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Hello everyone! I hope everyone had a great and successful Halloween! Mine went well despite having a somewhat low turnout. The weather started extremely windy but by the evening, the wind was non existent so the fog looked great.

This year's project was the construction of some new cemetery pillars to hide the DMX par lights that illuminate my graveyard. These have a wood frame and sculpted Styrofoam facade. Without further ado, here starts the build thread.

The lights at the right side of the picture are the ones I was interested in hiding. They do a great job lighting up the yard but are ugly!
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Here is the finished product after build completion:
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Up next: The construction steps!
 

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Construction started with some OSB boards at 1/2" thick. They were 24"x48" and I cut them down to 12"x48". I screwed them together into a box shape with an open back to mount the lights inside. There would be 3 mounting points in total (but there is room for a few more if I decide to add more lights).

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Now it's time to start sculpting. What I normally do is take an extremely sharp razor knife and cut the stone shapes into the foam. I cut pretty deeply, about 3/4" into the foam. Once the cuts are made, I take a flat screwdriver and gouge out the foam in between the cuts. This method works very well and leaves the edges of the stones well defined while the broken foam in the "grout" channel has a very uneven texture. Once the stones are cut, I start sanding the edges and adding flourishes to the stones.

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After getting the pillars sculpted the way I liked, I ran painter's putty into the seams and sanded it down. I then applied a base coat of latex with varying colors to add some color variations in the stones. After the latex paint, I used several cans of Krylon stone spray paint of different colors. Krylon states that the paint is "Craft Foam Safe" but I did notice a little bit of the foam dissolving. It wasn't too bad though. After applying several coats, I set the pillars out to dry for 24hrs.

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Discussion Starter #9
Very nice, like the step by step photos!
Thank you. I was hoping it wasn't too picture heavy but then again, people like pictures!

The next step was to paint the "grout". This is a method I use when making tombstones, as well. I paint the grout a flat black and then I pour sand blasting sand on the wet paint. This lightens it up black and also give it a grout texture.
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I don't have any pictures of the top plate preparation but here are the completed pillars
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And with the lights mounted... You can also see the mounts for the stakes toward the bottom. I made the lawn stakes removable so that I can stand these up when not in use.
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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
Thank you, all! Yes, these took a few weeks to complete. A lot longer than I originally though. They also turned out better than I thought they would.

Great work on your pillars. What kind of lights are those? I love the intense blue coloring.
They are generic LED par lights. They are RGB and DMX controlled. I got them off eBay although, I am sure you can find them on Amazon, as well.


Those are what I use although, I ditched the clear lens for a diffuse lens that I cut from a fluorescent diffuser sheet. This helped with how narrow the throw is on these, right out of the box.
 

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And, for good measure, here is the only video I was able to shoot during the evening because my phone started to screw up right toward the end of this video. Later videos that evening had such horrible frame rates, it wasn't worth posting them.

 

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Thank you, all! Yes, these took a few weeks to complete. A lot longer than I originally though. They also turned out better than I thought they would.


They are generic LED par lights. They are RGB and DMX controlled. I got them off eBay although, I am sure you can find them on Amazon, as well.


Those are what I use although, I ditched the clear lens for a diffuse lens that I cut from a fluorescent diffuser sheet. This helped with how narrow the throw is on these, right out of the box.
Awesome. Thanks for the info. I bet cutting the diffuser wasn't an easy task.
 

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Awesome. Thanks for the info. I bet cutting the diffuser wasn't an easy task.
Surprisingly, not that bad. It helps tremendously when you have a scoring knife for acrylic sheet plastic. I just traced the shape with the scoring knife, then scored into quadrants to snap easier and then snap. Drilling the holes for the screws... now that too some time!!! Slow drilling with very little pressure in a drill press. That's the ONLY way to do it! That diffuser plastic shatters like crazy!

If I had it to do all over again, it would be a simple task now. I would just use my laser cutter! :)
 

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Very nice.
May I ask what you used for the Thunder and Lighting.

Lights, speakers....please do tell all to took to do this. Exceptional.
 
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