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Discussion Starter #1
I found some suppliers of the extruded polystyrene and today is payday so Im starting my tombstones this weekend. This is going to be a BIG 1 year project, but I will be making about 25 of them this year before Halloween. It will be a big undertaking since I work alone. I figure I can carve and assemble 4-5 stones a day and take a entire weekend to paint them all. By next year I will have close to 60 realistic tombsones. My front yard is 40'X85'..It actually goes back 70 feet on one side so to make my graveyard I want a stone for ever 5'X6' plot. Thats 25 tombs for the small side of my yard. I will hopefully be building my cemetery columns in time for Halloween. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

Here are some designs I will be starting on. These will be between 30" to 44" tall!





Wish me luck!
 

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WOW... but you have it a little backwards... the weeks before halloween you are to be workng to complete the big projects... NOT START. Looks good keep up the pictures!
 

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Man, that's a whopping lot of tombstones. While I admire your enthusiasm, why so many? How about some ground breakers, lights, fog, other props rather than using that full space just for so many tombstones? I mean, I've only got 4 and they work decent on my lawn. I'd like to have maybe 7 or 8 total with a fence probably next year.
 

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I have 2 ground breakers, 2 full size mummys, 2 foggers, 2 stobes, 12 bags of webs and more. I had (24) 2 foot tall plywood tombstones I made last year. They looked nice but no where near made my year look like a cemetery. They looked nice but I want more realism. I want the entire yard to be a cemetery and I have a big yard. I have the attic space to store em so why not?

Im short on time to make them this year, thats why Im making 25 or so. I just found this forum and how to make those killer real lookin stones a few days ago. I will have all year to make the next 40 or so before next year :)

I think 25 is do-able amount in the next 2 weeks.
 

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I finally got started on new tombstones Sunday night. I also spent 4 hours working on one of my fog machines that died. I got all these out of 1 4'X8' sheet. They are 31" to 42" tall. How I got 6 of these large stones out of one sheet is a mystery to me lol. I bought a roughter attachment and bits for my dremel as well. This stuff cuts and sands really nice. Here is what I was able to accomplish..

 

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Your Crazy LOL!!! I admire your ambition, but that is a lot of Tombstones and more carving than i would ever want to do in two weeks. If i can just offer up one bit of advice..."Its Quality, not Quantity". Last year i rushed to make 9 tombstones so i could have a small cemetery. I rushed them and got them finished and they were a big hit but had i spent more time on them they would've been incredible. This year however i spent more time on my tombstones and the outcome was incredible. So now i want to get rid of my old tombstones since they do not even compare to my new ones. Just thought i'd throw that out there. Like i said i admire your ambition and hope you can pull it off, but just keep that in mind.

Good Luck and i can't wait to see the cemetery!!
 

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I feel for you. I made 20 tombstones this year. It took me about a month to make them. I glued together two sheets of foam and put PVC inside so I could slip them over rebar, so it took a bit longer than I wanted due to glueing and drying. It was a lot of work. I hope you get them all done. Another suggestion...you might paint the base coat on the assembled ones and then carve more while they are drying.....unless you are already doing that.

Good Luck!
 

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Looks great! I don't know that I'd be tackling such a project so close to Halloween but more power to ya! I like the shapes you've chosen too.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I feel for you. I made 20 tombstones this year. It took me about a month to make them. I glued together two sheets of foam and put PVC inside so I could slip them over rebar, so it took a bit longer than I wanted due to glueing and drying.

Good Luck!
I REALLY like that idea with the PVC / rebar. I was debating how I was going to be mounting them. I just finished cutting out and sand the edges of the 14 that I have started. I will be glueing mine to the bases with LN Heavy Duty constuction adhesive.

Just so everyone thinks Im even more nuts...(Im a full throttle kind of guy) Im aiming to have them done Friday morning now haha. Im having a huge Helloween party at my house so I would like to have them out. I should have all the names and dates done tomorrow. I put in 5 1/2 hours on them tonight and they are coming out nice. So far I have about 8 hours into it. I feel that I could have saved time making templates instead of free handing them, but I made all of them different heights and widths ranging from 31"-42" tall and 16" to 20" wide so templates wouldnt have worked anyway.

Im going to keep em simple with mostly names and dates. Im pretty good with a Dremel and the roughter attachment. Here are the 14 ready to be carved and cracked.





Here is the lettering I started lastnight as well. I didnt realize when I started it that the 'Owens Corning' stamps are actually "stamped" into the foam so now Ill have to do a little sanding on this first one but Im pleased with how clean the Dremel cutting bits work.



Thanks again for all the positive comments and constructive criticism, it really helps.

Now if you will excuse me, I have a living room full of pink snow to clean up.
 

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wow, we made six this year over the course of a MONTH. We coated them with 2 layers of Dry-loc, that stuff is awesome. You can get it at Home Depot I believe. Looks like real stone when done. (you prolly already know that). We drilled through the bottom of ours and gorilla glued metal conduit pipe in them for added stake support and weight. You gonna use Terra's tutorial on painting em?

very good job!


Poor Watson, Sherlock Holmes finally got him done in, eh?
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Drylok is good stuff. I used two layers of it on my last project. Yeah Im going to use Terra's tutorial, I tried some of the techniques on my cemetery signs and Ididnt have alot of luck with the wash technique. The signs came out cool but Ill try to work on the techniques she uses. Practice makes perfect. Luckily I have tomorrow off work! Im going to need all the time I can get!

P.S. Watson as in my girlfriends last name...Haha Im putting some of my friends and family names on them :)
 

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The carving has begun..Im done with 5 right now, I hope to have 8 done and glued tonight. My sister joined in and helped come up with some good names for them that I havent seen on other tombs. She got pretty creative with them and I hope alot of people just stop to read the tombs. Here are my my favorites thus far, My name and good ol Doug Graves.





I figured I would take a 5 minute break...Back to carving!
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Front of the first half is dryloked. I cut the holes for the stakes in the bottom so tomorrow I will have these 7 glued together while I carve the last 7. At this rate, getting them done by Friday is a possibility, and without a doubt will be ready for Halloween. Well Im officially tired, work in the morning, goodnight everyone and I hope you enjoy the pictures as much as I do working on these.

My drop-cloth couldnt have been a more perfect size!




One of the good names my sister came up with!
 
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