Saturday, 21 September 2013

Casting Concrete

The Skytrex mouldings are very nice but don't really fill the stock-yard, and are a bit pricey to get more! I'd been thinking of a quick and easy way to make more concrete products, and decided to have a go at casting my own - not from concrete though! I remembered there was some Linka moulding compound in the loft, it must be 20 years old but was well sealed. Linka is a system of casting wall sections from a sort of plaster in rubber moulds to make buildings, I haven't seen it around for years but it seems they are still going. None of the moulds I had looked suitable, so I decided to have a go at making my own.

An evening with the plasticard and I had made moulds for paving slabs and beams that can be cut down to make kerb-stones. The slots that cast the beams were arranged to flex apart to let the castings out. I mixed up the compound with a little black powder paint to add colour and spread it into the moulds.

About 45 minutes later and the castings were eased out of the moulds, rather to my surprise they have come out really well! The Linka compound casts well and is surprisingly strong, though I expect it is similar to dental plaster.

Another evening of casting batches and I had a pile of concrete products. By adding a little burnt umber powder paint I had red-pink paving slabs too, which I wanted as it shows the need for the different coloured sands that Thakeham used.

All these concrete products meant more pallets would be needed, but that isn't too hard really. I studied a few at work, then set about with strips of 20 thou plastic for the planks and 40 thou for the beams. I made a few to different designs and sizes before settling on this approach, but that's fine as from what I've seen they do come in all sorts of designs and sizes! In between casting concrete I made about a dozen.

Painting all those pallets was a tedious job though. I went for a natural-wood colour with just a little darker mottling, as my photos of the Thakeham site shows the pallets used are in good condition. The Skytrex concrete mouldings and pallets were painted too. At least my castings don't need painting!

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Mark said...

These all look excellent. I'm especially impressed with the terracotta coloured slabs and as you say the mixture of colours goes well with the idea of different coloured sands.

Phil Parker said...

Looks good to me. Casting should produce the best result for concrete products anyway.