I am installing 9 new street signs on poles as soon as they arrive from the custom sign company. The poles are aluminum and the holes are going to be 12" in diameter and 24" deep. I would like to pour a round base at the top of the hole, at the base of the pole which will be 18" in diameter and a total of 12" tall, 9" of the height sticking out of the hole.
The base is to protect the pole from lawn mowers, grass trimmers, etc. I would like the edges of the base to be smooth finished obviously as well as the top of the base. Wondering what others suggest I use for a form to get the smooth finish.
I thought about cutting 5 gallon bucket and using the plastic for a form so the sides would be fairly smooth. But there are 9 sign posts, so that would be a lot plastic buckets and cutting........
The round cement form tubes are also another possibility and would be easier to cut. I don't know how easy the tubes remove once the cement sets up. Also, how smooth would the sides of the cement in the tubes be or would they be porous because of the cement not being finished in the sides of the tube. I am not sure if they make those cement tubes 18" in diameter, as most I have seen are 12" in diameter or smaller.
So looking for ideas and suggestions for the forms. I don't want to pour the entire hole 18" in diameter as I don't need that much cement in the hole for the post and should the pole need to be removed, I don't want to need a crane to get it out of the ground.....
The posts are fluted and made of aluminum and powder coated. I thought about inserting a PVC sleeve in the ground around which to pour the cement and then having the sleeve stick up about 2" above the 18" round base. Then, I could drill the sign post and the PVC tube and use a stainless spring pin to hold the post in place so it doesn't rotate inside the PVC sleeve. If I need to replace the pole or pull it for repairs, etc. it would be much easier than having the post anchored directly in the cement.
The base of the poles have cast accent pieces which are about 18" tall that slide over the pole and are secured with a stainless set screw. This way, the pin and the plastic sleeve would actually be underneath the removable base cover piece and not visible. Just wondering what others think of the PVC sleeve idea instead of directly cementing the pole in. As long as the poles fit snugly inside the PVC so it doesn't "wobble", I can't think of any downsides to the sleeve idea.
The poles are 12' long and the signs and details have to added when the pole is set in the ground. The poles are drilled and tapped for mounting the signs, instead of using any clamps, band straps or external fasteners. With the sleeve, I could assemble the sign poles completely and position them in the sleeve and pin them in place and then slide the cast base cover piece over the retention pin and secure it with the stainless set screws. It would be easier than cementing the sign post in place and then having to assemble the signs onto the top of the post working off a ladder..........Plus if the poles get damaged it would be easier to replace them.
Thoughts on the best forms to get a smooth finish on the sides of the concrete? Also which forms will be easier to remove from the cement and give me the best end product?
I thought about other shapes for the bases but if there are any edges on them they will chip from the mower decks over time and look terrible. Round bases eliminate the edges and hopefully look nice longer.
Thanks for suggestions and tips............