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Cogburn Creek Cinema (Phase 2) - Page 5

post #121 of 281
Thread Starter 
I'm going to take the afternoon off. I found a shop in town that has stainless or aluminum scrap that he'll cut for me. Once I get home with that I'm going to finish polishing and then start sealing. I'm going to hit Lowes or HD also and see if I can find some paste wax to apply over the sealer. So with luck I'll have some decent shots to post by the end of the day!
post #122 of 281
Thread Starter 
Ok, I am now the proud owner of two 2" x 3" pieces of Stainless Steel, however, they charged me $20 so it was hardly a steal. They happen to be the only place I could find that works with SS so I was over a barrel.

The polishing is now done, I just have to sand down the edges of the steel to make them nice and round as well as shiney. I also need to seal the top, which as soon as the top's dry I'll go do.

In the meantime, the book suggested using the 400 grit pad to polish the slurry away. I found that the 400 grit pad kept grabbing and slowing down. I switched to the 200 Grit and it powered right through the slurry.

So here's the almost completed pictures, well the polishing is complete.


I'm happy with the shine I'm getting without even sealing the top.



Another pic showing the shine you get from the 1200 Grit polishing process.



Still wet top, I hope to achieve this color but sealing and then coating it with wax.



My wife liked the stone exposed providing a "granite look" I liked the more solid surface with a little bit of the sand exposed. To me it looks like I paved my bar, I should paint white lines across it and go with a NASCAR theme

post #123 of 281
I like the stone look too . Looking great!
post #124 of 281
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by queendvd2 View Post

I like the stone look too . Looking great!


Thanks Queen, you made my day
post #125 of 281
Thread Starter 
The top is sitting in place but not yet installed.. I still need to silicone it down, and attach the sink. However, I'm thrilled with the result.







post #126 of 281
That is ABSOLUTELY AWESOME my friend!! Be VERY, VERY proud of your work. Simply beautiful.
post #127 of 281
WOW !!
Well Done - really like how this turned out

BTW - checked your thread this morning, you were talking about polishing and getting your stainless pieces >> then I check back and a beautiful finished product >> Good Show!
post #128 of 281
Well done! Stainless looks good with the sink. Now every time someone has seen them for the first time you too can watch them rub their hand over the surface and smack the top for the satisfying "thump" sound it makes!
post #129 of 281
post #130 of 281
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mmeister View Post

Well done! Stainless looks good with the sink. Now every time someone has seen them for the first time you too can watch them rub their hand over the surface and smack the top for the satisfying "thump" sound it makes!


HAHAHAHAH Three people have done that already, including me. I love the solid thump, nothing quite like it.
post #131 of 281
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cuzed2 View Post

WOW !!
Well Done - really like how this turned out

BTW - checked your thread this morning, you were talking about polishing and getting your stainless pieces >> then I check back and a beautiful finished product >> Good Show!


Well it's not qute finished yet. My contractor was returning my tile saw, and I put him to work for a few minutes, to help me carry the tops in. I still need to silicone the counter to the cabinet, silicone the steel in place, drill holes for the sink mounts, as well as pick and install the backsplash. Aside from the backsplash maybe 30 minutes worth of work.

Thanks for the positive comments, I'm very jazzed that it came out so well for a first attempt. Especially considering I've never really done anything with concrete before.

I think I'm going to start on the bar top Sunday. Since my #9 Hurricanes are taking on #11 Virginia Tech in Blacksburg on Saturday.
post #132 of 281
Mike,

I hope the drilling for the sink mounts goes easy.

I couldn't help but notice those outlets above your counter: Will you be swapping them with GFCIs - or- perhaps you have a GFCI breaker in the box...?

I ask because I am considering going with GFCIs in the B-box myself.....
post #133 of 281
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cuzed2 View Post

Mike,

I hope the drilling for the sink mounts goes easy.

I couldn't help but notice those outlets above your counter: Will you be swapping them with GFCIs - or- perhaps you have a GFCI breaker in the box...?

I ask because I am considering going with GFCIs in the B-box myself.....


Thanks for looking out for me. There's actually 6 counter top outlets ringing the bar area. They are GFCI, but the reset switch is one of the back outlets. If it's a wet area I wouldn't consider using anything else, of course code probably requires that as well. I triped the GFCI outside circuit twice while polishing the counters, and the wet polisher has a GFCI switch built into the cable. I never felt a tingle, so they must worrrrrrrrk... Not sure where that tremorrrrr is coming from


post #134 of 281
Countertops look really awesome. Your hard work, patience, and practice really paid off. Very classy looking and I don't think it looks like asphalt at all. Although the Nascar idea is cool! At least you have your sense of humor after breathing all that polishing dust!

