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How to Make Cement 

Introduction

The expansive knowledge and survival skills you have are what is required to maximize your survival chances in any situation. These things are totally as essential for survival as a proper medical kit is during a hard-case survival. Certainly, every prepper, survivalist, and homesteader share solid survival skills and well-developed situational awareness. What also matters is your survival bag packed it up with proper survival gear. These things are considered, and any emergency, including economic collapse or off-the-grid situation, will be easier to withstand. At times, you may never expect what knowledge might save you. Learn how to make cement from our article! Read on!

To the point

We are talking a lot about different aspects of survival on our site, and all of them are important, like making a fire in nature or suturing a wound. Today I want to describe a topic that, from the first view, is not so related to survival, and indeed one reading the article’s name may ask what cement has in common with survival?

In this article, you will find out why cement is so critical for survival, and, more importantly, I will walk you through detailed instructions on how to make cement using a good old Do-It-Yourself-approach.

Survival Cement

Let me start with the definition of survival cement. Survival cement is a mixture of raw materials such as grass and mud used for building houses for centuries. This technology is very simple yet very durable. A house built with survival concrete can easily stand for centuries. There are several concepts of creating concrete, and in this article, we will discuss a few of them. Moreover, very frequently usual cement is called Portland cement.

Also, in the introduction, I have to clarify that concrete and cement are not the same things, and cement is only one of the ingredients used to make concrete. Still, for the sake of simplicity, we will use both words interchangeably.

Supplies

To make the survival cement, you do not have to buy half of the construction section at your local store. On the contrary, you do not even need to go to the shop – you can pick all the raw materials off the ground. Moreover, all these materials are simple and can be found elsewhere.

So, for this type of cement, you just need

  • Grass
  • Mud
  • Water

Preparation

To start making concrete, you first have to gather some fine mud which is the main ingredient of our cement. Try to find some thick mud, which is full of clay. The best possibility to find such mud is on the banks of lakes and rivers.

Also, you can make your clay. You just have to dig some soil and dust from the ground and add water to accomplish this. If you are planning to use this cement as a mortar, your mud has to be thick. If you are already wondering how to determine whether the mud is thick enough, here is the answer, just try to make balls from the mud, and if it stays in shape, your clay is ready.

Secondly, you have to gather grass or armload. Do not forget that you need old dead grass, because green grass will not work here. For brisk you can use short grass, while for other items, you have to find some long grass. To find such grass will not be a problem because there is plenty of it on the fields.

Making survival cement

Now, when you have collected those items, you can finally make the cement. Start this process by adding water to the clay. Add water very carefully because you do not want to make cement too wet. Also, for different purposes, you have to put different amounts of water. For example, if you are going to make bricks, you can use more water, while for mortars, the cement should be thicker, so use small amounts of water. Clean up the mess afterwards – use a straw broom.

When you have poured enough water, the next step is putting together the clay and grass. The easiest way to do this is to blend them on the ground on a tarp. Just put about half of the grass on a tarp, set the clay on it, and blend it with your legs. If you do not want your legs to get dirty, put the corner of the tarp on the top of the mud, and then start mixing.

Here is the video which will help you to understand how to do it:

When you have mixed enough grass and clay, you can make some test bricks and see whether you need more water or grass. However, be careful with adding grass because too much of it may make your cement falling apart. If everything is okay, you have finished the product. So, this was the process of preparing the survival cement.

Now we will tell you more tips about other ways to make cement and concrete.

Cement Mix

If you do not find it appropriate to build stuff with Medieval methods, the cement mix can be a good choice. Making concrete this way is an easy task because you have to go to a local store with a construction section and choose fine powder.

However, even such an easy task can have some tricky issues. The first issue that you will face is the choice. Because nowadays we have a large variety of different cement and concrete mixes from different concrete companies. The best option would be to buy a fast-setting mix or a regular one because these two types of cement can fit any construction project and are very flexible.

However, if you need thicker cement for your current construction project, you should buy a mix with aggregates. An aggregate is a sand and gravel or other row materials, making the cement and concrete stronger and durable.

Also, if you have bought a mixture without an aggregate, you can easily buy any aggregates of sand and gravel at landscape stores.

After you have bought the mix, there are still a few issues to be addressed. These fabrics-made cement mixes are very messy and also dangerous. Therefore you have to take some precautionary measures before working with them. First, you have to put on gloves because this сement should not touch your skin.

Needs consideration

Don’t forget to wear glasses and a face mask! Cement powder is so fine it can go through a sieve capable of holding water. If such fine powder gets in your eyes, it may hurt them, affecting your vision. You may also inhale too much dust and injure your lungs. But as long as you’re cautious and wear face protection, you’ll be fine working with cement.

