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Discussion Starter #1
Hey all,

I need to find a source for finials to go on my cemetery gate. The thing is I used pvc pipe that has an outer diameter of 1 1/16" and an inner diameter of 15/16". Has anyone had luck finding finials that fit this size pipe? King Metals has some that i can "drive into 1"" 16 gauge tube balusters". see https://www.kingmetals.com/Catalog/ItemContent.aspx?ItemNumber=2919&CatalogId=c39&CatalogDetailId=533&NSM=Y. I'm assuming something like this if I heat the end of the pipe, but thanks for any thoughts.
 

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Oak Lane Cemetery
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People normally go with one of two options on the finials from Kings - Either big enough to heat up the pipe with a heat gun, then force the finial over the pipe, or option 2 (the one I did) get some square dowel that fits inside the smaller finials, then use a rubber mallet to drive the dowel into the pipe snugly. Here is a pic of how I did mine with the dowel. Someone who did it with the heat gun - chime in with pics....

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http://www.stolloween.com/?page_id=6308 has a nice idea for those who realize that most folks don't pay a great deal of attention to props at night as long as they "look right". Even close up, the finials look pretty good. But from just a few feet away, they're downright amazing for a bit of craft foam and paint.

Click on any picture and it will give you a larger version of what he did. Details on how he made the fence are further down the page. It's pretty much the same as every other fence tutorial, except for the finials and the other decorative work done using craft foam. All in all, it looks great, but of course it's Stolloween. The creatures atop his columns are what everyone will actually be looking at come Halloween. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
People normally go with one of two options on the finials from Kings - Either big enough to heat up the pipe with a heat gun, then force the finial over the pipe, or option 2 (the one I did) get some square dowel that fits inside the smaller finials, then use a rubber mallet to drive the dowel into the pipe snugly. Here is a pic of how I did mine with the dowel. Someone who did it with the heat gun - chime in with pics....

View attachment 712590
Thanks, I like this approach... what size pipe and dowel is that, if you remember?
 

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Oak Lane Cemetery
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Thanks, I like this approach... what size pipe and dowel is that, if you remember?
Don't remember the size conduit I used. Probably 1/2" grey electrical. Just take the square dowel over to the pipe and check the fit. It shouldn't slip right in. It should need to be tapped in with a hammer to knock off the corners of the dowel as it goes in for a nice tight fit.
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In the age of 3D printers, I created a small adapter that was round at the bottom (for the PVC), and square at the top for the finial. A dab of hot glue to secure it, and voila! Prior to that, I was just gluing them on top and cursing every time I knocked one off. I do like the simplicity of the square dowel, as well as your mounting tool to preserve the end of the PVC!

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Oak Lane Cemetery
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In the age of 3D printers, I created a small adapter that was round at the bottom (for the PVC), and square at the top for the finial. A dab of hot glue to secure it, and voila! Prior to that, I was just gluing them on top and cursing every time I knocked one off. I do like the simplicity of the square dowel, as well as your mounting tool to preserve the end of the PVC!

View attachment 712724

GENIUS!
 

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In my case my pipes were actually just a bit smaller then the finial sockets. I went rather low tech as a fix. I had a can of bondo laying around and just put some in each finial and slotted em on the tubes and let it dry. The end result after black coating made any smushed out bondo just look like weld marks.
 

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Bondo putty is an automotive body filler and a brand name used by 3M for a line of American-made products for automotive, marine and household repairs. (That's the dictionary definition. Users of the product have other words for it depending on how cooperative it is at doing what they want it to do.)
 

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For a PVC fence with black plastic finials, what kind of paint should I use,
matte or black?
I did a coat of gray Kilz primer on everything then a matte black spray paint. Turned out really good but I don't know how well it'll hold up over the years. I'm sure I'll have to touch up the PVC every year when I put it out.

As for the finials, I did the heat gun. They have stayed really well but I've read that you can put a small 1" screw through the back to secure them better.

fence.jpeg
 

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I used 1/2" PVC with a heat gun. Was incredibly easy, didn't take much heat to soften it enough, just a slight rotation and they slipped right in and formed up. They are tight when the PVC is still warm, but once it cools, they slip right off. The first few I just put a screw in. I switched over to Pop-rivets for the remaining ones. no regrets.

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