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Discussion Starter #1
Over the years I went through various methods of making tombstones. My first go was using a sheet of particle board I had on hand to make my first 3. They were heavy and the weather hasn't been kind to them. I made some out of cardboard with wood dividers in the middle and coated them to make them look more stone but those died after one year from moisture as well. I have some made similar to the cardboard ones but are made from old laminate flooring I had left over from a home renovation.

you can see some of the old work here.
20161031_170837.jpg

But they are hard to get decent detail on so since foam board is all the rage I'm going that route.

here is one of my new foam ones.
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you can see in this case I have holes on either side of the base for metal rods I can stake it down with. But this of course won't work for every design and I'd like to do inserts in the middle but early testing, drilling it just chews the foam up and trying to just shove supports in usually winds up with the support penetrating the side. I'm using 2" foam board and I really don't want to just attach the supports to the back, I like realism too much for that. What methods do you guys use?
 

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Nice work so far!

I used pvc pipe in between 1 inch layers. use 3 layers on my first ones. you could use this method in between two 2 inch foam pieces. cutting a channel on both sides of the foam so the pvc fits nice and snug. And use foam bored glue or liquid nails to glue the pvc in.

since i'm using 1 inch foam i didn't have to dig out a channel for the pvc. i just had to cut it out but same idea.







 

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I use the wire that holds the signs made from coroplast. You know the political sign holders. I have used rebar in some of the larger stones but I have never lost a stone using the wire sign holders, they will bend in a strong wind but I wound rather have a leaning stone than a broken stone. If you find the ones with double cross bars I cut them in half and have two. Sometimes they can be difficult to push in but if you heat them up a little they go right in. I have abut 50 stones using this method.
 

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The Big Kahuna of Fright
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I heat up a 3/4" steel pipe until it's hot enough to melt the foam. Ram that hot poker straight up the centre of the foam. With the hole, it's very easy to slide the headstone over a piece of rebar, a wooden dowel, whatever.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Well in October the winds here (at least last year) topped over 25 mph at one point. It actually messed up my graveyard fence columns and posts quite bad just before the day. I was out in full force with bondo and spray paint fixing stuff and fortunately the wind died down before the kids starting coming out.

Already got plans for way better anchoring this year but everything needs to be solid as hell to hold up. The skeletons in the pictures were actually staked in well over a foot deep and wired to the stakes with copper wire that I got from a giant spool I obtained years ago. The over construction of the previous tomb stones(particle board and pocketed laminate flooring) was exactly due to the heavy winds. I feel this 2" foam board can hold up but only as long as I can keep it staked down.

So as per Kindo I'm doing a hybrid of what they did and cutting channels into the foam and using liquid nails to set PVC tubing in place. But instead of sandwiching more foam over the back I'm hoping that the liquid nails will hold and instead just covering the surface with joint compound to hide the channels(they are cut so the tubing is just sub surface to the foam). I've used joint compound before and its actually on the headless horseman example to make it look less "foamy". I'll give more pics as I go. I don't have a lot of time on the weekdays so progress is slow until the weekend.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I heat up a 3/4" steel pipe until it's hot enough to melt the foam. Ram that hot poker straight up the centre of the foam. With the hole, it's very easy to slide the headstone over a piece of rebar, a wooden dowel, whatever.
crish3.jpg
that poor tombstone...
 

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The Haunting Girl
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Well in October the winds here (at least last year) topped over 25 mph at one point. It actually messed up my graveyard fence columns and posts quite bad just before the day. I was out in full force with bondo and spray paint fixing stuff and fortunately the wind died down before the kids starting coming out.
Wind is the worst! I'm actually in the process of beefing up my old cheap tombstones for that reason. The stones I've made with the PVC and rebar have held up extremely well in the wind. For my larger stones, I usually do 2 PVC pieces inside just to be sure. It does add weight to the stones in addition to giving you a way to anchor them. I'm hoping to get my whole cemetery converted over in the next year so I can really focus on creating original stones.

I've found electrical conduit to be slightly cheaper than regular schedule 40 PVC pipe. It's the same stuff, but you can't run drinking water through it which isn't a concern for us haunters. It also works with regular schedule 40 fittings. The price difference isn't much, but it does add up over time.
 

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I have gotten away with shoving and drilling thus far, it's not been pretty half the time. I don't know, it's hard to find something to secure mine without leaving gaping holes in the lawn, which is apparently strictly prohibited, heh. I would say melting might give the most control and reach but I haven't gotten to try it myself.
 
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