Comedy central, the big ball that didn't (yet)
I have one of those big "exercise balls" that everyone at home's had fun with
but me, so far. I don't exercise.
I read Laura's thread about the Quikwall sphere and thought, yay,
time to make that big ball I've always wanted! Something quick and easy,
just what I need!
I called my local box stores for the scrim and drew a negative, oh, well, I'll find
something else, it's gotta be today (yesterday).
I found some loose weave fiberglass cloth left over from a bunch of big signs
we made years ago. Cool, that might work, draped obligingly over
the big ball in the mist/drizzle, resting on a garbage can.
I mixed up a batch of the quikwall stuff and had a fabulous time
spreading it on, thinking all the while what a great idea this quikwall stuff is.
It didn't seem to be curing after several hours, still very soft.
Oh well, go plant some stuff that's been waiting. Then It seemed like
it was getting firmer. I decided to turn the ball and do the other side.
SLOOSH! Like a wet nightie off an upside down girl on a trapeze!
I stood there laughing for a good ten minutes, thinking about America's
funniest home videos.
Then: Dammit, i want a ball! So I got some chicken wire and carefully
formed it around the ball, no more than 1/8" off the surface
and very well attached.
Having had enough of quikwall for the day, I mixed up a batch of
vinyl patching cement I had left over from an earlier (successful) project
and commenced to spread it on (still having a great time!)
First hemisphere done, pretty close to the mesh, I went home after wetting it down.
This morning it looked...odd. I touched it here and there and a few hexagonal
"cookies" fell to the ground. On closer inspection, it was clear that
the concrete was not really touching the ball, there was a layer of air
between it and the surface. It was pretty much cracking along the wire,
in many places. Oh, it must be on too thin, let's turn it and
do the other side thicker. Said and done, cover with plastic, go feed the Koi,
give it a few hours.
A few hours later, still some "cookies" and air under the concrete,
this thing is BREATHING dammit! It was like a p.o.p mask under the throat
where the victim had been swallowing and the p.o.p never set properly.
Meanwhile, layer one, where it was holding together, is getting quite hard.
FINE! You sit there til you're set! I'll re-coat this thing til it's
a ball, one way or another. Maybe I should move it into the garage..
It's definitely moving all the time, must be expanding/contracting with the
I'll use the quikwall yet, on something less volatile, no slur on you, Laura,
you obviously succeded wonderfully with your ball, it's beautiful!
I'm curious now, about these blow-up balls, what ABOUT the expansion as the
temperature changes. It must move. This is a big ball, granted, but even
smaller ones must have some movement while the 'crete's setting.