Teaching Concrete Counters in VT

It was great to be back up at Yestermorrow Vermont last weekend teaching a group of 12 students the art of concrete counter-tops.  The best class we have taught in recent years!  My biggest worry all weekend was forgetting to bring socks.  The weather was as beautiful as the group of students!  The projects had several challenges we were able to overcome through collaborative thinking.

The experience is always powerful no matter how many times I do this.  By lunch on the first day we had poured our first set of counters, and by days end had a full kitchen formed up and the math done for a weigh-out of materials Sunday morning.  Students seemed to have a serious focus and motivation to learn and build.  This combination allowed for a brighter side throughout the weekend, humor was crazy, we even came up with a business plan to market concrete balls of all applications…baseball fruit etc send us your money for a start-up ha ha.

 

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YMCA bench for the Veterans Memorial in Arlington Virginia. Fabricated in three pieces.

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Precise steel reinforcement

These are photos of an outdoor concrete bench project for the YMCA. From top to bottom:
The large piece after pouring.
The large piece ready to pour.
The small triangle ready to pour.
The small piece being poured.

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These are images of steel reinforcement being fabricated for an outdoor concrete bench. The 6 x 6″ remesh is cut flat and folded like orgami to create the verticals. It had to be exact since a tolerance of less than 1/16″ on all sides was needed. It was built 1/8″ shallow to allow a wrap of diamond lathe on the face. It is placed 1/2″ from the exterior walls to give tension strength. Next is attaching 7/16″ diameter (stainless steel) threaded rods wired onto the remesh vertically at certain load points. These rods need to protrude from the top at 2-7/8″ above the concrete trowel line.
Next…a second layer of 6×6″ remesh using the threaded rods as a standoff, giving a 1/2″ gap from the outer layer of metal will be tied in.
Will update on the bolt pattern and protrusion placement method as this piece will be fastened to a base plate of concrete.
The kicker…the embossed memorial lettering across the front top edge!

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Day 2. The large threaded rod fasteners are in place and a second layer of metal has been begun.
Had to invent a spacer to offset the two layers of metal. This will allow concrete flow between layers. The solurion was simple in the end!

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