:00 AM. I bought a dozen burgers at 10 cents each and would consume most, if not all, of them before I arrived home. I had a fit when they raised the prices to 12 cents and stopped buying them when they raised it again to 15 cents.

Then I married the gal I was dating and we had two lovely daughters. They blossomed into charming young teenagers who really didn't give me all the trouble that I was being warned about. At one point when they were both teens the girls were out on dates. I always stayed up and watched television until they arrived home, which coincidentally was typically around 2:00 AM. The day before Thanksgiving one year they got home early, around !:30 AM when the second gal returned. My wife was up that day too and all four of us were kind of hungry. So, we decided to go to the local White Castle which was open 24 hours a day. I don't recall what the price of a burger was at that time, but I have a feeling it was 25 cents or more. Anyway, we had a pre-Thanksgiving feast of White Castle burgers and talk about that event to this day. Well, six months ago when we were all together reminiscing. The burgers went down well after many years of abstinence, but the next day I had something akin to food poisoning. None of the girls had that problem, but I blamed it on White Castle and never had another one since. At the going price of $1.25 I probably wont ever have anther one. LOL

I do recall Gilbert's Chemistry set because I had one for many years. A few of the chemicals were replaceable at the local pharmacy. The druggist asked what the heck I was going to do with magnesium sulfate, and I explained it was just to refill the empty bottle in my chemistry set. Oddly enough he had some and sold me a bottle about four times the size of what Gilbert packed in its chem set. There were a few other chemicals he said he could get if I bought enough of it, which meant a few kilos. Well, I lost interest at that point because my parents didn't have the money to supply my chemical dependency.

To be honest I don't recall reading the story about tar rolls in boxes. You might have mentioned it, but it doesn't ring a bell. I know what you are talking about because I've seen it used on our furnace. I can't imagine why a hobby shop would want such stuff, however. In fact there is only one franchise that I see anymore, Hobby Lobby, and they are into more than hobby supplies. I guess all those old hobby shops have been replaced by computer shops.
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Re: One More Reason

Post by Kellemora »

Yep, nothing like the old Belly Bombers, hi hi.
Once I got older, you wouldn't want to be sitting behind me after eating a few.
Talk about nauscious gaschious, hi hi.

None of my kids ever stayed out until 2 am, midnight was curfew for them.

My late wife Ruth was always full of saying from her early lifestyle.
One of them was; If you are not in bed by ten, come home, hi hi.

I did every chemistry experiment they published in all 6 of their books, including the big master chemist book.
I suppose I learned a little bit from them, but it sure didn't stick in the gray matter for long, hi hi.
The only time what I learned was a benefit was when I was in the boy scouts.
I knew what two chemicals could be mixed together to produce a super hot flame.
One was a powdered chemical we could spread on the annual bonfire, and the other could be turned into a heavy gel and the end of an arrow coated with the stuff. So when you shot the arrow into the pile of wood, about 5 seconds later, poof, it was ablaze. Plus we soaked some of the outer pieces of lumber with the chemicals that made colors, so that was a neat affect too.

I coated the backside of the tar strips with black dust so it wasn't real sticky anymore.
What it was used for on train layouts, was to set the track on. Looked great on the bigger train sets.
On HO layouts we used a rubberized cork track-bed made by another company.
I also made several molds that looked like rock, or stone, or brickwork, and some like railroad tie walls, all in miniature for HO layouts. You would use Plaster of Paris with the mold to create walls that looked real, and to scale.
One of the hardest things to make look real on an HO layout, is the coal in the coal car, it always looked fake.
You couldn't even make real coal look real at scale size.
I was messing with a paint called Crystal Craze for making fake stained glass pieces.
Totally by accident, I spilled some in the box of the crushed limestone I was using for making those roadbeds.
Compared to the fake coal in the coal car on my train set, it looked more real.
So I scooped it up in a solid chunk and trimmed it down to fit on my coal car. I was so amazed at how well it looked, it took my coal car down to the hobby shop and showed it to Mr. B. He got a few coal cars out of his inventory to compare the look of mine to them. He loved it too. So I had yet another product he was interested in buying from me.
Unfortunately, that ended about 6 months later when the company that made the Crystal Craze paint discontinued it.

Despite much hollering from my dad about my shenanigans, I was always experimenting with something he didn't like me messing with, hi hi. Just for grins once, I parked his car in the garage widthwise, and technically, corner to corner the car was longer than the garage was wide, so he didn't know how to get it out of the garage without damaging the garage or the car, hi hi. I left early for school so didn't hear the fireworks, he took mom's car to work. After I got home from school I got his car out of the garage, then drove it to work and brought mom's car back. My mom played along with my gag for a bit. When dad got home from work, she asked him what it was he was all fired up about this morning. After his dissertation, she said, you didn't take my car, you left in your own car for work this morning. You must have dreamed it! Then the fireworks started once again. He went out to the garage and inspected the garage with a fine tooth comb looking for evidence of how his car got in there and back out again, without doing any damage.
The only mistake I made was not cleaning up the tire tracks from the floor, so he could see where the steering wheels were turned back and forth numerous times.
The trick was actually fairly simple to do. There was a 4 foot wide built-in cabinet on one wall. So all I had to do was take the two doors off of that cabinet, take the stuff on the two lower shelves off, and take those two shelves out of the cabinet. This gave me roughly 14 more inches of playroom to work in, as far as getting the car in. Getting it back out posed a little bit different challenge, because the right side of the car extended past the cabinet area. So I had to get it out the same way I got it in, and it took nearly twice as long to get it back out again, a lot more forth and backing, hi hi.
To this day, he never did figure out how I did it, hi hi.
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