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  #1  
Old 10-07-2006, 02:49 AM
shazza shazza is offline
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Tools for Cement Sculpture

Hi Have been putting the final layer on my latest sculpture and have used cement/silica sand mix.I wanted a lovely smooth finish but found it sooooo hard to work with,reminded me of icecream!(not sure why icecream).I usually wear latex gloves but had to take them off in the end.Found the face the hardest,hard to get detail using just my fingers.Dont usually have this prob with coarse sand/cement mix.Am thinking i need to invest in some tools of some kind but not sure which tools.Soooooooooo,has anyone some suggestions,would be very much appreciated.
Thanks
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  #2  
Old 10-07-2006, 06:53 PM
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fritchie fritchie is offline
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Re: Tools for Cement Sculpture

Shazza - Mostly, with clay I use a set of relatively smoothly curved "blades" or "spatulas" that I was able to buy many years ago at a local art supply shop. I think the wholesaler was one of the big NY shops. The blade sections are about 1/4 " to 3/4 " (0.6 to 1.6 cm.) in width, and about 3 to 5 times as long as wide. Each tool has two blade ends, and the central "handle" is about 4 " (10 cm.) long.

I think they are mild steel, possibly a spring steel, because I must keep them slightly oiled to avoid rust, and there certainly is a spring to the surface. When I say they are curved, I mean in one direction only, like a table fork and not a spoon. I think these would work fine with your cement, but be sure to oil them lightly each time you put them away. I donít think the necessary oil would hurt your cement surface.
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  #3  
Old 10-07-2006, 09:08 PM
shazza shazza is offline
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Re: Tools for Cement Sculpture

Thanks for that fritchie,
Have been out thismorning and had a good look at sculpture,looking quite smooth actually,will post a pic of it later,is still unfinished tho,loads of sanding to do when cured for a bit.It actually looks like oamaru stone(maybe you would call it sandstone) and looks more like it has been carved from stone instead of built up from chicken netting!.
Its the first piece i have done for over 2years and are very pleased with it.
Will definitely invest in tools tho,hard to get fine detail ,especially in the face without them.
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  #4  
Old 10-08-2006, 01:09 AM
shazza shazza is offline
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Re: Tools for Cement Sculpture

Have a pic of sculpture, titled 'Broken Man'.Will need hours of sanding by hand Have wondered if an electric sander would do the job but tend to avoid tools where possible.Sculpture is about 1metre high
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  #5  
Old 10-08-2006, 05:26 PM
anatomist1 anatomist1 is offline
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Re: Tools for Cement Sculpture

With a form like that and cement as a finished product, I think you should be looking at working with clay and mold-making. Tons of sanding, especially by hand, is unnecessary torture, not to mention a respiratory and skin hazard.
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  #6  
Old 10-08-2006, 09:26 PM
shazza shazza is offline
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Re: Tools for Cement Sculpture

Each to their own Anatomist,i quite enjoy cement work& wear a mask when sanding.I had a look at your website,awesome.I especially love the flowers,the artichoke in particular.
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  #7  
Old 10-09-2006, 05:26 AM
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clifton clifton is offline
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Re: Tools for Cement Sculpture

I found the cheap plastic sculpting tools and spatulas work well in cement, floor leveller, crack filler, plaster, etc.

For sanding, now I mainly use electric sanding tools. I used to only sand by hand. I find power tools reduce the work a lot, and give good results. Some finishing may be done by hand.

For rough work I use an angle grinder ( lot of dust but fast removal of material), then switch to a palm held orbital sander, with a foam pad attached to the bottom for following contours. These foam pads have one surface that attaches to the sander and the other grips the sandpaper using velcrow - available in most hardware stores.
A vacuum attached to the orbital sander handles dust very well.

A detail sander works for faces and intricate shapes.

Small drum sanders work well, using a rotary tool, but I can never find them in finer grit, so ...

