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Old 11-02-2009, 03:56 AM   #1
mhs418
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Exclamation Concrete for Atlas Stones?

I plan on ordering a few molds from Slaters and making some stones for my yard. I have never done it before, but I don't think it will be too hard. One thing I have noticed, is that there are a lot of different types of cement!

A lot of stones I have seen have a nice smooth almost glossy finish to them, and some of them have rough finishes with holes and bubbles all along the outside. Needless to say, I would prefer not to have bubbles and air holes all along my stone. MOST OF ALL, I do not want my stone smashing. I am sure they will be dropped from shoulder height numerous times, and my floor itself is cement with maybe 1/2'' of carpet at best.

Basically, if you have any tips whatsoever for making stones, they would greatly be appreciated!

- What kind of cement did you use?
- How long did you let the stone cure before using it?
- Is there anything I can add to my concrete mix to further enhance it's strength?

Thanks!
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Old 11-02-2009, 04:13 AM   #2
Indianpower
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You can use fiberglass to strengthen concrete, i would see about portland cement and fiberglass. portland will give you smoothness and the fiberglass with strengthen it. I would also go buy some rubber mats for your concrete floor so when you drop the stone you dont crack it. You can find 1inch rubber mats at tractor supply company stores there about 50$ a pop but it will help. You want to cure the stones for atleast 1 month. For house foundations and slabs it takes a month so id figure that would be bout the same for the stones. The reason i know this is i used to work concrete. I set wall forms and also did flat work. This is what i would do from the knowledge i have learned working concrete. Good luck!
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Old 11-02-2009, 07:22 PM   #3
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Good advice above, you may be able to buy the fiberglass at the Home improvement store. I think quickcrete has a 5000psi mix, just be sure you don't add too much water. This dramatically weakens the final strength. I have no idea what a form for stones looks like but, "rodding"/agitating the crete 50 times per "6" lift will suffice to remove air and a palm sander wrapping on the sides of the form will help with the "honey combing" producing a smoother finish. Or just get a vibrator.
If you do not get rubber pads (or try 3/4 plywood with 1/2 extruded foam board beneth) you will run the risk of damaging the floor you're working on should you drop the stone.
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Old 11-03-2009, 09:06 AM   #4
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I just helped make my first stone so I don't have a ton of advice, I am hoping we get lots of responses on this one.

The only thing I do know it that you need to get a vibrator of some sort, I sat there and gently hammered that things for hours and still had spots that were rough towards the top...
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Old 11-03-2009, 07:35 PM   #5
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All good advice above. I made my first stone with sunlovin helping as she said, it is time consuming. Portland 5000 or Quick Crete 5000 would be your best bet. I used basic quick crete and wish I hadn't. Half the stone is glass the other is ruff as hell. I stone shirtless so that sucks. A vibrator, shoulder massager of some kind is a must. Find a tire to put the mold in. A strong tire roughly the size of the mold. You can also put sand in it to help further support the bottom of the mold if you want. The mold needs to be supported or it will egg out on ya. There's tons of tricks to it but as I've only made one, I'm not gonna act like a know it all. Slater has a video on line and the instructions they send with it are perfect. For once some one told me how much water to crete I needed. I'm real good at soup. Also make your first one pure concrete so if its messed up your out a few bucks on mix but no center weight. I let my cure one week in the mold and then another week or two before we used it. I wish I knew where I found it but a guy put out a stone makers journal. He was dead honest on all his errors. It was funny and really informative. Google atlas stones and maybe it will pop up. I wanted all the info I could find. Slater has every thing you need. I bought one of those mortar tubs to mix my crete in and scooped it in with a garden shovel and my hands. Its messy but the opening isn't real big. Also fill it higher than the opening and vibrate it til it settles and then put a little more in. As it cures it settles in a little. Good luck and I hope more people have stuff to add.
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Old 11-04-2009, 10:56 AM   #6
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i have made all of the stones i currently have (11) from Steve's molds....my only advice is be patient! lol, follow Steve's directions he includes, they worked well for me.....my first stone came out all lumpy and not that great.......i agree with what darryl said, just pure concrete the first time and i would use Quick Crete, imo easy to work with.....once you start turning some stones out that are looking better, then try to put a center weight, lead weight old olympic plate what ever you can find to make it heavier......oh yea i do actually have a tip for ya, instead of using plain duct tape to keep the top and bottom mold together i use gaft (sp?) , looks like duct tape only black and a lot stronger, that helped a bunch imo when i made the 300+ lb stones, good luck!
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Old 11-11-2009, 02:45 PM   #7
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We just ordered the slater molds.They advise to use Sakrete high strength as concrete.If the stone isn't past 18" in diameter they advise putting the mold in a garbage bin fill with sand.I have all their instructions and will email them if you want.They know what they are doing,for sure
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Old 11-11-2009, 03:43 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DistrictB3 View Post
We just ordered the slater molds.They advise to use Sakrete high strength as concrete.If the stone isn't past 18" in diameter they advise putting the mold in a garbage bin fill with sand.I have all their instructions and will email them if you want.They know what they are doing,for sure
OK dude how do you think most concrete for the general public comes? it comes in a sack! hence forth why they call it sakrete!

The professional concrete guys get there stuff from a large truck and goes by yards. I stated portland with fiberglass to keep it smooth the portland is a smooth concrete to begin with and the fiberglass will give it strength. now this is all from what i have learned from working concrete.
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Old 11-13-2009, 11:36 PM   #9
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ok, let's all take it easy... we are all still learning... thanks to everyone for their inputs!

Anyone else have tips for making stones?
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Old 11-15-2009, 04:20 AM   #10
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I typed in "how to make atlas stones" into you tube and this was the first vid I looked at:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wsLr23vWlHs

This guys first attempt as well, but there are many others to browse through on the side there.
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