Go Back   DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum > Home Improvement > Building & Construction

CLICK HERE AND JOIN OUR COMMUNITY TODAY...IT'S FREE!

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 10-06-2011, 03:34 PM   #1
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 72
Share |
Default

concrete pillar caps


hi from northern canada!

so... we bought a new-to-us home about 3 years ago. It came with some really cool brick light posts all up and down the driveway. 12 to be exact. Each of the posts has a concrete pre-cast cap on top of it, and each year we've lived there, one of those suckers has started to crumble and break up around the edges. The house came with a couple of spares that I've since used up. Last week I priced out new ones at $80 a piece

They are similar to concrete paving stones, about 28" square, but they taper from 2" thick around the edges to 4" thick in the centre. I have absolutely no experience with concrete but I have been thinking that I could make up a wooden form, line it with wax paper or something, and pour concrete in it. This would likely save me about $74 for each one I make.

Will this work, or should I stop being so Scottish and just pay the $80 for a new one every year? Any suggestions on what sort of concrete to use, or what to do to minimize the amount of water getting into it once it's cured?

thanks! this site is fantastic.


Last edited by longshanks; 10-06-2011 at 03:37 PM.
longshanks is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2011, 05:55 PM   #2
43 years in construction
 
Arkitexas's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Texas
Posts: 104
Default

concrete pillar caps


It depends on your skill level. At $80 each I would cast them myself.

Use a concrete mix with pea gravel aggregate. Include a 24" x 24" reinforcing mat of 4" x4" x 3/16" galvanized welded wire mesh. Keep the reinforcing at least 1.5" from the exterior surfaces and at mid height of the concrete. If you cast with the top-down on a smooth surface, the form surfaces must be very slick like PVC sheeting. Just be very anal about laying the PVC sheeting and making very tight, clean corners. Immediately after casting, vibrate the concrete to force it into corners and eliminate air pockets. If you don't have a concrete vibrator use an old body massage vibrator that fits over the back of the hand and push it up hard against the form and travel along each side for 20 seconds. Trowel the exposed concrete (bottom) flat and cover the with PVC to slow evaporation. Remove from the form after 72 hours. After the concrete has cured at least 30 days, coat the exposed surfaces with a silicone water repellent formulated for concrete surfaces. This will impede future freeze fracturing. Re-coat every 4 years.

Arkitexas is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Arkitexas For This Useful Post:
jomama45 (10-07-2011)
Old 10-06-2011, 06:28 PM   #3
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 72
Default

concrete pillar caps


that's just the information I was looking for. I had originally planned on soaking my plywood form in oil/diesel so it wouldn't stick to concrete. PVC sounds better. Is the pvc you are talking about available in sheets? What would the best way be to attach it to plywood?

thanks for your help!
longshanks is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-07-2011, 11:18 AM   #4
43 years in construction
 
Arkitexas's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Texas
Posts: 104
Default

concrete pillar caps


Use 6 mil polyethylene or 6 mil polyvinyl chloride (PVC) from any big box store. Don't use folded sheets, use rolls without creases.

Adhere with 3M #90 spray adhesive. 3M-90 sticks to PVC at 17.5 lbs/inch of width and to polyethylene at 9 lbs/inch of width. The more common 3M-77 will also work but has only 1/3 the sticking power. Don't oil the forms. Apply to poly and plywood and press together. Be accurate because they will stick instantly with no repositioning. Keep everything very clean. Use A or B grade 3/4" plywood.

There will be joints at the hips and corners. A lap joint is easy to make but the lap will telegraph through. A butt joint is more work. Lap the poly both ways over the hip. Cut along the hip with a razor. Remove the scraps and glue down. Any flashing along the hip can be rubbed down later.

If the form is to be reused, slope the 2" vertical edges 1/16" to aid in concrete removal.

Rick

Last edited by Arkitexas; 10-07-2011 at 11:33 AM.
Arkitexas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-07-2011, 09:11 PM   #5
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 72
Default

concrete pillar caps


thanks a bunch for your advice. Looks like I'm going to have to get to work. If you lived down the street I'd be buying you a beer for that.

cheers
longshanks is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-07-2011, 09:28 PM   #6
Tileguy
 
Bud Cline's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 9,903
Default

concrete pillar caps


Post a picture of the ones you have now.
Bud Cline is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-08-2011, 06:06 PM   #7
Member
 
Knucklez's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: ontario canada
Posts: 851
Default

concrete pillar caps


i could construct this using same method as concrete countertop. that is, use coloured cement, glass chips to shine it up. the form should be made of melamine, no need to use wax paper or anything. just put some caulking in the seams. the melamine form makes it come out nice and smooth about 300 grit (better than any troweling job you could ever do). you can wet grind this to a glass finish if you had the tools & time.

elsewhere on this forumn i have a long post about concrete countertops with lots of tips.

Knucklez
__________________
"if you can't be handsome, at least you can be handy" -Redgreen
Knucklez is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-08-2011, 11:55 PM   #8
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 72
Default

concrete pillar caps


I finally got around to taking some pics. Here's what you get for $80 a pop.
Attached Images
  

longshanks is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Need concrete tips and suggestions spaceman spif Building & Construction 4 10-05-2011 09:08 PM
Repairing concrete slab in shower JohnRoss Building & Construction 0 08-08-2011 01:20 PM
Laminate Flooring on Two Different Concrete Heights mrken Flooring 4 12-14-2010 01:56 PM
New Concrete Walkway along side of house braverichard Building & Construction 0 11-03-2010 11:12 AM
How To Install Rigid Foam Insulation on Concrete earthad1 Building & Construction 9 10-26-2010 09:49 AM




Top of Page | View New Posts

Copyright © 2003-2014 Escalate Media. All Rights Reserved.