Sunday, November 6, 2016

Cement Countertop Done!!!

Final step waxing!  I broke down and bought a buffer polisher to finish. I was very disappointed in it.  Iassembled  all the needed items. 

I applied wax, buffed off according to directions on the countertop wax.  I didn't see a higher gloss or anything. Dh feels the buffer isn't working well.  I called GOOD!   Yes, patients was gone.

Next step, assembling.  

I must say colors didn't match like they were suppose too.  Oh well life lessons or what ever. 

Creatively we made the top slightly longer and an inch wider than the bottom peice. Wider because I want my bunn to fit on the end side ways.  I needed 8 inches.  I now have it. Wider to have a slightly larger coffee stirring space. 

Maybe not totally in plan, but hey it's a first!  I am overall pleased. The most disappointing is color. I think I will research acid washing to add color.  

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Light in a Bottle

I needed a distraction while I break from cabinet top creating. I saw the lights in a bottle and decided to try it.  

A friend had given me some gallon wine bottles. She thought I could put milk in them. No, but I hated to just trash them so I had been holding on to them.  

First I needed a hole in the side.  I didn't take pictures. I read different ways to do it but didn't have a diamond drill and didn't want to wait.  I broke out my dremel tool and a grinding tip. I stabilized the bottle in a crate with material around it on its side. Since I didn't want it shattering I taped the area with masking tape.  I started grinding. It wasn't as hard as I expected. 

Since that worked I needed lights!   

After reading several how to ideas I jumped in. I used a long string 100 lights since it was a gallon bottle. 

Cut the plug off where you can re-wire taping well. 
Cut both ends off. Tape the end used to string lights together well. The plug in side I dropped in the top fished out my hole and re-wired. I even checked to see if they worked!  
Start stuffing!  I stuffed them all but decided I wanted some in the neck so unstuffed held some back and stuffed. 

I then used a twisty to keep some from settling to the bottom. 
Have no idea what I will do with it but it was fun to make. 

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Cement Countertop tweaking

Once the top dried it had a darker line length wise down the middle. Not sure why. But decided to do more sanding.  If I was going to sand I might  as well fight pin holes.  

I decided to use a syringe to fill the largest of the holes. Bust didn't work. Next I broke out my viberator sander. It is an old sander that the pad is not even good on. It really vibrates. 
I used a plastic feed sack to protect the sander. Mixed grout to thin peanut butter. Smeared it like a thick sandwich.  Laying the bag over and started vibrating.  As it dried out I misted it with water to keep it soupy.  I vibrate it over and over for maybe 5 minutes. 

Now we wait. 

Friday, October 21, 2016

Cement Countertop Grinding

Lessons learned, you are going to make a mess!  Even when you are just going to work for a couple of minutes suit up.  Rubber boots, a plastic apron, (mine is a large trash bag with arm and head hole), and rubber gloves.  I am not sharing how many times I had to come in and change clothes because I ended up soaked or covered in grinding slag.  My shoes suffered because of the water /mud you are working in.  I am doing it under the carport, calchie floor.  

There is a second reason to rubber up.   First day I was playing with my wet grinder I didn't at all and got shocked.  I do NOT do electricity!!!  I had to do some serious self talk and reading to get me to pick it up again.  In reading I found even though there is a breaker to keep you from really frying enough static electricity is generated to get a tingle.  Since I am super sensitive to it, just ask my dh the tingle was more than I wanted.  I have not experienced any since. I always wear rubber gloves and if I plan on really working mud boots. 

I started out taking LOTs of pictures. Filling pin holes took more grinding and doing that I'm not posting near all of them.  First I ground it down using the 50 and 100 disc. Next was a cement slurry to fill the pea gravel oopses and some pin holes.  

This is where the big oops in the center was

Slurry drying   

Sand it down, 

Still had pin holes.  Go read some more.....

Instead of a cement slurry it was suggested to use  grout.  I decided on white, to lighten the peice.  

Still had pin holes, but fewer.   I still feel the cement was to dry. Learning curve!

I then decided that the white wasn't what I wanted.  I had read where people layer colors to get more depth.  Since I still had pin holes next trip to town I got black grout.  I mixed and worked it into holes and such. I am thinking if you had someone to vibrate as you did it the air trapped under the grout would vibrate out.  I decided that after I did it though.  I let it dry overnight.  Because the grout sands easy smooth wasn't that big a deal. 

The black grout covered the white in the pin holes sanding into both black, and white and mixed fills.  I liked the look a lot.  Still had pin holes so redid the black grout after sanding using the 50 disc. Each time I had less holes.  

