Sphere ?? Will their ever be hope for me.

ladycraft(6b MO)July 15, 2009

Ok so I have no idea what I'm doing. I've been using that unknown quikcrete, sand topping stuff for spheres. I do this because I like the look. I would assume they are heavier weight wise. So far I haven't had any break. I can cover over half of the ball with it and usually done in one layer! But can't get any reinforcements to work (May not need them with quikcrete stuff, I have no clue). I missed the fact that you all were doing them in layers. I'm into as few steps as possible as I have stated before, I seem to be lazy, read all the directions and do it my way. Is that what directions are for. I do respect all the experience you all have. I do listen and learn. I believe everyone has a purpose and I know you have a bigger purpose than answering trufa questions but I am so glad your here.

So if I try the recipe and directions given by plantman in sphere attempt thread will I end up with thick spheres or can this be kept thin? I can see how this would work for fountains, which would be my next question for you. Do you get a smoother finish with this than the 1 port. 1.5 peat & 1.5 ver? The drywall stuff is sticky, I think, which I can see how this helps. Do you cover the inside after you remove the ball? Do you use this recipe to hold water? Do I need to seal them? Sorry this has gotten so long. Kathy

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billie_ann(6b PA)

Kathy, Some things you can do the lazy way but putting reinforcement on a sphere can be a lot of work. Depending on the size of the supporting ball/mold, you might have to cut a gazillion small pieces so they will lay flat. The lazy way would be to buy a Quikcrete product called "Quikwall". It comes in a 50 pound bag and is fiberglass reinforced. Or if you have access to fibers you can add them to your SAND/TOPPING mix. I use drywall tape for reinforcement and mortar mix.
I'm pretty sure that plantman puts a layer of mixture on the ball then adds the drywall tape then another layer of mixture.
There are some great threads on this forum about making spheres if you search. Hope this helps just coming out of migraineland. Billie

    Bookmark   July 17, 2009 at 7:33PM
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claysoil(z6 PA)

How big of a sphere are you making? I attended a demonstration in which the speaker created spheres using mixing bowls. He built up tufa inside 2 identical bowls and covered them in plastic to cure for 24 hours. The next day, he removed the tufa forms from the bowls, painted water around their top edges, and added some fresh tufa mix to the top edge of the bottom tufa form. He then inverted the other onto it, and smoothed the fresh mix around the middle so that there would not be a line. He then rewrapped in plastic for curing.

I'm just getting ready to try out his technique this week. It seems pretty straight forward. He has had a thriving tufa business for years selling finished pieces.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2009 at 10:39PM
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ladycraft(6b MO)

I have made them from 6" ball, basketball, soccer ball to the large Wall Mart ball in the toy section. Believe it or not I still use the exercise ball to stretch muscles! So far the way I've been doing it is successful but after reading about layers I thought maybe they needed reinforcement to last the winter.

Billie I did try the fiberglass stuff and that is why I got frustrated, didn't have the pieces small enough. The fibers sound like a good idea. I'll search for them.

Claysoil, Last year I started the bowl idea and the bowl wasn't completely round so it looked like I had a flat on both ends. I did use a glass globe, only flat on one side and broke it off after it dried and liked the look of it. I would think if they were to big they could be kind of heavy but then you don't have to worry about an animal knocking them over and in my case rolling down the hill!

    Bookmark   July 20, 2009 at 7:24AM
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billie_ann(6b PA)

Kathy, Get the Quikwall, it's got the fiberglass already in it. The mesh fibers can be harder to come by and if not added correctly they can clump or make your project look like a hairball.
I was also wondering where he got round plastic bowls. The only one I have that's round on the bottom is a copper one AND I'm not using that for cement mixes! Maybe he is filling in the flat spot after unmolding. Billie

    Bookmark   July 20, 2009 at 1:00PM
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