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Topic Review (Newest First)
05-15-2020 04:58 PM
placitassteam EDH, interesting method. I tried to order more ShapeCrete to do the other end of the hotel but found that I can no longer get it. I tried all the sources listed on the manufacturers website with no luck. I emailed the manufacturer and got no response. Instead I tried some vinyl patching cement and it seems to work well even with thin pieces. I think that is what JigStones recommends. It is about 1/4 the price of the ShapeCrete so I dispensed with the corrugated plastic backer and just cast the panels full thickness. That seems to work well. So on to finishing the roofing project.
05-14-2020 06:35 PM
EDHRailroad Wow, finally something I could do with Quinoa!! Seriously, that is some great castings. Maybe a tip for the ridge piece. My dad was a shop teacher and he had a cool way of doing split turnings. Start with a square piece of stock (Glued up as needed) and then Split it in half on the table saw. Put glue on both pieces and put it back together but put a layer of paper towel in between the pieces, he had those thick industrial brown ones. After that dries you chuck it up and do your turning, suggest leaving a square section on each end in case you want to do any saw work. When yer done turning, you hit that seam with a chisel and it will split right open. If you wanted to make a V in the bottom to span the peak, you could make a couple passes on the table saw with the blade set very low and tilted at roof angle. To make it easier to feed, you could attach a scrap board from end to end at the previously mentioned square parts and run that against the fence.

Notes: This method predates Gorilla glue so prolly best to use Elmer's. Also if you are worried about the pieces separating at speed, run a screw thru each end in the part you are leaving square.
04-19-2020 02:53 PM
David Leech Winn,
A lot of work, but well worth it, well done.
David Leech, Delta, Canada
04-19-2020 11:10 AM
Totalwrecker Wow! Way to go! It looks great and I agree with korm, the Old Lady looks great with her new Doo!
04-19-2020 10:36 AM
ddrum31 Looks Good!
04-19-2020 05:59 AM
kormsen it's a pleasure to see this giant model looking decent again.

thank you for the detailed description of the methods used.
they will be helpfull, if i ever come around to build my planned mexican village.
(apart from the "how to cut flesh". i already knew that one)
04-18-2020 05:53 PM
placitassteam Casting tiles part 4

Originally I planned to cast parts the shape and size that were needed for each application. The following are examples of the process.

Making a shortened panel. I installed a dam across the mold and caulked the gap with clay.

The short panel after removing from the mold.

This panel and the original full length panel are enough to span the full length of the upper roof.

This is the original roof showing the warp damage and the intersection of the end roof and the middle roof.

To create the intersection of the end roof and the middle roof I installed this filler in the mold.

This is the resulting panel with a triangular cutout. It is shown with the peak of the ridge-line being cut flat so the ridge cap will fit better. I used a thin masonry blade on my table saw for cutting. More on this below.

I thought it might be easier to cut pieces to the size and shape I needed. I tried cutting one of my original trial pieces with a masonry blade on my angle grinder. It worked well with no cracking or chipping of the concrete.
I found some 7-1/2 X 1/16 inch masonry blades at Harbor Freight that would fit my table saw. They worked well for cutting full panels to the size and shape that I required.

Here is a saw cut panel installed at the vee of the cast roof junction.

I installed aluminum flashing under the valleys between the roof parts.

All the roof panels installed on the upper roof of the south wing.

All the porch roofs were saw cut to size.

I tried to cast concrete ridge tiles in a mold made of molding clay. They proved to be too fragile.
The shape in the lower part of the photo is a wood form that I used to make the mold. I decided to use that for the ridge tiles instead of the concrete.

I turned all the ridge tiles from 5/8 inch dowel with my lathe. The large diameter came out about 7/16.

I then cut off a little less than one half the diameter using the table saw.
A REMINDER!! ACCIDENTS HAPPEN EVEN WHEN YOU THINK YOU ARE BEING CAREFUL! I was pushing the pieces through with 2 push sticks and still managed to slip and cut a inch piece off the side of my left thumb!

A better way to do it is with a band saw. Not quite as accurate but much safer.

Now some photos of the finished roof of the Alvarado.

West face
This doesn't show much difference between the old (left) and the new roof but viewed in person there really is quite a difference.

South end

Porch roof

I will need a couple of more buckets of cement to do the north end of the building. There also a number of details which need some TLC, but this is the end of this article.
04-18-2020 04:59 PM
placitassteam Finally I will continue my description of casting concrete tile for my hotel.

Casting tiles part 3

I will now describe my efforts to make the molding process easier and faster. I had material from MicroMart for making rubber molds so decided to use that.

The mold box that was used in the previous casting was used again. This time the plastic panel was inserted with the top side up. Molding clay was used to seal around the edges.

The mold ready for pouring in the liquid rubber.

The 2 part rubber was mixed and poured into the mold. I used all of the two 16 ounce parts.

Rubber mold ready to pour concrete.

After pouring the cement into the mold and vibrating until level and bubble free, the corrugated plastic board was set on top and the edges filled. After letting the cement set up the excess cement was wiped off with a damp sponge.

Here are the first and second casting side by side. The second one using the rubber mold was much easier to demold. After unscrewing the mold edges the rubber mold and the casting could be turned over and the rubber mold just peeled off. I am still getting some small bubbles so I need to work on that. More vibrating helps and wetting the mold with soapy water was suggested. I haven't tried that yet.

The next chapter will describe how the cast panels were used to build a new roof on the Alvarado.
PS I did try using soapy water to break up the bubbles. It didn't work as it just beaded up on the rubber.
03-22-2020 05:51 PM
Totalwrecker No Win, I poured into open forms. Each arch on the curved section was done one at a time. Rain gutter nails were used as rebar to hold them together.
I didn't do any thickness tests. Cement All has an additive to reduce water during casting.
It did suffer one cracked leg when a trailer was backed into the layout and it's section hit the ground. Otherwise it sits fine. I admit it's a tad crude, I had a vision for the curved arches, then I needed a use!
I mixed stucco color into the dry cement for a uniform tint.

I wonder if you mixed to clay like consistency, if you could push sheets of it, firmly into the mold, with a rolling action to eliminate the bubbles ...
03-22-2020 03:50 PM
placitassteam Jon, did you use that cement over a foam base? One thing I like about the ShapeCrete is that it contains fine fibers that make it quite strong. After 3 or 4 days of curing even 1/8 inch thickness is easily handled without breaking.
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