Friday, February 27, 2009

Dome Plastering Begins

I had a job reschedule yesterday so I had a chance to go to the Church and do the wire lathing for the dome. This is a fine meshed "diamond lath" that is very flexible but when stretched and installed well, holds its shape and holds plaster very well. It is also razor sharp. It is stapled to the ribs. I used about 2000 staples to attach the lath (with a compressor and air stapler...not one of those you squeeze by hand.) At the end of the day you usually have a dozen or more tiny cuts and gouges all over your hands and arms from working with it (waaah)....
(For those new to blogs, you can click on the pictures to enlarge them to see the details better).

Today I had another job fall through. Javier and I and Fr. Damian hung the rest of the ceilings in the nave and our City Construction Inspector showed up and gave us a "green tag" on the lathing, so I was able to begin plastering the dome today (yay!). I'm using a product called Structolite. It is a lightweight but strong interior plastering system which doesn't weigh down the lathing and stretch it out of shape like heavier cement and sand based stucco would do. However, it will still take over 600 pounds of plaster to get the basic shape of the dome and get it ready for the final smooth coats.

This is the initial "scratch coat" which you push through the holes in the lath and it fills in the lath and provide some rigidity to the entire structure. After this is done and cured, there will be 2 more coats of plaster then two smooth coats of drywall joint compound over that.

I'm lovin' it!


Cheshire Plasterer said...

Plastering a dome is one of the hardest jobs to do so hats off to you guys for doing it.

Joe said...

Absolutely brilliant!