Ok, I just have some general questions.

1. How long does it take for the mix to set on the wall to point where you can't work it anymore?

2. Along those same lines, how long do you wait before stamping(texturising) and how long do you wait before wedging and/or carving?

3. the powdered release agent, is there color in that powder that already puts a little color towards the final project? IOW... Is that a colored release agent?

4. has anybody ever tried using silicone kitchen and bathroom caulk to make pads?

i'm sure I will have some more questions in the future.

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Question #1

Most of the time you work the mix in a regular day ( less than 8 hours ) Where people get into trouble is when they put up more than they can carve. This leads to bad carving, design and all the way around shotty workmanship. You need to know what you can effectively carve and in excellence. Even the next day some mixes can still be tooled an manipulated not reaching there full psi. This would be called "dry" carving, more work and less forgiving. Most of the time you want to deal with the mix of the day. The more you have to touch it the less productive you will be.

Question #2

Texturing and carving are different. Most of the time you want to texture as soon as you can...this being said because the wall mix is at its most pliable state with in the first 30 minutes. The sooner you can get to it the more detail will be capture from the tools being used. There are some cases where you wait until the mix sets up a bit then you texture because the mix may be too soft and manipulating it may cause a section to fail or weaken. You just need to know the mix your working with and when you can touch it with out damaging the final product.
When using the Wedge tool you also want to get to it right after the design phase. The important thing to remember about the Wedge is that you are displacing material not removing material from the wall. If the mix is setting up on you the Wedge will be more difficult to displace the material. On the flip side if the mix is still too soft you will displace the material just to have it settle back together again. Timing and knowing your mix life will all come with experience. My experience is I have used the Wedge with in the first 60 minutes of application.

Question #3

Yes....there is color in the release agents...I like ASH WHITE because there really is no color being added ... well there is but its still white. You don't have to use release agents at all. I just use them primarily to keep the chip brushes clean during clean out and to protect rollers or skins if I'm using them. There are many colors in release agents. You could even colorize the whole wall with them ...but there is not much control.

Question #4

I used to use a produce from Ace Hardware that was a rubber based caulk of some kind but it was discontinued. As far as the silicons go...knock yourself out, but it may take a long time for the center of the caulk to set up. That's why most people prefer 2 part systems and/or latex in layers to create custom tools.
Ok, that all makes sense to me. Let me ask you this. I have this product called Deco-1 ....its supposed to be a "limestone" stucco mix. i have already done a whole house in this stuff so I am very familiar with it. It seems to be very similar to the wall mix that you use as far as its clay like quality. The only thing I need to do is modify it a little bit. So I was thinking about adding some sugar to it to extend the work time. Should I try it with powdered sugar or regular sugar? My thinking was that powdered sugar would mix more evenly into it. I may even try some of the delay set powder from ....I think its fitz-pak.
And my other modification would be to add something to make it lighter in weight. What do you think the best material would be to make it lighter? i would really like something thats lite in color. Since the deco-1 is really white to begin with. I don't want to add dark specs to it.
I really want to be able to use this stuff cause I have pallets of it. And maybe if it works I will convince the president of the company to make it available. It has lots of good qualities to it....I just wanna soup it up a little.

Sorry if this seems a little weird but my brain is always thinking about new ways to do things and I love coming up with this stuff, if it really works well. ;-)))
I HAVE FOUND THE BEST TOOL FOR TEXTURE IS RELEASE ON A 2X2 SHEET OF PLASTIC THEN USE THE SIDE OF YOUR HAND TO MAKE SEAMS AND THE HEAL OF YOUR OF YOUR HAND TO MAKE
INDENTS ALSO YOU CAN ROLL A REAL SPONGE TEXTURE ROLLER OVER THE PLASTIC ( YOU CAN GET THESE ROLLERS IN THE PAINT STORE THERE CHEAP AND LAST A LONG TIME JUST DONT PUT REALESE ON THE ROLLER IT WILL FALL APART JUST SPRAY THE PLASTIC)
THE PLASTIC ALSO WORKS WELL WHEN FORMING BUMP OUTS

