Scenery Making Tips II - Storing Plaster

Scenery Making Tips II - Storing Plaster

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Scenery Making Tips II - Storing Plaster
by Joe Russ
In my clinic, Scenery Making Tips II, I recommend buying a 100 lb. bag of moulding plaster for use in building scenery. However, since chances are you won't use up that whole bag in a short period of time, you need to have a way store it. Otherwise the plaster will start to go bad - it becomes "clumpy" and will be "flakey" if you use it. If left long enough (i.e. a decade), I have seen cases where the plaster has been solid. In fact, I know of one layout in Milwaukee which has two unopened 100 lb. bags laying under the benchwork and are rock solid (I won't mention the unsceniced layout or its owner).

After having about 20 lbs. go bad on me a few years ago, I decided I had to find a solution to that problem. So I purchased a plastic garbage cart with wheels (the wheels make it easier to move around the basement). I lined the with a 55-gallon garbage bag to provide a more air-tight closure, and then put the bag of plaster inside that. As this is a somewhat difficult and heavy process, I first got the bag of plaster in the plastic bag, put the garbage can on its side, and then carefully slid the whole package into the garbage can. This is best done before you open the bag of plaster. After three years the plaster is still good. See the pics below for more information.

Plastic garbage can Here is what the whole container looks like when sealed up.

To help seal the garbage can, I put the lid on the can with the top of the plastic garbage bag haning outside the cover. When the cover is on I then put a large rubber band around the edge of the cover to help seal it further. Rubber bands around can

This shows what the garbage can looks like when you are going to use the plaster. It give some idea as to how many layers help to seal it.

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All text and photos by Joe Russ. Copyright © 2005 by Joe Russ