Hand Mixing

Although mixing machines make better mud and save time and effort, sometimes it is appropriate to mix by hand. You can hand mix plaster in a wheelbarrow if small batches are all that's needed, or you can build a mixing box from plywood or sheet metal. A wide shallow shape will work best, and the box should be placed so the contents can be easily emptied into wheelbar-rows.The best tool for mixing plaster is a mortar hoe. Masonry supply stores sell them, or you can make one by cutting holes in a standard garden hoe. You will also need a good shovel for sand and other bulk ingredients.

Thoroughly combine dry ingredients, push the dry mix to one side, and add water to the mix-free zone. The mortar hoe can then drag the dry mix into the water slowly. When the entire mix is damp, add more water until the desired consistency has been reached. It is very easy to overwater hand mixes, since it takes some vigorous action with the hoe to fully mix in the water.

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