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Post Info TOPIC: concrete countertop


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Posts: 78
Date:
concrete countertop


Hiya, folks! Yeah. Me again, and I'm up to more experimental projects. I'd been wanting todo a concrete counter for years, and had done some research (Youtube, Google, etc), but I simply hadn't had an opportunity to play in this arena. I spoke of my "handyman work" work for a neighboring ranch, I think, in a previous post. It all started with me painting the outside of this bunkhouse. I told my boss to burn it instead. It dates from the '30's, when someone dragged three miner's shacks down from the hills, and pushed them together. It has "some" foundation, but the rot is awful! The window frames are rotten! And it goes in all directions from there. The foreman is a long-time employee, and recently got promoted, so he saw a bunch of the improvements get done, but never had any say... When I looked seriously at the house, I realized that they had WAY too much in the shack... recent all new vinyl windows, recent metal roof, recent 200-amp service, recent new sewer system (it used to poop in the creek). And it was STILL a shack! When I commented on the wisdom of all this, he muttered "Lipstick on a pig", to which I replied,"No, the pig left. This is lipstick on lipstick". So the cowboy who was living there moved out about the time I got done painting, and the boss shows up to look at the inside. He called me in to look. The kitchen had been remodeled less than a year before, by the hired hands, of course, and there was a 4" hump in the kitchen floor. BAaaad leaks from the sink and dishwasher. The new cabinets had been set on a floor that had a 21/2" hump right under the sink, midway in a 14' run of countertop. They had actually gotten everything fairly flat for the install, its just that the counter was 21/2" higher on each end than it was in the middle! They had laid 3/8" particle down over the large rotted-out holes under the sink and elsewhere. One of the guys told me they had to "jump up and down" on the particle to get it close enough to nail... The leaks must have started the minute they turned everything back on. The particle swelled up an additional 2", to give us a "fun-house"-like feel in the room. The kids must've loved it for their toy cars! Needless to say, I tore everything out, salvagingall the new stuff, and went clear to the dirt. In the crawl-space directly under the kitchen sink is a concrete "bunker" about 4'square, where the original well is located. Over the years, the perimeter foundation settled, the house rotted down, and this thing stayed put. Its amazing that none of the joists broke, as there was a 2" elevation difference between two adjacent floor joists! When it all went back together, I laid out the cabinets we had in a different arrangement, and we came up short on countet-top. I volunteered my time, providing the ranch provided the materials. It was actually kind of a hard sell, as the foreman couldn't quite get his head around the concept of concrete counters... 



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Member

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Posts: 78
Date:

The general opinion changed pretty fast when I pulled the forms off of this piece. I love it. I saw on some DIY show on TV where they used raw fiberglass insulation around the inside of the form (which is made from plastic-coated 3/4 particle board and 1/8x2" steel flat stock. There's rebar, metal lath, and a steel mounting lug underneath.)The fiberglass gives the broken, native rock look to the edges. The most exotic item is the concrete additive. I boosted it, as well as using an extremely hot mix of cement. White cement mixed with quartz blasting sand makes for extreme white, and I dyed some of the regular grey black. Again, I used a mix of probly 40% cement, 60%sand with 30%admix in the water. There's still research to be done here. Bubbles are an issue. Vibration is key, but it messes with the fiberglass and makes it float. To vibrate without messing with the swirl, I took the blade out of my sawzall, and drove it around on the bottom of the table, and around the edges of the form. The second pour wasn't that great. The vibration screwed up the fiberglas edge, and we attempted toput the brand of the ranch into the design, and forgot that it would be backward.... so a redo... but its actually pretty cheap. The sealer is not.Use a good one. I'm trying one they call OX. Looks good on the patio. Should work here. I'll just do coats of it until the pinholes fill up. I'm definitely gonna do more of this!



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 Here at the Oxfarm, we do the incredible every day. The ridiculous takes longer.



Guru

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Posts: 9419
Date:

Nice work, too bad our old friend and memeber ComeOn/Trevor from Nova Scotia isn't still around because he did some beautiful concrete work and looked better than some ceramic tile. Keep us posted on any future doins !

Oh and Happy New Years to you and yours,

meller

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Senior Member

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Posts: 4168
Date:

thats some cool work neighbor. you mite try peckin on the forms with your hammer a bit to get the bubbles out.just a thought but a vibrator can get a bit rough on things.


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