I need to lift around 100-120 buckets of mortar to level the surface of two slabs (around 20 square meters).

Besides raising each bucket pulling a rope up, is there any other (EASY) way of doing that? I have a pulley but I have nowhere to anchor it. Here are some schematics of the area:

Back side (lower, but harded to bring the buckets all the way around it). back side

Front side (higher, but easier to mix the cement right in front of it). front side

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    With 20 square meters and 100 buckets it's ten buckets per square meter. That's quite a lot of mortar and the layer will be rather thick. You could perhaps save a lot of weight by either lightening the material or by using two layers. One option is that you add expanded clay to your mortar and use the resulting concrete for everything except the upper layer and the upper layer (made of just mortar) can then be like 20 millimeters or something. This will save you a lot of labor - easier to mix, easier to lift, easier to handle. – sharptooth May 27 '15 at 8:12
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    Btw adding expanded clay may well help you save a lot of money on cement. – sharptooth May 27 '15 at 9:11

If you have a pulley and no way to anchor it overhead, you could always lift from the top, with the pulley attached to the bucket. Of course, you'll need to have an anchor for the rope somewhere on the floor you're at, but it only has to be at the height you want to lift the bucket to.

The resulting load will be half of the bucket that you're lifting. If you REALLY don't have anywhere to tie off to, have a buddy hold the other end of the rope.

Obligatory MS Paint diagram:

enter image description here

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  • I think that would work nicely, I just need to figure out a way to make it a bit higher so that I can pull the bucket all the way up and bit away from the wall so that the bucket doesn't drag along it. – Luiz Borges May 26 '15 at 23:25

Lift the dry materials, run a hose for the water, mix in place, avoid having to lift the weight of the water.

The REALLY EASY but rather expensive method - hire a concrete pump truck for the day.

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  • Concrete pump is overkill, and mixing materials up there is bad because of limited space to work. Each slab is 1.5x5.5 meters – Luiz Borges May 26 '15 at 19:27

I had a project some years back building a 28 foot high chimney. Needless to say there was a need to hoist a lot of buckets of mortar and then all the chimney blocks and flue liners up to the work site. I ended up renting some scaffold bracket assemblies that came with a overhanging cross bar with a large pulley hanging on the end of it.

You could try this same approach. The scaffolds can be convenient because they can also serve as a access point to the elevated surface and include a built in ladder.

enter image description here

Units as shown above are easily stacked to the necessary height and can be joined end to end to make a more sturdy working condition.

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