How to Make a Concrete Mixer From a Plastic Barrel

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A concrete mixer can be expensive, especially if you only plan to use it once or on occasion. Instead, you can make your own from a plastic barrel. Start off with a standard 32-gallon trash barrel for a do-it-yourself concrete mixer. Adjust the plans based on the materials that you have available or you can visit your local hardware store.


Make your own concrete mixer with a plastic barrel.

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Things You'll Need

  • Box, 3-Inch Coated Wood Screws

  • Pencil

  • 6 Caster Wheels, 2-Inch, With Screws

  • Compass

  • Exterior Spray Paint

  • 2 Plywood Panels, 3/4X32X28 Inches

  • Jig Saw

  • 32-Gallon Plastic Trash Barrel

  • 4 Boards, 2X4X24 Inches

  • Screw Gun

  • 4 Boards, 2X4X28 Inches

  • 1/2-Inch Drill Bit

  • Flexible Curve Ruler

  • Drill

Step 1

Place the lid of the trash barrel on a work surface. Draw an 18-inch diameter circle in the center of the lid with a compass.


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Step 2

Drill a 1/2-inch hole through the center of the lid. Cut out the circle from the center of the lid with a jig saw. Use the 1/2-inch hole to allow the blade to access the center of the lid to begin the cut.

Step 3

Place the plywood panels on a work surface. Draw a half circle with a diameter of 26 inches on one 32-inch edge of each panel. Use the flexible ruler to achieve an even half-circle. The barrel will rest on it.


Step 4

Cut out the half-circle from each plywood panel using a jig saw.

Step 5

Fasten one caster in the center of the half-circle edge and one approximately 2 inches from each end on each panel. This will allow the barrel to roll while resting on the edges of the panels.


Step 6

Place the panels parallel to each other with the half-circle edge facing upwards approximately 28 inches apart. Place one 2x4x28-inch board between the bottom edge on each side of the panels.

Step 7

Fasten the bottom panels to the ends of the boards using three-inch coated screws. Use two screws per joint.


Step 8

Align one 2x4x28-inch board between the top edge of each side of the plywood panel. Fasten the boards to the panels in the same manner as the bottom boards where fastened. This will create a wooden frame for the barrel to spin on horizontally.

Step 9

Insert the 2x4x24-inch boards into the barrel. Space them out evenly with the 2-inch edge against the inside of the barrel. These are the paddles of the mixer. Screw from the outside of the barrel into the edges of the paddles to fasten them in place. The bottom edge of the boards should rest on the bottom of the barrel. Space the screws every 3 inches.


Step 10

Place the barrel onto the frame. The barrel will sit on the casters. Snap the lid in place. To operate the mixer, spin the barrel by hand on the casters.

Step 11

Apply an exterior finish to the mixer. Allow the finish to dry.


Place the mixer close to your work area prior to mixing concrete. Wash the mixer thoroughly after each use.


Wear eye protection when operating power tools.


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