Concrete Staining & Engraving | Final Tips To Avoid Frequent Mistakes – Part 2

Once you’re done transforming a dull gray interior floor into a beautiful work of art, there are a few steps to consider when finishing the job.

In this video, final tips to avoid frequent mistakes and tips on keeping a log are demonstrated.

This is part 32 of an on-going series on Decorative Concrete, and is taken from the DVD Mastering Concrete Engraving, The Basics.

Concrete Resurrection Water Reducible Concentrate stains can be applied using plastic or metal sprayers.

Only use a roller or airless spray system to apply water?based acrylic sealers. When applying a solvent?based sealer to rack stain, you can roll or spray the sealer on.

With Concrete Resurrection Water Reducible Concentrate stain, solvent?based sealers must be sprayed on. We generally recommend you seal your work prior to engraving operations in order to protect your color during the engraving process.

The exception to this rule is when you intend to accent or additional staining after engraving operations. As an example, your customer wants flagstones that have distinct color differences between each stone, or a brick pattern that has individual bricks highlighted or antiqued.

If you plan to backfill your engraved lines with epoxy or grout, make sure they are cut deep. Ideally, at minimum, one?eighth inch. To test the template design, lay down cardboard or craft paper on the ground. Use spray paint to test the design and layout technique prior to engraving.

Keep a detailed journal of all your jobs. It will serve as a handy reference if you wish to duplicate the designs and color. If repair work is needed, it will ensure the correct colors and products are used. Items to include in your journal are photos, dates, locations, temperatures, specific products used, steps taken to achieve colors, and patterns, plus any other relevant information.

Purchase the DVD Mastering Concrete Engraving, The Basics to see this series in its entirety.

Decorative Concrete Engraving | Cutting Linear Bricks | 2nd Course & Beyond

This is a continuation (Part 10) of an introduction to the Super Compact — including it’s capabilities.

In this video, you learn to cut the 2nd & 3rd course of bricks in a linear brick pattern using the Super Compact Cobra and a tracking system.

This is part 15 of an on-going series on Decorative Concrete, and is taken from the DVD Mastering Concrete Engraving, The Basics.

When engraving straight bricks on a large area, the head joints can have a tendency to drift. Factors that cause a drift can be: a pointer that is slightly off, or if the operator views the pointer from differing angles. If the pointer happened to be off 1 16th of an inch, after 16 rows, your head joints would be off by one inch.

To avoid the drift, after engraving the first row of bricks, snap parallel chalk lines down the length of the slab. These lines should serve as a good reference to the proper cut of every second row. Make your cuts on chalk lines on odd numbered rows to minimize drift. This will keep your head joints lined up nicely and give a clean look to your straight bricks.

To cut the second brick course, index the engraver towards the linear rail to set the engraver up for the second row. Move the pointer flag to the second pointer and aim the second pointer at the first course.

To cut the third brick course, index the engraver in toward the rail. Pin it. Snug the knobs. The head cuts of the third course of bricks are centered on the first course. Aim the center pointer at the grout lines on the first row. Notice that all pointers, so far, have aimed at the cuts in row number one.

On the fourth and consecutive courses, aim the center pointer at the grooves that are two courses away from the row being cut.

Purchase the DVD Mastering Concrete Engraving, The Basics to see this series in its entirety.

Cutting 2nd & 3rd Field Course Bricks With The Super Compact Cobra

This is a continuation (Part 8 ) of an introduction to the Super Compact — including it’s capabilities.

In this video, you learn to cut the 2nd & 3rd course field bricks in a circular brick pattern.

This is part 13 of an on-going series on Decorative Concrete, and is taken from the DVD Mastering Concrete Engraving, The Basics.

At the center pivot, index the engraver inward one hole. Go to the four odd bricks that we just cut in the first row. Divide only the four odd ones in half.

Aim the center pointer at the marks and make the beginning four cuts of the second course. Steady the engraver with your feet. Press down, push out, let up, pull back, and move. Move the reminder flag to the pointer that is second from the right. The second pointer is set for a six inch cut. Aim it at the other cuts in the first course to make cuts in the second course. You may wish to use a reminder so as not to accidentally re-cut the odd bricks.

At the center pivot, index the engraver inward one hole, and remove the rigid pointer system. Notice the head cuts of the third brick course are in line with the head cuts on the first row. Nothing to measure. No calculating. Nothing to lay out. Just aim and cut. Aim the center pointer at the grout lines on the first row. Steady the engraver with your feet. Press down, push out, let up, pull back, move left or right, it does not matter. If you have difficulty getting the engraver to move sideways, give it a little nudge with your toe. So far, notice that all pointers have aimed at cuts at row number one. On the fourth, and all remaining courses, all the way the through the next soldier course, use the center pointer.

Aim the center pointer at the groove that is two courses away from the course being cut. Whenever a soldier course is crossed, start a new pattern progression. Use the first pointer on the first course. Use the second pointer on the second course. And use the center pointer on the third and consecutive courses.

Circular and arcuate engraving looks expensive and exotic, yet it is very simple and fun to do.

Purchase the DVD Mastering Concrete Engraving, The Basics to see this series in its entirety.

Super Compact Cobra | Cutting Field Bricks | Engrave-A-Crete

This is a continuation (Part 7) of an introduction to the Super Compact — including it’s capabilities.

In this video, you learn to cut field bricks in a circular brick pattern.

This is part 12 of an on-going series on Decorative Concrete, and is taken from the DVD Mastering Concrete Engraving, The Basics.