Regards,

RTROSE
post #135 of 281
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by RTROSE View Post

Countertops look really awesome. Your hard work, patience, and practice really paid off. Very classy looking and I don't think it looks like asphalt at all. Although the Nascar idea is cool! At least you have your sense of humor after breathing all that polishing dust!

Regards,

RTROSE



Thanks! The funny part is there's really no dust since it's a wet polisher. However, there's a slime and I was covered head to toe in concrete slime. The worst part is polishing the edges, then the water/dust/slime mix goes everywhere. I need a rubber apron or maybe a wet suit! I think I'm going to wax the top today, I did a small inconspicuous section last night and it really darkens the top and gives it a nice sheen. Even though it's sealed, I like the extra protection a coat or two of wax provides.
post #136 of 281
Thread Starter 
I may start on the bar top today as well, depends on how I'm feeling later. Right now I'm depressed since my #9 Hurricanes were destroyed by Va Tech. With 4,5,6 losing we missed a golden opportunity. Best of luck to VA Tech though, they deserve it they came out ready to play and prove themselves. We have OSU at home next Saturday so hopefully this loss will motivate us and bring the team back to earth. I think the hype, a #9 ranking was too fast and it hurt the team mentality. I guess we'll see what happens next Saturday.
post #137 of 281
Thread Starter 
Today's accomplishment:

Two coats of Minwax furniture wax (natural color) - I love the result, it changed the color of the concrete to the wet color, so it's a nice black now opposed to the charcoal gray it was drying to.

I decided I need a random orbital buffer to polish the wax with. I tried using a "buffing" fluffy cover on the wet polisher. However, without water running through the polisher it got very very hot, so that wasn't brilliant thinking on my part. Also I have wavy lines in the wax since the polisher isn't a random orbit. So all said $30 at HD/Lowes for a new buffer. Then I'll have one for the car/truck anyway.

I started on the Bar top and completed the form. It's 97" long and 12" wide so I couldn't get it to fit on one sheet of melanine and still have room for the form braces. So I'm trying two forms, and praying desperately that they match when the time comes. Shouldn't really be a problem since they are 48 1/2" x 12". I siliconed the stained glass cobbles to the bottom of the forms, but since I haven't picked up the dowels yet my progress has come to a stand still. Once I get the dowels and cut them down to size, I plan on using clear silicone to hold them to the stained glass cobbles, so that I can light them from underneath the top with Christmas tree lights. Not really sure how this will turn out, but it's only a few bags of concrete and time.

I'll take some pics tomorrow, for tonight I want to relax. We've had a house full of in-laws since Friday, and I'm beat.
post #138 of 281
Hi all - i happened along this thread & read the whole thing . I just wanted to say what a great idea and what an awesome outcome . Sure has me thinking . I found some more tips on another site if anyone is interested .Once again , great job .


How to Avoid Mistakes When Installing Concrete Countertops
Ten common problems and easy solutions for preventing them




1. The countertop doesn't fit up against the wall properly.

There's no such thing as a straight wall. Even when you measure your template carefully, slight bows could interfere with the proper fit of the countertop, making it too tight in some spots.

To account for bows in the wall, allow for a 1/8-inch gap between the wall and countertop when measuring your template. After countertop installation, any visible gap that remains will most likely be hidden by the backsplash. If not, it can be filled with caulk or tile grout.

If you do end up with a countertop that bumps too tightly against the wall, use a circular saw or angle grinder fitted with a diamond blade to shave material off the countertop edge as needed. Grinding can create lots of dust, so always perform this task outdoors, resting the countertop on sawhorses for support as if planing a door.

As an alternative to grinding, you may be able knock out the drywall to make the pieces fit. This will give you a good 1/2 inch of extra play. In most cases, no one will see where the drywall has been removed if you are careful to take it out only below the top level of the countertop. If a backsplash will be added, you have even greater leeway. Score the drywall neatly with a razor blade and pop it out with a hammer.

2. After installing the countertop over an undermount sink, you end up with a gap between the sink and the concrete.

Undermount sinks are all the rage in today's kitchens, but installing one is an art and requires the right tools and techniques. Here are some tips for ensuring a snug fit with the countertop.

