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June 7, 2006 7:35 AM CDT

Making Mixing Efficient and Exact


Mix-n-Master from Buddy Equipment
Mix-n-Master from Buddy Equipment

Technology has come a long way to increase the efficiency of masonry construction sites. Telehandlers help to reach areas unreachable by other means, scaffolding and platforms can tackle almost any situation, and saw blades sport the latest diamond technology. The one area that has lacked these advances has been in the on-site mortar and grout mixing arena - that is, until now.

For those wishing to purchase their own bagged materials and mix on site, the Mix-n-Master from Buddy Equipment will provide a revolutionary way to add efficiency, consistency and control to the process.

"The Mix-n-Master gives the mason contractor the ability to control something that he's always dreamed about controlling - consistent mortar and grout," said Jim Swisher, president and owner of Buddy Equipment. "This is kind of like the 'missing link' on the job site."

Made in the United States, The Mix-n-Master is a silo system for use on almost any masonry construction job site. The beauty of the product is that it's a volumetric dispenser, specifically made to create a perfect 3:1 ratio mix every time. The system consists of a 108-cubic-foot sand silo, a rotating hopper that holds six cubic feet of sand, a water system that can be set to release a precise amount when the lever is pulled, and an optional hydraulic arm to assist the laborer in lifting the bagged material to the mixer. The lever is pulled and, for instance, 8-1/2 gallons of water goes into the mixer. The laborer turns the hopper wheel 3-1/2 turns, and six cubic feet of sand pours in the mixer. Then the bagged material is added.

Mix-n-Master from Buddy Equipment
Mix-n-Master from Buddy Equipment

"There's no guesswork, no hesitation, and no eyeballing the load to see if you have enough or not," Swisher said. "You've gotten rid of all that uncertainty, all that estimating, and you're no longer relying on the guy that's mixing to use his best judgment on how much water he's put in there. Every batch is exactly the same."

Another advantage is keeping the color consistent for the entire job.

"When you're working with colors, the amount of water from batch to batch is critical," Swisher said. "If the water varies, when the mix cures, the color is going to vary. Most of the architects ask for a certain color, and they want that color from one side of the building to the other. They don't want to see variations."

The Mix-n-Master is also ready for those contractors on the go. Weighing in at 2,800 pounds, the entire system is 8'x8'x8' when the legs are retracted, so it will easily fit on most trailers. It's also quick to set up and tear down with a telehandler, with only 15 minutes needed to go from the trailer to operational, and vice versa.

"The benefits of this Mix-n-Master are multifaceted," Swisher said. "For the mason contractor, it's money in his pocket because he's able to purchase locally supplied materials, and doing the blending on the job site eliminates a lot of waste. He now has uniformity and consistency in his mixes that he didn't have before. The pride the workmen have now because they're delivering the right consistency of mortar every time. And the masons laying the brick and block are loving it because they're getting a great, creamy mix every time."

About the Author

Masonry, the official publication of the Mason Contractors Association of America, covers every aspect of the mason contractor profession - equipment and techniques, building codes and standards, business planning, promoting your business, legal issues and more. Read or subscribe to Masonry magazine at


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