I make small cone shaped sanders for a rotary tool, which are very usefull in those hard to reach areas. Cut a one inch strip of sandpaper diagonally, glue the cloth side, and roll to a cone. Just make sure it is rolled to suit the rotation of the tool. Oh, and the natural glues work best. Synthetic glue will give off fumes as it is heated in use. These, of course, can be made in any grit you choose.
Once the glue is dry, the cone can be screwed on to the small steel rod normally used to hold felt polishing cones. The felt cones and different shapes can be usefull to add a little shine on cement but I have not used them with a polishing compund.


Clifton
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  #8  
Old 10-09-2006, 10:13 PM
shazza shazza is offline
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Re: Tools for Cement Sculpture

Clifton,
Thanyou so much for your advise.I think i might invest in an electric sander but would imagine the life span of one wouldn't be long with cement,so dusty?I had a look at your website,beautiful,especially the mermaid and i loved the wood sculptures.Have done a few in the past,very small and mainly whales(easy shape!) and just by hand,whittling and sanding.Yours have such a beautiful flow.
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  #9  
Old 10-10-2006, 05:31 AM
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clifton clifton is offline
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Re: Tools for Cement Sculpture

Thank you Shazza.

The only tool that I have had affected by dust is the angle grinder. My solution is to buy small, cheap ones and cover the inlet air with a filter cut from dust mask filters.

Others have different solutions. Some buy the best and regurlarly take them apart for cleaning. There is a thread on this topic, if you want to hunt for it. Unfortunately I forget the subject title, but it had to do with tools.

Good luck.

Clifton
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  #10  
Old 10-17-2006, 10:31 PM
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pylgrym pylgrym is offline
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Re: Tools for Cement Sculpture

I am eventually gonna do a home in ferrocement and concrete. I have enjoyed reading these posts!
'
pEEgEE
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  #11  
Old 03-07-2007, 01:11 PM
Natoli Natoli is offline
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Re: Tools for Cement Sculpture

Quote:
Originally Posted by shazza
Have a pic of sculpture, titled 'Broken Man'.Will need hours of sanding by hand Have wondered if an electric sander would do the job but tend to avoid tools where possible.Sculpture is about 1metre high
What is this made of and please how did you do it?
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  #12  
Old 03-07-2007, 01:42 PM
PTsideshow PTsideshow is offline
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Re: Tools for Cement Sculpture

Quote:
Originally Posted by shazza
Have a pic of sculpture, titled 'Broken Man'.Will need hours of sanding by hand Have wondered if an electric sander would do the job but tend to avoid tools where possible.Sculpture is about 1metre high
Have you considered using air tools at a reduced speed and with the cement /brick cutting wheels they sell. You can can get an air angle grinder, and the stone wheels look like the metal cut off wheels but with a grit size for stone work. Slow up the speed, and use a water trickle drip spray to keep the dust down. Don't know what type of tool discount store you have in NZ but if you go to the web site of
Harbor Freight tools site
It is a good info site for tools their styles and types also you can download the instructions in PDF format to understand the tools and how they work.

Think of it as the goolge tools only I have seen them offering a wet polishing rig for the stone counter tops that have become popular in this country.
If you use a electric angle grinder with the stone wheels on it make up a vacuum attachment and use a small 1 1/4"/30 35 mm dia hose and extra filter on theshop vac. you can get an extra hose and give your self more room to work. You can check some of the wood worker/carving sites for suppliers in your area. As they have offered an adapter in this country for vac attachment for angle grinders when using the chain carving blades and the coarse carbide wheels in wood carving.
That is something else that may work if you are removing large amounts of material is the carbide wood cutting shaped bits and wheels for wood carving. they generally come in fine and coarse. carbide is a 8-9 on the Mohs scale cement depending on the mix 5-7on the Mohs scale. you should be able to use them as long as you don't over heat them. you also could use them in the air tools with a water drip.
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