During countertop fabrication, shorten the cutout for the sink 1/2 to 3/4 inch on all sides beyond what the template calls for. Doing so will hide any gaps if they do occur.

To help tighten the sink snuggly up against the countertop, special lifting clamps are available that you can stick in the sink's drain hole. You simply place a 2x4 across the countertop and then sit one end of the clamp on the 2x4 and use the other end to pull up the sink. We buy our clamps at Granite City Tool (www.granitecitytool.com).


Use a lifting clamp, such as this one, to pull an undermount sink
up tightly against the underside of the concrete countertop. One
end goes in the drain hole while the other rests on a 2x4 placed
across the countertop surface.

Proper shimming of the sink is also crucial. We use a mounting system called Sink Undermounter, manufactured by Vance Industries (www.vanceind.com). It consists of two metal rails that you extend across the base cabinet and hang by clips mounted to the frame. You set the sink on the rails, and then place the countertop on the sink. The rails have 2-inch adjusting bolts that can be turned as necessary to raise and level the sink flush with the underside of the countertop.

Finally, to prevent any water seepage around the sink after installation, don't forget to caulk thoroughly where the sink comes in contact with the underside of the countertop. Be sure to use a waterproof 100%-silicone caulk.

Order Fixtures and Appliances First
Insist that your clients choose all their plumbing fixtures, sinks, and appliances (especially built-ins such as cooktops) before you get on the job. It's crucial to have all these items at your disposal to permit "real-world" measuring for your templates. Whenever possible, take the fixtures to your casting studio so they can be dry fit to the countertop before installation.


For a perfect fit with cooktops and other built-in appliances, countertop measurements must be precise. Errors are difficult if not impossible to remedy, especially if you make the hole too large.

Don't just rely on the manufacturers' spec sheets for appliance dimensions, because they often don't account for small screws, knobs, and other hardware used in assembly. If the measurements turn out to be inaccurate, you could be facing costly rework, with a knockout hole that is too small and needs extensive grinding or cutting, or even worse, a hole that is too large, leaving noticeable gaps for which there is no remedy.

3. You receive a call from the plumber on the project complaining that the countertop is too thick and he can't reach the stem of the faucet to tighten the nut.

To prevent this predicament-and pre-empt plumber aggravation - leave enough space around the base of the faucet hole when casting the countertop for the plumber and his wrenches to maneuver. This is a simple preventive measure, but to be accurate you must have the faucet fixture in your possession when making the template (see "Order Fixtures and Appliances First").

If the hole for the faucet stem does end up being too constricted, some plumbers are able to work around the problem using wrench extensions. The only other alternative is to grind out the hole to enlarge it.

4. When assembling the countertop sections on the base cabinetry, you discover that one piece sits slightly higher than the other, resulting in an unlevel surface.

Most kitchen countertops are made up of two or more sections to reduce weight and facilitate assembly. For example, we keep the maximum size of our countertop slabs to approximately 7x3 feet for easier handling. Because the separate sections are often fabricated on different casting tables, the final thickness can vary by just a hair. Also, if the pieces don't cure properly, they may curl up slightly at the ends-so slightly that you might not notice the problem until you join the pieces together at the seams.

Unfortunately, some minor imperfections during casting are difficult to avoid. So it's always important to keep shims on hand to adjust for height differences. The type of shim you use also matters. Avoid wood shims, which can eventually rot. Use plastic shims instead, or even better, try a technique we borrowed from the granite countertop industry: Take metal screws, and drill them up through the underside of the plywood deck material the countertop is resting on. Turn the screws slowly until they raise the piece up to the desired level.


Although we find that leveling screws work best, you'll occasionally encounter situations where you don't have the working room to get a drill up through the plywood base. In that case, use plastic shims.

Also be sure to provide ample shim support. For instance, if you raise one end of the countertop 1/4 inch, don't allow all the weight to rest on just one shim or leveling screw. Complete support is needed across the entire width of the piece. This relieves stress that could lead to cracking, especially if someone applies excess weight to the countertop by leaning or sitting on it.

Another tip: Apply Liquid Nails adhesive to the plywood base in blobs and rest the countertop pieces on top of it. The adhesive will help to serve as a support during the shimming process.


