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Foam on wood bases

Discussion in 'Habitat and Exhibit' started by jeremy, Aug 25, 2007.

  1. jeremy

    jeremy Have you hugged your snake today!

    Has anyone ever tried to build up a foam mound for dirt habitat on a wood plauqe by using exspansion foam in the can. If one was to use the 2 part stuff it would seem to be that it would be too runny to pour on a flat wood base in order for it to set and raise up, so how is this acheived? My application would be for birds. thanks
  2. bill@hogheaven

    [email protected] New Member

    Make a dam out of cardboard the height you want the mound, then shape to your liking.

  3. jeremy

    jeremy Have you hugged your snake today!

    Okay, thanks Bill would the canned foam work or not?
  4. bill@hogheaven

    [email protected] New Member

    I have never used it. We have 2 part foam here at all times.
  5. lee tees valley

    lee tees valley tweety luvva.

    use the 2 part foam the canned stuff is no good it has to many air bubbles in it and is'nt dense enough.use the 2 part mix it in a paper cup with a 1 inch paint brush when mixed brush it on the base then as it start's to rise throw on your groundcover earth, pine needles ,ect .then wearing rubber gloves press mould and shape the the foam before it is fully cured which usually takes a couple on min's once it has gone hard shake off excess earth then job done. gives a good realistic effect no need for any glues anything coming into contact with the sticky rising foam is permanently stuck.. but you gotta work pretty quick. ;)
  6. jeremy

    jeremy Have you hugged your snake today!

    Okay thanks guys thats what ill do
  7. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    I found this out by accident recently trying to make a mud habitat for a muskrat. Add a bit of lacquer paint in the color you desire. The expansion will be reduced greatly and the foam will take several hours to cure instead of the minutes. When I'm using finished plaques for bases, I don't want to sand anymore than I have to in hopes of not scratching the finish. Be VERY careful in pouring close to edges.
  8. JonHarleTX

    JonHarleTX Ya'll hear that. George just signed in. Quick Hide

    I use the stuff in a can all the time.. It is soft, but so long as you're not trying to attach or support anything in it and it is merely for visual effect, it works fine. Now recently I've found that there are 2 different types of the stuff in a can.. the other type which is white is almost useless. It never cures hard and always seems to have the consistency of a marshmellow. I wouldn't recommend it. The other one, works fine and does get stiff enough to use in habitats... it's a little spongy, but will still hold grasses and twigs. whatever.. and glue sticks to it just fine.

  9. Nancy C

    Nancy C Well-Known Member

    Just for fun sometime, dig a smallish shallow hole in the ground, pour some foam in it, and quickly press a sheet of scrap plywood over the top. Push the wood down to just slightly below ground level so the foam can come up around it.

    When it sets up you will have a flat-bottomed free-form shaped base with dirt and etc already attached.

    For more carefully controlled bases I usually make the foam cookie separately on a piece of newspaper, shape it as I wish, paint it a dark color, glue it to the wood panel, and then add whatever surface treatment I want, like sand, peatmoss or etc, followed by plants or whatever. If it's going to be used for supporting leg wires then I gouge out 2 holes and fill them with Water Putty before I paint it dark.

    I hate scratching a panel, and I know I will if I try to shape foam when it's next to the wood. It's Murphy's Law.
  10. jeremy

    jeremy Have you hugged your snake today!

    Nancy that sounds like a cool idea cant wait to try it, probably could sprinkle some peat moss and litter in the hole and have it attached. This im gonna try, Thanks.
    Jon ive got 2 cans of the stuff laying around caleed Great Stuff in a red can. I think ill experiment with this too.
  11. bill@hogheaven

    [email protected] New Member

    Try Nancys deal with some sand & fine gravel in the hole & get a rock! You will need to wet the sand on the sides of the hole to make it stay there.
  12. If you do any of the dreaded neck mounts on deer, use the cut of sholder part of the forn and cut to shape, already has plywood bottom, for easy attatchment to finished base.
  13. Maddog

    Maddog New Member

    Thanks, Nancy. I think I'll try that too.
  14. weazel

    weazel New Member

    that is a very good idea I will be trying that soon. thanks for the info
  15. If you'll play around (experiment) with the 2 part foam you can get used to the different stages of curing times.
    Mix your foam until it starts to rise in the container, quickly pour out on base surface & cover with a thin plastic bag (thin like a bag that the dry cleaners puts over your dry cleaning) & quickly shape foam across the base...then pull off the plastic bag before the foam gets to the stage where it pulls away leaving "strings" of foam hanging.
    The surface will be as if the shiny exterior is peeled away = NO SANDING!!! Just paint on your adhesive/glue and apply cover materials. Hope this helps.
  16. Becky P

    Becky P One must believe the glass is half full.

    Cool idea Nancy, I'll have to try that.

    Jon, I didn't know there were two kinds. I must've gotten lucky because the only time I tried the can foam, I had a giant marshmellow. LOL.
  17. Laurier

    Laurier Active Member

    canned foam is a 1 part foam and will expand only 40% 2 part foam will rise 25 times it's volume. Add a couple of drops of water to your foam , mix and your foam will expand even more.
    Never add water to foam for a manikin.
  18. ryan rhodes

    ryan rhodes Active Member

    I've added tempera paint to the 2 part expanding foam, it looks good but greatly reduces expansion like george said and takes a bit longer to cure.
  19. Wildside

    Wildside Active Member

    Did you add dry tempera or liquid? I have used both and they will give different effects. Most times you add anything to a mixture it will change the way it works. But try different things and you might come up with something cool.