Sunday, February 23, 2014

Making hypertufa pots—day 2 update

Here is a quick update to yesterday’s post on making hypertufa pots. I didn’t think I’d have something to show so soon but I do.

I checked the pots yesterday afternoon, about 7 hours after I’d make them. They had set enough to make drain holes. I used an apple corer like this one. This gadget had proven itself very handy when we made pots at the Sacramento Cactus & Succulent Society.

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After punching out the holes I re-covered the pots with plastic to prevent them from drying too quickly.

This morning, about 24 hours later, I decided to check whether the cardboard boxes that I used as molds would come off. It couldn’t have been easier. The cardboard was moist and soft, and the boxes peeled apart with virtually no effort.

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Outside dimensions (width x height x depth)

The texture of the walls was nice and smooth.

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However, I was interested in a rougher texture—something that looked a little less man-made. This effect was easy to achieve using a wire brush:

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Here are the brushed containers with outside dimensions (width x height x depth):

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A close-up shows that the nylon fibers I added for extra strength are poking out here and there, which bothers me. After the hypertufa is completely dry, I will attempt to remove them. Or maybe once the pots have cured (and are lighter in color) the fibers won’t be as noticeable.

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For now, the containers are wrapped in plastic once again. The goal is to slow down the drying process so the hypertufa doesn’t crack as it cures.

I’ll post another update after the pots have dried.

RELATED POSTS:

Making hypertufa pots for the first time

8 comments:

  1. I think I've read somewhere that you can use a blowtorch to burn those fibers that are sticking out. Or maybe just a creme brulee torch, if you don't have a blowtorch.

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    1. Alison, that's a fantastic idea! I do have a creme brulee torch, and I always look for ways to use it (it works great on weeds in hard to reach places).

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  2. Looks good Gerhard, and using the wire brush has made a noticeable difference too. And just to echo Alison, yes you can easily remove those nylon fibres with a little blowtorch. Looking forward to seeing your pots planted up!

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  3. Looking good!

    Ah, the closeup shots reminded me: if you don't like the look of the perlite -- if it's too white for your tastes -- try vermiculite instead.

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    1. Thank you for the great tip! No, I'm not particularly fond of perlite but I didn't know you can use vermiculite. I even have some vermiculite on hand. Will try it next time!

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  4. These look fabulous Gerhard, nice job! The squares and rectangles are great shapes. So how long do you think you'll wait to plant them?

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  5. I agree with the blowtorch idea. Just skim over it and they're gone. Do it early so the pots can continue on a natural aging process. Love all your sizes.

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