Follow These 5 Easy Steps To Make Your Own Concrete Stepping Stones
Step1. Estimate Quantities.
Fill your mold with water to the top using a 1 Liter container. The idea is to measure how many liters of volume your mold takes. Write down how many liters of water filled up your mold.
Note: Once you know how many liters your mold takes to fill up, you know how many concrete to mix.
Step 2. Buy release agent, 7mm crusher dust and cement.
You can get 7mm crusher dust and cement from your local hardware shop or building suppliers.
(33 liters of cement = 50kg bag)
Step 3. Prepare your concrete mix
Now that you know how many liters you mold takes, its easy to prepare your mix.
Take a 1 liter container (an old measure mug from your kitchen will do) and scoop up (the same quantity as the liters of water that your mold takes) crusher dust. Place it into a wheelbarrow or big enough container for easy mixing. (or on a clean concrete surface that can be hosed down after you are finished mixing)
Divide this quantity of liters by 3 (for high strength) up to 5 (low strength) and you know the quantity of liters of cement you have to ad. (- told you it was easy...)
Ad your concrete to your mix and mix thoroughly, then add water to achieve a workable mix. (If you can make a "snowball" without it collapsing more than halfway, your mix is perfect)
Step 4. Cast your stepping stone
Place your mold on a piece of shutter board or 17mm plywood on which your mold would fit.
Put some release agent on a rag and apply to the insides and top of you mold, similar as if you would do with paint.
Fill you mold with your concrete mix.
Now the important part - pick up your mold by grabbing the side of the plywood, and lift about 5cm and drop it about 5 to 10 times. Repeat this for each side of the mold. This is to get rid of bubbles and air pockets in your mix, and really serves two purposes, to strengthen you product and to provide a smooth, cavity free surface finish.
Now cover the complete mold with a plastic sheet and leave at least 24 hours to cure before de-molding.
Step 5. De-molding your masterpiece
This part is crucial for the survival and durability of your mold.
If you support your mold on a plank of some sort, your mold would give you many years of service. Failure to do so would cause your mold to tear and crack due to the forces that the cured concrete applies on the mold during the de-molding process.
Do not just tip your mold over with the support. The mold and its support must be lifted completely from the ground, tipped over 180 degrees and then placed on an even surface.
The support and mold can than be removed from the top of your cured concrete product. If you applied your release agent correctly your mold should just slip off easily.
Congratulations on your fist mold product! With a bit of creativity you can easily scale this process up and sell your products to the public.
R.O.I on concrete products are huge..