Mechanical aptitude guides contractor to rethink dry mix preparation

Continuing a show tradition where tradesmen spring the best new mousetraps for batching, mixing, placing or finishing concrete, northern California general contractor Stephen Steele arrived at World of Concrete 2021 with a mechanical marvel bound to challenge conventional methods for preparing packaged concrete, mortar or grout. 

With wooden handles and a plastic vessel shaped like an elongated, upside down heart, the Steele Mixer offers a fast alternative to powered models or a wheelbarrow and shovel, the latter the bane of small contractors and do-it-yourself concrete practitioners. From a World of Concrete Producer Center booth at the Las Vegas Convention Center, Stephen Steele demonstrated how the unit can thoroughly mix a 40- to 90-lb. bag in less than a minute—free of the grating, “nails on a chalkboard” sound of shovel blade, wet gravel and wheelbarrow converging.

The Steele Mixer is portable, its folding, inverted V stand packing inside the vessel. The mixer can also be delivered with side straps for transporting as a back pack. Space-wise boxes make it ready to ship or stack in a dealer yard or home improvement retail environment. — Steele House Industries, Novato, Calif., 415/845-3127;

A Navy veteran with post-Desert Storm aircraft carrier tours in the Persian Gulf, Stephen Steele added a small center trough to an upside down heart-shaped mixer his great grandfather (background poster) tested in the 1960s. The need for a better mechanical method of handling packaged concrete, realized in the great grandson’s post-service contracting days, spurred tweaks netting the Steele Mixer unveiled at World of Concrete 2021.

Related posts