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Casting Letters for Concrete Pavers + Walls

Posted by Joe Giral on

Concrete casting basics

First we're going to cover what concrete casting is, Then we're going to look at how you can cast concrete with your custom mold.
What is concrete casting?
Concrete casting involves using a reusable mold or form for the concrete. Concrete is then poured into the form and cured in a controlled environment, transported to the construction site and lifted into place. Larger forms are usually cast "in place" where they will be set.
If the molding is for concrete pavers, There are several options available.
For casting forms, contractors usually use single-use foam letters which are custom made for the project, or reusable metal plastic or rubber letters.

What is the advantage of foam letters?
Foam letters are relatively inexpensive when compared to reusable rubber metal or plastic letters. The foam letters are typically glued in place and cast into the concrete. The letters must be dissolved out with a solvent after the concrete sets.
What is the advantage of reusable letters?
As the term implies, the letters can be set into a form and used numerous times.
As rubber letters are flexible, they can be pulled away from the set concrete by moving them around a little. As plastic and metal letters are inflexible, we make them with a 7° draft (slightly sloping sides) to allow them to pull away from the set concrete.
Rubber reusable letters shown
Can we use our own typestyle or graphics?
You can have a custom rubber mold made with all the details of your graphics line art in almost any size up to 48" wide. This allows for very large permanent monument displays which can be painted for extra impact.
So once I have determined the best materials for casting, what is the casting process?
    1. Decide on the size of the layout and create a rough sketch. This is the time to measure out the area where the final product or resulting cast forms will be placed. Concrete can be heavy and have sharp corners, so measure it out first.
    2. To your layout, add any text or ornamentation you like. Mold letters may be found for purchase online or through letterbank.com. Professionals use reverse cast metal letters, and often the newest cast rubber letters, which are significantly less costly.
    3. Measure the text size and create or order letters. Remember, the letters will be indented into the finished concrete, and so must be reversed to read correctly.
    4. Place and secure the letters and shapes to your form, or place and pour a wet solution of concrete over the letters. Avoid rocks and very coarse gravel, as this will cause pockets or gaps in the finished product.
    5. Once the concrete sets (usually overnight at least), remove the letterforms carefully. Allow the concrete to cure for an additional 5-7 days before placing in the desired location.
Made with custom mold for multiple uses
  1. Be creative! Concrete is fairly inexpensive and will last a long time.
Links:
http://letterbank.com/diy/diyconcrete.htm
http://letterbank.com/concrete.htm

Also: Order individual letters or sets of letters here


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