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janprimus 09-12-2006 09:29 AM

Concrete countertops how to:
OK folks, I have found a very cool resource for how to do your own countertops! They even have an instructional video you can watchonline or purchase separately. He gives you a lot of tips and tricks that will save you a lot of headaches and heartache. I wish I had found it before I did mine.
Check it out.

janprimus 09-14-2006 10:37 AM

Well I have stripped the forme off my counters, and used a diamond blade on my grinder to remove the edge left by the forms. I have begun the polishing process as outlined by Mr Cheng in the video above. This is too cool! I had to return my recently <1 day> purchased Makita 4 inch angle grinder and get the much more expensive variable speed Makita grinder. I went to my local Hardware Sales which is an old time hardware store with tons of really interesting stuff and an awesome selection. They had both the grinder I wanted and the polishing pads! If you are contemplating doing something like this I would probably recommend going to Amazon and getting the set of pads and the velcro head for only 102 bucks. Better deal I know, but I really wanted to get going on this. I paid 19 bucks a piece for the pads. I certainly dont regret or resent it, it is just that preoper planning prevents... thing. Heck, I may still buy a set. They are very cool to work with. You can polish granite, marble, jade or concrete.
Anyway, have fun!

maver 09-14-2006 12:44 PM

wet sanding
Chad, I see they recommend wet sanding for the discs on Amazon - it looks like you have a pretty wet surface there. I've read about grinders that are purpose built for this that have a water inlet port. Are you just spraying the concrete periodically with a hose? It's looking good. I'm planning on doing my outside countertop in concrete and if it goes well then redo my kitchen countertops.

janprimus 09-14-2006 01:45 PM

polishing cement
I am just using a 4 inch Makita angle grinder. If you watch the Cheng video he shows using a small yougurt tub with a few holes drilled along the bottom edge, I used a 1 gallon water bottle for mine and it works great. You just move it whereever you are working. They do make special polishers with a water port, but it is over 350 bucks for an electric one. I did just find an air grinder with water for only 140 bucks on Amazon. That looks pretty cool. They are wet, I am also trying to retard the curing as much as possible so it wont crack. I have been keeping them under plastic since pouring to let them dry slowly.

Marcel 09-14-2006 09:16 PM

Consider Harbor Freight for diamond polishing pads.
(M) Consider Harbor Freight for diamond polishing pads:





maver 09-15-2006 12:49 AM

Those at Harbor Freight don't look quite as durable but they may do the job for single use. I noted they also list a variable speed polisher, 2 models, one is $29 and the other is $49. A 4 or 4 1/2" backing plate replacement would be needed for most of the diamond polishing pads that are out there (the harbor freight backing pad is 7") but those cost under $25. Sounds like my next tool purchase. Might spring for the pads at amazon though.

christo 09-15-2006 05:01 AM

angle polisher
IMHO, this is one of the cases where I would get a little better grade of tool. I have some orange tools, some yellow, and a few grey and black.....

Polishing will take quite some time and you'll want to spend more than 5 to 10 minutes at a time. I think a better grade with ball bearings, etc will hold up to the punishment of grinding/polishing 2 or more countertops.

One of my first woodworking projects (more than 20 years ago)- burned out several "cheap" sanders before I bought a good one - it was more efficient and I still use it today.

If you wanted to polish your car with little or no downward pressure I bet the orange tool would work fine.

I'm thinking of abandoning my granite coutertops in favor of the concrete. -Probably just another way to rationalize buying another tool.....


janprimus 09-15-2006 08:34 AM

Yes, I always try to purchase higher quality tools. I was a craftsman for years and I still have a lot of the hand tools I bought 20 years ago because i bought good stuff.

janprimus 09-18-2006 09:32 AM

I put my counters into position this weekend and started polishing them. Wow, the polishing pads work wonderfully. I just about wore out my 50 grit pad, but I removed a lot of material from the edges trying to get it nice. They are looking really nice. I apologize, but I neglected to get pics yesterday, I had dinner in the oven and had to bust a move and get that taken care of. Have to feed my sons you know. Anyway, I used the 50 grit and got everything shaped the way I want and then worked on it quite a bit with the 120 grit and it already feels silky smooth. There are voids along the edges where I didnt vibrate them enough, but I dont think I will patch them. It adds character right? I'll see about getting pics this afternoon when I get home.
Stay Tuned.

maver 09-18-2006 10:13 AM

silky concrete
I bet it looks great. Is the aggregate showing through? Do you intend to get get it to a shine? Look forward to pics.

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