Buffalo Hunter by Richard Arfsten
Buffalo Hunter is made from ferro cement. This process was going to be the great time saver. Little did I know I was barking up the wrong tree. It sounded so simple in the book.
I had been to Half Moon Bay In California. It is a community where a lot of people build their own ocean going boats by themselves. That is a unbelievable task. They are on a peninsula that sticks out into the ocean. There are all kinds of little plots of land with boats being built close to the ocean so getting them into the water is not a monumental problem. I came across several that were being built out of cement. They made a light steel framework out of steel rebar and covered it with expanded steel metal mesh. Then they mixed their cement to look like plaster and troweled it on - just like covering an adobe house with plaster.
What could be simpler and cheaper? My little brain was turning very fast looking at this marvelous concept. So now it was time to build a buffalo hunter in the sky. I had the framework made out of welded rebar. That was a piece of cake. Then all I had to do was bend up a bunch of pieces of plaster lath expanded metal and wire it to the rebar and trowel the plaster on. My hands still hurt when I think about wiring the expanded metal on. There was not a square inch of hand that did not get cut by all the sharp small pieces of metal lath. They were covered with what looked like little razor blades slices from all the cutting. If I put on heavy leather gloves I could not tie the wires from the inside. From the outside the tails would stick out of the plaster. On top of that, when I troweled on the cement the horse got pregnant and so did the Indian. On top of that, the cement is alkaline and really burned the cuts on my hands. On top of that, applying plaster to the piece over my head was a real pain that took a lot of skill, especially when I was laying on my back.
The piece is made to hang on a wall ... like in a bar or a restaurant ... or over an entrance gate to a ranch or wherever you might like to hang it. It is a one-sided piece meaning the back is hollow.
It is about 8 feet tall, 10 feet long and 3 feet deep.