easy plant stand idea -styrofoam/concrete

ltd123(6A southern Ind)July 4, 2006

This plant stand/ table/ whatever came out great. It was easy, cheap, fast.

size: 12 by 18 and 26 inches tall

weight: 23 pounds - easy to grab and move but feels substantial

how to make:

1. pile up free styrofoam to make a solid rectangle. stab a few long wooden skewers through it to hold the shape- trim with a drywall saw or knife if needed.

2. using fiberglass mesh (EIFS) and quickwall (or any concrete with fibers), smooth on a thin layer (1/4 inch) of concrete over the mesh.... rubbing with your palm to force the crete thru the mesh onto the styrofoam base. You need to overlap the mesh everywhere like you would if you were papermacheing something.

3. mist and cover with plastic - wait a few hours and turn and repeat til entire styrofoam form is covered (top, bottom, sides) - let cure under plastic 24 hours

4. see what you think. If it seems to need another layer - repeat steps 2 and 3 above and cure some more. The one I made has 2 layers.

5. paint/stain/ cover with hypertufa..... whatever you want.

This feels very solid - I had no qualms about asking Lisa (she was helping me tile a floor) to jump up on it and show how strong it is. Sitting on it is actually surprisingly comfortable and I find myself using it most often for a table next to a chair. Since it is a solid styrofoam piece to begin with, it isn't going to collapse with everyday use. I figure the way it would "fail" would be for the concrete exterior to crack and pop off but that doesn't seem likely with the tests I have given it so far.

Here are some photos- thanks to Lisa for being the model!

The second plant stand is larger and made a completely different way. more later about that one.

Laura

click photos to enlarge

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clairdo2(3)

Love em !

    Bookmark   July 4, 2006 at 3:31PM
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rickharmer(z4British Colum)

You are full of ideas!!Are you like me in that you stare off into space,seemingly disconnected from all around you,when you're actually just thinking about your next project?And,your family and your friends are thinking about committing you?Has that happened to you?Not yet,you say?Wait for it...
Meanwhile,a quick question.Do you ,when you're doubling your layers,always add mesh to the second layer?I haven't done so with the balls,although I'm tempted to do so.I found that they were quite strong enough,and they won't be load-bearing except for a few gallons of water.For me,and I just did this on the last ball,was to reinforce the opening area with a little extra mesh for strength there.Moving the balls(we're making a stretcher/cradle to move them)seems to be the only time that strength is needed.
Cheers from here

    Bookmark   July 4, 2006 at 3:46PM
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ltd123(6A southern Ind)

heck, Rick - I come from a family where staring off into space seemingly disconnected from all around you while thinking strange things is the norm. We think everyone else should be committed!
Now that you mention it though, people do keep making comments that show they think it is time I sold some of my projects. They seem to fear I am overdoing the concrete creations in my yard/home/life. silly them.

In answer to your other question - I never know whether I will add a second layer of mesh or not. If it "feels" strong enough ( I think I peck on the side like I was buying a watermelon ???) I might just add more concrete and no more mesh or just not add anything more. If I fear the whole thing will collapse I add more mesh. not very scientific. On the larger balls I guess I have always done 2 layers of mesh.

Neat idea with the cradle-moving balls idea. Time for your wife to get out the camera again soon!
Laura

    Bookmark   July 4, 2006 at 4:48PM
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garden_chicken(3b)

Nice stands! You've got the comfortable aged look down to a science. Great texture. Good use of styrofoam too! Keep it out of the landfills.
I made something similar to this once (the same basic shape), it was suppose to be a winter waterting hole for the 'lil birds, complete with heating element. After staring at it for one long cold winter (and nary a bird landing on it) I started calling it 'the thing'. This spring I took a sledge hammer to it... very rewarding. At least I can reuse the styro!

    Bookmark   July 4, 2006 at 7:30PM
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nathanhurst(VIC Aust)

I found that you are better off putting the cement on first, and pushing the mesh into the soft base. Less likely to delaminate and easier to apply.

They look great anyway!

    Bookmark   July 4, 2006 at 9:05PM
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klinger(8)

I love the plant stands and the whole styro idea.This should work for all kind of shapes.Thanks for sharing another great idea.Looks great against the wall. Do not listen to any one who tells you to sell your stuff, you can never have too much. lol.
Cindy

    Bookmark   July 4, 2006 at 10:47PM
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kobold(Vancouver BC)

Laura,

I like the texture of the wall. You mentioned before that this was an ugly concrete wall ( a have one too). How did you transform it? Recipe, please!

Andrea

    Bookmark   July 5, 2006 at 4:56AM
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Dena6355(z8 WA)

Laura,
Although it would be fun to sell your things, I see potential space that could feature several more creations. Once filled have a garden art tour.

Nice stands!
Dena

    Bookmark   July 5, 2006 at 8:55AM
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ltd123(6A southern Ind)

Garden chicken- what silly birds you must have in your region - what is not to like about a personal heated pool/watering hole made by loving hands???
I can just see you taking a sledgehammer to the thing. hehehe. I can see how that might be very satisfying.
Laura

    Bookmark   July 5, 2006 at 4:26PM
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ltd123(6A southern Ind)

Nathanhurst - good idea - I will try that next time
Cindy/ Dena - Thanks for the support! I will endeavor to fill every spare spot in the yard and house! wheeee.

