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I'll be making a cemetery gate entrance complete with pillars on each side topped with gargoyles. I haven't searched the forum yet but will do so shortly for ideas.

Any advice is certainly welcome! My initial thoughts were pvc pipe and foam construction. Then again, I could use a light wood frame and foam.

Thanks ahead of time! I'm a newby to prop construction, but I'm also an electrical engineer and will probably over do the whole project! LOL!

Seth
 

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You might well consider a wooden core to the pillars. Wind tends to knock down foam pillars, even woodcore ones have problems. Then you will have people passing through and the weight will help. MIne are woodcore with foam outside and I still have to run a stake up the center due to the wind we get in October.
 

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Thanks for your post Oaklawn. What did you use for weights? Do you put you columns on your lawn or on a hard surface like a concrete driveway?
I use solid steel weight lifting weights. The gate columns are on the driveway. The fence usually secures the fence columns in place however, I have driven 1/2 steel rod to box them in during high winds. It seems we always have extremely high winds two or three days before Halloween every dang year.
 

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The fence usually secures the fence columns in place however, I have driven 1/2 steel rod to box them in during high winds. It seems we always have extremely high winds two or three days before Halloween every dang year.
Oaklawn....What do you mean by "driven 1/2 steel rod to box them in during high winds". Do you drive the steel rod into the concrete of your drive way?

Thanks!
 

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Oaklawn....What do you mean by "driven 1/2 steel rod to box them in during high winds". Do you drive the steel rod into the concrete of your drive way?

Thanks!
Sorry about that....I use 1/2" round re-bar that is 36" long. In bad weather , I will take a re-bar and pound it into the ground on all four corners of the "fence"column to insure it won't be blown over in the high winds. If it rains at the same time, I will just pull them in for the night. I don't like to pull the columns in because they support the fence but sometimes it is a must. Naturally the fence columns are not in the concrete and are not the same as the "gate Columns" which are on the concrete driveway. I have fence columns every roughly 24'ft with mounted lights on all the columns including the gate columns .

I do not put the gate columns out now until a couple days before Halloween. Even with 70 lbs in each gate column, they become unstable in high winds with the gate attach to them. The gate acts as a huge sail and wants to knock them over. I will detach the gate in high winds.... and at a last resort pull them in as well. I have found out the hard way, if in doubt, pull em in.
 

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House Column Architecture Building Neighbourhood


I used cardboard tubes (actually barrels from work) coated with drylock and coated the inside with driveway sealer i had to help waterproof then screwed down on the base.
The base is small wood skids (from work) covered with foam and then coated with parging cement (think thats what they call it) I then mixed a bag of cement and poured it into the bases


lids come of the top and barrels seperate for storage in the basement
 

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I pound in an old aluminum tube or pvc pipe into the ground then drop the pillar over it. Normally this prevents the piller from falling, worst case the wind leans it. Then if it is attached to the fence, that is just extra support. Normally works, but this year we had high winds and record rains, the ground got soft and I had to go back to rebar stakes with ties on one or two corners to anchor everything.
 
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