Sunday, November 11, 2012

Linka 2: Building a Wall

I use Linka Stonework molds to make brick walls. After I’ve cast a bunch of pieces using dental plaster and sanded their backs (see METHODS Linka 1: Thickness Sander), here’s how I put wall sections together.
First, I need to connect them and fill in the cracks where the pieces meet, which is quite obvious here.

Note: When I first used the molds years ago I attempted to use resin instead of plaster. Unfortunately, the resin ate into the mold, hence the rough texture you see here. So much for THAT idea!

I turn each piece over and glued them together on a flat surface using glue on the back edges to minimize glue seepage onto the front.

Although probably not needed, I glued a small square of paper on the back for extra strength. Musta been in a fog when I took the photo.

Once dry, I flipped the piece right-side up and over-filled the joint cracks with neutral gray paint with spackling filler added. I then gently brushed the excess away with an old flat toothbrush, stroking at 45 degree angles.

When dry I painted the entire surface neutral gray.

I’m inspired by Alfrik’s post about speed painting bricks:
 I used a flat ended stencil sponge to apply a brick color, carefully dabbing and twisting onto the surface to avoid getting into the grout. Many thanks to Alfrik for this quick and easy technique!

Basil Hoch proudly announces to the world that a new brick wall section has been completed.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Linka 1: Thickness Sander

Sometimes I use Linka Stonework molds to make brick walls:  After I’ve cast a bunch of pieces using dental plaster, I sand their backs for a more uniform thickness so I can then glue them to a building wall. Here’s how I do it.
The parts of the set-up I use:
(1) Underside of the top plate, a piece of 3/4” MDF with a 1/8” MDF frame that clamps a full size 9” x 11” sheet of 100 grit sandpaper to it. It’s upper side has knobs used as handles.
(2) The fixture bottom has an 3-1/4” opening that’s just scrap 1/8” MDF strips glued to a piece of 3/4” MDF (4).
(3) An insert that goes into the opening. It’s made of two layers of thin card with mat board “walls”.
(4) The fixture bottom has been temporarily nailed to a piece of plywood that’s been clamped (5) to a table to prevent it from sliding all around as I use it.
(6) Although I could use a vacuum cleaner to suck up all the plaster powder sanding residue, I normally use a 2-1/2” paint brush to sweep it into a bucket under the table, thus reclaiming the powder which I’ll eventually use for some future project. I’m weird that way.

Closer view of the opening with the insert. It’s been sized to loosely hold four wall pieces. The areas above and to the left of the walls greatly help to collect the sanded powder, preventing it from getting everywhere…

The process is simple: Put the top plate on, slide it around up/down, left/right, lift it off…

Take out the sanded pieces and the insert, clean everything off, store the pieces away for later use, reinstall the insert and four more raw castings, begin again. That’s it!

All in all, a nice way to while away an afternoon in a garage, especially if you’re watching The Game.

Same insert can be used for other pieces as well.
Special insert for arch pieces.