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Old 07-10-2019, 10:03 PM
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Default Concrete legos?



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Instead of cinderblocks would it make sense to have pre-poured interlocking concrete blocks for building structures? Making the forms should be fairly straightforward. My concern is how to design them so that they're stable when stacked.
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Old 07-10-2019, 10:33 PM
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Back in the day I designed 100# glass blocks that interlocked. The goal was to melt scrap glass ( I was hoping to get $20/ton to haul it off) in a solar parabolic furnace and injection mold the blocks. Proper cooling would require lots of molds. Just the walls for the big house was 1000 tons. I wanted to do pre-stressed glass beams and a glass tile roof. The roof tiles cupped up would be dark, the cupped down ones clear. I would also circulate water to the roof to make hot water, and collect rain.

Half hemispherical bumps top and bottom of the blocks to interlock. 50 year silicone calk to bond the layers and seal the joints.

I wanted to do face glass sheets in Cobalt blue and use the red of gold chloride for the trim.

After the all the blocks were cast I would use the furnace to run a steam engine for power.

There was a fiber re-enforced product that was troweled onto stacked blocks (both sides) that looked promising for cinder/concrete blocks. It was impressive when I saw it many years ago. Proper mortaring bricks and blocks is a skill compared to just stacking.

I might try a sand bag construction with stucco over top. If I do anything these days then the blocks/bags aren't going over 50# apiece. Getting to old for heavy work.

I think they burnt or threw out most of my designs/plans when they thought I was dying. I gave away a heck of a lot of stuff back then too. Oh well its just stuff and you can't take it all with you.
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Old 07-10-2019, 10:37 PM
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Legos are light concrete is heavy. I can't see it working very well.
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Old 07-10-2019, 10:49 PM
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Legos are light concrete is heavy. I can't see it working very well.
Wow. Now I have a new understanding of all your posts.
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Old 07-10-2019, 10:54 PM
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Originally Posted by AlphaSierraCharlie View Post
Instead of cinderblocks would it make sense to have pre-poured interlocking concrete blocks for building structures? Making the forms should be fairly straightforward. My concern is how to design them so that they're stable when stacked.
They are or used to be made by TXI. I stacked a 20 ft tall wall with them. Worked fairly well. Just had to make sure they stayed square and level as the wall went up. Then you would pour concrete around the perimeter and would be very solid.
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Old 07-11-2019, 07:35 AM
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Originally Posted by AlphaSierraCharlie View Post
Instead of cinderblocks would it make sense to have pre-poured interlocking concrete blocks for building structures? Making the forms should be fairly straightforward. My concern is how to design them so that they're stable when stacked.
They already have those.
There's no real need to make your own.

https://www.bing.com/search?q=interl...FB363C3BC689C8
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Old 07-11-2019, 08:17 AM
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I remember reading an article years ago about a guy who won a contract to build a harbor reinforcement wall somewhere in Alaska using interlocking concrete blocks.
The problem everyone had trying to be competitive in their bid was getting material for their designs all the way there and still stay within the budget.
This guy apparently did it by keeping the blocks within USPS single package weight and having USPS deliver all of the gazillion number of blocks to the harbor site. Of course, something of this scale was not what the Post Office had in mind with their cost structure and it was going to lose them millions.
As I recall the story, the guy won the contract and USPS lost the fight as they hadn't put any restriction in place to prevent something like this.
Cracked me up!

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Old 07-11-2019, 08:45 AM
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Thanks! I was thinking of something similar to this:


https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q...M=VIRE&PC=U316
https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q...5E&FORM=VRRTAP

I was was thinking of something solid, but having the hollow portion isn't really a bad thing. The reason I want to be able to cast the blocks myself is that I won't need a stockpile of concrete blocks to build anything post SHTF, just a stockpile of concrete, which is cheaper and occupied less space.
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Old 07-11-2019, 12:39 PM
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Originally Posted by AlphaSierraCharlie View Post
Thanks! I was thinking of something similar to this:

I was was thinking of something solid, but having the hollow portion isn't really a bad thing. The reason I want to be able to cast the blocks myself is that I won't need a stockpile of concrete blocks to build anything post SHTF, just a stockpile of concrete, which is cheaper and occupied less space.
It would be just about as easy to pour solid walls as it would be to pour lots of blocks and then stack them.
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Old 07-11-2019, 02:11 PM
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I'm sure someone has made modular interlocking stackable blocks, the idea is too basic to not have been thought of before.

