CSA Aircrete Lightweight Concrete Garden Boxes – PART 3.7

Make your own CSA aircrete lightweight concrete raised garden beds! This is PART 3.7, showing options to make your garden boxes from CSA Air Crete.  You can build these forms and cast your own 48″, 36″, or 24″ reinforced lightweight concrete panels that link together to make long lasting and durable concrete garden boxes. #aircrete

Here is the weight of 3 cured panels made from regular concrete: . 48″ – 69lbs, 36″ – 50lbs, 24″ – 33lbs.

See the Youtube Video and download the Plans.

Background for the Cast CSA AIrcrete Garden Box Project – PART 3.7 #aircrete

Hi, its Kent from MAN about TOOLS and this is yet another follow up to Part 3 of my series on making garden box panels from lightweight concrete. And this time I’ll make aircrete using CSA cement.

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This is part 3.7 of my series on casting your own reinforced concrete garden box panels. As you may have seen, these panels link together to make rot proof long lasting garden boxes.
In Part 3.6 I reworked my aircrete blend and the results were really good. Many viewers wanted to know if you could make aircrete from CSA cement. So this video is about doing just that.

Introduction to the plan to try and make aircrete with CSA cementall
Lightweight Concrete CSA Aircrete Garden Boxes

If you haven’t seen part 1 and 2 of this series then you might get more from this video if you watch them first as I won’t be covering all the steps needed to make the forms and prep them for casting. See the link in the upper right or in the description below.
I’ll be using the plywood forms I built in part 1 of the series. These forms have a durable and smooth polyurethane coating that seems to work well with aircrete.

CSA Aircrete Ingredients

Okay, here’s how I made the panels.

Ingredients I\'ll use for the CSA Foam concrete panels
Ingredients to make CSA Air crete

The CSA aircrete is made from only a few ingredients: CSA cement, shampoo to create a foam, a little glass fiber for extra strength, and a plasticizer to liquefy the mix. I’ll also add some liquid colour too.

CSA Aircrete Foam Dilution

the foam dilution for the aircrete version
CSA aircrete foam dilution formula

I’ve covered the shampoo dilution steps in other videos so I’ll just do a quick summary here.

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making foam with a screen on a paint mixer drill attachment
Slowly dissolving the shampoo in water with a mixing attachment on a drill

It’s 15 fluid ounces of shampoo to two and a half gallons of water. I stir this with a paint mixer, on a low setting, to dissolve the shampoo in the water. Then I store the dilution in jugs for later use. This Suave Daily Clarifying Shampoo works really well for aircrete.

Suave shampoo makes a great foam
Suave Daily Clarifying Shampoo to make CSA aircrete foam

Honeydo Carpenter’s Foam Mate

To make the foam I’ll be using the large Foam Mate that Darwin from The Honeydo Carpenter sent me. I pour the shampoo dilution in the tank, connect my air hose, and it makes awesome foam.

pouring foam shampoo dilution into the foammate
Filling the Foam Mate tank with shampoo dilution

Link to Darwin’s channel and his Foam Mate .

Foam Mate makes great thick and dense foam
Making aircrete foam with the Foam Mate and an air compressor

I don’t have pure CSA cement so I’ll use a product called Cement All. It has CSA cement mixed with fine sand.

001 CSA Aircrete Concrete Boxes.3357
Rapid Set Cement All bag for CSA Aircrete

CSA Aircrete Formula – 1st Test Batch

I use a digital scale to weigh my ingredients. I use 15 pounds of Cement All, 3 pounds of water, 3/4 of a pound of foam, 1 teaspoon of plasticizer, and a pinch of fiber.

aircrete formula and ingredient blend for this test batch
Formula to make CSA Aircrete

I start by adding a teaspoon of the plasticizer to the water.

adding Cementall to the water
Pour dry Cement All into water

Then slowly add the Cement All to the water while spinning the slurry with a paint mixing attachment on a drill.

adding fiber to the wet cement mix
Adding small amount of glass fiber to CSA cement slurry

I don’t want any clumps or dry cement on the bottom or sides of the pail. I use a dowel to hand stir the mix to prevent this.
I’ll add the glass fibre and mix that in.

adding foam to the pail of wet cement aircrete CSA mix
Adding some foam to CSA cement slurry

Now the slurry is ready for foam. I connect my air hose to the Foam Mate and once it’s flowing well and becomes thick I add some to the slurry pail. I have a mark on my stir stick that approximates the amount of CSA aircrete I need to fill one 36″ form. For a five gallon pail, I need it filled to the 8″ mark as a minimum.

blending well to incorporate the cement mix and foam
Blending foam to CSA cement all slurry

I think on this first batch I added a little too much foam. But I decided to go ahead with it anyways knowing that the density of this first panel would be lighter.

Pouring CSA Foamcrete into Forms

pouring CSA aircrete into a mold
pouring CSA aircrete into a mold

I pour the CSA aircrete into the form, giving it a jiggle to settle the mix into the corners.

Add Wire Mesh for Strength

laying in wire grid for reinforcement
Laying in wire grid to reinforce aircrete

Once it begins to thicken, I lay in a galvanized wire reinforcing grid. Pressing it down so it settles right in the center. Then I smooth the surface with a small trowel.

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