Everything Else Studio forum: Wanted info and a good recipe?

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Imagebluegrassmom
Feb 15, 2010 4:37 PM CST
Name: Teresa
southcentral KY
Hi, I have been admiring the troughs and want to make a couple for my mini hosta. I am hoping someone that is experienced making them will come by and help out.


Thanks,
Teresa in Ky
Teresa in KY
ImageUniQueTreasures
Feb 15, 2010 5:45 PM CST
Name: Janet Colvin
Z8~Beaumont~Southeast Texas
Proud member of Cubits.org
Hi Teresa,

Welcome to the Nook! We have quite a few exceptional hypertufa gurus here on Cubits. I know they will be more than happy to help you with your project.

Good Luck!

Janet in TX
Imageazreno
Mar 1, 2010 6:08 AM CST
Name: Lynn Reno
Mesa, AZ
Purple Rocks!
Hi Teresa, I'm responding to a beacon sent out by you esteemed Cubit Owner Smiling

I've only made a couple of hypertufa containers myself, but I can tell you recipes are very forgiveable so long as it's mixed well and an appropriate amount of cement is in there, since it's the binding agent.

Here's what I used

1 part portland cement
1 part sand
2 parts peat

You can use perlite or vermiculite instead of or in conjunction with the peat and you can increase the percentage of cement but I wouldn't use less than that. For me consistency depended on the projects, for some things you can pour thicker, for other a little thinner, but you want it to kind of look like pudding.
ImageUniQueTreasures
Mar 1, 2010 8:04 AM CST
Name: Janet Colvin
Z8~Beaumont~Southeast Texas
Proud member of Cubits.org
Thank you Lynn for your help with this question. Of all the hypertufa folks here, I knew you were the one that would have THE answers! I've seen your projects and admired them for quite some time.

Bluegrassmom,
I want to apologize for taking so long to round up the help you needed for this project. I read this when it was posted and in all of the hullabaloo of getting ready for the grand opening of Cubits, I totally forgot to mark it as unread to remind me to go searching for the answer. It wasn't until yesterday that I re-read it and knew I needed to find the expert and quick!

Thank you for your patience.

Janet
Imageazreno
Mar 1, 2010 8:28 AM CST
Name: Lynn Reno
Mesa, AZ
Purple Rocks!
Thanks Janet :) I wish I had more experience with hypertufa though...hopefully in the future! Most of the hypertufa I did was sand casting my shrooms.

I wanted to add before and forgot......I'm not sure hostas are a good choice for hypertufa planters is it? Most folks plant succulents in them, I'm thinking because they're a good match for the drainage and the Ph. I know of the 2 planters I made, I only have had one planted continually and it is with an aloe and sanseveria (sp?). If planted with a hosta, I would definitely soak in vinegar baths to try and leach out the lime after it cures and keep an eye on the moisture in it.

I also see I probably didn't help too much with just a recipe lol Pretty much anything can be used as a mold. You'll need an inside and an outside mold, they can be pots or boxes of simliar size. You can line them with plastic bags to aid in removal and to give a bit of texture to the surface. You'll need a piece of PVC the same length as your desired depth for drainage hole.

Put your pvc in the bottom of the outside mold and pour around it to the desired depth/thickness, then add your inside mold...be prepared with something to weight it down with. If it isn't weighted, the force of the mix will make it rise and ruin your end result. With inside mold in place and weighted, pour in your sides between the 2 molds. you may need to work it in if your mix is thick, a small dowel is good for that.

Cover with plastic and move to a cool place to cure. How long to leave it like that will depend on thickness of the container and of the mix...and the weather. Remove it too early and it may fall apart, too late and you may not be able to use a brush to smoot out edges or scratch the surface, you want it hardened but still able to use a stiff bristle brush on it. Carefully demold, I like to turn it upside down to remove the outer mold then right side up to move the inside mold. You'll want a steel bristle brush, you can use it to clean up the edges and rough up the outside surface.

Recover in plastic and move back to a cool place. Keep it moist during this time, the longer it takes to cure the stronger it is. Soak in water for an extended period of time if you like.
ImageUniQueTreasures
Mar 1, 2010 9:22 AM CST
Name: Janet Colvin
Z8~Beaumont~Southeast Texas
Proud member of Cubits.org
Thank you so much Lynn for your extended explanations! I tip my hat to you.

Connie and I have talked about making something just to give this a try. It hasn't happened yet. Too much "life" and other projects have gotten in the way. But one day we WILL make something. Having your clear, concise instructions will be a God-send to refer back to. Those tips and tricks you've posted will no doubt save us from errors and hopefully will help us to produce a fine first hypertufa object.

I just had a brilliant idea..... Making a hypertufa natural looking "case" for a game camera on the deer lease that would be virtually invisible to anyone that was in the area, but yet be super protection for the camera! hmmmmm Watch out... the "wheels" (of my brain) are turning this morning!!!

Imageazreno
Mar 1, 2010 10:37 AM CST
Name: Lynn Reno
Mesa, AZ
Purple Rocks!
I know what you mean, so many things in my little I want to do!

You could totally make a shell cover for the camera. I wouldn't use hypertufa though. I would find something plastic to use as your primary shell, make sure the camera fits easily in it, cut out the hole for the lens. You could make this hole larger than need be.

Form wire around the outside of your shell, layer mortar mix over the wire. For the hole, you could situate the wire around the opening so as to make a recessed taper so the camera FOV isn't obstructed but still very hidden. Did that make sense?

Finish as desired!
ImageUniQueTreasures
Mar 1, 2010 10:46 AM CST
Name: Janet Colvin
Z8~Beaumont~Southeast Texas
Proud member of Cubits.org
Yes, perfect sense! Thanks for your suggestions!
Imagebluegrassmom
Mar 2, 2010 1:08 AM CST
Name: Teresa
southcentral KY
Thanks, for posting. I want to try a trough for my mini hosta. I have tried a big EE leaf scupture that was pretty but brittle :( It broke before painting. Any tips on making those.

Thanks,
Teresa
Teresa in KY
Imageazreno
Mar 2, 2010 5:59 AM CST
Name: Lynn Reno
Mesa, AZ
Purple Rocks!
I haven't made one myself, but as far as the one being brittle, it was probably too thin :( The bigger a concrete sculpture is the stronger it will need to be. That may mean it needs to be thicker, if it's very large it may need reinforcement inside, an armature.

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