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Casting seating wall in Concrete

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  • Casting seating wall in Concrete

    I was working through options on a seating wall for the outdoor kitchen.

    I wanted something that would look similar to the oven and rest of the landscaping. With the built up level of the patio, it was a bit too late to dig down and make solid concrete footers. I did not like the modular block look - but that is my fall back position if the mold fails.

    So I decided to try my hand at making a form and use it to create 5 seating wall modules. After the seating modules are poured, I'll make another form for the columns between the seats that will have a planter on top and wired for lighting.

    Wall thickness is 2.5 to 3 inches - wire reinforced and a bit of rebar as well. I used plain door casing applied to the front to see if it will look like a raised panel after the pour.

    I'll use cooking spray as a release agent.

    First pour is tonight!

    Christo
    Attached Files
    My oven progress -
    http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/c...cina-1227.html
    sigpic

  • #2
    Re: Casting seating wall in Concrete

    Cristo,
    I'd suggest vibrating the concrete to help minimise the problem of rock pockets and trapped air. If you don't have one, pounding the outside surface of the mold with a rubber mallet helps. Trapped air is such a pain to get out.

    Also, when I have tried these sort of things I also found that adding a 1-2 qts of straight cement to the Quikrete or Sakrete stuff helps alot (if that's what you're using for concrete). The bag for Sakrete says not for slabs less than 4" but by adding cement you can get around that limitation. If you're going wetter, upping the ratio of cement to aggregate still results in good strength. I have a graph someplace that shows the curve. That's how concrete pumpers get away with pumping a very wet mix (they run a 6 or 7 bag mix or more for thin sections, elevated slabs, engineered stuff etc. ).

    Alot of these products have air entraining additives and that work against getting a smooth finish right next to a mold. But you probably know all that.

    Good luck, and be sure to show us pictures of the final product!
    Wiley

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Casting seating wall in Concrete

      I bought a few bags of cement while I was out today, I'll definately try it.

      I'll be hammering on the form as well as trying my electric drill with an unbalnced weight chucked in it for vibration.

      Thanks for the advice!!!

      Christo
      My oven progress -
      http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/c...cina-1227.html
      sigpic

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Casting seating wall in Concrete

        You can also use an orbital or finish sander on the outside for vibration

        Bruce
        Sharpei Diem.....Seize the wrinkle dog

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Casting seating wall in Concrete

          I went out and bought a couple 74 lb bags of cement to assist in the pour.

          I split one bag equally between 5 ea 80lb bags of concrete and loosened up the mix accordingly.

          Having the extra cement in there makes me feel better about a more soupy mix. I don't think I would have had much luck with just concrete in a stiff mix.

          Overall it went well. I did not have much mix leftover when done.

          Hit it a bunch with rubber hammers - my sander and drill contraption did not have enough umph to make a big impact on the form - I think it's too much mass. So I spent a lot of hammer time.

          I did not fix the center cores and they tried to move on me - so that's a lesson for next time.

          I went out an hour later and beat it with the hammers again - and did it again an hour after that... I hope it releases.

          Looking at the picture - it looks like a huge cinder block!

          In two days, we attempt to disassemble the form!!!

          Christo
          Attached Files
          Last edited by christo; 08-06-2008, 06:16 AM.
          My oven progress -
          http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/c...cina-1227.html
          sigpic

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Casting seating wall in Concrete

            Is that melamine shelving you used for the form? I'm anxious to see if your seating works! I don't need seating, but I have a countertop to figure out, and a leg or post for it to make. I'm still trying to figure that part out...

            The way you've set them up is ingenious. Did the bar clamps go on after the cores moved? Did you have any trouble with the long sides wanting to bow?

            Sure hope they'e a success for you. Your whole project looks great and has so many good ideas for the rest of us to make use of!
            Elizabeth

            http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/e...html#post41545

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Casting seating wall in Concrete

              Hi Elizabeth!

              I bought several 4x8 sheets of white melamine to make concrete countertop forms. I've done a bunch of reading about it and it looks pretty straight forward.

              Those sheets are super heavy - I cut them on the driveway using a straight edge vs trying to run them through the table saw.

              Based on the weight of the forms I'm rethinking making 30x96" concrete counterops for my kitchen and will make smaller units and piece them together.

              Also - as far as the inner cores on my seat - I wrapped them with some 1/4 inch pink foam - firm closed cell stuff vs fluffy. - My hope is that it will actually allow me to remove the cores without breaking them out.....

              We'll see!

              Christo
              My oven progress -
              http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/c...cina-1227.html
              sigpic

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Casting seating wall in Concrete

                I'm back.

                Poured the second bench over the weekend.

                Lessons learned:

                1st pour:

                Wiley said it would be a good idea to remove the form on the first day as concrete shrinks - I wrapped the inner core forms with foam so I was not worried. Besides I was away on a business trip and couldn't take them out if I wanted to.

                Inner core forms removed fairly well - foam helps.
                Rest of form removed easy enough but all of the moulding was stuck in the face of the bench. I drove screws into the moulding to jack them out of their prisons - worked well and did not lose a single piece of moulding.

                Melamine form still looks good - no appreciable water absoprtion. BTW I coated all exposed edges with silicone caulk as well.

