Retaining wall blocks are a great way to add a unique look to your landscape. They are also very durable and can last for years with proper care. However, they do require special molds when they are first made. This is because the walls need to be cut into different sizes and shapes so that they fit together properly.
Retaining walls are an essential part of any landscaping project. They keep soil in place, making sloped yards more usable and attractive. But have you ever wondered where these retaining wall blocks come from? As it turns out, they can be made by hand! A few simple tools and materials are all that’s needed to create your own custom molds for making these landscaping must-haves. Here’s what you’ll need:
Gather the materials.
- You will need:
- A form made from plywood, 1/2″ thick and at least 6″ wide by 30″ long.
- Two pieces of 2 x 4 lumber to make the footings for the form. The length must be at least 3″ greater than the length of your form (for example, if your form is 30″, then you would use two 36″-long pieces).
- One piece of pressure-treated plywood or other suitable material for your mold box—8′ x 8′ is a good size and will allow you to make a variety of retaining wall blocks in one session. Be sure that this material can withstand prolonged exposure to moisture such as rain or snow melt during construction season!
- You may also want some extra materials on hand:
- Wood glue or another adhesive (if mixing concrete by hand)
Find a large flat surface.
- Find a large flat surface.
You will need to work on a smooth, level surface for this project. Ideally, you will use a concrete slab as your mold making platform, but any other type of solid flooring is acceptable, including wood surfaces such as unfinished or sealed concrete floors or tile floors (just make sure to check with the manufacturer’s instructions for applying sealer prior to pouring). If you have access to one of these types of floors, great! But if not then don’t worry; we’ll be working with a garage floor that has been recently installed in this tutorial video: https://www.youtube….
Prepare the molding surface.
Before you can make your retaining wall blocks, you need to prepare the molding surface. You’ll want to make sure that the surface is flat and large enough for the size of your block molds.
A level surface will help ensure that all of your blocks come out uniform in size, so it’s important to use a board or plank that’s cut from lumber that has been flattened by being sanded or planed down to be perfectly flat. You also don’t want any debris or moisture on this surface since these things could cause irregularities in how your block molds turn out.
Pour the cement onto the molding surface.
When you’re ready to pour the cement onto the molding surface, use a long-handled shovel or trowel. Add the cement slowly and carefully in order to avoid making any messes. Add it from the bottom up, so that it fills in any gaps at the bottom of your molds.
Once enough cement has been added to cover most of your molding surface, check that level with a ruler or straight edge. If necessary, add more until every part is covered and level with one another (or even slightly higher).
Smooth and level out the cement.
Smooth and level out the cement. Use a trowel to smooth and level out the wet cement as soon as you are done laying it down. Wait until it is completely dry before adding another layer of concrete, but don’t wait too long: if you let the cement sit for too long, it will dry into an uneven surface and make it difficult to level again. You can also use a hose to spray water over your wall after about 10 minutes, which will help even out all of your textures on top of each other.
If your walls are still bumpy or have gaps between them after you’ve smoothed down all three layers of concrete with a trowel (or whatever method works best for you), there’s no need to worry! You can fill in these gaps by using bits leftover from making molds. Make sure they’re heavier than regular concrete mix so they’ll stay put when they set up!
Add holes for drainage and reinforcement wires.
Now that you have the mold ready, it’s time to add holes for drainage and reinforcement wires.
- Use a drill or hammer and chisel to make openings in your retaining wall block mold. The holes should be large enough to allow rainwater to drain through, but not so big that they compromise the structural integrity of your retaining wall block mold by allowing water to seep into it from beneath.
- Make sure that all of your holes are evenly spaced along the sides and bottom of each retaining wall block section before pouring concrete into them.
- Finally, use an angle grinder or grinding bit on an angle grinder (these are often used for cutting concrete) in order cut out deeper sections at key points along the inside face of each section before pouring in concrete so that reinforcement wires can be embedded within those areas while still allowing full access between each piece’s front face with no obstructions.
Remove seams from corners. Section: Allow block to cure for a week or more depending on your situation, and then remove it from the molding surface. Takeaway: Making your own retaining wall block molds will help you keep costs down in your landscape project
When you have completed the mold, you will need to remove it from the surface. This can be accomplished by using a hammer and chisel to remove the molding surface. A drill is also useful at this point because it makes removing reinforcement wires much easier than by hand. Finally, use a grinder to remove any remaining cement from inside of your block molds.
I hope this guide has given you some ideas on how to make your own retaining wall block molds. Remember, the whole process can be as quick or as slow as you want it to be. You can even use pre-made blocks if you want something quicker but still professional looking! Just keep in mind that there may be additional costs involved with using those type of molds instead so consider all options before making any decisions on which route is right for you and your project needs.