Let’s move on to setting up, and engraving the main field courses. Unplug the engraver from the power source. In the field brick area where you wish to begin cutting, find the most outside course of bricks. Put the contour following wheel on that course. Insert the indexing pin. Snug the star knob. Adjust the primary connecting bar stroke length by moving the stop collars inside the primary connecting bar. It may be necessary to tilt the engraver to see the collar screws.

Use the short PVC plastic spacer to gauge the four inch stroke length. Securely tighten the collar screws. Collar slippage will result in over cuts. Visually check to see that the blade will cut exactly between the long bed cuts. In the front and rear there should be about a 1/8 inch gap between the blade and the far sides of the bed cuts.

Initially, it is better to have a gap too wide. A wide gap will produce an undercut, which is much better than an over cut. Later, after making some cuts, the stop collars can be dialed in exactly as needed.

Check again to be sure this is where you want to begin cutting. Move the pointer reminder flag to the far right hand side pointer. This first pointer is used to cut field bricks to 12 inches long. In circular or arcuate brick patterns, the first pointer is used only on the first course of bricks that are inside the soldier course. This pointer is located on the right side, so cutting progresses from right to left.

Make the first cut. There is nothing to aim at yet. Steady the engraver with your feet. Press down, push out, let up, pull back, move to the left. Now there is a groove to aim at.

Aim, press down, push out, let up, pull back, move to the left, begin the cycle again. Remember, when aiming at a cut line, you should be centered over the engraver. If you alter the viewing angle, the length of the brick will change.

As you may already know, if we continue cutting around the circle the last brick will more than likely be an odd size. To be sure there are no obviously odd length bricks, you must again determine a delaying point.

Make a minimum of five cuts. That is four bricks. When cutting field bricks, use the cord length of four bricks as a delaying point measurement. This simplifies the calculation of the remaining bricks. The number four is divisible to one by dividing it in half two times.

Measure the cord length across the top arc of four bricks. Transfer the delaying point measurement to the right side as viewed from the operating position. Leave a reminder on the delaying point.

To the left, continue cutting around the first row. Delay engraving at the delaying point marker. Complete whichever cut will be closest to the delaying point.

Measure and divide the remaining space in half. Divide those two halves in half. Move the pointer reminder flag to the center pointer. Finish the remainder of the cutting by pointing to the marks using the center pointer.

Purchase the DVD Mastering Concrete Engraving, The Basics to see this series in its entirety.

Engrave-A-Crete Tools | Super Compact Part 5

This is a continuation (Part 5) of an introduction to the Super Compact– including it’s capabilities.

This is part 10 of an on-going series on Decorative Concrete, and is taken from the DVD Mastering Concrete Engraving, The Basics.

These are long bed cuts. Long bed cuts may be straight linear cuts, or they may be circular, or arched. Like a bow or an arch. Soldier courses are bricks that are placed at right angles from the main field courses of bricks. Soldier courses are placed in the circular brick pattern to keep the field bricks from growing too long or too short. They break up the pattern and they look good.

These are head cuts. Head cuts begin and end between long bed cuts. Head cuts might also be called radial cuts if they are radiating from the center of a circle or an arch.

Tools you will need: hammer drill, concrete anchoring kit, super compact, center pivot, connecting bar, connecting bar stabilizer, primary connecting bar, tape measure, soap stone, framing square.

Determine where the center pivot is to be located for a circular pattern. Draw a crosshair on the floor at the point where you wish to mount the center pivot. Align the four corners of the center pivot on the lines. Using the hammer drill and the screws from the concrete anchoring kit, attach the center pivot to the slab.

Drill the hole more than deep enough for the screws. If possible, drill all the way through the slab. Remove the dust from the hole by running the drill bit in and out of the hole several times. Set the screws down tight to the base plate.

To prevent the screws from breaking or the heads from stripping, put a lot of downward pressure on the screw and click the drill trigger to gently set the screw. If the screw binds, back it out and ream the dust from the hole. If the hole strips and is unable to hold the screw, insert a sliver of wood or a Q tip in the hole. Two screws, set opposite of each other, are usually sufficient to hold the center pivot. If it becomes necessary to temporarily remove the center pivot, mark the base to indicate the direction it is pointing. When the pivot is accurately repositioned, the engraver will cut exactly where you left off.

Rotate the center pivot so that the T pin hole is located closest to the engraver. Insert the primary connecting bar into the carriage. Attach the engraver to the primary connecting bar. Lift the connecting bar stabilizer wheels about one eighth of an inch off the concrete and then tighten the star knob. Install the clamp block.

Insert the T pin into the center pivot and through the indexing hole in the primary connecting bar for the smallest possible circle desired. Snug the star knob. The center pivot’s star knob secures and tightens the connecting bar to the center pivot. If the star knob is loose, a sloppy, ugly line will occur.

Turn the engraver on, press down on the handle bar to firmly engage the blade with the concrete, and push forward. To move out to the next circle, remove the indexing pin, release the star knob, and move the engraver out. Locate the next indexing hole, insert the pin, snug the star knob, cut the next circle.

As needed, add connecting bars to extend the reach of the super compact. Secure the connecting bar using the specifically designed connecting bar screws. Tighten the screws snugly to prevent a loose connection, which can cause ugly lines. Locate the next indexing hole, insert the pin, snug the star knob, cut the next circle.

To purchase the complete DVD Mastering Concrete Engraving – The Basics, call 1-800-884-2114, or purchase on-line at Concrete Stain & Supply.