Apply blobs of Liquid Nails to the plywood base before resting
the countertop pieces on top of it. The fresh adhesive will serve
as a support as you shim and level the countertop sections.

5. The countertop accidentally chips or cracks during installation.

Always bring along plenty of foam and pieces of cardboard to the jobsite. The cardboard, when cut into strips about 3 to 4 inches tall and placed in the seams between countertop sections, will act as padding to help to prevent chipping at the edges when you shove the pieces together. When the countertop sections make contact with the cardboard, pull the strips out and then slowly and carefully join the sections.

Use the foam to protect the countertop sections during transport and to cushion them whenever you set them down, such as when placing them on a sawhorse for grinding the edges. Our rule of thumb: The countertop sections must always be resting on foam, never against a hard surface.

6. To accommodate bar stools, your client wants an unsupported cantilever at the end of the concrete countertop, extending out about a foot.

How much cantilever you can get away with depends, in part, on the overall strength of the countertop mix design you're working with. In general, we don't recommend allowing more than 10 inches of unsupported cantilever for a 1 1/2-inch-thick countertop. Otherwise the concrete could crack if too much weight is applied.

If you must extend the cantilever beyond 10 inches, there are unobtrusive and decorative ways to add support such as L-brackets and corbels.

7. On a remodeling project, you notice that the base cabinetry to support the countertop is made from flimsy particleboard and may not adequately support the weight.

Concrete countertops aren't as heavy as you might think. Depending on the countertop thickness and mix design, they typically weigh about 10 to 15 pounds per square foot, which is not much heavier than a granite countertop. Still, don't take any chances if you suspect insufficient support. If the homeowner's budget doesn't allow for replacement of the base cabinets, there are ways to reinforce them. Often you can simply place a piece of 3/4-inch-thick plywood on top of the cabinet to provide even weight distribution. You can also insert vertical plywood supports between the cabinet and the wall behind it and screw the cabinet to the supports.

8. After the countertop sections are in place, you grout the joints between them to ensure a seamless surface. But as the grout dries over the next day or two, it begins to shrink and sink below surface level, leaving obvious seam lines.

Our trick to prevent this problem is to grout the joints before, rather than after, joining the sections. Spread grout on the edges of the countertop sections full height right before pushing the pieces together (we use a flexible tile grout available in tubes at most large hardware stores). Then, to create a level surface, simply smooth away any excess material that squeezes out the top of the joint using a wet sponge. Because the grout completely fills the joint, top to bottom, it's less apt to sink. If it does, assure the client that you will come back and fill in the low spots.

To obtain invisible seam lines, you also must match the grout color to the countertop color. We take the same pigment used to color the countertop and mix it with the grout until we get a perfect match. This may require a bit of trial and error until you get the mix ratio just right. We always work with liquid pigments because they are easier to measure out in small quantities. We also achieve better results using a light-gray base grout as opposed to white.



Grouting seams between countertop sections in four easy steps:

Color match the tile grout to the countertop color using the appropriate liquid pigment.
Spread the grout on the edges of the countertop sections right before pushing the pieces together.
Level the grout at the surface by smoothing away any excess material with a wet sponge. Masking the exposed countertop surfaces with painter's tape will make cleanup easier.
Step back and admire your nearly invisible seam lines.
9. As you're installing a newly delivered countertop in a homeowner's kitchen, you encounter problems you didn't anticipate. (Choose from any of the above.) Even worse, you left the tools you need to fix the problem back at the shop.

Be prepared for dealing with all potential problems by making a checklist of the tools you need to bring to every install (see our list as an example). Not only will this save you a trip back to the shop, it may also save you embarrassment, especially if the client happens to be in the room watching you, and growing more anxious by the minute.

Before leaving for the job, verify that all the items on your checklist are in your toolbox or truck.

10. You notice a minor chip in the countertop that needs patching, but you don't have any filler material on hand that matches the countertop color.

Along with hauling all the essential tools to the job, always bring a small container of the liquid pigment blend used to color the countertop, as well as some extra sand and cement or epoxy filler. You can then easily whip up a batch of color-matched patching material in a small bucket to fill in chips or other minor imperfections that may occur during countertop installation.
post #139 of 281
Thread Starter 
There's some good tips in there. It sounds like they make the top's off site based on measurements. The template process accounts for the wall not being perfect, well it should if the template is done correctly. Mine's off a touch but a backsplash will cover the small gap (less than an 1/8") I have.
post #140 of 281
Thread Starter 
The plumbers are here this morning installing my pump under the sink as well as connecting the sink and dishwasher. So much for having storage in the sink cabinet, there's going to be stuff packed in everywhere. I'll post pictures later.

