An Unsupported Span
The Leviathan Table, one of the few “crevasse” tables made by Brandon Gore of Gore Design and Concrete Design School in Eureka Springs, Arkansas, is an example of what can be accomplished with post-tensioned concrete.
The 14-foot-long, 42-inch-high table is made of two sections that weigh about 1,700 pounds apiece with no supports in the middle, only legs at each end. Each section envelops a hollow form with four metal cables that were tightened once the concrete had cured.
This post-tension creates a permanent compression that reinforces the concrete so the table won’t sag in the middle or break if someone stands on it.
Gore says the sections with legs intact were poured upside down and his biggest feat was when he and a helper got them upright without a forklift.
The crevasse table is made with Gore’s ultra-high performance GFRC mix. The coloring is from natural gray portland cement. The crack lines are all hand-carved.
Location, Location, Location
The owners of a beach house overlooking the marshes of the Albemarle Sound on the Outer Banks of North Carolina wanted the coordinates of the exact location embedded into the concrete on this radius bartop.
To oblige, David and Julie Bancroft of Opus Stone in Point Harbor used a CNC machine to fashion rubber molds of the coordinates and inlaid them into the form. They then backfilled the voids with a different color.
The bartop is made of a custom-blended portland cement-based GFRC mix colored with Universe and Ultra White pigment from Buddy Rhodes. The backfill was made with high dispersion (HD) fibers in a portland concrete mix colored with Rhodes’ Universe, Ultra White and Smoke.
Enjoying a fire among family and friends is one of life’s pastimes that never grows old. That’s why Josh Thiel of Thiel Studios in Palm Beach, Florida, conjured up this fire bowl as the perfect finishing touch for a Delray Beach home’s entertainment area.
Overall, the sculpture emits a clean contemporary feel despite the concrete’s rough edges and texture. The steel components that comprise its base and fire bowl were oxidized with heat to create a rustic look. This complements the finish on a circa 1900 dining table base from Paris for which Thiel created a 15-foot concrete top. It was his vision to incorporate that “almost industrial feel” throughout the outdoor space.
He used a Buddy Rhodes GFRC mix to create the natural-looking raw concrete base. To make it look more like stone than concrete, he developed his own artistic technique with a combination of warm gray and black pigments from Buddy Rhodes.
Reclaimed and Repurposed
Mike Tremonti, owner of Tremonti Cast Concrete and Design in Monroe, Michigan, kept passing a pile of old barn beams while traveling to and from work. He decided to stop and ask the homeowners if he could buy them. Bonus! They said he could have them for free.
Initially, he planned to make a concrete and barnwood bench with some of these mortice-and-tenon treasures, but that idea morphed into a kitchen table. The challenge was that nothing about the barn beams, including the peg holes, was straight, square, perpendicular or parallel.
The finished 60-by-36-inch table which stands 35-inches tall celebrates the joinery of concrete with barn beams secured with original wooden pegs. The other end is supported by a concrete monolithic waterfall leg.
Tremonti used a mix that included a VCAS pozzolan from Buddy Rhodes, along with KongKrete polymer and 10 percent black oxide pigment from Fishstone.
To solve a problem that was rotting cabinets and wetting the kitchen floor, Nathan Hake of Cranium Construction in Manchester, California, designed this corner sink for a project that also involved custom terrazzo-blended counters.
The glitch? The Sea Ranch homeowners wanted to keep their existing cabinets and the backsplash made from Heath tiles they had gotten from Sausalito. This made the install that much trickier.
The sink was wet cast using Buddy Rhodes ECC (engineered cementitious composite) mix with added PVA (polyvinyl alcohol) fibers and colored with Saybrook Sage, one of the Benjamin Moore colors that can be custom ordered from Buddy Rhodes. The sink was then ground and acid washed to reveal sand/aggregates, not only for aesthetics but also to provide scratch protection.
