I believe that Stone Facing or Wall Cladding is the wave of the future around the world. The more carvers we can train the better. There is just something about taking the simplest elements ie. concrete among other things, and turning it into something desirable. Perceived value is value and that's what we do. We create perceived value and that's a great place to be. From lead to gold, that's how I see it and it only gets better.

Creative Rock Forming was started in 1999 and I did not have a wonderful web site to learn from. I had a few texture pads, a basic concept, and a desire to succeed.

My favorite styles are dry stack random patterns and natural rock scapes.

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I am a member & I think your work is fantastic, I can not wait to get started,
just 1 question is there a time to start carving like when it is a certain dryness
Terry Allen said:
I am a member & I think your work is fantastic, I can not wait to get started,
just 1 question is there a time to start carving like when it is a certain dryness

Yes, Of course, there are opportunities all through out the "drying" process that you can carve. In fact there are many things that you can't do until the mix reaches a particular condition during the set time.
For example, if you want to "chip" something you can not achieve the effects of a natural chip while the mix is still very wet or fresh...it will just carve like a hot knofe through butter. But when the mix is set up a bit then you can have a lot of fun with a variety of techniques.
Thanks
at the moment the only product that is available to me is flexcement which I have been using for 5 - 6 months is this the product that you use on your training videos or does it not really matter
VerticalArtisans.com said:
Terry Allen said:
I am a member & I think your work is fantastic, I can not wait to get started,
just 1 question is there a time to start carving like when it is a certain dryness

Yes, Of course, there are opportunities all through out the "drying" process that you can carve. In fact there are many things that you can't do until the mix reaches a particular condition during the set time.
For example, if you want to "chip" something you can not achieve the effects of a natural chip while the mix is still very wet or fresh...it will just carve like a hot knofe through butter. But when the mix is set up a bit then you can have a lot of fun with a variety of techniques.
The videos on the subscription site display several mixes and designs but all are "generic" or unknown to the viewer. Only the Project Data videos (P1,P2, ect ) have branded mixes and those are sponsored videos by the manufacturing community.

Flex-c-ment is a great product and I can achieve any look I want with that product. If that is the product that is available then by all means use it.

Nathan, I took your course in Seattle this spring.  I've been knocking myself out trying to get it all going since and have run up against a problem that had ruined months of work for me.   Half of a  several month long waterfalls project has turned out great, but great random chunks of mortar has cracked up and the top inch or more has no structural integrity to it.  A myriad of cracks appeared several weeks after finishing up, the first time it rained. 

I figured it was either because I reconstituted the mix when it started drying up and was hard to spread, or because I may have worked the mix too long.  Next job building an outdoor chair I made sure NOT to reconstitute the mix with water, and got it onto the substrate quickly and tried not to overwork it.  It looked grand until I put it outside a few weeks later and it rained on it....myriad cracks again!  I am desperate for an answer to this problem as it is threatening my whole business and I am disheartened.  Any help you can offer?  I'll try to send a photo if I can figure that out.  Thanks.  Steve

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Steve, what were you using for your mix?
My first guess looking at it is that too much water was used. If you ever need to reconstitute you mix you should use a plastcizer over water. Too much water = weak surface

Christian, thank you so much for giving me of your time and insight.  I am using Trupac "X" exclusively.   The first few projects I did turned out like a million bucks with no adverse reactions or cracking.  They were strong throughout with zero cracking.  I never measured out the water, I only mixed it to a "felt" consistency that would "splat" nicely onto the wall and have a beautiful troweling consistency.  These first projects were done in warm to hot weather and I misted them with water after they dried, and the following week I drenched them with water several times each day.  I figured that was what concrete liked but maybe with this stuff that is not recommended, I don't know.  The guy on the Trupac help line said the finished project shouldn't see rain at all for two weeks minimum.  Why did the concrete I watered furiously turn out so good then?

As the weather heated up even more I did reconstitute occasionally and some of these mixes were ones that began cracking after rain hit them.  I have since been religious about mixing 1.75 gallons of water into each bag mix, but these mixes look identical to what I have always been doing anyways so I don't think that I have been using the wrong ratio, only that reconstituting must be a no-no.   So would adding a plasticizer to a drying mix be OK to lengthen the life of the mix and thin it down then?

What do you mean "use a plasticizer OVER water?"   

How do you know when the mix is losing it's "setting strength and needs to be left alone to harden?" 

How long can you play with the stuff before you lose it's integrity?  On my recent chair project I was so careful not to over-water or reconstitute the mix and to finish it quickly before the set strength wore off, yet I still got cracks galore.  Whatever tips you can give this nervous wreck are appreciated.  Thanks again, Christian.

Steve


Christian Maucieri said:

My first guess looking at it is that too much water was used. If you ever need to reconstitute you mix you should use a plastcizer over water. Too much water = weak surface

hey steve are you sealing the work at all?I'm having same problem,some jobs are great some all cracked.I'm always using same product can't figure out why.Gonna try sealing the jobs sooner after completing them like the patio guys do.I think the cracking might be weather related,damaging sun not sure but most cracking for me are the jobs in full sun all afternoon.

There are a few things you can do that will help. First if you are indoors or in an area where it is not too warm you can break your initial set by re-mixing after 5-10 minutes. What I mean is add all of your ingredients, mix them together, let them sit 5-10 min and then do some re-mixing. This should help extend the workability of your mix. You can add a splash of water, a tiny bit at a time until it's perfect again but I would only do it once.

Secondly, you can use plastcizers/water reducers and or delay set. You can go to fritzpak.com and find what you need there. Plasticizer 5 is a good place to start, it's a powder that you can add to your mix. Add a teaspoon at a time as a little goes a long way. You will add this to your mix only when you want to reconstitute. There is actually enough water in your mix without adding more, the plasticizer will release the water thats already there back into the mix preserving your strength.

To get a longer working time in hot conditions or when you just want more time so you don't have to rush, you can add a "delay set". Again use maybe a teaspoon to a tablespoon per bag until you see what it can do. If you add too much, it will be a very long day or even two days if the temperature is cool or indoors as you mix will take forever to set up enough for you to do your carving.


I personally like to use Kirtbag as a pre bagged mix. Jeff Kirt has carefully crafted a mix that I find works perfectly for vertical applications and or rock work. The only thing I have ever had to add to Kirtbag was a little delay set on hot days. You should call Jeff (903) 279-7525
Direct sun on warm days can dry out the surface of your mix and cause shrinkage cracks. You can avoid this by working with the sun and moving with the shade, setting up a tent or a tarp for shade. You can also use a texture brush to bang some of those cracks back together while its still plastic. Lightly misting the surface of your work with water and I mean lightly can also keep it hydrated. Do this only after it has achieved a good set.

You can also spray a coat of EZ slick over the surface when your done... Specco.com  also known as Original 19 and its the third component of the One Day Wall System..... 

This will gelatin the water and keep evaporation at a low...

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