Pillar mold?

Mullins, SC(Zone 8a)

Hey all, I have this 3 ft piece of pvc pipe that's about 12" in diameter, wondering if I can use it as a reusable form for a pillar with a piece of cardboard tubing in the middle to make the pillar hollow and keep it from being so heavy....any how-to suggestions? Scooterbug? whaddayathink?


Tellico Plains, TN(Zone 7b)

Interesting ....... hmmmmmmmmmm

First thought is could you get it out ? ?

Second , the carboard tube would collapse almost immediatly.

Why dont you just buy a sono tube ?

These tubes are now available at Lowe's and Home Depot here. They have them
in various sizes . get a smaller piece of PVC pipe for the center.

Even a hollow concrete pillar that size would weigh a lot.

I don't know what your plans are but you will also need a base and a top if you are thinking of using it as a display pillar.

Good Luck

Tellico Plains, TN(Zone 7b)

History Stones has a really reasonable reuseable column mold. ( it's the one i use)

You can mortar them together if you need a taller one.


Thumbnail by scooterbug
Bethel, OH(Zone 6a)

I have used pvc pipe that my husband gets, I just cut it in half and hinge it and when the tufa is ready I just unhinge it and whala you have it. To keep the thing together I just use duct tape to secure it so it wont open up. I also put a piece of wood at one end and secure it with screws. Then take it all apart when it is ready.


Tellico Plains, TN(Zone 7b)

Cindy, that sounds great .

btw ,How do you make a vertical cut in the PVC ?

Bethel, OH(Zone 6a)

scooterbug, I just love the site that you gave, thanks so much. Great prices.

Tellico Plains, TN(Zone 7b)

Pretty kool stuff that stays reasonable pricewise for the small hobbiest.

Same product is sold on ebay by another party for a lot more.

Mullins, SC(Zone 8a)

Scooterbug, I can get cardboard tubes from my job that are 1/2" thick, doubtful they would collapse on me. Though they are only about 4" in diameter so the pillar would still be pretty heavy. Maybe sonotube for the middle, in a larger diameter.

Cindy, great idea about cutting the pvc in half, that's the part that was worrying me, the getting it out thing. I prefer homemade/recycled if possible to keep the costs down..plus that's half the fun, to see what you can come up with that works well. How DID you cut it in half, tablesaw?

Thanks everybody for the suggestions!


Bethel, OH(Zone 6a)

My husband has a saw that cuts concrete, brick etc. But I am sure that a circular saw will do the same thing just make sure that you have a good blade that has carbide teeth. Take a black magic marker and measure the length you want the tube to be, mark all the way around the pipe so you get a straight cut, then just do the same thing when you cut it in half. Just be careful and have fun.

When I make my molds, I mostly use duct tape to put them back together then fill them, if I don't use hinges.

What are sonotubes???

This message was edited Jul 31, 2005 9:48 PM

Tellico Plains, TN(Zone 7b)

Sono tubes pictures on this page http://holtlumberco.tripod.com/id21.html

They are used in construction for footings and columns. Easy to cut.

Safety Harbor, FL(Zone 9b)

Who knew? Scooterbug...that's who. lol Cheaper than pvc?
One-time use on the sonotubes?....or it could be lined with plastic bags and reused. I like the idea of making a birdbath with one of these. :)

Brewers, KY(Zone 6b)

...what about taking a cheap plastic bird bath and cutting the pedistal down the middle then using it for a mold? You could either apply hinges or use duct tape to secure it closed...

just thinking out loud here....

Tellico Plains, TN(Zone 7b)

Sonotubes are a one use only 'cause they are peeled off
after the 'crete has set.

Lisa ,
I guess it all depends on what the inside of the bb pillar looks like.

I believe its really doubtful that it would be smooth enough for

casting & releasing plus it will lack the detail presented on the outside.

Molds need to be slick in order to get a good cast and release.

I think the mold w/base , from the link above is a bargain compared to buying a bb and rendering it useless IMO

3 pc cement BB

Thumbnail by scooterbug
Bethel, OH(Zone 6a)

I agree with you scooterbug, you can't beat the price plus you can reuse the molds over and over again.

Okmulgee, OK

Here's how I made a solid concrete column 48 inches tall by 24 inches around for the wifes front flower bed. I did not know about hypertufa then so it weighed about 300 pounds but it came out real nice and it darn sure won't blow over in a wind !!!

I used a 24 inch round Sona tube as a support and container for the inner mold. The inner mold was two pieces of corragated barn tin so the column would be fluted. These were cut to 48 inch lengths and folded nicely to fit inside the cardboard tube. I dug a two foot deep hole outside the shop, placed the tube in that with the tin inside the tube. I dropped sand in the bottom, about 6 inches of so thick and slooped it so the column would look like it was broken in half. I used a standard sand/cement bagged mix, two bags if memory serves. I made a six inch round wire mesh tube to go in the middle for strength. I poured in the mix and let it run down the side of the mold to the deepest part of the bottom until the bottom was full and then just filled it on up. When the mix had covered the wire mesh reinforcement I used a palm sander without the sand paper to vibrate the outside of the tube for about five minutes to get any bubbles out and let it set for a week. Slipped off the cardboard tube, the tin inner mold halfs fell away and there it was, upside down. A buddy and I turned it right side up and darned if it didn't look like a four foot tall flutted column that had been broken in half. Wife loved it and it is a center piece in a front flower bed surrounded by some pots from Garden Ridge. Looks like a real relic. I am going to make some more of these now that I know about hypertufa !!


Tellico Plains, TN(Zone 7b)

First off Des, Welcome to DG !

And da mud pit ..... lol

Your column sounds great

Waannaassseeee !

Okmulgee, OK

My wife loves ornamental sweet potatoe vine, a beautiful close cousin to Kudzu !!! The column sits in the middle of this heap of yellowish green vine and after the frost kills that there is a low voltage light that shines up the column at night. See my post on salvaged cemetary stone. Des

Thumbnail by Des547
Springfield, OH(Zone 5b)

Very Nice

Safety Harbor, FL(Zone 9b)

Hey, Des -- Great creative idea for the 'aged' column.

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