A River Runs Through It
Named after a mountain-bike trail Tiimo Mang of Aethyrworks LLC in Lakewood, Colorado, rode on his honeymoon, A River Runs Through It refers to the sprocket replicas and actual chains that run through this mountain-bike table’s concrete and walnut surfaces.
Mang, who also creates public art, often mixes concrete, wood and metal because he relishes the balance they create. Getting a bike chain outlay to flow perfectly through the concrete and wood was most challenging, he says. He feels the chain outlay balances the embedded tire tracks on the skirt board.
To give the mountain-bike table some depth, walnut was removed beneath a sprocket so you could see below. A “spider” in the opening keeps salt shakers from falling through.
Mang used CSA cement from Rapid Set and Smooth-On’s Forton VF-774 polymer in his mix, along with Buddy Rhodes Pure Pigment in black oxide. He sealed the concrete with Omega Concrete Countertop Sealer from The Concrete Countertop Institute.
Up in the Air
From the very beginning, the table proposed for the Nicholson Cos. was up in the air. When Zack Pease, owner of Hapax in Norfolk, Virginia, first came up with the idea of a “floating table” that was supported by plexiglass, he had no idea if it was going to work. “But we were happy to have a client willing to embrace that risk and explore new possibilities with us,” he says.
Pease got a thumbs-up from a structural engineer so he proceeded to make a 3-inch concrete base complete with grooves for 2-inch-thick plexiglass legs to support the 6-by-9-foot distressed concrete tabletop.
No fasteners were used. Instead, a steel subframe bridges the acrylic and supports the concrete top, and epoxy secures the legs to the base. Color-changing LED strips sit in the base’s grooves.
The floating table was made with a Buddy Rhodes GFRC mix and integrally colored with Charcoal from SureCrete.
Stranded in California
The DeWhitts in Almaden, California, wanted lights in their outdoor kitchen’s countertop so that’s what Tom Ralston of Tom Ralston Concrete in Santa Cruz delivered— 300 of them to be exact.
To aid in installation, Ralston made a harness where fiber-optic strands were strung above the soon-to-be-placed 15-foot-long countertop. Below, the strands were fed through holes drilled into the form’s bottom and connected to a central light generator complete with a timer.
Besides the flickering blue lights, the dyed vein that meanders across the countertop and dips into and out of the sink includes “trick stuff” like glass, aquarium rocks, sand and shells, all seeded after the pour. Ralston used a turkey baster filled with retardant to slow the setup.
He used a six-sack, 4,000 psi mix with 3/4-inch aggregate from Granite Rock Concrete and Eclipse super-plasticizer from W.R. Grace. He colored the concrete with a blue dye from Blue Concrete and a green acid stain from Kemiko.
According to company owner Steve Rosenblatt, they began with a solid sheet of stainless steel laser-cut into a grid with wide borders folded and welded to create the table’s edges. Before placing the concrete, the piece was secured upside down in a mold that had a gradual center slope.
The next day the piece was stripped and cured for about a week. The tabletop had a slight “hill” that was ground flat with a series of increasingly fine diamond pads. The center portion was ground and polished slightly more than the rest, revealing more aggregate in the center than the surrounding borders.
A traditional concrete mix was used with pea gravel, gray and white cement, and a plasticizer. The table was colored with gray-based pigments from LaHabra and Davis Colors.
Up His Sleeve
For each client, Caleb Lawson, president of Price Concrete Studio in Orlando, Florida, strives to create functional, statement-making pieces that reflect the soul of the home. One of these statements is “something a little funky” that he calls a “whiskey sleeve.”
Designed as part of a countertop’s waterfall leg, the shelving unit horizontally displays a whiskey collection that would otherwise just be sitting vertically on a counter.
The sink, countertop and whiskey sleeve were cast in the shop as a single 94-inch-long piece. Lawson says it went from template to install in four days.
He used Rapid Set Cement-All with a custom blend gray designed in house using Buddy Rhodes pigments.