Tru-Pac, Flex C Ment, SBC's Mix(3000$ to find out) or Urban Craftsmen($159)

Excuse me, but I am a beginner and I'm wondering what the big secret about these mixes. I am trying to find a cost effective way to learn this wonderful trade. I am not trying to take over someones business, just adding  a nice touch to my home. Can I make a mix from materials from Home Depot that compare to those listed above. Any input is appreciated. It just seems that this is such a big secret.

 

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The secret is really simple.

3 parts sand

1 part cement

add water and you have a cement base.

 

All the other products simply refine from there.   Whether it is a light weight or for thin or thick applications stamping or carving.

 

The urban craftsman recipe is found on the VA subscription site under the news articles ( industry secrets )

 

Most of these mixes simply have components that make the product work to the desires of the artist carving them.

 

Home Depot --- Try a bag of sand topping mix mixed with a bag of mortar.... You can sculpted with that.   It is not going to perform with all the elegance of some of the other mixes but what is it that you are trying to do.

 

You can drive to the park in a BMW or a Honda...the drive is the same but the look will be different.

ya kyle, nathan is right. Every mix out there is just a sand cement base, as nathan stated. There are alot of ways to tailor those mixes to your style and taste. The pre bagged mixes have already been tested through time and practice and are ready to go. Some are more expensive than others. It just depends on the job and your taste. Some mixes can be used inside only, and some can be used for in and outside. You can hone your skills with a bag of mortar mix and add a cup or two of cement. It will be cheap and allow you to not go broke practicing. Good luck .
wow, 2 replies from probably the 2 people i thought were the most unlikely to answer. Thank you so much for reaching out, helping me. I live in Phoenix and if either of you are out here i would love to spend a few min with you. Im headed to home depot now. Oh and you will probably get tired of my questions. Ill be bugging you guys. Thanks again!

Jeff, how can i get my hands on a bag of your mix? Will i need to buy polymer for the mix mentioned above?

 



jeff kirt said:

ya kyle, nathan is right. Every mix out there is just a sand cement base, as nathan stated. There are alot of ways to tailor those mixes to your style and taste. The pre bagged mixes have already been tested through time and practice and are ready to go. Some are more expensive than others. It just depends on the job and your taste. Some mixes can be used inside only, and some can be used for in and outside. You can hone your skills with a bag of mortar mix and add a cup or two of cement. It will be cheap and allow you to not go broke practicing. Good luck .
kyle, I will get your address and send you a couple bags for free, but just pay for shipping. It shouldn't be much. If you want you can call me or I will give you my email. Let me know.
Today I used type N mortar 8olbs  a little lime a litle fire clay 7 gal of Perlite carves great but not better than Tru Pac! Ill post a pic tommorow
hey gabe, you might want to add a little cement to the mortar, dont really need anymore lime in it, and get rid of the clay. Add a little polymer to mix water and cut the perlite in half. You should have better results. Just a suggestion.

 Thanks Jeff I 'll try that , so 80 lbs type N 3- 4 gallons perlite to 2 cups of polymer? how much more cement

The reason Im  experimenting w/much Perlite , is so I can make a display for an up coming trade show (light weight).Any suggestions. Foam block are 4 hours away

I would think a gallon of cement would work.Home depot carries that blue 2in foam that you might be able to screw it to metal 2x4s. Dont know what your doing, but that may help. Im worried about your strength of the mix with all that perlite. If your moving the display around alot it may chip or crack easier. The cement will help the strength but it might set it off faster. Maybe see if you find some mortar retarder. I think home depot has little bags of it. About a tble spoon in 80 gal mix, or the whole bag.

The recipe above is a good place to start, or try starting with a premix like "Spec-mix"(Home Depot-Lowes) and experiment by fortifying it with different aggragates, such as:  Calcium Carbonate, perlite, vermiculite, hydralated lime, masonry clay, silica sand, pumice sand, cement, etc.  To slow the setting you can use carbohydrates such as corn starch or sugar, then there are the store bought retartders. you might want to try a fiber addative as well.  PVA Poly Vinyl Acetate will help as a primer and addative as well.  Take your time and write everything down so that  you may reproduce it again.  You will find the the easiest is to just buy a mix , but if you are like me and the material is just not avilable or just want to try- go ahead and try.  

For further reading try: "Concrete admixtures handbook: properties, science, and technology" By Vangipuram Seshachar Ramachandran.  Try you local college library.

 

Hope it helps.  Sign up at Vertical Artisans and check out Nathan"s video about his trip to Mexico and see what can be done with minimal materials.  Hope this helps.

There are many different concrete mixes and various additives and substitutions for ingredients. It is true that lightweight concrete can be created by adding vermiculite, perlite, peat moss or saw dust in place or partially in place of sand. The short answer is - yes you can do this with varying degrees of success and with more than a little trail and error. The concrete mix that is detailed below is specifically designed for two reasons:

1) Maximum strength
2) Maximum sculptability

This mix is engineered to produce a final concrete strength of 50-75 mPa. This is STRONG in fact this is VERY STRONG concrete. This will produce concrete that is far stronger than sidewalks and curbs, even stronger than swimming pool concrete and most concrete found in high rise construction.

It is important to note that you can make concrete batches of all sizes using the simple principal that the ingredients are all proportional to one another. For example the ratio of sand to cement is generally 3:1 or three parts sand to every one part cement. All other measurements in the mix will be based on the 'one part' cement that you are using. For this example the measurements are based on a standard 40kg bag of type ten portland cement being equal to one standard five gallon bucket.

respirator is a MUST as silica, concrete dust and fiberglass are dangerous to breathe!

Dry Ingredients:

-One bag type 10 portland cement
-Three buckets fine, clean washed sand
-One and 1/4 buckets un-densified silica fume
-1/4 bucket Fly Ash -Small handful of glass fibers (like a pinch of salt - not precise, but a small amount)

Wet ingredients:

-800ml of poly-plex or liquid latex (Liquid acrylic can be substituted where liquid latex is not available)
-300ml liquid water reducer
-Water**

NOTE: The liquid additives can be omitted and replaced with water with acceptable results. The water reducer and liquid latex are needed only where maximum strength and workability is essential.

**In order to make the concrete strong and workable the amount of water is critical and can change depending on a num



This sounds like a good mix, but an expensive one also. Silica fume is usually very hard to find locally and expensive. Fly ash is also hard to find but a little less money.

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