Sunday, June 3, 2007

Building the Bog

We've decided to make the bog by building up sheets of pink styrofoam insulation ( see picture below ). It's light weight, chemically stable, cheap and very easy to work with. We began by cutting a piece to the size of the bog platform to use as a base. We built up the land forms by layering several pieces together, cutting holes in the layers of foam to hold various marginals and epiphytes. We also cut channels into the base layer to provide water courses, and shaped the stacked layers aling the edges with a looped hacksaw blade to get an eroded, somewhat natural looking texture ( this is not shown in these pictures. )

One of our goals was a tall, dramatic looking water fall on one end. Rather than trying to stack and bond together the dozens of small pieces it would take to get the desired height, we decided to a smaller number of larger ones, bond them, and stack them perpendicular to the base ( second photo ). The next step is to blend the pieces together and create a rocky, irregular surface for the falls.

The final step is to blend, color and apply a gray-brown epoxy coat to the entire board to make it water tight, and prevent anything unpleasant from leaching into the water. We're using West epoxy resins, and using colloid silica to thicken the mixture. We've got a couple of test batches poured and are waiting for them to set to see which mixture is most effective.

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