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Concrete Sink Project is Complete!

I finally finished up my Custom Concrete Guitar Sink that I have been working on for some time now. Often I find myself outside working,  getting pretty dirty, and then having to get the door handles to the house dirty, sometimes dripping mess all over the place just to get inside and scrub up.

Sure a hose may do sometimes but often its a pain. I have been needing an outdoor sink for this very reason for the longest time and finally its complete.

If you have been following along with this project, you will know there is a part 1 and a part 2 and now here is the completed sink.

Also I started a new website to showcase all my crafts and concrete works here Pearidge Concrete.

I failed my new years resolution

I had every intention of making an iPhone application and have it in the app store by now making me some money.  I made it my new years resolution! I wrote about it here http://www.seizethepage.com/mac-and-ios-application-development/ Unfortunately for me, I never got around to it.

Sorry, but I got caught up in a new hobby after the kitchen remodel in April.

My new hobby is artisan concrete.

I taught myself how to make my own custom concrete counter tops during the kitchen remodel. It was fun and very rewarding. We could not find any style or color of granite that we liked. Granite is over done, played out. It has limits. We decided that we didn’t want it, and wanted some pre-cast custom concrete tops.

I must say that there is just something about taking a custom recipe mix of dust and making it a liquid and then a solid that will be appreciated for years to come.

Since then I have been learning about making sinks and other cool projects with concrete.

After the kitchen remodel I was consumed by concrete and with summer coming on full blast, I was not near a computer unless I was at work. I live in the backyard from sun up till sundown in the summer time and never made time to sit inside and code an application for the iPhone.

Sorry for that. Maybe I will give myself an extension of a year to try it again.

 

Sinks

Custom Conrete Sink

Custom Concrete Sink

 

Custom Concrete Counter Tops

Custom Concrete Counter Tops

My First Concrete Sink

As many of you that read this blog know, I am doing a concrete sink project that will be in the shape of a guitar and used outdoors. It is a really big project with the counter top being 8 foot long. I have been taking my time with this sink because it will be my first sink. If I wanted to do it like my kitchen counter tops and make it with the hand pressed technique I could have already been done, but I want to try something new.

If I were to do the hand pressed look which makes it look more like granite or marbled, I would have to slurry coat the entire thing to fill in the voids, and also do this deep inside the sink. Then I would have to sand it several times to get a glossy finish. That’s OK, but I really do not want to slurry this one if I do not have too. Nor do I want to sand and sand and sand. I want a more machined look, crisp, smooth and clean.

This can be achieved two ways.  I can either wet cast or spray the concrete.

If I wet cast, that’s simply a wetter mix that is really flow-able and I can just pour it into the mold. This is good, but my counter top thickness is 1.5 inches and the sink is 6 inches deep. In order to wet cast I would have to build my mold up in tiers so that I could pour the counter top, cover it with more melamine, then build sides around the sink and pour some more. This will require more concrete mix and more melamine.

If I spray the concrete, it will be a GRFC mix (glass fiber reinforced concrete) and I will not have to use any metal bracing in the concrete like I would have to do in the other two types of concrete casting. Whats so cool about doing this, is that not only will it use less concrete, but I will not have to build up a two tier mold, will not have to add metal bracing, will give me a smooth finish with less if not no bug holes to fill.

I really really wanted to do GFRC but I have never done it before. When I researched it I kept finding out that I needed a really large air compressor. I needed a hopper gun specifically designed for spraying concrete, and I had neither of these things. I only have a 2.5 horsepower 15 gallon compressor.

I read in very few places where some guys were getting by with even smaller compressors. This made me think it might be possible after all. Next I needed a gun to shoot the concrete with. Luckily a friend of mine has a drywall hopper gun. With a few modifications to tilt the hopper bucket further back using a 45 degree PVC fitting, I think this too will work.

Drywall Hopper Gun used to Spray GFRC

Drywall Hopper Gun used to Spray GFRC

After I got the hopper gun I plugged it into the compressor to see how it works. Now I know why they say I need a large compressor. When you plug the gun in, its constantly blowing air. All the trigger does is dump whats in the hopper in front of the moving air.

I came to an realization that in order for this to work I was going to need to regulate the air and be able to turn it off and on when I needed it, so I could save the air and this way my compressor would run out of air so fast and I have to wait on it to fill up. A quick trip to Lowes to find what I needed and all was well.

Now to test.

OK, so I need to test this stuff out, but on what? Not going to waste an effort, so I remembered this small plastic pond thing that I picked up at Lowes several months back that wanted to one day make a sink from.

Pond Liner used for Concrete Sink

Pond Liner used for Concrete Sink

Well today was that day. I quickly fashioned a standard mold, its quite small actually at 19×24 inches. I affixed the pond thingy with silicon, added my tail piece for the sink drain made from a PVC pipe and rubber gasket, then 3 other pieces of PVC for the faucet, a typical 4 inch bathroom faucet. Now I am ready to spray, or try to.

Concrete Sink Mold

Concrete Sink Mold

I made my mix and poured it into my hopper. I then sprayed a little on a piece of cardboard to see how it would spray.

I felt confident I had most of it all right, and I began to spray my mold. After it set a while I back-filled with my not so wet mix. I did this by hand. Everything looked good and I covered it for 2 days. On the 3rd day I took it out of the mold and I was delighted at what I was seeing. For my first run at this it was pretty flawless. There were a few bug holes to fill inside the sink and seal it up.

First sprayed layer of GFRC

First sprayed layer of GFRC

Concrete Sink

Concrete Sink

This was a great first test run and I think I will do one more of this same sink and make the counter for it larger, before I tackle my outdoor integral guitar sink.

Stay tuned.

 

Concrete Sink Project Part Two

Well if you read the first part of the series on the concrete sink project you know know that I had just poured a slab base for my cabinet to put a concrete sink in.

This is my first attempt at making a concrete sink and I am blogging about it in parts.

In this post I wanted to post several pictures of the cabinet as it is now completed. Also the sink will take the shape of a guitar. I worked on the guitar mold for quite some time now and tonight I completed it.

The cabinet was a simple build with 2×4’s and later I put older would on the facing of it so that it looked rustic.

The guitar mold was fashioned out of the pink 2 inch thick foam from Home Depot. I used 3 layers of it glued together. I then sanded it slightly and coated it with plaster in 2 coats then sanded it down to a fine finish and coated with a two part epoxy. The epoxy should allow me to reuse the mold on future guitar sinks later on.

Quick little funny, tonight as I was looking at the mold and marveling at the glossiness of it and daydreaming about how the sink would look, I noticed that the 2×4 boards I was using to keep it off the work bench was now glued to my mold. WHAT WAS I THINKING !!!!!???!!!

I quickly reacted and tried hard to get the boards a loose from the mold trying desperately not to destroy my hard work.

I succeeded with minimal damage and learned a valuable lesson. I think I can fix the rough edge I made. Everything should be ok.

Here are some pics of the cabinet base.

 

Here is a small video of the concrete sink mold getting fabricated.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bm0JpAAbeAA

Stay tuned for the next installment Concrete Sink Project Part Three