Sunday, January 15, 2012

A Simple Round Trough

round trough 16 x 16 x 8"H

I've made 5 or 6 of these little (for me anyway) troughs.  I bought a 12" diameter sonotube from Home Depot and cut it into 6" lengths on my table saw.  To cast a trough, I filled each 6" high piece of tube level with sand, then pattycaked the hypertufa mix around that core.  The troughs are cast upside down, with a 2" piece of cardboard tube as a drainage hole.  Since the sides of the tube are plumb, the wet hypertufa mix tends to slump away from the core as I near the top.  To stop the slump, I pack the hypertufa really hard with my hands and then wrap 6" shrinkwrap as tightly as I can around the whole form.  It's not much, but it's just enough to hold the concrete until it starts to cure.

Like most of my troughs like this, I let these sit for 48 hours before working them with a wire brush and scraper.  After that, they are sealed in plastic for 30 days to cure.

One day when I was demolding one of these troughs, the wet sonotube came out in one piece (a rare event).  It was kind of an interesting snowman shape so I let it dry instead of pitching it. I used it as a core again the next week, resulting in the trough in the front of the picture below.  It's a weird shape, but maybe it just needs the right plants.  In fact, that's probably true of all of my troughs.

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