Now, when you take all the precautionary measures, you can finally start preparing cement. Firstly, you have to open the bag of cement. It can be easily done by stabbing the opener with a knife (ceramic will do) or a blade. Next, take a wheelbarrow or a bucket and fill it with cement. Try not to shake the bag as you go – cement is too dusty.

Once you fill the bucket with powder, you can pour water into it. Use a garden hose or some bottle to pour the water. Start with adding about 4 liters of water. It is better to add small amounts because if you need more, you can do it easily.

If you fill cement with too much water, there is no going back – the whole thing is going to be wasted.

During the next step, you have to mix the powder and water, use your shovel to stir the water into the cement. Mix them until no powder is left, and you get a wet substance that feels like thin putty.

If your cement does not contain sand, you can add it after you mixed it with water. Add 4 full shovels of sand to the mixture and mix it until you cannot see any send fractions. The ideal ratio of cement, sand, and water is 133.

Homemade Cement: A Detailed Instruction

In the previous part of this article, we talked about factory-manufactured cement powder. But now we will tell you how to make cement powder with your own hands from raw materials! This task is more difficult than buying concrete mix at the store and making survival cement harder, but believe me. The result is worth it.

1. Preparation

The process of cement making starts with collecting raw materials, mainly limestone. You can easily identify the limestone because limestone is a very soft rock, and you can scratch its surface. You can easily find this rock at a riverbed, but you can easily buy it at garden centers or landscape stores if you do not have any near your house.

When you collect or buy the limestone, you have to break rocks into small pieces. You can easily do it by stabbing the limestone with your shovel. The smaller fractions of the limestone you will get, the faster will be the process of heating. Your aim should be to break the limestone into small rocks with a maximum size of about 2 inches.

2. Making your cement

After breaking all the limestone to make cement, you must cook it in a kiln under heat. You have to set the kiln for the temperature of up to 900. The temperature in the kiln is produced from burning the fuel. The better fuel is, the higher the temperature in the kiln. The faster clinker will be prepared. Put the limestone in for 5 hours to bake.

IMPORTANT:

  • Remember that kiln is very dangerous and extremely hot, so use gloves. Also, you have to use a respirator because the materials in the kiln can be driven off from the kiln to the air in the form of gases.

When the 5 hours pass, you can take the limestone out of a kiln. Set it on a flat surface and let the limestone cool off. Also, the baked limestone is called quicklime. It should come out of the kiln in the form of small balls which look like sand.

After your quicklime has cooled off, you can crumble it into the fine powder. You can do it simply with your hands. The fine powder that you have made from the limestone would be the main part of your cement.

You should pour water, sand, iron ore, oyster shells, gravel, and other materials into the powder to have the finished product in the form of usual cement.

So, now you know how to make cement, as you can see, it is a relatively easy task.

Conclusion

Making your cement is a crucial skill that any prepper should master. After all, as you can see from the information above, it only takes sand, water, ground limestone, some time, and effort. With cement of your own, you can fortify your bug-out shelter, fill in cracks around your house, etc.

While you can always purchase a finished product from a factory cement manufacturer, any prepper will tell you that you never know what to expect from tomorrow. If you find yourself in a situation where the world as you know it no longer exists, you will need to know how to take care of yourself. DIY cement making is one of those skills you will be glad you have.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is portland cement?

Generally speaking, portland cement is the common name for the ordinary cement made on the cement plant. It consists of silica, calcium compounds, and alumina oxide. These ingredients are crushed into a cement kiln and mixed under heat with clay, iron ore, sand, gravel, stone, lime, gypsum, and other raw materials to create portland cement. Also, the production of portland cement is passed on the substance called clinker with bits of gypsum and other chemical materials with some trapped air.

How to make mortar from the cement?

To make mortar mix from cement and other raw materials is not a hard process. To do it, you just have to buy cement appropriate for your construction projects and pour water, sand, stone, and lime. As a result, you will get a mortar that will look like a wet substance.

Is the cement mixed at the cement plant is better than homemade cement?

In general, cement mixed at home could be the same quality as portland cement from fabrics. However, ready mix concrete companies have more experience mixing cement to manufacture great cement with better consistency. However, buying cement is not the only way of obtaining quality cement. If you practiced long enough sooner than later, your cement would be as great as fabrics.

Author

A former USA Army sergeant and a highly educated survivalist and prepper with a degree and interest in Engineering and Electronics, Mike Millerson applies his extensive expertise in survivalism, homesteading, backpacking, hiking and hunting, spreading his deep knowledge about handling emergencies and prepping for them reasonably and effectively.

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