Papercrete question.

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Papercrete question.

Post  NemusStipes on Wed Mar 30, 2011 11:45 pm

Hellos, I think this would be the right place to post this...

Has anyone made a papercrete pot? I just made one (It was fun Dance ) and thought about leeching it. If I soak it in water, will the paper dissolve? It has been soaking for a day and is barely dissolving, it isn't much, just enough to make the water a little murky. Shocked Should I take it out? Is there another way to leech it? I thought I read a mentioning of having to do something special to them on another forum, but I can't recall...

PS. I know it is fine, it's dissolving because of the dust left over or something (insert nervous emoticon here) but I just need consolation.

Here's a link to what I'm talking about:
http://www.bonsai4me.com/AdvTech/ATPaperBonsaiPots.html


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Re: Papercrete question.

Post  ogie on Thu Mar 31, 2011 1:33 am

You got talent there..some refinement and who knows its a permanent pot
Regards,
Alez

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Re: Papercrete question.

Post  MatthewP on Mon Apr 04, 2011 12:18 am

I read the same article and tried it myself this weekend. It turned into a hideous abomination....(almost like that Rebecca Black song... Smile). Did you glaze your pot? I bought some glaze at an arts store that isn't water soluble, it's meant for ceramics I think. I haven't actually glazed my pot because...well...it sucks. Not much I can offer for advice, still learning to over here myself.

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Re: Papercrete question.

Post  NemusStipes on Mon Apr 04, 2011 12:29 am

I haven't tried glazing it. However, I have no glaze. I read that wood stain works very well for these pots. *shrugs* I would like to try eventually... I made three in my first attempt. (I was going to try a second attempt today but I got sick. No One of the pots looked kinda nice, the other is crap and one wouldn't come out of it's mold. Evil or Very Mad It's still up in the shed.
After leeching in a pot for 6 days the water has a shiny film. But the pot hasn't disintegrated so I think it's going to survive the next four. I'll have to post a picture after I take it out of the water.

EDIT: How ripped up was your paper? I'm experimenting with different widths. Last time I separated it by hand. (I was bored and it was a warm day) so it was in particles about the size of this bagpipe player. Bagpiper

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Re: Papercrete question.

Post  MatthewP on Mon Apr 04, 2011 2:05 am

To be honest, I'm not sure about the wood stain on the pots because wood stain does "wash off" (it doesn't really last that long). Just my two cents Razz. The strips I used were about 1.5 inches in width, cut up using scissors. After soaking the strips for about 2 days the strips just disintegrated into the cement mix when I mixed the two using a power drill (much like the one seen in the photo from the article). I put the concoction into my mould and let it sit for 2 days, after which I dumped it outa the mould....the result was a pot that cracked in many places. I'm sure I didn't let the pot cure long enough in the mould, which I'll make sure to do next time. I hope to start a new pot sometime this week if I can find the time. Sorry I can't be of more help. Post some pics/updates on your pot if you have the time.

PS. Ceramic glaze is really cheap (atleast up here in Canada), you should stop by an arts and craft store if you get the chance.

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Re: Papercrete question.

Post  NemusStipes on Mon Apr 04, 2011 11:42 pm

I would, but I can't drive yet so there is little chance of me being able too.

Here's where I read about the wood stain:
http://www.internationalbonsaiforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=58&start=15

It's the ninth post from the top. If you look on the first and third pages you'll see how beautiful they turned out.

Oh, and what kind of cement did you use? I used quick drying cement, so I popped it out the next day.

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Re: Papercrete question.

