Decorative Concrete Tips: Need a Tool? Make it yourself!

It can be easy to create your own tools when you cannot find a tool that meets your needs for concrete.It happens often: A concrete contractor is faced with a project that requires adaptations to an existing form or tool to shape the concrete during that critical hour before it turns hard.

Here’s a case in point: A six-inch edger was transformed into a customized chamfer tool to provide a clean, straight and more consistent finish on the top edge of retaining walls and precast wall panels.

How, you ask? We’ll let the photos speak for themselves. As you know, most chamfer tools currently on the market are about an inch in length by six inches wide. For the most part, they make a quality finish cumbersome and very timeconsuming.

Construction worker using a handmade tool to finish the edge of a concrete slab.To improve the finish and overall productivity on jobs that require a chamfered edge, Steve Jarred (a former contractor who is now a sales rep for Mason’s Supply) took an old edger, cut off the radius, and spot-welded a piece of custom-shaped steel onto the bottom, about 1⁄4 inch back from one edge. That 1⁄4-inch distance allows the chamfer tool to ride along the edge of the form, guiding the chamfer through the concrete without any heaving of the material. Better yet, the tool leaves little or no edge on the face of the concrete when forms are pulled.

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