Today I decided to sand it out meaning I went from a 50-3000 disc.  I think there are 6 or 8 disc. 

Love this picture!  Yes it is still wet, but it is smooth to the point of being slick.  

Remember that big oops in the center?  This is how it looks today.  You can also see the layers of cement, white and black grout I used to patch.  What you can't see is how smooth it feels. 
Here is a closeup of it where you can see the white and black grit pin hole filler. 

In doing the black I discovered I liked the edge black so I worked to leave it.  
The top is still wet, the side is dry. The side is also not polished beyond a 50.  I hate doing the edge. The grinder isn't really made for small hands.  Using it flat isn't hard but holding it sideways with water flying and having to decided how much pressure to apply is hard with small hands.  I hope to talk my dh into helping with that part. 

Pin holes???? Yes I still have some.  I am going to seal and wax it with Cheng's sealer and wax and go with it.  We will see how it is then.  Since this is a coffee bar, not really food the pin holes aren't as big a deal.  I will share the sealing and waxing when I do it. 

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Cement Countertop Unveiled

Waiting is hard. But we survived! Finally time to talke the mold off.  We had no idea how hard the carpet taped boards would be to remove. 
Surprisingly they were easy. Just pull from one end and it is off. You can see here how the cement ran between the boards a little.  Note to self Calk a tad better.  It didn't prove to be a Problem though. 

Boards all off, now we have to flip it and pull the white board off. No pictures flipping. See the white flecks?  That is white board so gluing the gravel wouldn't have been a big deal. 

Flipped and white board removed.  The good the bad and the ugly.  Remember that pea gravel I wanted to glue but dh didn't?   Well........

It seemed to pile in areas and the cement didn't flow around it well lesson learned, glue!  It is fixable as you will see later. 

The spot we taped looked like this.  Since I planned on grinding and polishing it isn't a big deal. It will grind off. 

Pin holds!!!! They are from either not vibrating enough or to dry cement. In this case I think dry cement. They are fixable, and even add to the countertop. 

Large gravel pile in the middle.  It has taken more work, but is fixable also.  Again glue!

That is the untouched flipped top.  Next installment will be fixing oops. So far I am still thrilled with it and it is fun. Time is more to a little then wait until tomorrow to do more. 

Monday, October 17, 2016

Cement counter top the pour

I used pro finish 5000 to pour my top.  The top measures 22x50 by the thickness of the 2 inch side of a 2x4.  It took almost two sacks. 

Mixing!   We used an HLS tub, but next time will just use a 5 gallon bucket. One note use a thick walled bucket, not a thin walled one.  

Because I like the agate look I decided loading the frame with the pea gravel I had added to my experiments. I had planned on using a spray adhesive then sprinkle the pebbles in place.   Dh was afraid the white board would stick to the gravel on top.  It would have, but would have been sanded away. 

Filling the frame.  I think looking back the cement should have been slightly wetter. 

We used this old sander to vibrate the board to help get the air bubbles out. 

Once we had it sorta smooth we  then we sank the medal wire. This proved harder than we thought.  We would sink one side only to have the other side rise up. Finally it stayed.  

Done!! The waiting starts. 

I had to wait for the results, so do you.  

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Cement countertop attempt preparation

I missed getting a few shots because I was focused on what I was doing.  I bought a white board in the paneling section of lowes.  I think they are used for bathroom paneling. It was slick water resistant and about $14.  I Discovered  the top sheet was damaged on one edge, so I ask if I could get a discount. I only needed 22 inches wide.  I got it for 1/2 price.  

Since I had 2x4s I decided to use them for the sides.  Ciutting two 22 inches, and two longer than  the 50 + 7 inches of the boards.   I then taped using wide clear tape the inside of the boards. Looking back I will also tape the top of the board.  

My dh trimmed the white board down from the 4x8' size to a more manageable size. You could trim to the  exact size plus frames. He turned the white board over to cut it and yep, scratched it.  First picture 

Being resourceful, I decided to tape it with clear tape.  Of course the tape wrinkled, and pulling it up did more damage so it was what it was.  

Time to attach the sides to the white board.  Carpet tape is double sliced.  We first attached it to the bottom of the boards. 

Line the board up with the line on the white board anfjpull the carpet tape.  We started it slightly before we lined it up.  Carpet tape isn't sticky until you press the carpet/board down so you can adjust.  

Next step Calk the edges.  We used white since we has white.  Most recommend an off color to be able to see it well. We let it dry overnight.  

We sit this up on the welding table made of pipe.  We put a medal door under the white board to keep it from sagging.   Then we leveled the top of the frame. After that we cleaned it well. 

Ready to pour. 

Close up of the corner calked seams.