Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Moons, faces, totem pole

 Experiments using various 3:1 mixtures of cellulose insulation (paper), peat moss, and sand with Portland cement -- three parts aggregate to one part cement -- with sundry ingredients added (builder's lime, joint compound, asphalt emulsion). Trying for a more malleable, clay-like "concrete" formula.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Vent re-do for latex cement skirting

This section of latex cement skirting completed back in 2009 is holding up well, but I never liked the vents I improvised. This was my first attempt at making skirting from latex cement, and I didn't anticipate the problems I'd have attaching vents. The vinyl vents always looked cheesy, and they weren't holding up well in the harsh South Carolina sun. I had the idea of making "coffee can" vents as described in my post back in 2013, attaching them over the vent holes and adding a thick layer of latex cement "stucco" over this section of skirting.

Small latex cement panels with coffee can vents. Will attach hardware cloth behind screened vent holes. Material can still be cut to size with scissors.

Panel attached to latex cement skirting with construction adhesive and sheet metal screws, which is what I had on hand. The little bolt in the center of the vent hole will hold a plastic coffee can lid, which will serve as a vent cover this winter. Wind blows hard from that direction.

Finished section with new vents and "stucco" coating looks 100% better.

Plastic coffee can lid vent cover.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Sidewalk finally completed

 The sidewalk is finally completed. Did it take two years? Maybe more. It is a series of concrete slabs with stones and shells embedded on either side. As you can see, I'm still working on the concrete "tree/totem poles" that grace either side of the patio. A friend offered some wood from a deck he had taken down, which turned out to be a great way to finish the project. The curved forms were made from sheet metal roofing taken from the mobile home we disassembled at few years back.

 There are some faces modeled in mortar on either side of one section of sidewalk. Below is also a moon modeled in mortar, using a newer, better formula for making concrete clay.
Forms made from sheet metal strips.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Rustic Post With Hanging Sign 1

The sign, shown in an earlier post, was made over a piece of Styrofoam insulation wrapped in chicken wire. (The totem pole in background next to pump house is made of papercrete over a 4x4 post wrapped in hardware cloth.) My mortar for the sign was made with vermiculite rather than sand to keep the weight down (3 - 1 vermiculite to cement with a touch of builder's lime). The sign post was cut from a discarded chain link fence gate, cemented into the ground, wrapped with hardware cloth, then wrapped again with burlap-crete strips. Unfortunately, there is no photo of the wrapped armature. Pipes from discarded gates make for flimsy armatures, and I probably won't use such again. However, it is holding up at this point.  Another lesson learned involves using the coarse sand sold as all-purpose sand by Lowes. The coarse grain is obvious and bothers me a bit. I've got to find a source for small (fifty pound) quantities of finer sand. In keeping with my usual pattern, I've moved on to another project prior to finishing this one. I will post photos of the finished project.