Jump to content
Elise

Hydrocal- lightweight or high-strength?

Recommended Posts

I am making a plaster wedging table, I’ve read here that hydrocal is the plaster to use. 

Can I use the lightweight formula? Or should I stick with the high-strength formula? The lightweight is slightly cheaper and is on amazon prime so I’d have it by Monday versus waiting longer for it to arrive and paying slightly more for the high-strength formula. 

 

TIA!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, neilestrick said:

I've always just used #1 Pottery Plaster. The reason to use Hydrocal is for greater durability, so I'd go for the high strength formula.

Perfect, thank you!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hydrocal doesn't have the water absorbing property of plaster.  If you want to use the wedging table for drying clay, definitely plaster.  Use expanded metal as a reinforcement in the plaster.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, CactusPots said:

Hydrocal doesn't have the water absorbing property of plaster.  If you want to use the wedging table for drying clay, definitely plaster.  Use expanded metal as a reinforcement in the plaster.

After more research I decided to order the USG #1 Potters Plaster instead. 

I don’t know what expanded metal is but I will google it. I am also going to search on this forum for tips on building a (small) wedging table. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Expanded metal is the stuff they build plaster walls with.  You could use hardware cloth, which is a smaller hole version of chicken wire.  I usually wind up working on my wedging table, so I'm building a new bigger one for my new patio working area.  In this case, bigger is better.  Whatever space you have.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tips on building a wedging table.  Make it as strong as you possible can.  My preferred construction method is to cut the lateral supports 2x4 into the legs 4x4   Screw and glue with Gorilla Glue.  My woodworking skills are not what I would have them be, so the Gorilla Glue covers a multitude of sins.  The top lateral 2x4s only cut half way into the legs, so they stick up 1 1/2 inches.  That will be the thickness of plaster, minus the plywood.  Not so thick, you need the wire.

If you need more info, I could try to do a better job describing it.  My current table is 15+ years with no problems, no wiggle.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You can also add add layers of plastic cloth/fiberglass cloth to  reinforce in the middle of the pour.

If you go to the main page and do a search you will see many posts on making wedging tables

Edited by Mark C.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, JohnnyK said:

How big is "small"?

This is my current wedging table. It’s very sturdy since the legs are metal. I am just planning on adding plaster to the top wood section. 

28B4D26E-7555-4696-8C73-CD4B4828F449.jpeg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OK… Take a couple of 1x4s and nail them to the sides and the front of your table top, calculate the volume, mix a little more plaster than your calculation and pour it into the frame. then take a stiff straight edge, and skim the top level and let it set up. Voila...you have a wedging table.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 minutes ago, JohnnyK said:

OK… Take a couple of 1x4s and nail them to the sides and the front of your table top, calculate the volume, mix a little more plaster than your calculation and pour it into the frame. then take a stiff straight edge, and skim the top level and let it set up. Voila...you have a wedging table.

Thank you Sir! I will follow your directions. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I’ve read through most all of the “how to” posts on building wedging tables and I’m seeing that you can add hardware cloth in the middle of the plaster to strengthen it. I have some hardware cloth scraps I can use but I don’t see any details on exactly how to add it. 

I guess my question is this- do I pour 1/2 of the plaster, let it firm up, then add the HC, then pour the other 1/2 and let set? 

Or

Do I pour 1/2 then immediately add the HC then pour the other 1/2 and let set?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Do I pour 1/2 then immediately add the HC then pour the other 1/2 and let set?

Yes this-keep on pouring so its one continuous pour-with cloth on middle.Get soem help so you pour they drop in the cloth.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You can set a spacer so the second pour won't push the hardware cloth to the bottom.  That can be as simple or complicated as you want.  Even if it's at the bottom, it will be better than none at all.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.