The plastic base of an inexpensive plastic bird bath or flower pot purchased at a store can be very convenient in producing bases with multiple purposes.
Check out the inside where the concrete will be poured and that nothing will make the release impossible.
The basic ingredients are a concrete base with a plastic sleeve.
Into this sleeve we will eventually insert a vertical piece which will also embed into the piece above. The base could end up holding a flower bowl, a bird bath, a sphere or anything else.
The solar light lamp post shown took about an hour and a half but it may have taken longer considering shopping for the pipe. It is an easy job that yields great personal pleasure.
Plastic mold for base.
3” long pvc pipe sleeve.
3×4”x 5’ gray pvc pipe.
Teaspoon of sand.
Solar garden light
How to make:
1. Grease up the base mold with a mold release agent and place the base form on a flat table upside down.
2. Place a 3” sleeve in the center of the form. Tape the top of the sleeve hole.
Make sure the sleeve and the base are plumb and stay plumb.
The long shiny battle ship gray pvc pipe in the garden lamp post shown is a ¾” pipe x 5’ long. It was planned to fit through the 3” sleeve as well as into the solar light. Attention was paid at the store when searching for a pipe with no printed ink on it. The pipe which is threaded at both ends, came from Orchard Supply Hardware and it did not seem to be carried by Home Depot.
3. Mix and pour the ready mix concrete making sure the sleeve stays plumb.
Make sure to compact the concrete with vibration and especially at the edges to rid of air bubbles and to obtain a smooth finish during the whole procedure.
The cap to a detergent tub is very handy and more so than a trowel in this case to gently vibrate and compact the edges since the base is round.
4. This is optional. In the picture next to the base molds there is a small concrete saucer.
When filling the base with concrete prior to getting to the top, immerge this saucer smooth face up.
Make sure it protrudes about ¼” above the finished base and that it is level.
Continue to pour and float to finish.
When placed on hard surfaces like concrete, the saucer will elevate the lamp post base enough for finger space when needed and the finished edge will also remain protected.
5. Two days later remove from the form and when fully dry insert the ¾” pvc pipe into the base. Add a little sand around the gray pipe where it goes into the sleeve to stiffen it making sure it is plumb. Cap the pipe with the solar light.
Copper piping could also be very attractive.
Before becoming a lamp post, the solar garden light was held by a spike inserted in the dirt.
The higher altitude provides the solar powered lights with a better chance for exposure.
These particular solar power garden lights which I am extremely happy about are Westinghouse and were purchased at Costco about five years ago. They have been very faithful needing their batteries recharged in house only once a couple of years ago.
Concrete at the price of $2.69 x 60lb bag would price this concrete base at about $1.30.
The pvc pipe was about $3.60 for a 5’ length.
Longer pipes are available and they can also be cut to size.
Refer to the ‘concrete for the home’ category for tips on concrete, tools and molds.