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.