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Old 02-09-2019, 05:14 AM
andrewdingemans andrewdingemans is offline
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Default Re: 75G Tower Paludarium Build Log

Background Substrate Methods: Test Samples

Ok, so I was going to do this as a separate post, but it pertains to the build so here goes.

I spent the last couple days preparing samples of a few ways to cover the great stuff foam based on results from others on the board here.

First was Drylok. The right side is painted on pretty thick with just 1 coat. The left was brushed on, then 'stippled' with a dry brush to help with creating a bit more texture. In the end, the finish is the same texture, however the right seems to be thicker. Surface is still a bit soft after 24hrs of drying.

Second was coco fibre spread and pressed over a fresh application of black great stuff foam. End result is less than impressive. The texture of the surface is uneven, but not imressed with the amount of fibre attached to surface, a few bald spots. Surface is soft like uncarved foam.

Third was the Titebond III and fibre slurry. I did the right side where it was more of a paste (about 1:1 ratio of fibre to glue) and the left was more liquid (2-3:1 of glue to fibre). In the end I covered it all with fibre and pressed it in. Both show the same type of cure with 1 coat each and the same finish and coverage. The surface still feels semi-soft but more firm than just fibre on foam.

Fourth was Titebond III painted onto the foam until no holes in the carved foam could be seen and fibre sprinkled on and pressed. Finish looks about the same as the slurry and paste mix, but a bit less firm than slurry and paste after 24 hours of cure

Fifth was Silicone 1 and fibre. Applied a decent amount of silicone with gloved hand and sprinkled and pressed in the fibre. Finish is even with no bald spots. Firmness is about the same as just fibre on foam, but good coverage.

Sixth and last is gorilla glue and fibre. I applied the glue until all foam pores were filled. Gave it a light mist then applied some damp fibre and pressed into surface. I then applied some dry fibre over the surface, gave a light press and let cure. This finish is now rock-hard and has alot of texture. The gorilla glue did add some bumps and texture to the surface therefore the fibre coverage is not even showing a few bald patches

Before I make my decision I am going to allow the samples to cure for 5 days then do a misting test (20 second mist) to see how each withstand it, then a soak test (submerge in water for a few hours at a time) to see how they also withstand that. So far the gorilla glue solution is out due to the hardness of the sample and the foam is out due to the uneven coverage.

Drylok will be used for the waterfall section, however 2 new samples need to be made where I apply silicone to the foam prior to drylok and second where I apply drylok then silicone overtop.

Hopefully some find the above info helpful.
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