Post  MatthewP on Tue Apr 05, 2011 12:59 am

Ahh I see, from the inventor of the method himself. He's using a resin wood stain, so it might be a lot tougher than the other types of stainers out there. I can see that working, it would also seal the cement so you wouldn't have all that nasty leaching. Normally when using cement you need to seal it with a cement sealer so you don't get lime leach, which is what you've been seeing in your water. The alternative would be waiting for it to properly cure (which could be ages) or leaving water in your pot for a couple weeks (changing the water every so often). Also keep in mind papercrete is very water absorbent so it would be worth it to seal it with something so mold doesn't grow in the pot walls.
I used a brand of cement called Quikcrete Portland Cement and it came in a huge 88 lb bag, cost me $20 CAD I think. It's just normal cement mix and not concrete mix (which has sand and gravel in it). I've worked with cement a couple times before (mostly when I was in my teens helping my dad out), but definitely not papercrete.

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Re: Papercrete question.

Post  littleart-fx on Wed Apr 06, 2011 1:11 am

Hi!

As for my latest attempt...

first tub....1/3 paper and cardboard soaked for 14 days.
2/3 cement (normal) and sand

i first mixed the sand and paper with home made sharpened mix blades to a homo gene mix.
After that i mixed in the cement

The material was harsh...i dont like the idea of harsh and delicate pots!
particles wher just to big to make a nice surface!

2de tub....1/3 toilet paper not soaked added to the mix
2/3 fine sand and cement> 4 sand 1 cement

Still rough and no plasticity..... what also withdraws for me is the thickness of the rim to get sturdy pots
The next thing is what bothers me paper seems to cloud up in the mix.......frost could do damage here if not sealed well!
And as for sealing.....?

As i know cement particles have to seal any part within the mix...i am not sure paper is sealed!
So you have to come up with a second sealer,....that just is making pots for trash...in my opinion.
(Making a pond in your garden on concrete....it takes 25 cm's to make it water proof,...Wink

Next thing,.....aluminium sulphites......

Forum,...sharing thoughts....

Easter comes up....raku firing?


grtz Machiel,....big fan of arts and crafts!


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Re: Papercrete question.

Post  NemusStipes on Fri Apr 29, 2011 11:01 pm

Here is a pic of the one I did before:

I did have an issue with flattening out the bottom so I decided to work on that with this second attempt.

This time I got some of that paper from the confidentiality shredders. Sometimes banks and schools host shredding... conventions(?) and ppl bring their paper and it gets shredded into unrecognizable bits that are a third of a centimeter wide and a centimeter long.
I decided to do it out of the blue this time, so I didn't soak the paper as long as last time... Only 7 minutes. (we NEED a sheepish, lip biting smily)
Here is the result/process:










Both pots came out nicely. I will post a pic of the finished circle one after it finishes marinating in liquids. Smile

About the fact that the pot is very porous, I think that is one reason these pots can be beneficial. I have an issue with over-watering my plants so one of the members of my club recommended these pots for my precious trees till I can get it under control.

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Re: Papercrete question.

Post  Harleyrider on Tue May 03, 2011 9:20 pm

Hhmmm, I spy someone not wearing gloves! Tut tut. Wink

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Re: Papercrete question.

Post  NemusStipes on Tue May 03, 2011 11:10 pm

The first time I did it I wore gloves, but then I had a reaction to the latex. (Like I expected) So I decided to do what my dad did and just ditch the gloves. It was easier.

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Re: Papercrete question.

Post  prkulib on Mon Aug 27, 2012 7:15 pm

Ok I'd like to get started making some of these pots, they look amazing! A few questions though, how long must one soak the pot to leach out the lime? And could that be sped up with a weak acid at all? Also It seems that there aren't any real specifics I can find on sealing. I found another thread talking of using wood sealers and this thread mentions it also. Anyone have any first hand experience on which ones to actually use? Or is this mostly trial and error? Thanks for your help!

Peter Kulibert

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Re: Papercrete question.

Post  Plecostomus on Wed Sep 19, 2012 4:18 am

I started this proyect before and still got paper soaking in water from 2 years ago!! By now it turned into a thick paste. Maybe its a dumb question but , would it still usable for making this pots?? Maybe it can have a smoother texture because of the very descompose paper lol

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Re: Papercrete question.