Andrea - here is the "how to" for that wall:
1. read the back of the Quickwall sack and do what it says instead of what I say and you will probably have a better result
2. This block wall had varied layers of paint on it, a couple of old attempts with other products 15 years ago to obscure the mortar lines around the blocks, dirt, rust stains, etc -- no hope (in my mind) of scraping that mess off to do it "right". so - having given up with doing it right - I just mixed up some quickwall (added some bonding liquid for luck) and used various ways to smear it on over all the old stuff. (using a paint scraper to smear worked best but used my rubber gloved hand to smooth in places) . For curing I didn't do anything - sort of a brain glitch there. I found the process made my arm ache so I just did 3 or 4 sq feet at a time over a period of 2 weeks and did absolutely nothing to help it cure. With this quarter to half inch thick stuff it is hard to think of a good way to cure it - though I think the quickwall sack suggests a misting system for 48 hours or something like that.

I crossed my fingers and hoped that would make it stay up there for years and not crack or flake off. So far it has been 2 months and all is ok. You can see that is not much of a test so I really have no idea if it will last very long. It feels sound and great so I am guessing it will do better than I deserve considering my lack of wall prep.

The top 2 rows of blocks were decorative and had sections you could see through and hide garden tools in. To make that into a flat facade I used my fiberglass mesh fabric and quickwall and went right over the empty spaces. This also worked better than I expected. After it dried I could add more quickwall and get the texture to match the wall.

hope this helps,
Laura

    Bookmark   July 5, 2006 at 4:46PM
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dian2(z6 pgh pa)

Laura,
did you add any color to the quickwall. looks as though there is some color from your picture.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2006 at 5:13PM
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garden_chicken(3b)

Laura, sometimes I just don't feel appreciated... ~sigh~ LOL

    Bookmark   July 5, 2006 at 8:46PM
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ltd123(6A southern Ind)

Dian2 - the color was added after the quickwall dried. I used leftover exterior (and some interior) latex housepaint and also sprayed from spray cans in yellow/orange/ rust/ red in places and then sort of smudged it with a paint roller into the neutral colors.
Hope that helps,
Laura

    Bookmark   July 5, 2006 at 11:18PM
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dian2(z6 pgh pa)

Absolutely beautiful. thanks Laura
dian

    Bookmark   July 6, 2006 at 7:24AM
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kobold(Vancouver BC)

Thanks, Laura! I don't know if we can get Quickwall here, but I will look more. You have a perfect exhibition-wall for your art, like L&L. I'm looking forward to see more of your creativity.

Andrea

    Bookmark   July 7, 2006 at 2:59AM
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rickharmer(z4British Colum)

Hi,Andrea!
I tried to find Quikwall here in BC a year ago and no luck at all.Home Hardware is SUPPOSEDLY a place to buy it,and I tried a couple of stores here on the Sunshine Coast and they said it wasn't on their list.I made my own formulation(Mymud,you can look it up in past posts)and it seems to work the same.
Cheers from here

    Bookmark   July 7, 2006 at 10:09AM
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rickharmer(z4British Colum)

Laura-I think you may have answered this before,by way of a note explaining the winter/spring blahs,but could you again?I was wondering how the pieces that you left outside in your balmy winter conditions survived freeze/thaws?Were there any cracks,leaks,that sort of thing?
Thanks and cheers from here
BTW,are there any Rotarians out there??E-mail me,please.
Thanks again for reading this missive.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2006 at 2:26PM
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ltd123(6A southern Ind)

Rick - I see no damage in any of the quickwall items that were left outdoors. I just had a few that were supposed to hold water and 3 of those I purposely left out full of water so they would go thru the freeze/thaw cycles our winter offers. (gets down to -10 for a few days most winters but can also race up to 50 a lot of days) . They all did fine - still hold water all summer.

My surprise is that they hold water at all. Why in the world would a thin walled quickwall ball hold water? I don't have much experience with any of this but the same ball made from concrete and mesh seems to leak like a sieve but the quickwall ball that is open to the weather has to be emptied after rains - I have left the water in it for weeks and it never leaves - it seems very waterproof to me. Life has so many mysteries.
Laura

    Bookmark   July 7, 2006 at 11:43PM
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nathanhurst(VIC Aust)

Presumably quickwall is made with acrylic polymer, which is the same thing as water wash up paint.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2006 at 12:37AM
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ltd123(6A southern Ind)

I just reread the online data sheet for Quickwall. While they don't give away many details of their formula, here are some interesting quotes:

" QUIKWALL SBC is a Portland cement based formulation combined with alkali resistant (AR) glass fibers.

uses:
Decorating, waterproofing and strengthening existing block and mortar walls  Farm water storage coating
 No additional waterproofing necessary, even for water storage containers "

While I don't know exactly how it waterproofs, I shouldn't have been surprised that it does! Laura

    Bookmark   July 8, 2006 at 11:49AM
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galstaf(8)

For those looking for more info on the Quikwall:

http://www.quikrete.com/Spec_Data/Surface_Bonding_Cement.pdf

www.quikrete.com has dealer locators too....

Here is a link that might be useful: quikwall

    Bookmark   July 8, 2006 at 4:07PM
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