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Despite what the contractor's salesmen want you to believe, it is not a mysterious material containing diamonds or secret ingredients.While the aggregate in common concrete (such as is used to pour slabs and sidewalks) is stone gravel in a blend of sizes, in pool plaster the aggregate is fine quartz sand (also called silica sand, quartz being also called silica) or very fine marble dust. Plus the unknown cost of having to live with an ugly, hazardous construction site instead of a pretty pool for a whole year. Plus a few 00's for a few upgrades to the original plans that "would be nice" and "hardly much more trouble." Less a few 00's saved on all those jobs I can do now with these shiny tools and new techniques.For the Gillmore test, you apply a pin of 1/12 inch diameter weighing 1/4 lb, which will not indent the pat when the initial set has occured, and likewise 1/24 inch and 1 lb when the final set has occured.The pin pressures are 46 psi and 733 psi respectively.I decided I would do this little project myself, too. What follows is some quickly recorded notes about some important details I learned about pool plastering, which I am publishing because of the dearth of reliable and complete information on pool plastering.I would learn, I would craft, I would teach my children things new to us all. I hope to add in the future more detail about the many other steps involved in the project. But it is difficult to learn without some very hard-won experience, or a trustworthy expert to train you.
Plaster finishes last 7 years or more, depending on how well they are installed and cared for.
Some tools, like stepping boards, must be improvised yourself.
Pool plaster is nothing more than a kind of concrete, that is, a mix of portland cement, aggregate, and additives.
Researching, ordering and hauling to the site various raw materials: 120 running feet of 3/4 inch by 6 inch marble, 120 running feet of porcelain grade tile (60 12x12 tiles cut in half), 200 pounds of premium thinset mortar for the tile/marble/slate work, 25 pounds of grout, 2 cans of mosquito repellant, 1 large bottle of ibuprofen, and over 2 tons of pool finish plaster and acrylic fortifier. But there just isn't anything like a textbook description of all the tips and tricks to doing this work, at least not that I could find, and they certainly aren't giving you a running narrative of their every deft, cat-like move, not least because they are so well-practiced at it that they don't have to think about it that much.
But watching a few professional runs did equip me with a knowledge of what tools and materials were appropriate, and how things work in general and on what pace.