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Discussion Starter #1
Do I have this in the right forum?

I've been batting around (har! har! bats...har...ok, never mind. :p ) the idea of either foam or concrete tombstones and have asked some questions about each on here.

I was taking over someone else's thread so I'm posting this question here.

What about clay??? It's very dry here in Southern California and is not likely to rain at all during October. I got the idea here. Would it take forever to dry? Good idea? Bad idea?
 

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I also live in southern California. I always use the foam for my tombstones. Clay can get really expensive, foam board, not so much. It's fun to see exactly what you can do with it too. You can always add clay to a tombstone to add some depth too.
 

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Hey, Chris. Don't the winds blow your stones over? I had a heck of a time last year with mine.

Have you found foam that's at least 2" thick? I was reading on the other board that it's hard to find around here. Or do you just glue a couple/few sheets together?
 

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I haven't had much trouble with the wind blowing over my tombstones. I used to just stick dowels in them and then in the ground. Had more trouble with the dowels breaking them when I was putting them in the grass. Last year I started using rebar. Didn't think about it though and had a small mishap with the rebar ripping through the bottom of one stone. Glued the stone back together, added some PVC pipe into the tombstone and no problems.

As far as where to buy, I also posted on the other thread, seems like it depends on where you are. I have had no trouble buying 2" thick foam at my HD or Lowes. Of course, now that I've said that, they'll stop carrying it. Anyway, what part of So Cal are you in? And if you can't find the 2", then using some adhesive to glue 2 pieces together isn't so bad.....sometimes it even makes you think of other things you can do. I made a lighted tombstone a couple years ago because I didn't have 2" foam....think of the possibilities.
 

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I would not recommend clay because of the cost. If you are hoping to make full sized tombstones, say 18" x 24" you will have to use several pounds of clay. That can get pricey.

What I would recommend is you start with a wood form, say particle board, to get the rough shape you want your tombstone to be. Then use a covering material like clay, or pulp mache, to cover your tombstone and create all the real detail. This will give you a very solid base, which you can attach posts (or metal rods) to, and you can still cover with a suitable material for the look and detail.
 

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with the foam you can you can get 1.5" foam crave a channel in the back add PVC then glue another piece of foam then you have place to put stakes in your stones.as far as clay it's heavy and breaks easy.If you need to go cheap then hit the throwaway pile at the construction sites and get some scrap plywood paint and shape.
 

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Have any of you tried making a casting of a real old-style slate tombstone with a silicone mold then pouring a thin layer of plaster of paris in it adding foam in the middle then finishing it off with plaster on the sides and back...kind of like a plaster/foam wrap? I'm meeting with my local cemetery commision this up coming Thursday to ask permission to cast several stones in the old South Cemetery down the street to do just this.:D
 

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Besides cost, that sucker would be extremely heavy! As soon as the spring projects slow down I am planning to experiment with some wood tombstones. I want to build them thick enough so they just stand on the ground.
 
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