MAN! I was at Lowe's yesterday and checked out the corbels for the front of my bar. They are very very proud of the their corbels. $90 for a large one, unreal. I don't think I'll need them to support my bar top, just thought they would add a nice touch.

I'm re-thinking the bar front now. I had planned on using the same stone that surrounds my screen on the front of the bar, as well as the back bar area. After seeing the cabinets I'm debating on wrapping it all in wood.
post #141 of 281
Thread Starter 
First here's a picture of the top with a coat of wax only on the top right, the sides have not been waxed yet.



Plumbers are done, so now I have water, and a dishwasher!! They had to cut out the bottom of the cabinet so the pump would sit low enough to be able to still make the connections.



Final shot showing the installed dishwasher!

post #142 of 281
Quote:
Originally Posted by cane.mba View Post

Plumbers are done, so now I have water, and a dishwasher!! They had to cut out the bottom of the cabinet so the pump would sit low enough to be able to still make the connections.

A plumber cut the hole in the bottom of the cabinet for the pump? It looks like they sized it and even notched it so the pump would fit snug with the bottom of the cabinet. That is excellent work...
post #143 of 281
Thread Starter 
Absolutely! He's a great plumber, I spend too much time BS'ing with him as he's working. I was amazed (although I should have expected it) when he started cutting the notches for the ridges in the pump.
post #144 of 281
MIke,

Nice job by the plumber. And the wax on the counter-top made more difference than I would have guessed - looks GREAT!
post #145 of 281
Thread Starter 
Ok I'm facing a design issue with lighting the stained glass. If I use a wooden dowel to provide the space for light to travel, the stained glass will have a "circle" of light and not light more of the glass than I hoped.

I'm leaning in the direction of building a clear resin mold for each piece of glass, and embedding a LED light in each mold. However, once this is part of the top it won't be replaceable.
post #146 of 281
Mike,

Interesting features for your next "pour".
LEDs are very low power, even imbedded in Silicone I doubt they would overheat.
post #147 of 281
I have a solution for that, but dont have time to type it out... I'll post later.
post #148 of 281
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mmeister View Post

I have a solution for that, but dont have time to type it out... I'll post later.


You are such a tease!! I think I may use a two part epoxy to form "puddles" and embed the LED in the epoxy and use rubber tubing and just encapsulate the entire assembly in the concrete. Although this means when the thing dies I'll have to replace the entire concrete top. The good news is that it's only 16" x 8', so not a big deal.

I also recorded a few "Yard Crashers" from DIY Network in which they built some concrete counters. Although their mix was snow white before they added the dye. Not sure if they were using the grout mix or their own custom blend. The really interesting part was that they flipped the top out of the mold and polished it within 24 hours. One of the episodes used not plexiglass but a thin "plastic sheet", imagine the plastic used to package toys. The thin plastic that's glued to the cardboard box so the kids can see the toy inside. The top came out looking pretty awesome without any polishing at all.

I'm going to do some more research before I make my bar top.... Lot's of options that I haven't considered before and it's a small top so if I don't like it, I'll have more stepping stones



That being said, your still a TEASE!!
post #149 of 281
OK, option one. Use a piece of plexi the same thickness and shape as the glass. This will act as your place holder. Use some of your pink foam, glued up to just under the thickness of your concrete. Cut this 1/8" smaller all around then the plexi and shape it like a pyramid. Doesn't have to be neat as this will not be seen. Take a dowel the same diameter as your light and insert it in the top of the pyramid so that the end result will be that it just sticks out of the concrete. Silicone this all up/clear tape it so it will pop out and place it in the mold so you have a bunch of spiked looking pyramids in your mold.

Once you flip it over and pop out the inverted pyramids you should have what looks like a square flashlight reflector. Make sure that you created a lip between the plexi and foam as this will act as a ledge for the stained glass to rest. Now it's a simple matter silicone the glass and the lights in. You could even paint the inside silver to add to the light.

Option two will involve Super Sculpey, I'll get to that later.
post #150 of 281
Thread Starter 
I think my biggest problem is the stained glass cobbles are too small. It really limits my options... So first things first, I need to find larger stained glass.
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