While pre-made fountains are available for purchase, you can also use concrete molds to cast your own fountain at home. There are several different mold types available and depending on the type of fountain you want, you may be able to make your own mold yourself.
All molds should allow room for your pump and water piping to ensure proper fountain function. Fountain Molds Fountain molds allow you to cast your own fountains from concrete in a variety of sizes, shapes and fountain styles. Molds typically come in two pieces, though more pieces may be used for particularly intricate fountains, to ensure that no details are damaged while removing the mold.
Some molds feature intricate designs on their inner surface, creating fountain pieces with a significant amount of detail. Molds typically require a spray-on or liquid release agent to prevent the concrete from sticking to them, but household products such as cooking spray or margarine can be used if necessary. Mold Materials There are several different materials that are used to make fountain molds. Commercial molds can be made of metal, various forms of rubber, plastic or other materials.
Homemade molds can include some of these same materials and can also be made of styrofoam, extruded foam insulation, sheet metal and even wood or heavy cardboard. Different materials affect the water content of the concrete in different ways, resulting in significant differences in concrete drying time between molds that absorb moisture and molds that are water-resistant. Regardless of the mold material used, care should be taken to fill the mold completely and to shake or tap it to remove any air bubbles that can cause holes or surface voids in the finished product.
Sand Molding It is possible to create a copy of an existing fountain using a technique known as sandcasting or sand molding. The existing fountain pieces are pressed into damp sand and carefully removed, leaving an impression in the sand that matches the size, shape and general design of the existing pieces.
Wet concrete is then added to the impression and allowed to set until dry, recreating the original design. The new concrete piece is then removed from the sand. Plastic wrap can be placed on the sand before the impression is made to create a smoother concrete surface, though this may increase drying time.
Assembling a Fountain Even single-piece fountains made from molds require some assembly to install the pump and any other hardware used by the fountain. Larger fountains typically require the assembly of several pieces and may need mortar or other materials to hold the separate pieces together. Fountains need to be assembled from the base up, with the fountain pump and piping put in place early.
Once assembled, the mortar must have sufficient time to dry before filling the fountain and starting the pump, to prevent the water from weakening the fountain's joints.
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