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ponch37300 04-26-2009 11:08 AM

how to make waterfall with fake rocks
1 Attachment(s)
Hi, I would like to learn how to make fake rocks and make a waterfall with them. I have been searching online for about 6 hours now and have found lots on simple rocks but not really what I'm looking for.

I was planning on building a TV stand for a 42" plasma TV. Yesterday I was at the aquarium at the mall of America and they have a ton of fake rocks, waterfalls, ponds and all sorts of fake rocks. I got to thinking that I would like to build a TV stand to look like rocks with a waterfall on each side of the TV. A little crazy but I like the idea and from what I've read so far I think it is doable but need a little help with materials and how to of the fake stone.

I would build a frame out of wood for the general shape of the whole stand and the space for the TV. Then I think I can staple chicken wire to the wood frame to get the shape of rocks. Then lay a cement mixture on the chicken wire to make the actual rocks. Then I will need to waterproof the areas for the waterfalls. Then paint it and enjoy!

The things I still need to learn are if I even on the right track? If the chicken wire is the right stuff to use to get the shapes of the rocks and give the cement strength? What kind of cement mixture should I use? How do I waterproof the areas where the waterfall will be?

Thanks for any help or advice on this. Please tell me if I'm way off on how to build the rocks. Or if you have any websites or books to read on how to build fake rock pieces. Here is a little picture of what I'm going to attempt to do. I know this isn't really a landscaping project but thought the landscaping forum would be the best place to get info on the details I need for this project. Thanks again

Attachment 9966

Bob Mariani 04-26-2009 01:32 PM

Build the form of the rocks with molding foam, not wood. Lighter, easier to shape and will not be damaged over time from the moisture being released from the concrete. You can waterproof your project with a brush on membrane called pond armor. Coloring the rocks are an art, as is the shaping of them. But easy to do and fun. However the moisture this will create will destroy the TV

Yoyizit 04-26-2009 01:36 PM

Decide on the height and the gallons per minute so you can specify your pump.

ponch37300 04-26-2009 02:14 PM

Thanks Bob. Where would I find molding foam? Is this just the pink insulating foam they sell at home depot or is this special foam? Also any advice on what kind of concrete to use on top of the foam? I looked at pond armor and it sounds like what I'm looking for.

The bottom pools are going to be about 2 feet off the floor and the whole thing will be about 6 feet tall so the wall will need to go up about 4 ft. Not sure about the gallons per minute? There will be a fall on each side so 2 falls in total. I am thinking I will want a couple "pools" on the way down so the water has a couple short falls instead of one big one.

Thanks guys

Bob Mariani 04-26-2009 04:09 PM

regular portland type II cement is all you need.

Leah Frances 04-26-2009 10:37 PM

Electricity and water tend to not mix. What's your plan for a) keeping the flowing water out of the TV, b) keeping the 'splash' off the TV, c) keeping the humidity that will result from the moving water and pools out of the TV?

What about using an 'outside' TV. I know I've seen them advertised before? Check out home aquarium/terrarium stuff - tons of pre-made and attractive 'fake' waterfall options to be had.

ponch37300 04-27-2009 07:49 AM

The TV is going to be set in a "cave" so I'm not worried about water or splashing. The only thing that might cause a problem would be the humidity. Not sure how much humidity a waterfall would give off, My house is pretty dry now and I run a humidifier. Not sure if the waterfall would put out a ton more than a humidifier.

Still need to figure out where to get molding foam. What size pump I will need. Then get the hang of shaping the rocks. And anything else I'm not thinking of. Thanks for the help

Bob Mariani 04-27-2009 10:44 AM

try this site to calculate your pump size. I would recommend keeping the waterfalls at a trickle and no more to avoid splashing on the TV. Keep the water wells at the bottom to each side of the TV to avoid moisture into the TV. Then use two small pumps with 1/2" tubing to supply water for the falls.

Molding foam is about 12" -24" thick. it is a closed cell foam and can be found at mason yards or an art supply store.

Yoyizit 04-27-2009 10:54 AM

Gallons per minute
Hire an assistant
to time you while you pour out a bucket of water at the desired rate. 1 gallon in 30 seconds is you-know-how-many-GPM.

joey509 05-21-2009 09:15 PM

Pump Calculator
I found this site a while back that allows you to calculate the size of pump you will need.

There are also some videos and articles about waterfall construction here:
(may not be exactly what you are looking for in your particular situation):

ponch37300 05-22-2009 10:52 AM

Thanks for the links joey. I think I got the waterfall part figured out, still trying to figure out how to build the fake stone sculpture for the waterfall.

Scuba_Dave 05-22-2009 01:04 PM

I'd change nearby outlets to GFCI

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