Post  Leo Schordje on Fri Sep 28, 2012 7:54 am

Kids, Kids, Kids, gosh darn it, you need to be careful handling the cement. It is very caustic, it WILL BURN the skin off your hands, and if you have been 'playing' in it long enough ~ an hour or two in contact with your skin, it can literally poison you through the skin of your hands, by affecting the pH of your blood. I've had the skin peel off the entire palm and fingers of my hands from doing some concrete finishing without gloves. Wear gloves, don't wear thin latex, wear a heavy neoprene or a heavy rubberized canvas. Auto supply store would have these for sale for the auto mechanics. Also check you Lowes or Menards or Home Depot. They have the heavier gloves that are not made from Latex. Steal a pair from your gear head brother/cousin/neighbor. DON'T HURT YOURSELVES. Yikes.

Ok, lecture over. Now a few random thoughts on the topic.

Type II Portland Cement, the standard 'Quick Crete' used for general concrete work and mortar mixes, comes up to about 80 to 90% strength at 10 days. It will continue to cure and get stronger, the process will literally take years to come all the way up to 100%. At 5 days you should be at more than 50% strength, which is strong enough to move it around, clean it up, grind off lumps, etc. I would not do the water bath to leach out the caustic hydroxides until after 10 days. Thickness of the walls of the pot will determine how long you have to soak it to leach out the calcium & magnesium hydroxides. A couple weeks should be more than enough for less than 1 inch (2.5 cm) thick walls. If one wants to be sure, after soaking a week, change the water and add a little household vinegar to the water. If there is a lot of foaming and bubbling, there is still excess caustic hydroxides in the pot. Soak some more. When fresh vinegar only bubbles a little, then the caustic is neutralized enough to go ahead and use the pot.

I would not 'seal' the pots, one of the great things about the paper instead of normal sand is that it does hold water, it should be colonized quickly by green mosses, algae and maybe lichens. All can add a nice naturalistic look. If you must seal the pot, a good cheap sealer, which is the base for a lot of wood sealer's and concrete sealer's, is boiled linseed oil. Linseed oil is inexpensive at most paint stores or Big Box stores that handle paint. It can also be 'borrowed' from a neighbor, you won't need much, and if you know any house painter, they usually have a gallon or two on hand. Let the pot dry completely and then paint it on. Re-apply every couple years.

Definitions: Concrete is a finished product of blending cement, sand, aggregate & water. It is the hardened finished product.
Cement is the gray powder that is blended with sand gravel & stone to make concrete.

When blending the cement, sand, paper, and polypropylene fibers, remember the more water you use the weaker the concrete will be. The amount of water needed to hydrate the cement is so little that if you added only the water chemically needed for the reaction, the mix would look rather powder like. Water is added to make it a 'plastic' mix, so we can shape it and place it. Use as stiff a mix as possible, with just enough water to make it workable, but no more. Also, if possible, once you have made your mix, don't add more water if it starts getting stiff on you later as you are placing it. Adding water after the mix has begun setting is called re-tempering, and it will make weak zones in your pot.
The take away, the less water you add, the stronger the final concrete. (yes, it is a concrete, even though paper was used)

Fibers - Normal concrete is a blend of stone, sand, cement & water. It is very weak in thin applications. If you are patching concrete, less than 4 inches thick will always crack and fall out of the patch, unless you add fibers or a mesh to hold it in place. These pots are very thin, less than one inch thick. So you need to add fibers and or a mesh. The original article mentioned polypropylene fibers, these are T shaped or are a fiber with a T at both ends, shreds of plastic designed to help hold concrete together in thin applications, I really recommend using them. The paper also is a source of fiber, and can be counted on to give some of the strength, but if you want the pot to last more than a year, see if you can get the plastic fibers the same place you pick up the cement. If you use paper only, your pots may hold, but I would make them a little thicker, and they will last longer that way. I have also heard of this being done using peat moss instead of paper. When this is done, the reason is to make sure moss grows on the outside of the pot.

