What is a suitable mold material for a concrete bar top?


Concrete is an increasingly popular material for countertops because it is versatile, durable and environmentally sound. Building molds and precasting countertops in a studio allows designer/fabricators to cast and cure slabs under controlled temperature and humidity conditions.

The mold is a critical component in the success of a precast project. “Remember, moldmaking is an ancient art and craft,” says Fu-Tung Cheng, principal at Cheng Design in Berkeley, Calif. “So many things we have around us are made out of molds, and most of the molds are made of the most prosaic stuff. In the end you won’t recognize the material of the original shape. Just use your imagination to invent something that is an understudy for concrete.”

There are many factors involved in a successful precast countertop — the mix, coloring techniques, workmanship, creative design and more. But they all depend on the mold being right. “A good mold forms the backbone for the rest of the...

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Concrete Sculpture ~ Earth Molding ~ Sand Molding ~ Decorative Concrete

Earth Molded Concrete Sculpture: Artisan Secrets
By Bo Atkinson

My attraction to sand molding is the versatility and speed for casting concrete. The requirements can be as little as raw ingredients, minimal tools and rudimentary textbook information. Earthen molds can really be of any sand or loam, mine were usually sandy , usually unsifted and pebbly. This report describes a simplified method of concrete casting for sculptural purposes. I used simple mixes, seen here. I used My method was developed both by the need for making a living and by a love for the flowing cementitious processes. The following methods grew gradually over the years (since the 1980's). Technological text books were studied and applied. Primitive arts were also considered and tried. Experiments tested new ideas. What emerged was a preference for sand molding of relatively thin shelled...

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Cleaning the mouldThese faces must be thinly coated with mould oil to prevent leakage during filling, and a similar oil film should beprovided between the contact surfaces of the bottom of the mould and the base. The inside of the mould mustalso be oiled to prevent the concrete from sticking to it. The two sections must be bolted firmly together, and themoulds held down firmly on the base plates.Preparing the mould

3. Sampling Fresh Concrete

It is very important that the concrete put into the moulds should be a representative sample of the concrete that isgoing into the works. A sample of the concrete should be taken either as the concrete is being discharged from amixer, or from a stationary lorry or heap; the latter method is less satisfactory.The quantity of concrete required should be 10 kg for making each 150 mm cube, but in no case should thequantity of concrete sampled be less than 20 kg. Each sample should consist of at least six increments when it istaken...

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Liquid rubber is a great way to make durable perfectly smooth molds. There are two main suppliers of urethane rubber for concrete molds: Smooth-On and Polytek. Both make polyurethane rubbers that come as two-part liquids (resin and hardener). Polytek recommends using a 74-45 or a 75-60 material for concrete countertops. The second number indicates the Shore A hardness—a 60 is about the hardness of a car tire and the 45 is a bit softer.

The great advantage of rubber molds is their flexibility. Rubber molds can easily release from intricate details, even undercuts. Rubber molds are used for sinks, drainboards, soap dishes, edges, and many other details. They are typically attached to the countertop mold with silicone caulk and then caulk is applied around them to seal the joint and create a smooth transition.

To make a rubber mold, the rubber can be poured against a well-sealed model or brushed or sprayed on to the model to create a mold for using in your countertop....

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Stone, bricks and concrete are materials that can be used in construction of buildings. Each materials has its own characteristic that makes them different to the other materials. In other word, each of these materials have their own advantages and disadvantages, hence, the best option of material should exhibits a balanced of characteristics ranging from its strength , elemental damage resistancy, durability , availability, longevity, costs, protectiveness, and lastly, the ease of use.

Stone is the most basic natural building materials. People all over the world have used them together to create homes to suit their local weather conditions. In general, stones are used as basic structural components in buildings. Stone structures have existed for as long as history can recall. It is the longest lasting building material ever used, and is usually readily available. Stones are also extremely durable. It does not rot, corrodes nor can be burnt easily. It gives the structure of...

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Before you fill the mold you have to be sure the mold is placed level.

To make the mold easy to come off you have to use a release agent. There are special release agent on the market but it's not worth the money. I used silicone spray as a release agent. You can also use olive oil, WD40, petroleum jelly, almost everything that's greasy.

To get a smooth surface you have to get the air bubbles out the concrete. To do this you have to vibrate the mold, I used two different techniques for this:

- Tap the mold rapidly with a hammer. This is used to get the bottom of the mold smooth (seat part)

- Use an old orbital sander to press against the mold. This is a good method to get the air bubbles out of the legs and sides.

You can also use an drill hammer to vibrate the mold.

Knowing this you can now fill the mold with concrete. Be sure to spread the concrete and press it into the base of the mold. Fill small batches of concrete and tap the mold...

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