Joined: July 2004
||Posted: 31 July 2019,19:20
In over 50 years of working on sites, I've only even met one clueless eejit that genuinely thought working with an unplasticised mortar was better for him than resorting to a plasticiser.
I watched this clown struggle, genuinely struggle over a couple of hours, to build a dwarf wall with 'dead' mortar, all the while protesting that it was (allegedly) cleaner, quicker, simpler and cheaper. The wall he produced was a feckin' eyesore and he was one of the stupidest people I've ever met in any walk of life. A complete tool! And he wondered why, in his early 60s, he was *still* working as a one-man-band barely making a living from general building work.
Plasticisers are invaluable with all forms or mortars and concretes, but there is a limit to their benefits. As a young lad still serving my time, I worked alongside a so-called 'mentor' who thought the small quantity of mortar we needed to point the brick risers of a flight of steps would be all-the-better for being prepared using nothing but liquid plasticiser - no water, just "Feb" mixed with the sand and cement.
I was in no position to argue, even though I'd aready mentally marked him down as a F***witt, so I had to go along with it, and it was, almost inevitably, me that was sent back, minus the 'mentor' to rake out the crumbling mess he had slathered into the joints, and then re-point with a 'proper' mortar, while he was invited to seek employment elsewhere.
Learning that paving is not as easy as many like to think is another invaluable life lesson, and one I wish more non-professionals would learn before diving in and claiming "how hard can it be?" right before they balls it all up. I try to provide guidance and advice via the website, but how do you distill 4 years of apprenticeship and a lifetime of experience into a few web pages? Nothing, absolutely nothing, is as valuable as experience. The best way to learn is to have a go.....but accept your limitations, temper your expectations, and your next job will be so much better!
Site Agent - Pavingexpert