If you’re the kind of person who does random small jobs around the home and yard – and happens to need a batch of concrete here and there to get the project done – it doesn’t really make sense to keep forking over cash to rent a concrete mixer when you can create a perfectly good home made concrete mixer yourself! Using scrap supplies from around your yard (and possibly your neighbor’s yard?), you can make your own mixer that does the job just as well – and costs far, far less than you’d be paying to rent one for even a day.
Making Your Mixer
1) It should only take you a few hours to create your new concrete mixer, but first you’ll have to round up the supplies. Gather your pipe wrench, a screwdriver, hacksaw, an adjustable wrench, and a drill with a 1/4” bit and a 3/32” bit. In addition, you’ll probably need about a quart of auto body putty. Also crucial to this project: find yourself a leftover washing machine drum!
2) Start by making the three paddles that will be placed inside the mixing drum – these will do the cement blending. With some leftover angle iron scrap, and corner supports or brackets, you should be able to trim the scrap down and mount it inside the drum. Otherwise, 18 gauge sheet metal will do the trick, and you can cut the blades out and bend them.
3) Two quarter inch holes should be drilled in each section, and then you can make holes in the tub to match and place the blades in position. Use1/4” bolts to do this.
4) Apply auto body putty inside the tub, making sure all the holes in the bottom and interior are covered. Use as much as you need to – you don’t want your cement mix leaking out and ruining whatever surface you’re working on.
Creating the Frame
5) Thread together galvanized pieces of iron pipe – Schedule 40 is recommended – and mount the rollers on the back by placing a bolt through the disks. Fasten this securely with a nut, and the do the same to attach the main wheels.
6) What needs to happen is for the mixing drum to turn on the shaft that is attached to the central pipe. This should be bushed with a section of EMT, or electrical metal tubing, and this pipe axle can be greased. The conduit can be placed overtop of the axle, and then the grease the unit a second time.
7) The mixing drum should now slide easily over the shaft, whereupon you can thread on the pipe cap. This will keep all the pieces in place, though it would also be a good idea to grease the bar at the center of the frame – do this at the point where the bar and the drum make contact, which will actually end up helping the drum’s rotation process to move smoothly.
Finishing Your Mixer
8) Finally, attach some bike grips to the pipe handles for easy maneuvering, and you’re done! You could paint the assembly for aesthetic purposes if you want, but otherwise it’s all set to use. This machine should be able to handle a 40-pound bag of concrete mix – just place it inside and pull the mixing drum in the right direction, allowing the blades to work their way through the mix.