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Old 01-06-2010, 02:58 PM   #1
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I am in need of help from anyone familiar with fabricating their own concrete countertops.
I poured my first one last weekend using melamine for the mold. When I took it out last night, I noticed that the melamine had cracked in a few places, the mdf had swelled, and now I have low spots on the top and sides surface. Also, the melamine swelled at the top edge of the mold, from getting wet while screeding I assume.
Have any of you ever seen this? Did I crack the melamine when tapping with the rubber mallet on the bottom? Should I use a better mold material? Is there a trick to it? Etc???
It is a small vanity top, 22"x31". I think there is enough material to grind it flat, not hit the wire in it, and still cover the vanity.
I want to do the 22" x 61" for the master bath.
Another question is how fast can material be removed with the 50 grit pad???
Any help would be appreciated.
Thanks

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Old 01-06-2010, 03:47 PM   #2
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I envy you. I really wanted to fabricate concrete counter tops for the kitchen, but my wife was afraid to let me try.

Do you have the Taunton book? It's great.

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Old 01-06-2010, 04:11 PM   #3
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Thanks,
It's been fun, so far, building this whole house.
I only have the Cheng book and video.
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Old 01-06-2010, 04:53 PM   #4
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Where's Knucklez, he did his kitchen counter and seems to have plenty of experience.

Here is his thread.

my kitchen reno - complete remodel (with concrete countertop)
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Old 01-06-2010, 05:25 PM   #5
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I've read his thread a couple times now. He doesn't have anything in there about having problems with the melamine cracking. That's all I really need to know. I'm gonna try to make this first one work, just don't know how hard/easy it will be to remove about 1/8" of material from the top and sides.
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Old 01-06-2010, 07:05 PM   #6
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try PMing him, I'm sure he'd have some input.
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Old 01-07-2010, 01:28 PM   #7
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never fear, i am here

removing 1/8th inch with a variable speed wet grinder is an impossible task. this is cement, not wood. i do not know how to solve your problem.

how thick was your melemine? i was using 5/8" thick stuff. its quite heavy. i never tapped the bottom of the form. but i tapped and vibrated the sides a lot. never had any problems.


post some pictures.
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Old 01-07-2010, 02:15 PM   #8
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I used, I think, 3/4" malamine from HD. It's MDF underneath, and when it cracked, it swelled a lot.
How far do those tops I see with what looks like half the aggregate exposed get ground?
I still am going to do another for the other bathroom.
Looking at it last night, the bottom may be better than the top now.
I was thinking about taping off the top edge of the form next time.
I can always pour this one again if I have to.
Thanks for your input.
Eric
btw,
love your kitchen counters!!!!
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Old 01-07-2010, 02:51 PM   #9
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Glean the tips from these........ http://books.google.com/books?as_brr...G=Search+Books

Be safe, Gary
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Old 01-25-2010, 08:12 PM   #10
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OK, here are some pics. The charcoal is the newest one, brown the first try on the small top. The dark areas on it are the low spots.
I went a different route on the mold this time.
3/4" plywood with 1/16" lexan walls, everywhere.
OMG, how smooth when it came out too. This is right out of the mold, before any grinding or polishing.
I bought the Cheng kit and some wax too, so I'll post more when it's done.
Thanks everybody

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Old 01-25-2010, 09:06 PM   #11
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I don't 'tap' the form. Use a random orbital sander on the outside of the form vibrates the form enough to settle everything into place.
Nice finish on that black one. one-sixteenth lexan, eh?
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Old 01-26-2010, 09:58 AM   #12
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Looks great.

Lookin forward to seeing some more photos as you progress.

Cheers.

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