                Had lots of small voids in the bench (no big ones!!!) and grouted them with 100% cement. After hitting them with the sander it looks nice.

                2nd pour:

                took a while to clean up the dried glue from where the moulding had separated from the form - no glue this time - just a few brads and silicone caulk around the edges.

                Put the form back together - used lots of spray PAM - a whole can. Also wired the center cores to the form at the top and bottom they did not move this time!!!

                Used same mix as last time but poured half of the bench and used my home made vibrator around all the edges - later found that this made a big difference - almost no voids in the 2nd pour (bottom half).

                Pushed the metal reinforcement into the concrete - was not bad as there was enough of the form exposed to make sure I was centered.

                Filled up the rest and could not fit my home made thing between the walls and reinforcement wire. Used plan B - Vibrator on the outside and whack it all over the place with my rubber hammers.

                This time I took Wiley's advice and removed the forms the next morning. Probably in the form 20 hours.

                The form was loose from the bench in half the time and all of the moulding stayed attached to the form!!! - no rework for the next pour.

                The forms are starting to show a little orange peel look - I hope I can get 3 more pours out of them. Only 2 sides will show when I'm done - so even If I have to make some new ones it won't be the end of the world.

                Was going to pour concrete tops for the benches but am now looking at using IPE decking for the tops - it should warm up all the concrete out there.

                Still not sure what do make the planters out of that will go between the benches - Wood or poured concrete? Not sure now. Original plan was concrete with a light embedded in the front.

                Going for 2 sections this weekend!! - one on early sat morning and one late on Sunday!!! Wish me luck!! Maybe I will swing by the orange tool store and see if I can score a vibrator.

                Christo
                Attached Files
                Last edited by christo; 08-14-2008, 10:22 AM.
                My oven progress -
                http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/c...cina-1227.html
                sigpic

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Casting seating wall in Concrete

                  Those look great! I like the idea of the decking for the tops. You know, if you make it removable, you could store stuff in there...

                  I've been looking at hypertufa sites- I think they look neat. Maybe you could fit some of that in there for planters? Or will that mix your metaphors too much, design-wise?
                  Elizabeth

                  http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/e...html#post41545

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Casting seating wall in Concrete

                    Very Cool, Christo!!! Again, I'm amazed by the skills, creativity and ingenuity of the people on here!
                    Ken H. - Kentucky
                    42" Pompeii

                    Pompeii Oven Construction Video Updated!

                    Oven Thread ... Enclosure Thread
                    Cost Spreadsheet ... Picasa Web Album

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Casting seating wall in Concrete

                      If you have access to a hammer drill. They work great for vibrating. Chuck up a cartage bolt and let the round head do the hammering.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Casting seating wall in Concrete

                        very nice indeed. makes me want to consider a poured stand even more now.
                        Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and taste
                        like chicken...



                        My 44" oven in progress...
                        __________________________
                        http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f6/s...ally-6361.html

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Casting seating wall in Concrete

                          Elizabeth - I picked up 105 feet of IPE decking late last week and it looks wonderful. So I'm committed to wood for the top of the benches.

                          Ken - thanks

                          MND - nice idea - I did not make it to the orange tool store to buy a stinger so maybe I'll buy the hammer drill instead - I can make the tool smaller to work around my rebar this way.

                          CK - I had a good time making the forms and I think if you don't have to worry about reusing the forms again - it's even easier. I was suprised that I had some deflection in the inner cores of the bench - I did not think that 2 inches of concrete would exert that much force....

                          Third bench is out of the form today. They keep looking better. This one was in the form for only 12 hours. I was worried I would chip an edge but pulled slowly and firmly and could hear a sucking sound as the moulding pulled free from the face. - If I do it again - I hope I remember to cut the back side of the moulding at an angle vs 90 degrees - that would have helped with the release.

                          Christo
                          Last edited by christo; 08-19-2008, 10:21 AM.
                          My oven progress -
                          http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/c...cina-1227.html
                          sigpic

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Casting seating wall in Concrete

                            Update.

                            All 5 benches made it from a single form. The form was getting a slight bit of an orange peel look to the surface during the last 2 pours but went well. I think Vegetable cooking spray on the forms combined with Wiley's advice of taking the forms off early in the process really helps.

                            After seeing Morishita-san's oven stand - I really loved the glass block and changed my plans to include some.

                            http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/atta...-files-287.jpg

                            So I reworked my column design to replace the inset panel with Glass block. I also got a bit more ambitious on curves and angles.

                            So far, I'm really happy with the results - 4 more columns to go!!! With the long legs on the base it looks a little Asian to me - but when the patio pavers go in, the legs will be much shorter and may lose a little of that look. The first one had an issue with blow out - I had to stop vibrating the concrete as I reached the top - but all in all - not too many voids.

                            Christo
                            Attached Files
                            Last edited by christo; 09-16-2008, 07:54 PM.
                            My oven progress -
                            http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/c...cina-1227.html
                            sigpic

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Casting seating wall in Concrete

                              Very cool! Great fun to watch it all develop, I love the columns.
                              "Building a Brick oven is the most fun anyone can have by themselves." (Terry Pratchett... slightly amended)

                              http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/p...pics-2610.html
                              http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f9/p...nues-2991.html

                              Comment

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