making EASY roof for small tower

poaky1May 30, 2014

I am not sure if i can even do this, but, I want to make a decorative tower. It would be about 5-6 ft tall and 4-5 ft around, in girth. Kind of a mini gothic tower. How can I make a roof. I am extremely clueless as to how to do this. Aluminum sheet seems the easiest way to go. Making it perfect to fit on my eventual tower seems very challenging. I wish I could hire someone to build it, but I am poor, and well, if I wasn't poor, I could have it all built. So, if I could get the roof built, I could build the tower around the roof, add tiers of wall, until it is flush with the roof. This is likely going to be a project hard for someone to help with unless physically present with me to help. If nothing else, someone with a similar project, posting pics of theirs, or ideas of materials to use, ANY help appreciated.

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themes

what springs to mind to me is getting two pieces of wood. joined together at a 90 degree angle. Use the wood to hold the mix together

    Bookmark   May 31, 2014 at 2:44PM
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poaky1

Themes, I have tried what I THINK you mean. You mean like an A-frame roof? I want it to be like a steeple roof. If I used wood, I would need to bend the wood, kinda into a semi circle with a pointed top. I can shape aluminum into that form, but joining it into a frame, then making the tower. Joining the roof to a frame would be hard for me to imagine. Maybe some web searching can help. If anyone has any thoughts join in, but give dummy friendly directions.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2014 at 11:36PM
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themes

look for a cone shaped hollow item to contain the mix. Nothing springs to mind that size but once you know the shape and size of it you will find it...hope you do

    Bookmark   June 2, 2014 at 5:41PM
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poaky1

You helped me think of the roof making in a different context. I was thinking of bending metal into a cone, but if I can make a solid pointy (triangle in 3D or 4D) solid form, which I could easily do with hypertufa, it would be easy. You helped me see a different point of view of what the roof should be like. I was thinking of the hollow point without the filled in Tufa, but, the solid Tufa pointy roof is much better. I just need to make the roof and anchor it onto some verticle metal poles, so it can be there, and I build the round tower up to the roof level. Any other ideas? Themes, I am all ears. Any Gothic, feudal time looking stuff, I am a sponge, drip it out. Sorry for sounding nuts, I just need inspiration. If you have none that's fine, just thought I'd ask.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2014 at 10:43PM
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themes

I think you had it right first time. Making a solid object will increase the weight of the roof and use more mix which is more expense. I see no benefit from this unless you want this. I was thinking a cone pour the mix around it and leave something like polystyrene in the centre which you could remove when the tufa dried leaving a hollow inside then remove the outer shell cone leaving a cone shaped tufa object

    Bookmark   June 4, 2014 at 11:33AM
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billie_ann(6b PA)

Are you sure you want to make a solid hypertufa roof. It will be extremely heavy. There are two ways you can do it.
1) Up side down sand mold, dig a pit in the ground in the shape you want then sift sand in thin layers over the soil. Mist sand to hold it in place then add your hypertufa mix. After mix has set for a bit you can try to carve out some of the mix to lighten the top. You can do this pie shape and leave some mix like rib supports. Cover with plastic. You may be able to add some detail to the roof by carving shingles in the damp sand before adding your mix. I've never done a roof so you may want to try a small one first. You will need strong friends to turn and lift this.
2) Place some plywood on saw horses. Put a couple of studs under plywood for support. Cover plywood with plastic then pile damp sand on top of plywood. Shape the damp sand into the shape of the roof then apply hypertufa mix on top of sand. Let mix set up then carve some roof detail. Cover with plastic and let cure.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2014 at 7:06PM
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poaky1

This is going to show you how bad a carpenter I am. Granted I have never had lessons, I am female, never thought I would want to know this crap. I have tried it. You shall see the pitiful results. This is, however, after a few years, in the ground. It shows how crappy my work really was. you see that crooked pitiful roof over the white container, well, I did that. That is the extent of my talent. I actually look forward to a large chunk of witches hat, on top of of circular tower. It will be more even. I need to make a large circular tower, somehow. Then make an impressive witches hat on top, and voila. Any pointers are appreciated.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 11:59PM
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themes

don't knock yourself. You have a large plot and a blank canvass. DIY is not my thing I am really lousy! Spend the time getting your mould right if you do the rest is easy. think...what can you use to hold the weight of the tufa mix

    Bookmark   June 13, 2014 at 12:57PM
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poaky1

Well, I will try to make something. I have an idea for making a round tower, and putting a witches hat shaped tower "roof' on it.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2014 at 12:36AM
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Myrdin

Somewhere on here I was reading about a guy that made a roof for a papercrete gazebo by layering over a large picnic umbrella to make a slightly domed roof. Could you do something similar by using one big enough to give you the height you want, but only opening it part way and fixing it to the top of your tower then layering over it?

