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Hypertufa and Concrete: Hypertufa Basics

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Forum: Hypertufa and ConcreteReplies: 10, Views: 1,912
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Springfield, OH
(Zone 5b)

December 6, 2007
12:17 AM

Post #4265682

Welcome to Hypertufa. In this thread you will find basic recipes and techniques for hypertufa.

Do not post anything other than a hypertufa technique or information. If you have a question, Please start a new thread.

If someone has Terms or information to add to what I have placed in this post please feel free to Dmail me and I will edit it in :)

If you have info or helpful hints that aren't covered here please feel free to add a post :)

Thank you and Happy Tufa-ing


PC = Portland Cement

Releases for Molds:
wd40 - posted by hostajim1

Perlite, Peat (the dark stuff that is used for soil amendment), Vermiculite
To make additives finer :
Put perlite into a plastic bag and roll with rolling pin until at desired consistency
Push peat through a screen to seperate and make finer


Making Leaves:

Guide To Colorants:

Concerns about Asbestos in Vermiculite:
Springfield, OH
(Zone 5b)

December 6, 2007
12:18 AM

Post #4265686

Scooterbug posted:

The ONE best home made release I have found ,
still does not come close to the quality finish that you'll get from a good commercial product.

Best homemade release is ...
1 pt olive or canola oil
2 pts mineral oil

Applied by wiping on with a 'clean' cloth in the THINNEST FILM you can possibly apply
(store the cloth in a baggie for further use)

Basic concrete...

1 pt PC
2 to 3 pts sand
1/2 pt washed pea gravel - optional

Basic tufa...

1 pt PC
1 pt sand
2 pts screened peat

You cant get any more basic than that.

Tufa 2

1 PC
1 sand
1 peat
1 perlite

Tufa 3

1 PC
1 sand
1 peat
1 vermiculite

Tufa 4

2 PC
1 1/2 peat
1 1/2 perlite

Please ... Safety first

ALWAYS use particle approved breathing mask and eye protection while working with dry ingredients.

Wear appropriate gloves and protective clothing at all times, as cement is CAUSTIC during All curing stages !
Springfield, OH
(Zone 5b)

December 6, 2007
12:19 AM

Post #4265688

Minihostalover posted:

you can use perlite, it might be an extra thing to do but you can put some perlite in a ziploc bag and use a rolling pin or something to pound the perlite into powder, or at least smaller pieces. I use vermiculite instead of perlite. I don't like the the texture of the perlite. I use port, sand, pete, and vermiculite as my mixture. It make a good consistancy and the texture is good. If you don't want to use the perlite you can put it in your garden or make your own potting mixture for you tuffa pots.
Springfield, OH
(Zone 5b)

December 6, 2007
12:20 AM

Post #4265693

About Curing TIme for Cement and Tufa

Scooterbug Posted:

Concrete hardens ... not the same as curing ... in a few hours in the summer, and overnight otherwise. Working in freezing weather is bad practice. Wet the surface often, for several days. Wrapping the casting in wet burlap is recommended, as this will help retain the moisture essential to the concrete's curing. It will keep strengthening over time. Its strength is commonly measured after 28 days (although it will keep getting stronger for years, if kept moist).

The optimal temperature range for curing cement and concrete is from a minimum of about 50 up to around 90 degrees Fahrenheit (F). Below 50 degrees F the chemical reaction slows to a crawl. Below 40 it often comes to a halt. Below freezing, the water in the mix forms ice crystals, expands and results in total failure. In one theory, if the water in the mix freezes before hydration is complete, the process comes to a halt simply because the water is isolated in those crystals and is therefore not available to combine with the cement.
ONCE the curing/crystallization process is slowed by low temperatures it can not be regained by longer curing.
Springfield, OH
(Zone 5b)

December 6, 2007
12:21 AM

Post #4265699

Wuvie Posted:

In cleaning our shop, I found two big folders of concrete paperwork!

Here are a few helpful bits of information:

Cement that you can not use sand or gravel

Cement that is lightweight...use less sand & gravel, more lightweight aggregates
such as perlite, vermiculite, peat moss, etc.

Cement that is similar to clay...use sawdust, peat moss, and the least amount of
water possible.

Cement that will stay put on inclined surfaces...use less water, more fibrous
reinforcements such as sawdust, peat moss

Cement that will fill a detailed mold...Use fine sand as an aggregate and plenty of water

Another added tidbit is a suggestion to use motor oil (the type without detergent
additives) or Petroleum Jelly. The oil is said to disappear as the product cures.

If using a latex rubber mold, use Petroleum Jelly as a release agent, it will not
harm the latex as other types of oil will.
Springfield, OH
(Zone 5b)

December 6, 2007
12:22 AM

Post #4265703

Scooterbug posted

I love playing with mortar mix casting small stuff since I've learned how to handle it's weaknesses . I like that it is almost white too.

BUT >>>>>>>

Cutting the Mortar mix with peat, perlite or verm will only weaken the final project.

A prepared cementitious mix is like a cake mix , if you try to stretch it with additives you are heading for disaster.

But if you are not as obsessed as most of us are give it a try and see whatchoo come up with .

( it's a cheap experiment )

Put on your laboratory coat ,

Take pictures ;-)
Springfield, OH
(Zone 5b)

December 6, 2007
12:23 AM

Post #4265705

Janet_D posted

Here you go if you still want to use the mortar for tufa work. Almost all premixed mortar consists of 75 % sand and 25 % Portland Cement

Basic Tufa...
2 Premixed Mortar
1 pt PC
6 pts screened peat

For Tufa 2...
2 premixed mortar
1 PC
1 1/2 Peat
1 1/2 perlit

Tufa 3:
2 premixed mortar
1 PC
1 1/2 peat
1 1/2 vermiculite
Springfield, OH
(Zone 5b)

December 6, 2007
12:24 AM

Post #4265707

Janett_D posted:

Have been googling for info this morning
The reason all the concrete and tufa have these proportion in there mixes is to assure a minimum shrinkage (not noticeable for the eye) and cracking and also durability.

Try not to use chlorated water or any water that they have added chemicals too, that will make all PC mixes weaker and they will crack easier if they are thin

The less water you can add to the mixes the better as long as its workable. the less water the less shrinkage but you HAVE to water your project (keep it wet) to assure its durability if you cut down on the water

The most important curing period is the first month but the curing can go on for years as long as the " item " is kept wet/moist the mixes gets stronger, so after the initial curing on around two week, its good to hose your project with water every day you can.

About the styrofoam, there is some treads in here where people have made waterfalls and boulders that way by putting some tufa or concrete mixes on the styrofoam. BUT I wouldnt use it for making a chair. the coat have to be so thick since the styrofoam isnt strong enough with a thin coat of mix to sit and lean back on.

The plastic chairs is something I have been thinking about too, but havent desided yet to test it. I can imagine that it would work if you sand the plastic with a sandpaper with the biggest graines. But the only way to find out is to test it.
Good luck
Springfield, OH
(Zone 5b)

December 6, 2007
12:25 AM

Post #4265711

And just in case anyone is getting confused, there is a Quickcrete brand that is just portland cement. Look on the bag and you should be able to figure it out. :)
Mesilla Park, NM

December 6, 2007
12:32 AM

Post #4265732

I really like that you've put everything in one easy place to find.

Thanks Jazz.

Springfield, OH
(Zone 5b)

December 6, 2007
12:46 AM

Post #4265789

You are welcome. Terry is going to "Unstick" the other thread and make this one the "Sticky"

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