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I tried making my own paving blocks once. Big mistake. Although I'd seen it done on some silly home-improvement programme, it wasn't at all easy in practice and most of the blocks cracked. :(

What I'd be inclined to do would be to cut the corners off some standard bricks, either before building or once the pier had been completed. An alternative would be to add a render coat to the completed brick/block pier and shape that. (I'm a great believer in a mortar render: it covers over a lot of "sins" committed during the bricklaying - just as painting covers a lot of sins made while mortaring.) Also, the mortar can be coloured quite successfully.

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Half-round bricks readily available at most builders merchants ,

Glad I wasn't the only one to spot the dodgy door , these things do tend to jump out to some of us . . . ;-)

Glad I'm not the only Gate-maker here too...........

My latest.............. :grin:

Before.....

IMG_1683.jpg

New.......

IMG_2761.jpg

Just wish I had room for a pier or observatory myself.

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A superb restoration job - well done :)

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Thanks , not restored , brand new handmade identical replacements ,

I like a challenge .......

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Tinker1947, going back off subject for a moment, (in the first picture of the very nice gates) why have you put those strips down the gate posts? I just had some large gates fitted and don't have them, am I missing out?

Edited by nightvision

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Tinker1947, going back off subject for a moment, (in the first picture of the very nice gates) why have you put those strips down the gate posts? I just had some large gates fitted and don't have them, am I missing out?

No real reason for them......some get them some don't....:)

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Nice gates! Impressive craftsmanship :smiley:

As for pouring concrete / laying bricks – Bricks have frogs (that’s the hole / recess in them) This allows the mortar to key and prevents lateral movement. Allowing the mortar to dry and laying courses on top does not weaken the structure. Pouring a pier in two sessions does weaken it mainly because the first pour is left flat; it just flows out with gravity. The second pour has little to key to :huh:

From my understanding the best budget pier is concrete in a plastic tube with rebar. I also used a scaffolding pole in mine. Since this is a combination of plastic / steel / concrete, it offers the best solution. Composite construction is often the strongest.

I like the brick pier a lot. Blends in to the garden, easy and not expensive to build. Also not a nightmare to get rid of if you move. Anything is better than a tripod and personally, I can’t see the brick edges being a problem.

Good job :icon_salut:

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While we had a bit of sun yesterday I thought I'd get the lot out and try a bit of solar viewing - here's the pier with most of the kit on it.

post-11721-0-91599000-1342175419_thumb.j

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I still think the concrete block system (shown on another thread) is worth considering, costs around £25 and takes about 15 minutes to make once you have all the components, cellular blocks, paving slab, 10/12mm screwed studding, nuts and washers, masonry drill bit and drill ready. :smiley:

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Half round bricks are called double bull nose or cow nose.

They are usually an engineering brick so hard, dense and Impervious to water ingress. This makes them hard waring but horrible to work with as they have almost no suction for the mortar. This means they "swim" as we brickies say (this means move about at the slightest touch. Building a small pier with few bricks per coarse and keeping it plumb isn't as straightforward as you may think with them.

If you mix the mortar too wet it will run out of the joints and down the face work too ruining the appearence. Remember no suction.

have fun ;)

Ps I lime based mortar will allow for any movement better than cement based mixes this means it will absorb vibration better. ;)

worth considering ;) it's not that expensive for small jobs like this either.

Edited by swamp thing
Added info

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I still think the concrete block system (shown on another thread) is worth considering, costs around £25 and takes about 15 minutes to make once you have all the components, cellular blocks, paving slab, 10/12mm screwed studding, nuts and washers, masonry drill bit and drill ready. :smiley:

Indeed, I'm sure that would be almost as stable, but the Mrs wanted it to look nice too :)

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resurrecting an old post I know, but just wondered if anyone else had attempted anything like this? 

Or how the original poster is getting on with it?

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resurrecting an old post I know, but just wondered if anyone else had attempted anything like this? 

Or how the original poster is getting on with it?

Mine is still going fine :) just wish the clouds would go away more often. If I was doing it again, I haven't thought of anything I'd do differently, just make sure the base you are building on is solid.

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