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Goats EAT Great Pumpkins
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Discussion Starter #1
Title pretty much sums it up. Haha.

I built an arch for my cemetery columns last year, but it's basically turned into a large sail.



I have the bases weighed down, but the tall, thin (wooden) columns are just screwed to 2x4s that are on top of the bases. Then, to attach the arch, I have PVC pipe running through the wooden part of the column (not into the base, or anything).

Here's a crude drawing, to depict what I mean.

IMG.jpg

The black is the PVC. As you can see, it's not attached to anything, or anchored in any way.

Yes, I thought this was a good idea at the time.

Or it could've been that it was the easiest (read: laziest) way of doing it as it was an addition to my columns.

It blew over twice last year, but I just put it back together and figured I'd deal with it this year. Well... I forgot. So it blew over today and I figured, well SHOOT! I need to think of a better way of anchoring it!

I thought to bring the PVC pipe all the way through the base and into a bucket of cement with a coupler sticking out. Also thought that maybe I could put some rebar through? But I don't know how to get a big thing of rebar securely into the ground (how the heck to you pound it in?). But I would love to know how YOU would do it?!
 

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I am not sure how you would do it with your set up. I use rebar pounded through a hole drilled in the bottom lip of my columns to keep them steady. They are a little on the heavy side anyway but the rebar makes sure they do not move. As far as how you get rebar into the ground I use a small sledge hammer and pound away.

Here is a picture of how I do mine, it is a little hard to see but you can see some of the rebar sticking out in back at the bottom of the column. You can not see it from the front so it works for me.

20130929_143921.jpg

Had a thought right after I posted. You could attache a piece of wood to the bottom in the back of the column and anchor it that way. Cut it smaller than the columns and paint it and no one will ever really notice it.
 

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We pound rebar into the ground. The columns have pvc down the center to slides over the rebar. Works very well! The trick J's to make sure the ground isn't to dry. I actually watered the yard just to mae it easier last year.
 

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Goats EAT Great Pumpkins
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Discussion Starter #4
I get that you pound it, but do you think I would need a long piece to make it work? I mean, how do you pound something into the ground that's taller than you? Or could I get away with a shorter piece? Actually, would rebar even cut it? Or should I try to anchor it with a bucket of cement? And if that wouldn't work, what else could I do?

I was too disheartened to do it today. One of the columns shattered during the fall, so I'll probably have to completely rebuild it (not hard, just not something I wanted to do right now!). Will get to working on it in the a.m.
 

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I agree. Long rebar can be a challenge. It has to go in straight to keep everything looking right.

Do you have access the inside of the bottom base? If so, put a bucket of sand in there and run the PVC into the sand. I would thing that would do it. Does the base have a bottom? Or is it open?
 

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I get that you pound it, but do you think I would need a long piece to make it work? I mean, how do you pound something into the ground that's taller than you? Or could I get away with a shorter piece? Actually, would rebar even cut it? Or should I try to anchor it with a bucket of cement? And if that wouldn't work, what else could I do?

I was too disheartened to do it today. One of the columns shattered during the fall, so I'll probably have to completely rebuild it (not hard, just not something I wanted to do right now!). Will get to working on it in the a.m.
The pieces of rebar that I use are 1 foot long so not a lot of effort to pound in - unless I hit a rock which happens sometimes. It doesn't take much to hold them in place. You may want a little longer piece if your columns are lighter but a 2 foot piece should work just fine. and should not be taller than you unless you are really really short. :D

You could put in the rebar and then slide the pvc down over it, I don't like that method because then I have to lift the column up to get it on the rebar. Drilling 2 holes into my base in the back was a lot easier, and they have stood up to 50 mph winds we got last year just before Halloween. That is why I suggested adding something to the back of your column to use to anchor them, speed and ease of implementation.
 

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Not sure on the exact cause of the column blowing over in your case. Is the "sign" part catching the wind and tipping the whole setup over ? if so the best bet is the rebar idea. I will post some pictures of mine, I have access into my columns from a removable panel I made at the bottom. I drilled holes inside the column base and pound in some rebar or large tent spikes. If the pvc pipe is on the move you can use a " maywest" strap for the size pvc it is slide the strap up inside the column and lock it against the inside of the column top. As for the length I don't think you need to hammer in a 6 foot piece but if you did you can try this method, I am an electrician so I have to pound in 8 foot ground rods for electrical services to homes. First pray the ground is soft enough to just start the rod by pushing once it will stand on its own take a shovel with a triangle style handle and slip the rod through the triangle in the handle and let it slide down then angle it so it puts tension on the rod, this will help stabilize it so it doesn't wobble all over while trying to hit it. Best with a second person holding the shovel and safe because there arms are not close to the rod a sledge hammer is the tool of choice unless you have a large hammer drill which I am assuming you don't. I would be more concerned with how you are going to remove the rod later then installing it now. Hope some of that helps you!!
 

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Looking at the photo, it looks like you have roof at the front and rear of the columns. Can you just take strong black string/wire and anchor the tops of the columns to both roofs?

Otherwise, tie the columns to the cat and tell the cat not to move...
 

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Master of Disaster
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For my columns (which have a 2x2 wood frame, covered in insulating foam boards and then wrapped in scene setters) I screw 2 foot x 4 foot plywood to the column frame. This provides a wide, heavy base for the column. The plywood is painted black.

Colums Setup.jpg

It also helps that the columns are set together to provide additional stability. There really is no rebar option for a paved driveway.
 

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Funeral Crasher
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I use 2 X 4's on my smaller columns. Half bury them in the ground, then put your column over it. Butt one wall up to the 2 X 4 and add a few wood screws.

Works great!
 

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Goats EAT Great Pumpkins
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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks everyone! I just learned that they blew over when we had abnormally strong winds. What my husband decided to do was to anchor them like a tent. We're doing it today, so I'm not sure if it'll work, but we got those big spikes that you screw into the ground that you hook your dog's leash up to. Plan to tie into those with equal tension on all sides. Everyone I've explained this to seems to think it'll work, but I'm still not wrapping my head around it. Will have to take a picture when it's finished to see what you all think.
 
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