How to Form Small Concrete Projects The Easy Way
You may be surprised at the tool Chuck Miller uses to make sure his concrete pour goes as smoothly as possible.
When you’re making small-scale architectural elements out of concrete, you could use a stick to make sure that the concrete is compacted into all of the voids, but there’s a better way.
We’re making some pilasters for a concrete fireplace surround, but the same technique should apply to any small masonry project.
Here’s how to do it:
- Build a mold out of plywood assembled with drywall screws
- For more detail, use pieces of trim or other found objects in the mold. We used cove moldings at the bottom to give a rounded reveal along the edge of our pilaster
- Cover the inside of the mold with blue masking tape. This acts as a form release agent so your cured concrete should fall right out
- When half the concrete is in your mold, run the shoe of your sawzall (without a blade installed) along the sides of the form. The vibrations will settle the concrete and get rid of the voids
- Top the mold off with concrete, and wait for your project to cure before removing it
I heard about using a sawzall for this purpose on a jobsite one time; no one has ever sent it in. It’s just a tip I’ve been using over the years and it really works well. Thanks whoever.