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Discussion Starter #1
I'm going to start on making my tombstones next week (payday tomorrow, woo!) but I have hit a problem. As most of the tutorials on the site are written by Americans I have hit a translation problem.


So, we dont seem to have pink or blue foam board over here. Can you tell me if Loft Board Insulation or Polystyrene Insulation Board is the same thing?

Also, what actually IS Drylok. We dont have the brand name in the UK so I am having trouble working it out.

Monstor Mud I have worked out.

Thanks in advanced :)
 

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Can't comment directly on your questions, but I made my tombstones out of Polystyrene Insulation Board. It is fairly easy to work with (and cheaper), and gives a good finish, if sharp blades are used.

I think the US board is has finer 'particles' than the UK version. I say this because people seem to use 'Dremmel' type equipment on it to engrave it, whereas on UK board, it seems to shoot polystyrene balls everywhere! But that might just be my poor DIY skills!

Drylok as far as I can tell is a waterproofer that is added to paint or concrete in the US. Again I used exterior grade masonary paint on my tombstones, mix with acrylic colour of your choice. They have survived three years with little damage, mainly caused by knocking edges off. This isn't a bad thing, as they were made with the intention of looking worn!

HTH

Iffy
 

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Undead Handyman
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Im not in the UK, but I love Scotland! The best foam is called extruded polystyrene and it comes in a variety of colors including pink, blue, yellow & green all depending on the manufacturer. I looked at your links and the Loft Board Insulation looks promising. When you check it out in person the extruded polystyrene should look like fine grains of sand all stuck together. It usually has a thin plastic film on one or both flat sides that we peel off before carving/painting. In the US retailers are required to have access to Material Safety Data Sheets for building materials--if you have them in the UK then just ask your retailer for them and check for extruded polystyrene.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks guys, I feel more confident dragging my mother in to the city to get the stuff now. She hates it when I go shopping for stuff when she's given me a lift and I havent a clue what it is I actually need.
 

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Lord of the Cemetery
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Can't comment directly on your questions, but I made my tombstones out of Polystyrene Insulation Board. It is fairly easy to work with (and cheaper), and gives a good finish, if sharp blades are used.

I think the US board is has finer 'particles' than the UK version. I say this because people seem to use 'Dremmel' type equipment on it to engrave it, whereas on UK board, it seems to shoot polystyrene balls everywhere! But that might just be my poor DIY skills!....

HTH

Iffy
It's not your DIY skills Iffy, Its just the compostion of the board.
The foamboard our friends across the pond use has a consistency almost like the "oasis" foam that florists use. our expanded polystyrene board has a totally different composition. Great to hack at with a Dremel if you want a snow scene in your back yard, but if you want to engrave it, you're probably better off using an old soldering iron or a custom built electric foam cutting tool.
 

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if possible i would stay away from the polystyrene type boards. as mentioned they are good at creating snow, but are not that easy to work with.

I would suggest using rigid foam boards, often called styrofoam.

for my gravestones i have used 50 and 65mm cavity wall insulation boards. Kingspan TW50 is a trade name for the 50mm stuff, but you can ask for other manufactureres equivalent.

Thes cavity wall insulation boards can be sanded and moulded quite easily. They are available form places such as Wickes or any builders supply stores, but they are not cheap - especially the TW50.

However, i suggest a quick trip to a local building site and asking if you can have any waste. I work for a builder so i had the pick, but most builders will be glad to give the ones out of the skip etc. (and you are doing your bit for recycling).

i found that the damaged ones looked the best when painted up!!!
 

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Thats the stuff. you will find that you get a fine dust on your hands when handling or cutting it.

i cut it down to about 900mm high (or 3 foot) with a shaped top (i got my ideas from a local graveyard).

i painted mine gray using some old garage floor paint i had, then lightly sprayed them black around the edges to age them a little. for the writing i printed out the words i wanted in a suitable font, used drawing pins to fix them to the board and then carefully cut through using a stanley knife.

i prefer to cut it, letter it and then paint it.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
my mother is a avid freecycler, so she has volunteered to go out in to the local buildingsites to beg foam for me :p otherwise its wickes for me :) thank you very much for your advice, I really appreciate it.
 

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Discussion Starter #12


just thought those who gave me advice would like to see that it was worth it :) first tombstone on the way!

The styrofoam does make one heck of a mess, but it carves beautifully with the dremel & cuts well. Very impressed.
 

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Hi - In Ireland and the UK what you need to look for is 4 inch Kingspan Wall Insulation.
It has foil backing on one side which can be removed easily.

A jig saw cuts through it very easily. No foam balls ! ... it is dense foam ...

Comes in 8x 4 sheets
 

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Lord of the Cemetery
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just thought those who gave me advice would like to see that it was worth it :) first tombstone on the way!

The styrofoam does make one heck of a mess, but it carves beautifully with the dremel & cuts well. Very impressed.
Great Job!
Where did you end up getting your foam?
Was it "salvaged" or did you end up at Wickes?
 

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Discussion Starter #16
my mother hasn't gone on a salvage mission yet, so it was from Wickes, about £5 a sheet, but I got 2 stones out of one sheet, and reminents for extra stuff from 1 sheet for a big stone.

the people there where so helpful, knew exactly what I was needing, and only looked at me funny once and then got really interested in what I was up to :)
 
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