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How to make an Atlas Stone
What is an Atlas Stone?
An Atlas stone is a large round stone used for testing one's strength by lifting it. Stone lifting is a common event in Strongman contests. Typically the objective will be to lift stones on to high platforms in as short of time as possible. Below you will see how I constructed my own stone and also find two links to how others have done so.
The basic steps to build a stone will be to create a mold of Plaster of Paris around a rubber ball, remove the ball, fill it
with cement, chip off the mold and put a few finishing touches on it. Materials you need are 3 25lb bags of Plaster of Paris, 1
large Mikasa play ball, 3-4 bags of Portland Q5000 bags of cement, a wooden platform to build the stone on (it's messy), a 5-gallon
bucket to mix the Plaster of Paris in and a wheel barrel to mix the cement in. First you need to choose the size of stone you want.
The basic formula is 140 lbs per cubic foot. Some measurements with corresponding weights are:
Building the Mold
To create your mold you need to inflate the Mikasa rubber ball to your chosen diameter. Then place it on your platform. I recommend you do this either outside or in a garage. It is very messy. Then start mixing up your Plaster of Paris. Don't mix more than about half of the bag at one time. Once it gets to a sticky consistency start spreading it on your ball. Make sure to put some on the bottom of the ball. A large wooden spoon will work. Make sure you get plenty on. You will be able to patch it though if you need some more. Make sure to leave a hole in the top about 6 inches in diameter to pull the ball out. You should be able to save the rubber ball future use by deflating it. Once the ball is remove check inside the mold to make sure it's smooth and also to see if any parts of the mold look thin. You can add additional Plaster if you need it.
Pouring the Cement
Now that you have a good mold, you can mix the cement and begin filling the mold. I used a wheel barrel to mix the concrete and it worked well. You can shovel the cement from the wheel barrel into the opening in the mold. Be sure to tamp the cement down periodically as you are filling the mold. I suggest you try to mound off the top to ensure there is not sunken area on the top. You can always chip extra off but you can't add anything after it's done. Once it's full cover the top with a damp cloth. It should set about 2-3 days.
Removing the Form
Once the cement has set you are ready to chip the mold away. A wood chisel and hammer work well. Try to chisel off pieces about 6 inches by 6 inches. This will make cleanup easier. It took longer to chip it off that I thought it would. I probably used more Plaster of Paris than I needed.
For the final touches I put on a layer of Cure-Seal and then patches a few places with a concrete patcher. It worked better than I thought it would. On my next stone I think I'll put in some sand in the cement mix to give it more texture for gripping. Good luck!!!