How To Pour Molds
Concrete Mix: One part Portland cement Two parts sharp sand Up to 3 parts small gravel or pea gravel - less for smaller items add water - amount will vary depending on your sand and your mix. Mixing your sand with the water first will get a lot of the air out. You want your mix to be pourable but not soupy. You can use premixed concrete though your results will not be as good as making your own but you can still follow these guidelines. To prepare a ABS mold Your mold needs to be clean and dry, using cooking oil and a brush or rag. Apply a thin coat to the mold. If it runs when you tilt the mold, you have used too much. Wipe it down again - cooking oil works great and is very cheap. I like to slurry my molds before I fill them. It will save you some time tapping and shaking the mold and will remove most of the air holes. I mix up a slurry using only cement and sand and make it about like motor oil, I pour this mixture into the mold and move it around to coat the entire surface of the mold. This is where most air holes come from - the surface, not the mix. This is not something I have made up - pottery makers have been doing it for thousands of years , though most people just don't know about it and would rather hit their molds with a stick. All of my statues shown have been poured this way; I did not vibrate or hit them with a stick, though sometimes I will shake them if the mix is a little thick. If possible try to pour from one spot. Longer bench molds may require you to use two locations. This will also help to improve your pour.Large items need wire or rebar for safety. This wire or rebar should be coated or painted. Demolding and clean up After 24 hours you can demold, but you still need to be careful as you can break or chip it. Gently turn the mold over being careful not to let the casted part fall out. Once it is out, it is the best time to clean it up. Take a 20-grit rub brick or an old broken piece of concrete and rub all of the edges smooth so it will not scratch anyone. There are many other things to learn and there are many other ways to do it, if you need more help drop me and email and I will do my best to help out.
Acid Staining: Acid staining is a quick and easy way to add color to concrete statues. Let the statue cure for seven days and then wash it with soap and water. Once dry, set in a plastic pan so you can re-use the acid that runs off. Save the runoff in a separate container for later use.
Stain by putting your stain into a spray bottle. Spray your statue to coat, starting from the bottom and working your way to the top. It is handy to have a small paint brush to help with tight spots and runs. Let the piece dry for a few hours or a full day, then wash with a water and vinegar solution or just use soap and water. Let the piece dry and then seal it with a good quality concrete sealer. ALWAYS wear rubber gloves and safety glasses when using acid.
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