Crazy paving with urbanite
|After clearing the space I set up a form level with the previous paving
|Using a sledge hammer I broke up the large block of concrete into more manageable sizes
|To change the block shape I found it best to sit the block on sand to distribute the weight, mark the off-cut and using a cold chisel bang out a series of dots.
|The break generally follows the line of dots, though not always. Take your time, don't try to rush it. Make sure you wear protective gear - gloves, goggles and ear muffs.
|It's like a giant jigsaw puzzle. I'd lay out a number of block to choose from and fit a bunch of them together before making up a mortar mix.
|I mixed up the mortar in fairly small lots, at ratios of six parts sand, one part lime, one part cement. Mixing it dry first and adding water gradually using a watering can to the consistency of thick whipped cream
|Starting with blocks at the edges I dragged a long straight edge I got the individual blocks level using a rubber mallet till the straight edge rested on the form work. The mortar mix that runs right to the edge of each block to prevent them tipping.
|Were the ground was quite low I topped it up with sand and compressed it with the rubber mallet leaving a good 10mm or so for the mortar mix
|The giant jigsaw puzzle complete, quite a mission.
At this stage I still wasn't sure how I was going to fill in the gaps. Originally I was thinking that I would fill it with stone, allowing the water to run through it. If I allowed plants to grow between the gaps then I would need to water them. I thought it best to fill in the gaps and allow the water to run off to garden beds.
|Gaps between the blocks were filled with rubble and a wet mortar mix was poured in until it was close to level. The wet mortar mix was 9:1:1 Sand:Lime:Cement.
|When the mortar was completed and still moist I wet it down and cleaned off excess with a wire brush and broom.
|I added mortar to the edge of the building to ensure water kept away from the timber.
|Once reasonably dry I used a pallet knife to create channels to divert water off the paved area and onto the garden, smoothed off with finger
|Using a screwdriver I scraped back some of the mortar to help define the edges - best to wear gloves for all work with cement, it's tough on skin.
|After cleaning up and defining the edges of the blocks
|The finished paving job looking to the west
|Looking east at paving for future outdoor kitchen after first rains
UPDATE: From Dec 26th 2013I'd been looking at the detail work that was needed for a little while and decided to give the blocks a clean up with a wire brush to get rid of the excess mortar. Best done before the outdoor kitchen job begins.
|Crazy Urbanite Paving before mortar cleaned from blocks
|After mortar cleaned from blocks with a wire brush
|Crazy Urbanite Paving detail