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Old 03-10-2019, 03:31 PM   #316
Davy
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Yep, you've already learned. If you would have poured 4 qts of water in a wheelbarrow first and then added the mix, you would have had soup for lunch.
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Old 03-10-2019, 04:37 PM   #317
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On the front of the Better Bench, it's best to make a few handfuls of mud a little wetter.

Fill the bench first and screed it off how you want it. It's best not to be banging around on it when you're trying to get mud to stay on the front.

I just pack the wetter mud in by hand much thicker than it needs to be. Let it sit for 10-15 minutes, then start smoothing it over with a mag float. It'll still be mounded up, but more like one solid piece rather than a bunch of handfuls of mud.

Once you get it smoothed out, start slicing it off flush. Use a steel trowel in an up and down motion, maybe even slicing the depth a bit at a time.

You might still have the occasional part to come loose during the finish part, but once I'm finished, I've never had one to fall off.
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Old 03-11-2019, 06:36 AM   #318
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin
It's best not to be banging around on it when you're trying to get mud to stay on the front.
Evidently. That's why the front fell off - the first time. LOL

Since the directions on the bag said 3-4 quarts, and I used only 3.7, maybe a bit less, I thought I was in for the win. I started with 3 Q's, and convinced myself it was still too dry because I was still churning up lots of powder.

Typing this, and reading Davy's comment about 4 Q's in a wheelbarrow and then the mix, it just dawned on me that I emptied the bag into my mixing container and THEN started adding water. No idea why, I've mixed a lot of small batches of TS mortar and always added water first, then mortar.

Something I knew, forgot, and now learned again. Where's my multimeter?
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Old 03-17-2019, 07:10 AM   #319
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Using the tips and tricks that several kind folks offered my 2nd bench, and repairs to the 1st bench, went far better, with less frustration, than my first attempt.

This go around I mixed the entire bag of mud with just 3 quarts of water total (water first, then mud) resulting in much dryer, but still ballable, mud. Filled and packed the inside of the 2nd bench completely, using several separate lifts, smoothed it off, then did the face. I employed CX's idea of affixing expanded metal lath to the face, and bled only 3 times while cutting the pieces to size. I packed, but didn't attempt to smooth the faces, opting to let them set up for about 45 minutes, then worked the faces by raking off little bits at a time until flat

The lath helped. The dryer mud helped. And improved technique helped.

Thanks again for your help!
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Old 03-17-2019, 08:26 AM   #320
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan
I employed CX's idea of affixing expanded metal lath to the face, and bled only 3 times while cutting the pieces to size.
Original idea for that belongs to our old friend RobZ, Dan. As for three bleedings making one small piece of metal lath, it's certainly not a record, but it's a real good average.
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Old 03-17-2019, 06:05 PM   #321
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Nice job, Dan.

What made you decide using the better bench over something like the Kerdi triangular bench? Space concerns and/or aesthetic reasons?
I liked having not to worry about attaching my bench to the framing and having the tileable front but I lost the space below the bench, obviously.

Seems like the better bench is a bit more work, also.
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Old 03-18-2019, 06:20 AM   #322
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RobZ….a good man. Haven't seen him around here for years.

Aesthetic reasons only, Wolfgang. Given the decision to incur the cost of constructing a larger shower I felt that I then didn't want to give up visual space. To my eye the floating benches appear less imposing. Will probably be no fun to clean under them though.

Yeah, they probably are a bit more work. Pre-planning the necessary blocking, installing it (the screws they supply are horrible), mudding, water proofing, etc.

Finally picked up the wall tile and matching 3X12 bullnose, about 800 pounds worth, the latter which I was all excited about because the front of the BB is exactly 3". Then I measured the BN, only 2.75". Well I'll be.....
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Old 04-24-2019, 10:34 AM   #323
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Setting soap stone caps

To you stoners out there....

Heading way back to post 260, all my soap stone trim bits are ready; the tops and ends for the wall hung toilet bump out and shower pony wall, the corner benches, and the niche shelf. I need to install these so I can get back to tiling the shower walls.

The stone had some kind of black, shiny and smooth plastic or epoxy coating on it and mesh over that. I had them strip all that off down to the bare stone because I was concerned it would be a bond breaker. I had them leave it on the vanity tops and the bench top between the two.

Whatever the mortar question is, Versabond is often the answer. Is it suitable to use for setting the soap stone bits? If not, what would be?

And oh, forgot to ask - would you use a wet saw to cut them? I had some of the pieces cut long so I could trim them down to the exact size I need.
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Old 04-24-2019, 01:07 PM   #324
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I'd go Versabond Dan. I used it under my granite curb/seat and it worked well.

Tile saw should be fine for the soapstone too if it's anything like granite. I had to trim ends down on my curb and seat using a DeWalt wet saw. Alternatively, you can use a dry tile saw with diamond blade if the tile saw won't work. I did my mockup with 1x4 scraps and then made my final cuts.

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Old 04-25-2019, 06:12 AM   #325
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Thanks Ali. Good 'ole Versabond it is, though I'll probably get a fresh bag since the one I have has been open, but covered with a small plastic trash bag, for 3 or 4 weeks now.

My wet saw with porcelain blade will probably cut right through the SS but it's a sliding table model so it would be a challenge; one of the SS pieces is about 6X72. Will probably borrow a bridge saw from a friend.
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Old 04-28-2019, 06:04 AM   #326
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It took awhile, and to keep the gaps as tight as possible I had to schlep these pieces down to the saw several times. Each. Can always make 'em shorter, but not longer. I also took some 60 grit to the backs of each to help with bonding.

If a mod could spin those that would be super!
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Old 04-28-2019, 06:30 AM   #327
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Nice work Dan! Those long pieces must have been a joy to handle without banging into wall between the saw and the bath.
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Old 04-28-2019, 08:36 AM   #328
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They did turn out nice, thanks PC. I had the stone shop cut all of them a little long so I could do the final fitting. Fortunately the long one, at about 72", only needed 1 cut. The two on the pony wall were more of a challenge, cutting and setting, due to the slope of the top piece, and needing them dead level and plumb for the glass.
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Old 04-28-2019, 12:13 PM   #329
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Looks good Dan

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Old 05-14-2019, 05:12 PM   #330
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So much to do, so little time, but I am making progress.
Yes, there are basically two different layouts, one on the back wall (50%), and another on the end wall(s). I opted to not carry the 50% offset onto the end walls because that would have resulted in skinnies and an overall busy look where the bull nose finishes the end.
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