Step 5: Cut the Wire Mesh

Mark Powers cuts wire mesh for the recessed area of a hypertufa table
Photo: Wendell T. Webber
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Wearing protective gloves, use wire snips to cut a piece of hardware cloth to fit inside the form. In its center, cut out a rectangle that's 1 inch shorter on all sides than the platform you made in Step 4, and set aside the cutout for Step 8. Snip the corners of the cutout area so that you can bend the edges upward around the platform, as shown. 
Set aside this piece of wire mesh for Step 8.
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    Tools List

    • miter saw
      miter saw
    • jigsaw
      jigsaw
    • drill
      drill/driver to assemble the form.
    • utility knife
      utility knife for cutting the foam.
    • aviation snip
      wire snips
    • mixing tub
      mixing tub to make the hypertufa mix.
    • masonry hoe
      hoe
    • Natural-bristle chip brush
      chip brush to spread petroleum jelly on the interior of the form before casting the tabletop.
    • finish hammer
      hammer
    • pneumatic finish nailer
      pneumatic nail gun

    Shopping List

    1. 1x4 scrap lumber for the form.

    2. cedar 1x4s for crosspieces and stretchers.

    3. cedar 1x2s for legs and support blocks.

    4. 1¼-inch and 2-inch deck screws

    5. perlite Get two bags.

    6. peat moss Get one large bag.

    7. portland cement Get a 47-pound bag.

    8. acrylic fortifier for the hypertufa mix, to prevent cracking. 9. ¾-inch rigid-foam insulation

    10. petroleum jelly or cooking spray to coat the interior of the form.

    11. ¼-inch hardware cloth

    12. plastic sheeting to cover the form while the tabletop cures.

    13. polyurethane glue, such as Gorilla Glue.

    14. 1-inch brad nails

    15. dust mask and protective gloves