Rock on a Roll Evaluation with Pics

annedickinsonSeptember 19, 2012

Okay, after quite a bit of work I have created two items with Rock on a Roll.

Here are the two pieces: one is red and one is grey:

First I want to say this was a trial and error project. There are a few things I'd do differently, but I really like this stuff.

The first is a cinder block planter covered with the red rock. I cut the Rock on a Roll so that there would be no seams showing, but DUH I glued it incorrectly so the seams do show. However, it looks good. I have put a couple of pots of caladiums in it just to see what it will look like:

Here's the floating rock island. OMG what a lot of work, but well worth it. It is way too big for my pond, so I plan to take it to a friend's pond for photos, but want to show you the process and how it looks.

I made the base from blue foam. I made one end higher than the other and shaped it with files and saws. I am using an old coffee pot filter for a planter:

Here it is partially glued together. I am using a silicone glue. It was a slow process: glue and weigh down with rocks, let dry, repeat. As I went along I got better at fitting the rock on a roll to the shape I'd made:

Here is the finished product. The depth looks great in person, but hard to capture on film, well chip I guess would be better to say these days. Showing my age, huh? Just ignore any gaps you see. They don't count :-)

And here it is in the pond with some creeping jenny and frog bit. It matches my garnet granite rock pretty closely. I tried to get the resident frog to sit on the island, but he wouldn't cooperate. LOL

I look forward to making a spillway for my skippy filter and covering it with this stuff. It will look fabulous and so much better than those ugly white pvc pipes I'm using now.

So, here is Rock on a Roll. I know some of you were curious about it. I like it! It will take the skin off since it is textured like real rock, so wear gloves!!!


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OOPS forgot the link for Rock on a Roll in case anyone else wants to try it.

Here is a link that might be useful: Rock on a Roll

    Bookmark   September 19, 2012 at 6:05PM
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Thanks for showing how the stuff works. When I saw it on the ground I thought it looked useless, but it looks great on the form.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2012 at 8:44PM
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gilroybighouse(Z9a/b, Gilroy, CA)

Very nice results, and thanks for sharing! I need to make a filter cover, and this looks like just the thing.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2012 at 5:34PM
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Shalom: when you refer to amount of work is that relating to the degreee of difficulty in working with the Rock on a Roll(RR) or the foam?

Is the RR easily cut with scissors or are heavy dute shears needed, utility knife ?

How would you rate the strength of the RR in regard to streching or puncture resistant (from a lay person point-of-view) - looking for an idea of what one might expect from longevity of the product.


    Bookmark   September 22, 2012 at 9:57PM
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Gilroy - I think this would work great for a filter cover. That was the first use I thought of when I saw it.

McKool - Good question ~ Giving thought to this question, I guess the answer is: The biggest degree of difficulty is me!!! I want things to come perfect the first time!! Therefore I struggle over little details in the planning stage, feel frustrated when things don't work out the way I want them to, dislike waiting for the silicone to dry and carting stuff in and out of the garage (lots of rain). I glued it in stages so it seemed to take forever to make.

No one part was terribly difficult and could be done by a child. However, my inner child wanted it done in a day so I could see it floating. That just wasn't going to happen!

Foam part was easy though a bit time-consuming using the files and saws. If I had had a hot knife designed for foam, it would have gone much faster.

You can cut the vinyl with regular scissors, but it dulls them pretty quickly (it is rock after all) so use cheap scissors or, what I did, resort to heavy-duty tinsnips. Utility knife worked well too.

If placed in the sun on a black driveway it did become somewhat flexible, but it is not in any way flimsy. Part of my problem was that I wanted it to wrap smoothly around the foam and that just was not to be. I had to glue a section, weigh it down with rocks, WAIT for it to dry, then continue on to the next section. Took many days for this process.

I may experiment over the winter with a heat gun or hair dryer to see if I can get it to mold to a shape more smoothly without compromizing the strength.

It is very strong; would not puncture easily in normal use. I did notice that when I dragged the heavy cinder block on one corner that a bit of the rock came off, but it is not noticeable. Therefore I don't think it would stand up to foot traffic or dragging rocks across it. But for normal use it would last very well. The stone material is imbedded in / part of the vinyl, not just glued on.

One poster here mentioned that he had used it under a waterfall for 3 years. I want to cover a spillway with it so ask again in a few years to see how long it lasted ;-)

I like it. I recommend it. Really, the floating island came out better than I expected as long as I don't look at the gaps. I may try filling the gaps in with silicone and pushing gray aquarium sand into it.

Someone on this forum made a post about a floating solar light that I liked, so I may add a solar light to the island to attract bugs for the frog. And/or I may add more planting holes.

I have extra of both the red and gray so if anyone would like a small sample to see what it is like, let me know. I'll send it to you.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2012 at 8:40AM
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Shalom: thanks for the details I'd love to have a sample as over winter I need to design and create 2 islands, (I think) one in a corner for tall plants away from the pump house that now sits over the skimmer and a center island in the pond island that now may be come a bog type island or something with low plants. send me an email a and I'll send you my address - really appreciate your willingness to share a sample. That's just a pleasant surprise.


    Bookmark   September 24, 2012 at 9:53PM
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You will have to email me (see email address above) so that I have a return path. The email address you posted was undeliverable.


    Bookmark   September 26, 2012 at 3:42PM
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buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

Love the idea of people being able to use it to cover filter boxes, skimmers, even pipes. Your floating island planter is great too.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2012 at 3:49PM
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