When it comes to building products or materials there is a balance between simplicity and specialization. Modifying the CMU design to be like a lego might seem like a great idea, but it removes it from a wide array of uses. CMU is usually used for shear bracing, so a lego type wall couldn't work, it would have to be grouted, and at that point just use a CMU. Fire walls, bearing walls, bond beams, steel reinforcing, production cost, water proofing, soil pressures, availability, UL testing... All stuff that a specialized product would have to contend with and still show a benefit. Interlocking stacking block just isn't enough to change the traditional CMU block.
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Old 07-11-2019, 06:45 PM
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You mean like these?

http://cabragheng.com/products/lego-...-block-moulds/
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Old 07-11-2019, 08:12 PM
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Yes! But small enough for a single person to move.
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Old 07-11-2019, 08:24 PM
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Originally Posted by ~Black.Dog~ View Post
I remember reading an article years ago about a guy who won a contract to build a harbor reinforcement wall somewhere in Alaska using interlocking concrete blocks.
The problem everyone had trying to be competitive in their bid was getting material for their designs all the way there and still stay within the budget.
This guy apparently did it by keeping the blocks within USPS single package weight and having USPS deliver all of the gazillion number of blocks to the harbor site. Of course, something of this scale was not what the Post Office had in mind with their cost structure and it was going to lose them millions.
As I recall the story, the guy won the contract and USPS lost the fight as they hadn't put any restriction in place to prevent something like this.
Cracked me up!

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Probally an urban legend- , but there is a service in AK called bypass mail where you give you package to an air freight company, but you pay as if it were mailed in the lower 48 (USPS funds the delta.)

We estimate concrete at $1000 a yard, assuming we are flying supersacks out in a DC-3- doubt you could beat that. Large projects are barraged in, and are much cheaper, but you may have a once a year shot at a barge.
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Old 07-11-2019, 08:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Snyper708 View Post
They already have those.
There's no real need to make your own.

https://www.bing.com/search?q=interl...FB363C3BC689C8
So there are nice interlocking blocks with a decorative finish that cost several times the cost of the concrete, and there are bunker block, where the batch plant pours out the old and out of spec concrete. These are cheap but look like crap. Often used for building bunkers ( bunker silos, or sand/landscape material storage)

Transport costs with both.
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Old 07-11-2019, 09:52 PM
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Originally Posted by AlphaSierraCharlie View Post
Instead of cinderblocks would it make sense to have pre-poured interlocking concrete blocks for building structures? Making the forms should be fairly straightforward. My concern is how to design them so that they're stable when stacked.
Sounds like a fun project. What about more of a brick style, than block? Yes, the forms could be made from just oiled scrap wood. Oiled wood inserts for the bases of your forms, and maybe some kind of cap form with openings to make your interlocks. Half sized brick could be formed as well.
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Old 07-12-2019, 02:13 PM
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Exactly what I'm thinking
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Old 07-12-2019, 02:41 PM
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the batch plants around here pour one yard volume blocks with a triangular crease on the bottom and a corresponding ridge on the top they fit them together to create material bunkers, I've seen them used to block access routes. I always thought their thermal mass would keep from having to heat till December or January, in these parts.
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Old 07-12-2019, 06:59 PM
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Exactly what I'm thinking
Just a couple more thoughts. Should you leave some space, in the interlocks for mortar? I would think yes, stronger joint, and for alinement of the brick, with the wall.

The addition of a single piece of wet/damp news paper to the bottom insert board of the mold, should greatly help with release of the brick.
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Old 07-12-2019, 07:21 PM
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Just a couple more thoughts. Should you leave some space, in the interlocks for mortar? I would think yes, stronger joint, and for alinement of the brick, with the wall.

The addition of a single piece of wet/damp news paper to the bottom insert board of the mold, should greatly help with release of the brick.
Depends on the size of the block- mortar is useless at some point in size- I’d think grout or glue, combined with interlocking design.

If you cast these on site, you have probally figured out the most expensive way to build a wall. Bunker blocks are cheap because the concrete is scrap. Retaining wall blocks are at least shipped by semi, not concrete truck.

And it will be hell putting doors and windows in.

If you want to cast on site. Make up a set of forms that will take 4 yds of concrete- ie 9’ high, , 8” thick , 18’ long. Pour each section, strip the forms, move and set up again. Put a 2x4 key in each end to ensure bonding ( along with rebar). You will need a trailer pump, or a bobcat to pour these., but you needed something to move your concrete legos as well.

If you were assuming legos the size of conventional block, it’s a bad idea, and probally won’t pass inspection- and would cost a fortune to lay with a mortar bed. Making the block wall, inserting rebar and filling the cells with concrete will be far stronger ( but concrete needs to be poured in lifts- which is actually easier in most cases.)

I saw you post where you wanted to store concrete. Remember the cement in concrete will go bad with humidity. Best you could do is store cement in drums and sand and gravel in piles. But a nice pile of Block would be easier.
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Old 07-12-2019, 10:44 PM
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Preferably mortar would be optional, in case something needs to erected in a hurry or temporarily.
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