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Discussion Starter #1
I just started the build of our “Meadow Forest Cemetery”.

First up are the columns for the gated entrance.
I may be doing things a bit backwards as I have not made any tombstones yet...but oh well.

The fence sections and tombstones will come next.

This will definitely be an on-going project, as they usually are. Next year I will focus on more tombstones and skeletons.


Construction:

I was shooting for sturdy, but as weight-manageable as possible. There is an internal frame made from 2x2. The exterior is skinned in the thinnest OSB.

I’ve got a base going together some some 1x4 (changed a bit since theses pics).

Next up is gluing the 1/2” foam board on and carving the rock look into it.

I am wanting to hang some lanterns from the fronts and will add some other detail to the tops.

More to come
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Discussion Starter #2
This is the area that will be the cemetery. It is a fairly large area, thus the large columns.

You can also see my change to the lower base skirting. I boxed it in all the way to allow easier connection and strength.
It, along with a smaller version up top will be clad with 2” foam.

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you!!


I started working on the second column. I spent the last day coming to terms with the fact that the first one was too big. It was just too much, and it didn’t even have foam yet.

No worries. It will be easy enough to trim down. Where the first was a 24” frame, this is an 18” frame.
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Discussion Starter #5
The extra vertical piece is the support for the gate hinge for that side.
The mid-area horizontal pieces are there in case I need to add a shelf in there later for media devices or whatever.

I am not 100% sure how I am going to finish the back of the columns. I am thinking a simple frame on hinges that is wrapped in black cloth, or a foam door to match the sides and front, but also hinged. I just know at some point I will need access to one or both sides, so I want to account for that now.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
On a detail note, I want to have something like a gas lantern hanging from the fronts, but I have not seen anything fake and ready-made. I certainly don’t mind DIYing them, just need to spend time thinking about it. Something along the lines of the pic below.
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My wife and I agreed on gargoyles for the toppers.

Making the columns smaller will also help with proportions of the add-on items.
 

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For the lanterns, have you seen the led bulbs that mimic a flickering action? Some of them are quite good.


Those are some I purchased that are solar but have a similar effect. The bulbs are available to screw into standard light sockets (like porch lights). That may be a solution temporarily, though, if you get the wiring done and have lights you like. If electrical is not ready but you found a holder that would let you mount a torch at an angle, that could be cool to do with the solar ones for this year. Just a thought.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
^^YES^^

Great idea. Torches will be way cooler. That was the jumpstart my brain needed. Found some inspiration on amazon. Some reasonable to purchase, but I think I will make my own.
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jscaldwell - That's fantastic!

MeadowForest - If that's you pictured next to the miter saw your carpentry skills at that age is even more fantastic!
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Outside doing stuff vs. inside looking at a phone screen is even more amazing. Kudos for parenting!
Thanks!
She has her own tools 😁
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Finished the framing for the upper and lower parts. Don’t know what to call them, but it will make sense soon. We had a busy weekend, so that is all I got done, but I plan to get the foam glued on tomorrow.
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I have a few suggestion for you unless it's too late. One, you don't need the OSB if you're using a 2"x2" frame and then a 2" foam surround. Thats what I made my columns out of and skipped the OSB. You'll appreciate the weight savings. If you need the extra wood to attach a gate to, just run a piece of 2"x3" down the middle of the frame on the gate side. You can also recess a piece of 2"x2" or 2"x3" into the foam and attach it to the frame that way and just paint it to match the gate. Also, I'm not sure what your plan is to attach these to the ground, but if you add some 1/2" or 3/4" PVC pipes up the inside of each column at the corners, you can drive rebar into the ground and slip the PVC onto the rebar and these won't go anywhere. As far as covering the backs, just use the same foam and screw them in or add some hinges. Even without the OSB, mine seem to get heavier every year. I usually try to use the cheapest and thinnest plywood or OSB for my builds, but this year I found some 4'X8' paneling at Home Depot that was only $7 a sheet. Super thin and super light. Anyway, just a few tips.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I appreciate the tips. The reason for the osb over 2x2 frame is because I am using 1/2” foam to skin it...instead of 2”. The cost to build this way is 1/3 to cost compared to just using 2” because the 2” foam is $40/sheet where I’m at and it would take 2 sheets per column.

I’m doing what I can to keep the weight down, but not too much left that will add weight.

I definitely plan to use the PVC on the inside with rebar.

Pretty sure I'm settled on just going with a hinged piece of OSB with foam over it for the back.
 

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These look great, they match your house perfectly! I really like the plaques on the front.
We made our columns out of plywood and am so glad we did. They are heavy, but it's always windy here in MI in October. I would feel terrible if they fell down and were damaged.
 
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