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  #1  
Old 06-22-2020, 01:48 PM
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thinking of making a rock mount? -OR- Lava Rock is really hard
Default thinking of making a rock mount? -OR- Lava Rock is really hard

So i was inspired by Subrosa's recent post in the LED ping thread and i wanted to use a nice round black lava rock ive had for a while....i knew i wanted it to be generally split in half and the holes would be drilled by me for a sort of natural but minimalist approach.


here is the sort of finished product, it does not wick as well as i want it to so i think i will drill some holes up into the bottom and widen the mounting holes (if i can...1/2" masonry bit is probably the biggest i have) and if not, drill all the way to the bottom for real access to the water

Grill stuff by J Solo, on Flickr


but here is the real reason for the post.....the lava rock...hold the phone.

i tried to use a chisel (rock breaker tip) and a sledge hammer and it was not enough force (me swinging the sledge one handed is limited) tried the breaker bar (6" iron spike for breaking limestone...just skipped off the rock...…...hmmmm


so i figured, maybe hit something with the rock....

first candidate...a brick


Some good green stuff by J Solo, on Flickr


NOPE...also notice how deep the brick is now in the sand

how about a 2' wide and 2" thick piece of landscape shale???


Some good green stuff by J Solo, on Flickr



NOPE

Some good green stuff by J Solo, on Flickr



finally i realized that a small breaking point was going to be more effective and placed a piece of the brick onto another brick and that split it


i was then told by my neighbor....don't you have an angle grinder? (he knows i deo as he has borrowed it) that'll cut through the rock like butter....


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  #2  
Old 06-22-2020, 04:07 PM
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There is a foamy volcanic glass product sold as "feather rock". it is much easier to shape, but the cell edges are sharp.
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Old 06-22-2020, 04:57 PM
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i have a bit of feather rock...i was given such serious warning when i acquired it NOT to grind or chip it as it is much closer to obsidian than lava rock....shards and horrible glass dust....that put the fear of god in me and it has just been sitting on my brick wall anchoring a vine...…..
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Old 06-22-2020, 06:01 PM
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thinking of making a rock mount? -OR- Lava Rock is really hard Male
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NICE DC!! Any chance you remember where you got that neat round lava rock from?

My partner grows his ping collection on lava rock as well. We get them from the local aquarium store. The rocks are always sitting in a tray of water. They do pretty well. (Also pictured is a newly acquired dendrobium lichenastrum and a piece of my (struggling) angraecum distichum)



Seeing that they wick and hold water pretty well, I was also inspired to try a few orchids

Here's a schoenorchis fragrans. It hangs freely and is misted once a day. I've spotted some fat new roots growing behind it into the rock



Lepanthes telipogoniflora, sitting in a dish of water



Also experimenting with this tiny chiloschista. My environment isn't very humid, but the lava rock stays moist for at least half a day after I spray it in the morning. So far I think she likes it. I am fully claiming credit for all those new root stubs which weren't there when I acquired it



Now for my concerns:

1. I have two sophronitis mounted on large chunks of lava rock, and while they are minis, I know that one day they will overtake the rock with no way to remove them. proceed with caution when mounting sympodial orchids.

2. Salt build up in the rocks. For pings which you probably will never need to fertilize, this isn't a problem. For orchids, it might be. Hopefully someone else with more knowledge can chime in on foreseeable problems with fertilizer buildup on lava rock.

---

I've tried breaking the rocks with hammers, slamming it into the concrete, using a make shift chisel via flat screwdriver, and the easiest for me is to just pick out a rock that's the right size at the pet store

Last edited by vegetalmatter; 06-22-2020 at 06:03 PM..
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Old 06-22-2020, 06:18 PM
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WHOA!?!?!?!

i just felt it move a little (sorry, i am a 6 year old)

WOW

this is amazing

i know exactly where i got it and can get more if you want its $.50 a lb but i find small pieces

i have the other half of this and a whole one now

PM me if you want them


i am so amazed by your lithophyte set up
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Old 06-22-2020, 08:50 PM
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vegetalmatter - drive around Texas and look at the geology. Aside from being a huge state, there are a lot of different kinds of rocks. Consider using sandstone in place of lava; it also wicks water, and comes in amazing colors. And Dirty Coconuts can use chunks of coral.
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Old 06-22-2020, 09:46 PM
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ES- i was going to use limestone but it really wants to become sand again very fast.

Coral does not hold up as well as one might think. i tried using a chunk of coral but it only lasted a year an i did not want to use any more after that

now conch shells!!! those are awesome containers!!
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Old 06-23-2020, 08:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DirtyCoconuts View Post
i have a bit of feather rock...i was given such serious warning when i acquired it NOT to grind or chip it as it is much closer to obsidian than lava rock....shards and horrible glass dust....that put the fear of god in me and it has just been sitting on my brick wall anchoring a vine...…..
Shape it wet, use a metal rod to gouge holes, and an abrasive block (I have used a brick) to smooth edges. Wear thought leather gloves!

I once took a large block and made a tiered fountain out of the stuff. Made a cavity in the base to house a submersible pump, running the tubing up a long hole I drilled using a 3/4” masonry drill.

It exited into a flat-bottomed cavity near the top that had a small notch in it’s lip, leading to overflow down to the next pool and so on. The whole thing sat in a large, decorative ceramic bowl, acting as the reservoir.

I was going to move it here, but the buyers of our last home liked it so much they bought it.
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Old 06-23-2020, 08:51 AM
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Brilliant!
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Old 06-23-2020, 09:19 AM
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What wonderful mounts for those little guys! You have a bunch of 'em vegetablematter! I especially love the Lepanthes telipogoniflora, sitting in the water dish. Simply a little world of its own. That's a piece of art.

DC, I think I would have left that round lava ball unsplit, and just put it deeper in a bowl, similar to how VM's looked. But then I would have missed the images in my head of you out cave-manning the rocks...Ugh, me Thag, me make pretty things! Of course with a cut-off wheel sitting in your cave the whole time. That's kinda the way my bull-in-china-shop husband goes about building things...better to just.not.watch.
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