For a really long lasting pot, use the plastic fibers. If you use the plastic, after the pot has cured for a week, use a sander or grinder, or even by hand with sand paper to knock off the sharp ends that stick out of the concrete. They come off easy, it will make the surface feel better.

Those are my random thoughts.

Sounds like fun, I have a bag of mortar mix in the basement, I think its time to go and play.


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Re: Papercrete question.

Post  Poink88 on Fri Sep 28, 2012 12:23 pm

Personally I won't use paper. It disintegrates fast. If you have to, I suggest using more decay resistant fibrous materials like; plastic, rayon, nylon, fiberglass, polypropylene, etc.

I will be experimenting also and will be using "Quick-crete crack resistant" which has fiber in it for reinforcement. It can be bought cheaply at Home Depot for less than $5.00 per 80 lb bag. Not sure yet of the size of aggregate. If they are too big, I will try another similar product with fiber...or screen the larger aggregate out.

Note that cement need water to cure and it needs about 2 weeks to reach most of its strength (though it will continue curing for more than a month, the gain is minimal). There is also an optimal curing temperature, and very high or very low temps will stop the curing process.

Cracks are result of shrinkage, initial cracking is usually caused by too much water in the mix and/or letting it dry too fast. Temperature swings (highs and lows) can induce cracking as well, especially if it cannot expand/contract uniformly due to shape or uneven thickness. Having reinforcement (the fiber, wire, mesh, screen, etc.) will help prevent this to some extent. Remember that concrete has superior compressive strength but zero tensile value (at least structural wise). Only the reinforcements are holding it together tensile wise.


Last edited by Poink88 on Fri Sep 28, 2012 3:00 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Papercrete question.

Post  Jesse McMahon on Fri Sep 28, 2012 2:50 pm

I like that piece that came out of the glass bowl. Keep playing around with it. Looks to me like you've got the start of something good.

Not sure if you've checked this thread out or not yet, but I really like what these guys are doing. It got me really excited to try some of this last year. Check out Joao's molds in the later pages. Shocked

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Question about leaching

Post  joffler on Thu Apr 17, 2014 6:18 pm

Disclosure: Just stumbled on this site while researching whether papercrete planters need to be sealed and thoroughly enjoyed the very informative thread. But I was left with a question (or questions) that hadn't occured to me during my other research and even though I'm coming to this board years after the fact, I'm still going to ask in hope that someone responds:

After soaking the planter to leach out the lime, what is the responsible thing to do with the water? Can it be added to acidic soil to neuralize it a little or is it OK to release it into the gutter or what?


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Re: Papercrete question.

Post  Leo Schordje on Sun Jun 15, 2014 12:37 am

joffler wrote:Disclosure: Just stumbled on this site while researching whether papercrete planters need to be sealed and thoroughly enjoyed the very informative thread. But I was left with a question (or questions) that hadn't occured to me during my other research and even though I'm coming to this board years after the fact, I'm still going to ask in hope that someone responds:

After soaking the planter to leach out the lime, what is the responsible thing to do with the water? Can it be added to acidic soil to neuralize it a little or is it OK to release it into the gutter or what?  


The relatively small amounts one would generate doing this as a hobby are "environmentally trivial", in that the total buffer capacity won't be very large. Dump it out on the ground, the soil will neutralize it quick enough. Maybe avoid the center of your lawn, but it shouldn't be a big problem. You could add vinegar until it stops foaming if you are concerned. The resulting acetates are bio-availble to soil microbes.

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Re: Papercrete question.

Post  kevin stoeveken on Sun Jun 15, 2014 3:22 am

yeah... like leo said...
as long as your trivial carbonics are neutralized by the buffer capacitator, you should be good...

um... er... at least i think thats what he said  scratch 











 lol!

but in all seriousness, these look fun to try...
and i too, dig the one from the clear shallow traybowl.
and i like the idea of the exterior being colonized by mossylichenyish growth

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Re: Papercrete question.

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