    Bookmark   July 1, 2014 at 5:43PM
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lee1990(8)

One idea for a lighter roof would be to take 1x2 boards and make 3 triangles the size you need connect those together to form the frame, then using the idea from the draped hypertufa pots, take sheets soaked in the cement mixture and drape over the frame. After that cures then you can add more detail. The roof can then connect to the poles the you mentioned earlier. You can make the shape different using other materials.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2014 at 9:05PM
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steiconi(12a-Big Island, HI)

There's a post here about planters made by dipping fabric in hypertufa. That sounds like a place to start for your roof.

You could sculpt a roof form out of styrofoam packing (ask on Craigslist or Freecycle), then drape the dipped fabric over it. You might even leave the styro inside for extra strength.

Or, you could do a negative mold and dig a roof-shaped hole and drape the dipped fabric inside it.

Once you get your roof and framework up, you could probably add more dipped fabric for the walls.

For inspiration, use google image to search for "tower" or "fairy tale tower" or "gothic tower" you'll get a ton of ideas!

Here is a link that might be useful: hypertufa and fabric

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 1:43PM
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poaky1

Thanks for these ideas.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2014 at 1:50AM
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LatinaSoul(9)

I am not an expert but I too am very creative and always on a very tight budget so I am just sharing my thought process in your situation. I always look for anything that can aide me in my ventures. Sort of a McGyver. So here goes... What about using an electrical pipe (metal but hollow so not too heavy, it's sold at hardware stores, and I pay about 2.00 for a ten foot rod), to hold up your roof? In other words; insert the pipe down the center of your armature (length cut to your height requirements-inlcluding roof. For the roof; buy a big cone shaped styrofoam, make hole to fit the top of pipe, cover with your diamond wire, cover with hypertufa mix, once cured, slip onto top of rod/pipe. Or if styrofoam is too expensive (it is here), get a big, thick cardboard (box?) cut a wide upside down V with curved bottom and top (so that when rolled, you have a funnel), overlap cardboard about 1/2", duct tape inside and outside, add the diamond wire, tufa inside and out, hollowing the inside center, again so you can mount it onto the rod when cured. If any of this helps you, please let me know so that I can at least validate my crazy thought process. LOL Wishing you great success!

    Bookmark   August 25, 2014 at 11:12PM
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LatinaSoul(9)

I am not an expert but I too am very creative and always on a very tight budget so I am just sharing my thought process in your situation. I always look for anything that can aide me in my ventures. Sort of a McGyver. So here goes... What about using an electrical pipe (metal but hollow so not too heavy, it's sold at hardware stores, and I pay about 2.00 for a ten foot rod), to hold up your roof? In other words; insert the pipe down the center of your armature (length cut to your height requirements-inlcluding roof. For the roof; buy a big cone shaped styrofoam, make hole to fit the top of pipe, cover with your diamond wire, cover with hypertufa mix, once cured, slip onto top of rod/pipe. Or if styrofoam is too expensive (it is here), get a big, thick cardboard (box?) cut a wide upside down V with curved bottom and top (so that when rolled, you have a funnel), overlap cardboard about 1/2", duct tape inside and outside, add the diamond wire, tufa inside and out, hollowing the inside center, again so you can mount it onto the rod when cured. If any of this helps you, please let me know so that I can at least validate my crazy thought process. LOL Wishing you great success!

    Bookmark   August 25, 2014 at 11:51PM
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LatinaSoul(9)

I am not an expert but I too am very creative and always on a very tight budget so I am just sharing my thought process in your situation. I always look for anything that can aide me in my ventures. Sort of a McGyver. So here goes... What about using an electrical pipe (metal but hollow so not too heavy, it's sold at hardware stores, and I pay about 2.00 for a ten foot rod), to hold up your roof? In other words; insert the pipe down the center of your armature (length cut to your height requirements-inlcluding roof. For the roof; buy a big cone shaped styrofoam, make hole to fit the top of pipe, cover with your diamond wire, cover with hypertufa mix, once cured, slip onto top of rod/pipe. Or if styrofoam is too expensive (it is here), get a big, thick cardboard (box?) cut a wide upside down V with curved bottom and top (so that when rolled, you have a funnel), overlap cardboard about 1/2", duct tape inside and outside, add the diamond wire, tufa inside and out, hollowing the inside center, again so you can mount it onto the rod when cured. If any of this helps you, please let me know so that I can at least validate my crazy thought process. LOL Wishing you great success!

    Bookmark   August 25, 2014 at 11:55PM
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poaky1

Thanks Latinasoul and everyone else. As the weather gets colder, I am planting stuff outside, but If I can make a tower in 3 or 4 "parts" then in spring put it together outdoors, I can take my time indoors to make the 3-4 parts to the tower. The currently outdoor leaning tower of crappiness, can just be there til next spring. I am going to try, I have nothing to lose but the ingredients, some I have already.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2014 at 12:05AM
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