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Old 06-01-2017, 01:38 AM   #1
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How To: Concrete Ellipse


I'm looking to create an elliptical concrete sculpture similar to the one in the link below. I'm just getting into working with concrete for sculptural elements so I wanted to lean on the collective knowledge of you all before completely botching this project.

Some of the questions I have:
- What's the best method and material to create an elliptical mold?
- How might I suspend the glass bits in an evenly distributed way?
- What brand of white concrete do you recommend for a structure such as this?
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Old 06-01-2017, 01:50 AM   #2
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Re: How To: Concrete Ellipse


Hmm, guess I'm too green to post links or images. I'll try to paint an image in your mind's eye... Picture an ellipse that's 24"(W)x18"(H)x12"(D). Thickness of the ellipse is approximately 1-1/2". Material is a white concrete with flecks of recycled glass.

Google "concrete exchange newbold bird feeder" if you'd like to see an image of the concept I'm referring to.
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Old 06-01-2017, 07:39 AM   #3
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Re: How To: Concrete Ellipse


i'm not aware of the various white cements however both cheng & buddy rhodes sell products to the public,,, 'cement-all' MAY be available at your local apron /vest store,,, you could also try sher-wms - they own d & c & have duo-top mtls avail

building the form ? get 2 cylinders - big deal

most here aren't into aesthetic conc,,, we're mostly belt & suspenders guys who don't wear berets & probably carry hawks more often than palettes
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Old 06-01-2017, 11:18 AM   #4
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Re: How To: Concrete Ellipse


There is no brand of white concrete, but i think you mean a brand of white cement, which is available throughout the whole country, a mix design is usually worked up by a lab, and a mockup is constructed on site, before the actual job is a go.
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Old 06-01-2017, 12:29 PM   #5
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Re: How To: Concrete Ellipse


You're talking about this:



If you google for articles on how to make concrete countertops you'll find information on how to produce different colors and finishes. How to mold the shape is an interesting problem. Lots of bathroom wastebaskets are oval. If you could find two of the right dimensions they might work. Otherwise, building a reusable form is going to be a bit more involved.
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Old 06-01-2017, 12:37 PM   #6
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Re: How To: Concrete Ellipse


That looks like a fragile feeder. I wonder if there's some kind of rigid core in it.
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Old 06-01-2017, 05:40 PM   #7
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Re: How To: Concrete Ellipse


should be strong enough for 10- 15 birds at a time,,, might think about adding a handful of fiber into the mix tho,,, never know when a squirrel'll hop aboard

there's too many pre-engineered mixes avail on the market,,, even countertop guys have mostly given up on formulating their own mix designs
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Old 06-02-2017, 10:34 AM   #8
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Re: How To: Concrete Ellipse


Great idea regarding the oval wastebaskets. Hadn't considered that. Now I need to just find two baskets of the same shape but different size that are perfectly upright. Or I suppose I could cut the bottom off one of them and ply it meet the shape of the other...thinking out loud.

The real challenge as I see it is in suspending the aggregate along the full face. If I use too thin of a mix, the aggregates will collect at the bottom. If I use a thick mix and paste the cement to the walls before pouring, I wonder if I can get a smooth, crack-free surface.

Are there any additives to the mixing process that will make the consistency of the cement into more of a spackle paste or putty?
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Old 06-02-2017, 11:00 AM   #9
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Re: How To: Concrete Ellipse


I was thinking that you would put them in normal wastebasket orientation for the pour and every so often tamp down the concrete with the largest dowel that would fit the space.

If you could bolt them together through the bases using bolts and washers that would keep them from moving as the concrete was poured.

I've never done anything like this before so my idea could be completely untenable, but at least it's an initial approach.

If you do cut the base off the inner one you might have to find a way to prevent it from flexing under the weight of the concrete. Maybe some oval plywood supports to jam in the middle. It might flex at the top even if it has a base.
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Old 06-02-2017, 11:44 AM   #10
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Re: How To: Concrete Ellipse


Not sure trash can are the best idea but if you want go that rout then leave the bottom. screw the inner can bottom to the outer can bottom to hold it in place.
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Old 06-02-2017, 01:00 PM   #11
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Re: How To: Concrete Ellipse


Smooth sided wastebaskets are a shortcut that may or may not work. What's the alternative? An elliptical wooden core and a silicone mold, maybe? I've never done anything like that but it's probably a piece of cake if you have the skills. I could make the elliptical core.
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Old 06-02-2017, 08:52 PM   #12
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Re: How To: Concrete Ellipse


sheet of formica like the conc c-top folks use
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Old 06-02-2017, 09:18 PM   #13
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Re: How To: Concrete Ellipse


Cut sizes of PVC pipe to length , heat and press them into an ellipse to form the mold with one inside to give desired wall thickness.
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