GOOD LUCK RICH
Guido said:
Ok, that all makes sense to me. Let me ask you this. I have this product called Deco-1 ....its supposed to be a "limestone" stucco mix. i have already done a whole house in this stuff so I am very familiar with it. It seems to be very similar to the wall mix that you use as far as its clay like quality. The only thing I need to do is modify it a little bit. So I was thinking about adding some sugar to it to extend the work time. Should I try it with powdered sugar or regular sugar? My thinking was that powdered sugar would mix more evenly into it. I may even try some of the delay set powder from ....I think its fitz-pak.
And my other modification would be to add something to make it lighter in weight. What do you think the best material would be to make it lighter? i would really like something thats lite in color. Since the deco-1 is really white to begin with. I don't want to add dark specs to it.
I really want to be able to use this stuff cause I have pallets of it. And maybe if it works I will convince the president of the company to make it available. It has lots of good qualities to it....I just wanna soup it up a little.

Sorry if this seems a little weird but my brain is always thinking about new ways to do things and I love coming up with this stuff, if it really works well. ;-)))

Well ..... I can't give you advise on that level but sugar will retard the mix that's for sure....but before I did that I would talk to the manufacture and see what they would use to retard the mix with first. Then I would make that choice. Video Raw Materials may give you some ideas...

Guido, 

I have found that corn starch has great retarding characteristics and give the mix a buttery texture.  How much is trial and error.   

Guido said:

Ok, that all makes sense to me. Let me ask you this. I have this product called Deco-1 ....its supposed to be a "limestone" stucco mix. i have already done a whole house in this stuff so I am very familiar with it. It seems to be very similar to the wall mix that you use as far as its clay like quality. The only thing I need to do is modify it a little bit. So I was thinking about adding some sugar to it to extend the work time. Should I try it with powdered sugar or regular sugar? My thinking was that powdered sugar would mix more evenly into it. I may even try some of the delay set powder from ....I think its fitz-pak.
And my other modification would be to add something to make it lighter in weight. What do you think the best material would be to make it lighter? i would really like something thats lite in color. Since the deco-1 is really white to begin with. I don't want to add dark specs to it.
I really want to be able to use this stuff cause I have pallets of it. And maybe if it works I will convince the president of the company to make it available. It has lots of good qualities to it....I just wanna soup it up a little.

Sorry if this seems a little weird but my brain is always thinking about new ways to do things and I love coming up with this stuff, if it really works well. ;-)))

Thanks for your suggestion...

Nathan Giffin Vertical Artisans said:

Question #1

Most of the time you work the mix in a regular day ( less than 8 hours ) Where people get into trouble is when they put up more than they can carve. This leads to bad carving, design and all the way around shotty workmanship. You need to know what you can effectively carve and in excellence. Even the next day some mixes can still be tooled an manipulated not reaching there full psi. This would be called "dry" carving, more work and less forgiving. Most of the time you want to deal with the mix of the day. The more you have to touch it the less productive you will be.

Question #2

Texturing and carving are different. Most of the time you want to texture as soon as you can...this being said because the wall mix is at its most pliable state with in the first 30 minutes. The sooner you can get to it the more detail will be capture from the tools being used. There are some cases where you wait until the mix sets up a bit then you texture because the mix may be too soft and manipulating it may cause a section to fail or weaken. You just need to know the mix your working with and when you can touch it with out damaging the final product.
When using the Wedge tool you also want to get to it right after the design phase. The important thing to remember about the Wedge is that you are displacing material not removing material from the wall. If the mix is setting up on you the Wedge will be more difficult to displace the material. On the flip side if the mix is still too soft you will displace the material just to have it settle back together again. Timing and knowing your mix life will all come with experience. My experience is I have used the Wedge with in the first 60 minutes of application.

Question #3

Yes....there is color in the release agents...I like ASH WHITE because there really is no color being added ... well there is but its still white. You don't have to use release agents at all. I just use them primarily to keep the chip brushes clean during clean out and to protect rollers or skins if I'm using them. There are many colors in release agents. You could even colorize the whole wall with them ...but there is not much control.

Question #4

I used to use a produce from Ace Hardware that was a rubber based caulk of some kind but it was discontinued. As far as the silicons go...knock yourself out, but it may take a long time for the center of the caulk to set up. That's why most people prefer 2 part systems and/or latex in layers to create custom tools.

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