How to Make a Concrete Bull Float fast and cheap


diy make bull floatIf you need to lay a quick concrete base for your shed, spa hot tub, or a concrete pathway you will need a bull float. Now you may not be keen to spend the money or have the time to buy/rent a Professional Bull Float. You can achieve the same result by making your own Bull float. To make a Concrete Bull float you will need the following items

DIY Making A Concrete Bull Float Items:

  • 150mm x 20mm length of timber – This is the actual base bull float.
  • A Length of 75mm x 50mm timber or similar size as the handle can be smaller if needed but not too small as to introduce flex.
  • 2 lengths of support timber 20mm x 45mm any offcuts will do
  • Optional extra – Router to round all edges of the Bull Float base to give a better finish and to stop it from catching when pushing and pulling.
  • Some small wood screws to hold it all together.

Make a Concrete Bull Float Procedure

Cut the 150mm x 20mm timber to the desired length or leave it as is. If your concrete path is 100cm cut your float to 95cmm so you don’t ride unto the formwork. Cut angles onto the handle and supports so they are able to be screwed together tightly. You can use wood glue if you plan to keep the wood bull float for a while.

Use a router to bevel all 4 sides of the wooden bull float round. This helps the float not to catch and will give a better finish.

If you take pride in your work, finish it off with a coat of Dulux solar guard paint.

Congratulations you have now made a Bull Float that will give you the same finish as a ready-made Magnesium Concrete Bull Float.

diy make a concrete bull float wood

If you don’t want to make your own, check out these great value Aluminium and Magnesium bull floats that will make your slab as smooth as a baby’s bottom.

How to use a Bull Float

Using a bull float is the same principle no matter what type you use. Be it metal, aluminum, fiberglass, or magnesium. Take your time and start after it has been screened off.

Screening is the process of removing extra concrete cement material using a plank of wood usually 2×4. This plank is pushed and pulled side to side to get the first base level so that your finishing float can glide easily.

Always have that angle when pushing or pulling so you don’t catch the cement and scratch the finish. Check out the video for finishing bull float cement tips.

Don’t work the concrete too much as the bull float will bring a lot of water to the surface. The downside to this is the concrete will get powdery on the surface when it dries and will be prone to cracking.

Remember to do the edges with a Marshalltown edging trowel, and after a few hours, you can now finish off your slab with a hand trowel.

If it is a very hot day, try to keep the concrete slab moist. This will slow down the drying process and actually make your slab stronger. Cover the slab with plastic or a hessian sack, and spray with water on a fine mist over the next few days. Your slab will be strong after 7 days.

Concrete actually gets stronger as it ages, keep it damp every few days for a month and you will achieve maximum MPA strength.

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