Monday, August 22, 2011

Cemetery Fence 2.0

Some of you may remember that last year I scored about 10 of these plastic columns from my employer.  My intention was to use them as fence columns for a cemetery fence.  I put together a bunch of eight-foot fence sections using PVC pipe (also free from work) and scrap 1 x 3 wood.  I used small metal brackets to attach the fence sections directly to the columns.  All this was done very last minute and while it looked good (we got a lot of compliments from people driving by), it wasn't extremely solid.  Now for the error part of the trial and error system.  The columns are hollow plastic and are in two sections.  the bottom section is about 4 feet tall and is open at the bottom.  the top section is about another 2 feet tall and is open at the top.  One week before Halloween we had a major rainstorm.  During the night, the top sections of the fence columns filled up with water, making them top heavy.  When the wind hit it was all over.  We woke up to find every fence column tipped over and many of the fence sections broken.  I threw out all of the fence sections and put the columns away (only after cutting a hole in the bottom of all the top sections so that water could not collect in them), vowing to learn from my mistakes in the next year.  Well next year is now.
I decided that the surface of the columns was too uneven to attach the fence sections directly.  I bolted a section of 2 x 4 to the columns with a nice wide bracket at the top and bottom.  The height of the 2 x 4 is the same as the space between the bottom and middle rail of the fence sections.  I squirted some Great Stuff behind the 2 x 4 to fill in all of the nooks and crannies and give the 2 x 4 a more solid base.
Here you can see how the fence sections will sit on the brackets.  There is still a lot to do on this project.  I will post more on my progress in the next couple of days.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Tombstone Update

Well, I finally finished carving and engraving my first batch of styrofoam tombstones.  I used stencils that I made with my wife's Cricut machine for the lettering.  All of the detailing was done with a soldering iron.  Some very minimal shaping was done with a hacksaw blade.  Each of these tombstones is named for each of my four kids.
This tombstone reads:  Samuel (our oldest son) and then:  Sam Bones (his nickname because of how freakishly skinny he is).  His cause of death is listed as:  wasted away.  The skull detail was made by cutting the back from a Great Stuff foam skull that I had laying around.  I attached it with some hot glue.  The shaping around the skull was done with a hacksaw blade.
This tombstone reads:  Abigail (our oldest daughter) and then:  Abbiecadabra (this seemed almost too cute; but I went with it anyway).  Her cause of death is listed as:  burned at the stake (duh).  The pentagram detail was just one that I found with a Google image search for pentagram.  I pretty much just free handed it with a Sharpie and then engraved it with a soldering iron.
This tombstone reads:  Noah (our youngest son) and then:  Noah Constrictor (this was his nickname when he was a toddler because he was a major hugger.  He liked to get his arms around you and just squeeze as tight as he could).  His cause of death is listed as:  stuffed and mounted (bummer).  The snake detail is based loosely on the logo for the TV show Millennium.  I did quite a bit of detail work with the soldering iron trying to get the snake to look more three dimensional.  It should really pop out after it is painted.  Again I did a little shaping in the center with a hacksaw blade.
This tombstone reads:  Emma (our youngest daughter) and then:  Emma Sue The Littlest Zombie (I know it's a mouthful; but trust me, it fits her).  Her cause of death is listed as:  her fate is unknown.  This was the simplest design out of all four tombstones.  I just did a Google image search for girl silhouette.  All the detail work was done with a soldering iron.

These tombstones will get a coat or two of Dry-Lok and then a nice paint job (hopefully this week).

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Put a Lid on That Mud.

I was toying with the idea of putting together a monster mud prop this year until I spent an entire weekend retexturing the house...
I am officially not in the mood.