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Discussion Starter #1
Hello! I recently decided to remake some foam tombstones I made back in 1999 before the internet was so vast and wonderful. They were just cut into some basic tombstone shapes and painted. Now that I have access to all you wonderful people AND many more years of crafting and making experience in general I want to take this to the next level. I've been burning and gluing and generally having a lot of fun. I read around the forum a little and think I'd like to use the method of inserting PVC pipe into the tombstone and then slide it over rebar driven into the ground.

Q1: How do I get the PVC in there? And how long should it be? (I guess that's 2 questions) The tombstones are about 2' tall and 1.5" thick. We don't get a lot of wind, but we do get wild animals which brings me to...

Q2: Anyone have experience with wild woodland creatures possibly strolling through your bone yard? We have deer (mule and whitetail) most nights and we sometimes have black bears, though hopefully those will be mostly holed up for winter by the time I put these out. There could possibly be cougar and wolves, but probably not since we don't have livestock or anything to attract them. We also get foxes and skunks, but I'm not so worried about them messing with my stuff.

Thanks so much!
TheMistressT
 

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Generally, when making the stones, you carve out channels for the pvc before gluing the halves together. Roughly 1/3 to 1/2 the height of the stone should be fine.

As for inserting into already assembled stones, I would recommend a boring bit. They are smother than paddle bits, more controllable .
 

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Thank you! Mine are only one layer thick (since that's how there were before I knew better). I have an odd assortment of strange bits in the shop, so I'll have to see what I have or perhaps purchase something. What kind of speed is best for drilling foam? Too fast might melt or no?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I may go that route considering how thin my 'stones are and if I have to buy a bit that's long enough and wide enough, it won't be cheap and I'm on a bit of a use-what-I-have kick.
 

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I use the coroplast sign holders, cut them in half and just stick them in. They do a good job on holding the tombstones up and are easier to work with. I do have a few stones with rebar but I don't go that route anymore even with some my larger stones. The best time to collect the holders is after elections when everybody wants all the signs down. If you do go with the drilling out your stones for PVC make use you go straight and level. Nothing ruins your day faster than seing the drill bit come out the front of your best stone.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I use the coroplast sign holders, cut them in half and just stick them in. They do a good job on holding the tombstones up and are easier to work with. I do have a few stones with rebar but I don't go that route anymore even with some my larger stones. The best time to collect the holders is after elections when everybody wants all the signs down. If you do go with the drilling out your stones for PVC make use you go straight and level. Nothing ruins your day faster than seing the drill bit come out the front of your best stone.
I hadn't even thought of that! I'll have to pick one up and see how it is getting it into our hard, hard, hard ground.
 

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Well, I live in North Carolina where red clay dirt is king. So I only have to hammer my rebar in a few inches and you can hardly pull it out by hand.
If your yard is more like dirt, you might have to go deeper than me.

Rockstar--The only time I ever had one come apart from high winds was last year, but it was a cheapo Dollar Tree tombstone. The ones I make myself with the blue Styrofoam have never had a separation. And we get some pretty high winds here at times.
 

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All of my tombstones are made from a single piece of 2" foam. To drill the holes I use a paddle bit (also known as a spade bit) and a bit extender and just drill out a 1/4" hole about 10-12" deep, which allows for a snug fit of a 1/2" pvc pipe (because as the bit turns it chunks out pieces of foam and ends up making nearly a 1/2" hole - just in case you were wondering how a 1/2" pipe fit in a 1/4" hole).

Then I drip some gorilla glue down into the holes and slide the pvc pipes into the foam. The gorilla glue expands and the pipe never comes out.

As for wind, I live in an area where wind is not an issue. For me, using rebar is just a cleaner way to setup my tombstones.
 

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I used paddled until I grabbed my spiral bit one day that I use for drilling holes thru wall studs to pull electrical wire. It has a screw end that will pull the bit through the stud. In my expeience it cuts the foam alot cleaner. I also use 2" foam as DMinor. I go the depth of the bit which is about 6". I cut my pvc about 5" and use hot glue liberally in the end that goes in first. That way as it is forced in the hole it works its way up the pvc and doesn't just get forced out. Prior to that I used spray 3M contact cement and over time had the pvc coming out of the tomb stones. The key to dilling the holes, no matter what bit you decide to use, is to use a drill with a bubble level in it. That way you don't have the bit coming out the front or back because your drill wasn't parallel with the tombstone which I did a few times until I figued it out.
 

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I just rout out a channel or two in the back and then liquid nails it on, thats if i havnt sandwiched two pieces.

Make sure you scratch up the foam and pvc with sand paper, so it helps with the bonding. Just something i do for piece of mind.
 
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