The initial set occurs within an hour or two of mixing (depending on the accelerators or retarders), and prevents any further handling or placement.

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They said only licensed contractors are allowed to buy "that kind of plaster". This page describes a big do-it-yourself project I (and my family) undertook to refurbish our swimming pool in Palm Beach County, Florida USA.

Less the benefit of teaching my children how to do the hardest kinds of physical labor.

For the Gillmore test, you apply a pin of 1/12 inch diameter weighing 1/4 lb, which will not indent the pat when the initial set has occured, and likewise 1/24 inch and 1 lb when the final set has occured.

The pin pressures are 46 psi and 733 psi respectively.

Based on estimates from contractors, the expense to have all this work contracted would have been about $25,000 (with perhaps $5 to $7 thousand for just the plastering). (Well, "first" if you don't count that one batch of plaster we had to throw out.) By the end I felt like an accomplished novice, which is someone who thinks, "next time I'll know how to do this right." But I also harbor some perfectionism in my attitudes, and I know that on this job my best efforts were working better, by the end, than lots of contracted jobs I've seen since.

For a red-blooded guy who does his own oil changes, what else could I do? That's as much due to the diligence of the homeowner's self-motivation, which is his unique advantage over the tedium of labor, as it is to newly acquired skill.The hydration and consequent setting of portland cement is a very complex chain of chemical reactions, which is why the full strength takes many days to develop, and why accelerators and retarders can have profound effects.Your placement and troweling techniques will be better if you understand how portland cement paste hardens with an "initial set" and a "final set".This is a stiffening that happens soon after mixing or placement.For example, a bucket of wet plaster will take a false set in a matter of minutes of sitting undisturbed.And thus on and off, from October 2000 to October 2001, it happened. The application crew, well-trained after a few sessions. Once you realize that plaster as a building material is still used in less-developed countries, you understand that perhaps this is a good thing for your concerns.