Old 06-10-2013, 09:45 AM
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: albuquerque, new mexico
Posts: 3
Default getting a smoother finish on vermicrete?


I tried to post this yesterday but think maybe I did in the wrong part of the forum or somehow didn't submit it.

Anyway, though I love Pizza and this is an amazing site for pizza ovens, we use vermicrete to make some outdoor pieces and have been stumbling with getting the finish on our products perfect.

We have been casing small planter boxes out of this material using two grades of vermiculite one very fine, and one coarser that we buy from a garden store locally in 6 cu. foot bags.

My question is if you look at the two pictures I attach, you will see I have a nice smooth finish on all aspects of my finished product that touch our melamine forms, what I get a chunky loose look on is the top of the product where the mold doesn't close over it.

I think maybe this is due to not pre-soaking the vermiculite to be sure it doesn't absorb the water or skim layer that should give the final nice finish on top, but Im' not sure, so any advice or hints or tips would be appreciated.

One pic attached shows what it should look like, other is what I get on the top of the product where you might trowel, but trowel or not, doesn't come out right for me.



getting a smoother finish on vermicrete?-img_4703.jpg

getting a smoother finish on vermicrete?-img_4704.jpg
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Old 06-10-2013, 01:45 PM
david s's Avatar
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Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Townsville, Nth Queensland,Australia
Posts: 5,163
Default Re: getting a smoother finish on vermicrete?

I find you can get a better finish with the finer grade.it is important that the correct amount of water be used in the mix. The finer grade will need more water than the coarse stuff. You could try making the top surface a little richer ( more cement) also try adding a little powdered clay to the mix. Both these things should make it trowel better. Also a 50/50 mix of vermiculite and perlite will make a more workable mix than either of them alone.
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Old 06-10-2013, 03:48 PM
Tscarborough's Avatar
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Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Ausitn
Posts: 3,293
Default Re: getting a smoother finish on vermicrete?

You may have to make a slurry and use a melamine trowel to finish the exposed portions as well.
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