Results 1 to 12 of 12

Thread: Pretend I don't know anything about concrete...

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Upstate NY
    Posts
    3,673

    Pretend I don't know anything about concrete...

    I have a ring camera on a tree pointed at the front of the house. Two batteries last about 2 weeks in the summer and 1 week in the winter. I added a solar charger. It helps in the winter, but the tree leaves make it worthless in the summer. My wife suggested putting the charger in a fake rock at the base of the tree, but they are expensive and I can't find one the right shape. So I want to make one out of concrete.

    I have a poly tote the right shape and the size of one bag of concrete. I have made a wood insert and screwed it to the tote to leave a recess for the charger. I intend to:
    • Glue a pvc 1.25" pipe to the bottom of the wood insert to make a space for the cord to come out of the charger.
    • Dump a bag of concrete and water into a plastic tub. Mix it with a wood paddle.
    • Use a scoop to move the concrete from the tub to the tote.
    • Let it dry (or is it cure, or something else?)
    • Unscrew the wood, lift the tote off, pry the wood out, and work the pipe out.

    Does that all make sense, or am I planning something wrong? Would waxing the wood and pipe help, or is that that necessary.
    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    New Westminster BC
    Posts
    1,986
    Don't think you will get anything that looks like a natural rock with premixed concrete in a poly tub. I think what you want is hypertufa, check this video and maybe do a search for hypertufa rocks. I made some hypertufa planters decades ago and they still look great.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i40Kw1nkmVQ

  3. #3
    Way back in the 90's while working at Philips-BTS's shop doing some vinyl signage for their upcoming trade show, I watched a guy there build up a big gobby mountain out of spray-foam. Don't know what kind, it was yellowish, grew immensely, and was very dense. It was all dry within an hour or so. He then took a basic big kitchen knife and started slicing away at it. Within a couple of hours or so he started painting it, had like a half dozen gray and brown colors. Before I left for the day he was finished and had it working- what he'd made was an over 6' tall portable waterfall for the exhibit! And it looked EXACTLY like it was made from actual rock, gorgeous, and the whole thing weighed next to nothing.

    -something like that might be easier than concrete?
    ========================================
    ELEVEN - rotary cutter tool machines
    FOUR - CO2 lasers
    THREE- make that FOUR now - fiber lasers
    ONE - vinyl cutter
    CASmate, Corel, Gravostyle


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Upstate NY
    Posts
    3,673
    I know it won't look much like a real rock, but I though I could try distressing it with an angle grinder and/or painting it with textured "granite" paint.
    But... I already bought the concrete, so I will be trying it. Is there anything wrong with my procedure?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
    Posts
    58,285
    Why not make a mold from styrofoam so you can have a random shape, a flat bottom and the right sized opening to put the solar panel in the top? Spray paint and then some dry brushing will help it blend in pretty well, I would think.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    McKean, PA
    Posts
    13,729
    Why not bury a conduit out to the tree, terminate it with a water tight box buried just below the surface. Go find a real rock and place it over the box.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    E TN, near Knoxville
    Posts
    11,182
    Wade,

    Do you have a zoo nearby? The one near here makes a lot of realistic looking fake rocks, some huge. Maybe give them a call and ask for tips. Perhaps they will let you volunteer to help and learn the inner secrets.

    JKJ

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Location
    Los Angeles, California
    Posts
    496
    My present employer, the US Forest Service, has a bunch of blue-grey paint which looks like a rock
    Regards,

    Tom

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Dickinson, Texas
    Posts
    7,629
    Blog Entries
    1

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2021
    Location
    Central Pa.
    Posts
    99
    I'm big on keeping it simple. All you would have to remote would be the solar cell to a place where the sun hits. Run your wire down the tree, find a hidden spot, maybe among flowers, etc., use a spike from one of those cheap solar path lights, and stick it in the ground. Done!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    The Hartland of Michigan
    Posts
    7,462
    I use a 6v lead acid battery for my game cam. It lasts for at least 2 months before I need to charge it.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Modesto, CA, USA
    Posts
    6,408
    Put some lamp black in the wet concrete mix and maybe some other rock type colors. Or paint the mold with latex paint just before adding the wet concrete. In other words fresco painting.
    Bill D

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •