Advice sought for making large limestone veneers


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Old 06-04-08, 09:07 AM
J
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Advice sought for making large limestone veneers

Hello. I have a project I am considering doing and I would like any feedback, advice or criticisms you may have. I have a log house that has about 30 feet (high) of exposed concrete block for the foundation (ah, the joys of building into hillsides). I have stone veneer inside the cabin on the fireplace and chimney, but what I want to do they don't make.

With such a tall wall, there is a specific look I am looking for. Rather than just cover it with stone, I want the give the appearance that the foundation consists of large pieces of limestone. I would like to make 16x32 veneers or perhaps 24x48 veneers.

I have found a mold maker that can make a limestone appearance mold(s) for me. Its a little pricy for the custom molds, but I'd rather pay them for a quality product than lose 2-3 weekends trying to perfect it. Perhaps I could make more molds based of my first stones to increase my daily capacity, but we'll see.

I have read the forums, and I've seen a lot of discussions on what time is worth etc. Working on the cabin is my hobby and I enjoy it, so to me my time isn't part of the equation. I enjoy these kinds of activities and it beats sitting in front of a boob tube or exercising. I'm not going into business doing this, this is just a one time project. Besides, I'll get a cement mixer and a set of scaffolding out of the project.

Since I want these to look like large limestone blocks, I don't need a mortar joint in between so they can stack (unless thats suggested against doing). I chose 16 or 24 since the blocks are 8 inches apart and would allow me to put in tie backs of some sort.

The place is in NE Tennessee, so there are freezethaws, although they will be in shade almost all the time.

I have instructions to make vibrating tables (for a crude DIY'er).

One concern I have, and maybe some of you mold experts can advise, is how to make a corner block. The cultured stone I used for my fireplace had corner pieces that prevents the overlap look. I suppose I need to talk to my molding company to see if they can make corner block molds, but I suspect I may have to manage it myself somehow.

So I guess my questions are:

* does anyone have advice for the corner blocks?
* Can I thinset these things straight to concrete block with some tie backs?
* Since I plan on not having mortar joints, should I stay away from lightweight aggregate?
* Do I need to use any coloring to get a limestone grey?

Thanks in advance.
 
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Old 06-04-08, 02:07 PM
T
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You can get the same look at a fraction of the cost by doing a faux stone finish with stucco, plus you still get to buy the scaffold and the mixer.
 
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Old 06-04-08, 06:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Tscarborough
You can get the same look at a fraction of the cost by doing a faux stone finish with stucco, plus you still get to buy the scaffold and the mixer.
That is an option I suppose. It would probably look good from the lake, but I have a tram that goes right past it, and it would probably look too "faux" if you could see from the side of it that it is all flat. I would like something with actual cut edges etc. We already have stucco on the basement level (the foundation level is below basement, we call it the subbasement) and the wife hates it. I don't know why, its not bad looking. We just couldn't afford to stone that part when we built the place. I'll probably purchase some faux stone to replace the stucco eventually, or just use log siding (sorry, thats another story/post).


Here is a vid of my tram that sort of shows the wall in question.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-jNwK68F8ps

We thought one time about hiring a guy to make the whole area look like a cliff, but it was too expensive. Man, I would have loved that look.
 
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Old 06-04-08, 06:59 PM
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It looks just as real 6 inches away as 60 feet.
 
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Old 06-04-08, 08:38 PM
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So, is it just stucco that is painted? I googled it and mostly found interior treatments. The less expensive characteristic definitely appeals to me, but I'm concerned about the "finesse" aspect of doing that. I can build very nice decks, but am horrible and things like mudding drywall, etc.

Rock molds would be more work, but less chance of screwing up in terms of artistic abilities, IMO. Just make stones and stick'm on the walls.

I would be interested in your idea as an alternative though. Any links you could recommend?

Thanks.
 
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Old 06-04-08, 08:52 PM
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I also saw where I could get fake panels that would do what I need, but they are about $8/sqft, and the corners would still be an issue.
 
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Old 06-05-08, 05:07 AM
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No, it is cut and shaped during application. I might also add that that building is 100 years old.
 
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Old 06-09-08, 06:04 AM
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You don't need to make "fake" stone panels when the real deal is not that expensive. When we quarry stone we end up with a product calles "roughback". The usually occur at a seam or a bed face. We we cut blocks into slabs we can save these at a 4" thickness and split them to the sizes you need.

From one log cabin owner to another...you wouldn't use plastic logs...please don't use concrete stone!
 
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Old 06-09-08, 06:09 AM
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jdsteckling, is that a product that is readily available? Any idea what I would google for? I think there is a policy against posting a vendor's link here, but if you have one, can you pm it to me?

4 inch thick slabs would be too heavy for me, but if it could get thinner, it would be better than the concrete.

Any idea what the HxW dimensions run, or do I have to cut it on site?

Thanks.
 
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Old 06-13-08, 04:59 AM
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