Sunday, March 19, 2017

Refurbishing the Pool 4

We thought about replacing the concrete pavers that formed the little patio around the pool with a wooden deck, but it was cost prohibitive. So we're recycling the pavers, but having to buy quite a few more because we're covering more ground this time. We're digging a fire pit in the back field, and moving the dirt to pool side to level the ground for the patio. Thankfully there is a lot of clay in the soil. We're using a tamper to pack the soil prior to placing the pavers. So far, each part of this refurbishing project has been "the hardest part."

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Refurbishing the Pool 3

I found this old image of our little pool in its most decrepit state, long after a raccoon had decimated our population of giant goldfish. Below is one of the pool when it is almost ready to plaster.
I used an angle grinder to remove the Drylok Sealer. It was a awful, dusty job but neither paint remover nor the little sandblasting tool worked well enough.
I am currently plastering with a mix of one part Portland cement to two parts Quikrete Play Sand. I'm wetting it with one part water, one part Pro Select Concrete Bonding Adhesive and Acrylic Fortifier -- all purchased at Lowes.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Refurbishing the Pool 2

So I have to remove the sealer I used to waterproof the pool and make repairs to a few blocks. The little sandblaster works somewhat, but so slowly. Paint remover also works. But nothing cleans these blocks like an angle grinder.
It's a nasty job, though.
The idea is to remove the sealer, make repairs, and probably plaster the pool, though the beautiful blue sealer I originally used held up for many years. I painted that sealer over the raw blocks with no plaster or primer and had no leaks for at least ten years. Even now the bottom of the pool, where the sealer is intact, holds water.
There is a lot of grinding yet to do.
Tedious and incredibly dusty work.

Refurbishing the Pool 1

 So...the little swimming pool was cool when I built it for my bride almost twenty years ago.
About five feet wide by nine feet by long by four and half feet deep – a rectangular hole at the bottom of which I poured a slab. Then I lined the hole with cement blocks and painted it all with a waterproof sealer. It held water, which felt like a great victory for me.
My dear ol’ dad had built a small pool for my sister and me many years prior. He used ferrocement – a better idea – but I knew nothing of ferrocement when I built my pool.
The pool had a pump that circulated the water into a spillway that, when you stood beneath it, gave a nice massage but, alas, she wanted a bigger pool. And when we installed a big above ground pool, we turned my homemade one into a fish pond.
The goldfish came from Walmart. They were tiny, but they thrived and, over the years, grew into giants.
Then came raccoons, who gobbled them up.
And that was that.
The pool became a puddle of muck after that.
But I’ve decided to resurrect it.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Outdoor Shower 3

Burlap-crete shower finally completed.

Concrete stepping stones & river rock.

Showing solar water heater.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

My $100 Rust-Oleum Paint Job


My Rust-Oleum paint job -- Flat Black and Safety Red.
Because if you're going to paint your car with Rust-Oleum and a paint roller in your dirt driveway in the middle of South Carolina's pollen season, you might as well go two-toned.
This process involves several thin coats of Rust-Oleum diluted (50/50) with mineral spirits and applied with a high density foam roller. I primed after sanding with Rust-Oleum metal and plastic primer diluted the same way (this car is, I swear, 50% plastic). Light and wet sanding with steel wool, a scouring pad, and very fine sandpaper between coats took care of much of the debris and the poor little bugs that could not resist a taste of wet paint. Rust-Oleum requires some drying time, so I generally applied one coat a day over several days -- five coats of red, six of black. Touted as the $50 Rust-Oleum Paint Job on some sites, it probably cost more like $100.
I had damaged this car's paint job with a polish kit that reacted with the clear coat. It took two or three years for most of the shine to flake off, exposing the paint to oxidation. This vehicle looked pitiful, and I had little to lose by experimenting. 
After a little touching up with a foam brush, I'm pleased with the result.
Next Rust-Oleum project will involve the hood of my beautiful 1994 Ford Ranger. I promise a step by step of that one.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Low Rent Mortar Sprayer #2

My very simple and inexpensive home made mortar sprayer has served me well until lately, when it started clogging every few minutes. I thinned my mortar mix a little and hosed my sprayer out, but every few minutes I'd have to stop. My theory is that sand has scarred the soft PVC plastic or copper nozzle enough to catch a little mortar and make it accumulate there. Or maybe it was the latex cement I sprayed that makes the mortar stick. Regardless, I had to replace my sprayer, and wanted to do it in a way I could duplicate easily.

As before, I started with a 1-1/4" male threaded cap and a 1-1/2 to 1-1/4 female threaded bushing, I also used a gnarled adapter for my air gun, and a small copper nozzle.

The nozzle and spray hole in the cap need to line up, which can be a little tricky on a rounded piece. I drilled just above the ridge at the bottom of the cap, using the small bit (9/32) first, and drilled all the way through the fitting so I had a hole front and back. Then I enlarged one hole, the spray hole, with a bigger bit (7/16).

I used a Dremel tool to cut the tip off the nozzle, which was too long and didn't allow for enough space between the nozzle tip and the spray hole. I thought I might have cut it too short, but the sprayer works fine.  I sanded the rough nozzle tip and buffed it smooth with the Dremel.

I used the Dremel to cut the ridge off just below the nozzle hole so the gnarled adapter, air gun, etc, will fit and turn freely to tighten. Then I sanded and buffed the area clean

The PVC fitting is too thick. the threads of the nozzle barely go through to the other side, and the gnarled adapter can't grab them. I sanded the inside of the fitting with the Dremel tool a little just around the nozzle hole to thin the plastic a bit, and buffed it smooth.

Here is the fitting with the nozzle and gnarled adapter attached.

The bushing screws onto the cap tight against the gnarled adapter to help hold it in place. The hopper is a gallon jug with the bottom cut out.  The cap threads of the jug don't exactly match those of the bushing.  I've used a large Clorox bottle successfully. A little electrical tape around the cap threads helps hold it tight. I've not had any trouble with the hopper coming loose. Inevitably mortar seeps in and holds everything tight.