Does anyone use their own mixture design and not one of the brand names (Flex-c-ment, etc)?

I, like a some other members do not stay in the US. I've tried my utmost to source these products locally but just cannot find them. The option to import them is non existent as the exchange rate (R12 to 1$), add shipping, import duties, etc just isn't an option as it would be cheaper to purchase the original local product (cladding,etc).

A normal cement/sand mixture just cannot support itself on the wall let alone stand up to someone carving it.

I know it's probably something most wouldn't want to part with but any help in the right direction would be greatly appreciated otherwise my vertical carving future is doomed.

As for the coloring systems, that's overcome by using acrylic paints which are easily obtained.

Thanks all

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Don't despair.

Goto and ask to speak to Irne. Tell him your situation and what your trying to do.
Also mention you are a friend of Nathans from Vertical Artisans in the USA. If he has any reservations tell him to call me personally.

Email me as well and I will give you a number.
Got his number of the website. tx
I contacted Irne and got the expected response..."closely guarded secret...." They may be selling in in the future though. Guess I'll just try some other mix combinations but with little knowledge in the cement/concrete field and little help from the local companies I don't see it working. Oh the amount of times I've said "If we stayed in the states....." :-(
hi jonathan have you made any progress? wher are you in the world - I have similar problem I live in New zealand but have made progress- contact me
I stay in Cape Town, South Africa. No progress. I've just heard that the local guys that could have help me will NOT be selling their home mix. They offered to do the work for me and let me help in the process but that does not solve my problem as I would like to do it myself. They are also located about 2000kms from and I'd have to pay for the traveling cost....I may as well get someone local to do it.
Im using a combination of building products thermex binder- plasticicisers and perlite to keep it light and a fine cement sand mix ( m14) all the products are avaialble in the building industry- check out equus nz website for product info
Thanks Peter, I'll have a look.

Nathan, what did you use when you first started out so many years ago? Where there industry mixes available then already?
When I started I was not aware of any mix in the industry except Flex-C-ment and they were over 300 miles away. The mix I started with was very heavy and cumbersome to lay up by hand. Basically sand and portland cement. By comparison the mixes I use today are like butter. Easy to use and not difficult to lay up. Did you ever hookup with Irne?
Yes, see 3rd post. Basically no help unfortunately. I can forward his reply if you want.

Are branded products lighter? I know what you mean by "butter" from the videos and it's similar to our tile cement/adhesive over here. Was thinking of using that but it's twice the price of a bag of cement and doesn't seem to have the same strength but I love the stickiness.

So that's basically a plaster mix then. How did you get it thick enough to carve? I just recently tried my hand at plastering and don't see how I could get the thickness. I struggled to get 3/4inch to stay on the wall :-)
For a few years now I have been interested in the possibility of lightweight foamed concrete.
The applications I have seen it used for seem very runny, however I imagine that could be resolved with less water before mixing the foam?

What did you learn from your experiments with Lightweight foam entrained concrete Nathan?
Does anyone else have experience with it?
My first knowledge of this method was from when I stumbled across geckostone on the web. I have since discovered a bit more but am still seeking info regarding how to make it applicable for vertical work.

feel free to email me with any info,

I use my own when I do some vertical work. The information is not secret to the construction industry.

What you need to do is make a lightweight mix. search google for LIGHTWEIGHT STUCCO MIX DESIGN, and Light weight plaster, and lightweight concrete mix design,

I live in the chicagoland area and there is a perlite plant nearby. perlite is a lightweight aggregate.

also, some of the bagged products at home improvement stores have different products that you can order if you research them. but making your own is cheaper, or you can have it made and bagged at a concrete toll blender (you will need to purchase several pallets).

the mix is normally :

acrylic polymer (dry or liquid)
sand (can be omitted depending on size of aggregate.)
lightweight agg.
sometimes fibers are used.

also adding plasticizers and a pozz. helps

here is a link to one of the aggregate organizations publications that contains detailed information. It is in .pdf format

Hi all..I've been playing around with some lightweight mixes also..I"m ordering some very small eps beads right now..I've worked with the perlite and still am experimenting..however, perlite tends to soak up water..and so, your mix needs water added quite a bit and often..also, I'm trying to find a way to make it much stickier..don't know exactly what to add yet. I found some shower floor mix at home depo that is a lightweight mix..however, I can only build it out about two inches before it tries to fall off the wall..however, it stamps very very well..and get's very hard. I'm also adding polymer to it. If anyone knows of something to add to these mixes to make them stickier..I'd like to know also. Here's a pic of the latest things i'm doing..

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