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This Old Crack House

From log house to farmhouse. Farmhouse to townhouse. Townhouse to apartment house. Apartment house to crack house. Crack house to our house. Our house to our home.

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Monday, August 22, 2005

The Test Results are In!

Well, today I cracked open the mold for my test pieces. I slapped my diamond grinding pads on the variable speed grinder and poured water on my test slabs, pulled the trigger and ground away. First with the 60 grit, then the 100 grit and finally the 220 grit. The book says to grind with 400 and 600 grit pads too but I just need to see the pieces wet in order to get an idea if what they will look like finished. I then melted the wax strips and forms with a butane torch. I ground the surface a bit more to remove the wax that cooled on the surface, then mixed up a "slurry" with portland cement and black pigment. This was applied over the surface to fill the voids. After the "slurry" had dried a bit I sanded the excess from the surface and wiped it with a wet paper towel to reveal this!



Here are the close-ups.




The colored part that I did on the back surface of one of the test pieces retained the color but was much softer upon grinding and probably would need to cure for a couple more days. Here is what it currently looks like.




So I will go ahead and make my actual pieces based on what I have learned...... This is going to be fun! Sure beats stripping woodwork.

4 Comments:

At 8/22/2005 10:50 AM, Blogger Kristin said...

That looks very cool! Have fun with the real thing. :)

 
At 8/22/2005 4:41 PM, Blogger Greg said...

That looks neat. If I recall, that will be for the bathroom. How much does the one in the kitchen weigh (approx)? Does it have rebar in it? I’m considering doing this in the kitchen. Does it make a big mess?

 
At 8/22/2005 10:37 PM, Blogger Gary said...

Greg,
Concrete weighs about 135 lbs. per cubic foot. If you use bagged concrete you can guess how many bags you need and that is what it will weigh. The kitchen counters are two separate pieces weighing about 200 lbs each. I made them 1.5 inches thick so I didn't use rebar. I used double reinforcement remesh instead. I will do the same for the bathroom counter. Polishing the pieces is messy. I do it in the front yard or on the porch otherwise the only mess is the concrete that misses the mold.

 
At 8/24/2005 6:44 PM, Blogger Greg said...

Gary,

I got the die in the mail today. Very generous. I can’t thank you enough. It will be a week or so until I get the chance to play with it, but I wanted to let you know it arrived. If you ever need an old redwood 2X4, I’m your man.

 

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