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Unread 09-06-2020, 09:25 AM   #47
cx
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Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Boerne, Texas
Posts: 91,265
Zack, we can't see your mud from over here and can't compare it to Dan's "fluffy" mud. All I can tell you is what you can find in the Shower Construction thread in our Liberry.

You want your mud to be a mixture of five parts sand to one part Portland cement. How you get there is not important. Then you add water enough that you can make a ball of mud that will just hold itself together and no more. You do not want water to squeeze out when you make this ball in your hand.

You place the mud and pack it down. You do not need to beat it into submission, just pack it firmly so it will carve cleanly when you shape it with your straight edge. I use a wood float and a magnesium float to shape and smooth my mud. Some folks like to finish the surface with a steel trowel after shaping.

Not much more we can tell you. The above works. I've never been a full-time mud man, but I've done many jobs and many, many square yards of the stuff and never done any thinking beyond what I just wrote above. It works. No need to do anything any more complicated. If you wanna practice, you can do that with just the sand and no cement, take it out, do it again, rinse and repeat. Then add Portland (but only to dry sand) and make your final mix.

Not rocket surgery. Don't overthink it. Just mix it up, place it, pack it, and shape it.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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