Plaster cloth

Anyone know where one can get discounted plaster cloth? I'm in need of several rolls and the WS option would be kind of expensive. From time to
time, Hobby Lobby has had their train stuff on sale and they do let you get rainchecks.
A web search didn't show too many promising products. Someone has a 20# bulk pack but doesn't really say how much cloth that is; it sells for $50 plus shipping.
I was thnking of trying to make my own... get some appropriate cloth; I think you can buy cheesecloth. Lay out a strip and spray it with some spray adhesive then after the adhesive dries but is still tacky, use a sifter and put a good coat of plaster on it. Shake off the excess and start again. I don't know how practical this would be, but if one needed a lot...
My only experience with the paper towels & plaster soup mix is that it set up way too fast... I couldn't use it quickly enough. I spent more time mixing & making plaster than I did making mountains.
Any thoughts?
dlm --------------------------- Dan Merkel
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Try this site, not sure how the prices compare to WS. I have purchased from them and shippment was rapid.
http://www.surgicalsupplyservice.com/Product-List/Product.asp?Leaf_Id 0322#
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Expensive way to do scenery! If you want to make your own, just mix up a thin batch of plaster and run cloth strips through it quickly and onto the scenery. Better is to use some cheap paper towels (or even newspaper!) and quickly lay them up. For references, look up on google the various methods of doing hard shell scenery. There's lots of variations and some are quite cheap.
-- Yeppie, Bush is such an idiot that He usually outwits everybody else. How dumb!
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Contact some medical supply house?? ... maybe? They may have some of the older style plaster cloth they want to dump at a discount?

You may have had a "Quik Set" variation of plaster/hydrocal/??? or you mixed it too thick - i.e. not enough water to start with. We had too containers of hydrocal at the club. It took us a little while to realize that one was a quick set and the other a slow set variation.
In my experience you don't want vast amounts of the plaster/hydrocal/??? that are exactly the same color. Mixing some tempra water based paint powder with each batch causes variations, pretty much no matter how careful you are mixing the same amounts. With the last project at the club we mixed enough plaster/hydrocal/??? for about 10 12"x12" pieces of the really cheap, thin, industrial paper towels in each batch. Each plaster batch was altered slightly. We started with some brown paint and then each batch had either some black, white, red or yellow mixed in.
The plaster cloth is probably white and it you have any chips in it the background color is white and, in my experience, really bad looking.
Lots of mixing might be tiresome but, it has benefits.
Paul
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If your plaster is setting too fast sprinkle in a few crystals of borax. You can over do it so test a bit to get the right proportion before making a big mix.
J. Bright
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I buy mine from the local medical supply place. They are happy to sell retail and the rolls come in a variety of widths.
Stuart
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On Mon, 16 Oct 2006 20:05:34 GMT, "Dan Merkel"

Medical supply house. It's used to make casts. Makes the hard shell scenery building much easier and less messy.
Ken
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On Mon, 16 Oct 2006 20:05:34 GMT, "Dan Merkel"
excess and start again. I

Try using a flat baking dish such as a Pyrex about 8" x 14"....thats what mine measures. If you use a smaller , deep container the extra thickness causes it to set quicker.....and you can't dip the material in very well. I DO NOT use Plaster of Paris as it sets faster and is not as hard in my experience.
I only mix one cup of Moulding plaster or Hydrocal at a time as this seems to be all I can use before it sets. There will be some at the bottom of the pan that will start setting regardless. I usually have a rock mold handy and make a rock or two for later use from the leftover.
Put the water in the pan FIRST. Remember ....COLD water sets slower HOT water will set quicker. If you still need to retard the setting more add about a 1/2 teaspoon of vinegar. HYDROCAL will give you a little more working time but it's hard to find in some areas. I use it when I have it for the scenery base , but Moulding plaster works great although not as strong. In areas where I need extra strength I will use another layer. For my rocks and finish terrain I only use moulding plaster.This is what works for me.
I always pour in 1- 1/2 cups water FIRST.....and then sprinkle 1 cup of plaster all around the bowl instead of one pile in the middle.I blend in the plaster with a large spoon. Do this as quickly as possible without 'beating' it because the faster and more you stir the faster it sets. You may have to add a little water...1/2 cup or so to get it to your liking. 1-1/2 cups water and 1 cup plaster works for me. You will now have a good consistency, a little thinner than pancake batter , to easily 'drag' your cloth or paper towels through.
This will give you in the neighborhood of 10 minutes working time under normal conditions.
Now clean the pan before the waste gets hard , but if you forget, the plaster can easily be removed from the Pyrex pan even after ir dries.
I know there are other ways to do this , but this is what works for me and I would venture to say I've used in excess of 1000 ..one thousand pounds this way over the years. I have tried other ways but this works for sure.
hope this helps
Ken
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Way too expensive. use plaster of paris from a home store (costs a couple bucks for a giant bag) and soak paper towels or used dryer sheets in it. *
--
* PV something like badgers--something like lizards--and something
like corkscrews.
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I have found the best supply and price is with Quill.com. Go to (http://www04.quillcorp.com /) and enter item number in the search "SPW-PAC52720". It is about $52 for a large box, 20 pounds I think, 4 very large rolls, and free shipping. Tony Burgess Dan Merkel wrote:

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Burlap is another cheap option. You can get empty burlap bags at open, veggie markets for free. Even some of the restaraunts or schools in your area will have empty burlap bags laying in the kitchen area. Onions are often shipped in burlap bags. We've used burlap in sculptures with hydrocal, and the results have been excellent. Paper towels, old cloth sheets, rags, etc. all work well. There are numerous options that will cost pennies on the dollar or be free altogether.
Good Luck!
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