Frank Lloyd Wright Comes to New Orleans
A step by step guide on how to install large cast stone planters.
Congratulations! You have chosen one of the finest garden planters from one of the most esteemed designers known. Frank Lloyd Wright not only designed great structures but indeed created magnificent garden planters and garden designs. He is recognized the world over as the most prestigious architects in history. Proper installation of these garden planters is necessary for you to enjoy the most from your investment. This article will describe the step by step instructions to effectively install the American Systems Built Vases. We will review the steps you will need to know for delivery, uncrating, transporting, and assembly of these stunning garden planters.
Now that you have prepared your garden for receipt of your concrete garden planter you are ready for delivery. The freight delivery company will call you the day before your delivery to make sure there will be someone available to accept the delivery. When your planters arrive the delivery person will ask if there is a particular are at the curbside you wish the crate to be positioned. The crate will only be set on the curbside of your home. This means that, in most cases, this will be an open space on the street. After unloading the crate it is time for you to inspect the crate and contents. You inspect the crate as it is without any uncrating or unwrapping. Inspect the crate and look for any signs of damage to the crate boards or wrapping. The crate boards should be intact with no fractures, or large dents. The plastic wrapping seen around the vases should be intact. There should be no rips or displacement of any kind of the plastic wrapping. If there is any damage, write on the delivery receipt an exact description of what you see. When you sign the delivery receipt your will receive a copy.
If you have purchased more than one planter, one planter will usually be positioned on the top with the other at the bottom. If this is the case of your crate you should carefully uncrate the top portion first, unload the base and the urn and then proceed with uncrating the bottom planter. You will need the following tools to uncrate your garden planter: hammer, wedge or crow bar, and scissors. You may also use a saw which is optional, but special care must be used when operating large tools which could damage the planter. Also, if electric tools are used please follow all safety instructions. Take special care not to saw near or around nails embedded in the wooden planks. Using a crow bar carefully remove the top covering. This should come off relatively easy. Next remove only the wooden diagonal planks that cross the sides of the top receptacle. You will only have to remove the diagonal planks the top receptacle from the side you intend to do the unloading. Do not remove or cut the vertical support planks. The vertical planks need not be removed and should remain intact to support the crate until unloading is completed. Do not remove the bottom diagonal planks until the top receptacle is unloaded an only remove the wooden planks from the side from which you will be unloading.
The top board can usually be removed with a hammer wedge or crowbar. The nails used to secure the crate will be submerged into the wood and the nail heads will not be available to remove with a hammer. The best way to remove the nailed planks is to use a crowbar and pry them apart. You may use a saw to saw the planks if preferred. If this is done take caution not to saw into a nail. Carefully inspect your intended saw line and make sure there are no nails present in either direction for at least 6 inches.
Once you have removed all the wood needed to unload the top planter you may begin remove the clear plastic wrap securing the planter and the base. There are two layers of plastic wrap. The outermost layers secure the planter to the crate. The inner layers adhere to the garden planter itself and do not connect to the crate. Using a scissors carefully cut the exposed outer plastic wrap and remove. Leave the inner layers intact as this will help protect the edges of the garden planter until installation is complete.
Unload the base and the planter onto a flat dolly. First, unload the base onto the dolly and then transport it to the area near to where it will be installed. Then unload the urn and transport it in the same manner. The top of garden planter should be placed touching the dolly with the bottom portion facing up. Otherwise, it should be unloaded upside down onto the dolly. This will add to the stability when transporting. The American Systems Built House Vase has no gripping surface and therefore you will most probably need assistance to unload the urn onto the dolly. At least two people are recommended to unload this urn. A flat dolly will provide a stable transport system. A vertical dolly is not recommended since stabilization would require securing the vase to the dolly and much more effort would be needed for transport.
Unload all of the items from the top compartment before beginning the uncrating of the bottom. Unload both the base and the urn from the top first.
Follow the same steps for the bottom garden planter and its base. Take care not to have any contact with any sharp or hard tools with the planter. Although these planters are very hard, they can be damaged with metal tools such as hammers and crowbars.
Before you transport your garden planters prepare an area to place your urns. A good type of surface to use is old carpet or other sturdy soft material. You may lay the bases on any hard surface or concrete, however, do not do this for the garden urns. Since you will need to turn and reposition the urns into place the weight of the planter against a hard concrete surface can damage the edges.
Transport the base first on a flat dolly to an area near where it will be installed and remove from the dolly. Then transport the urn of the garden planter to the same area. Do not attempt to transport both the base and urn at the same time with the same dolly. When transporting the garden planter urn one person should follow and hold the top portion of the garden planter to ensure it does not tip.
First inspect your garden surface and ensure that it is level. You may use a carpenter’s level for this. Unlevel surfaces should be made level before installation.
To ensure proper drainage the garden planters are elevated about 3 cm with rubber planter feed. Four to six rubber planter feet will arrive with your planter. Carefully turn each base onto a soft surface such as a carpet like material. Adhere the rubber planter feet to the base using clear water based silicone. Allow to dry before proceeding with positioning the planter bases. Read the instructions on the can of silicone to determine the drying time.
After the planter feet are secured to the base position the base to the area of installation. Note that the base contains the Frank Lloyd Wright signature plaque. Position this side to the front.
Silicone is applied to both the planter base and inside the planter receptacle of the urn. Use clear water proof silicone. One container will be used per planter. Apply the silicone when you know you have the urns positioned in the lifting apparatus and ready for lifting. First apply the silicone to the entire base head. Then apply enough silicone to the horizontal surface of the base head so that the entire horizontal surface will be covered. Some oozing of silicone is expected after positioning the urn to the base head, but do not apply so much silicone as to cause excessive oozing. Simply wipe off any excess silicone.
Positioning the Planter on the Base
Now that you have your bases positioned you are ready to lift and position your urns onto the bases. The urns must be lowered vertically onto the base heads. They should not be rolled are tilted into place. In order to vertically lower the urns onto the base head a lifting apparatus must be made. Please see below on how to make this simple lift out.
To attach the lift to the garden planters assemble the wooden braces together and place on the bottom side of the urn. The side of the lift should make contact with the planter 1/3 to ½ ways up from the bottom of the urn. Make sure there is a soft surface such as carpet to roll the bottom part of the urn. While holding the brace in place roll the planter onto the carpet keeping the four wooden brace lift locks intact. After the garden planter is upright reposition the lift apparatus so that it is level on all sides. Now you are ready to lift the garden planter onto the base. You may lift the planter with two or more people from opposite sides of the planter. Lift the planter above the level of the top of the base top and then slowly lower the bottom planter hole onto the cone of the base. When complete check to see that the edges of the planter bottom align with the top of the base edge. Reposition as needed. Remove any excess silicone that may have oozed through the seam.
Finishing with Silicone
After the urn is positioned on the base and alignment of the edges is complete it is time to fill in the space between the planter and the base cone with silicone. With a caulk gun fill the entire space starting with the bottom most portions and working your way up the top. Be generous in the amount of silicone used. The aim is to fill the entire space. When the silicone reaches the top smooth out the silicone with your finger. Congratulations! Your installation is complete. Wait until the silicone is completely dry before adding soil or water.
Building the Lift Apparatus
Building the lift apparatus is quite simple and the apparatus can be used for any planter. The supplies you will need are 4 wooden 2 x 6” planks approximately 60 -65 inches in length, an electrical saw, a hammer, a wedge, carpet or similar soft material, and duct tape. The lift will create a square that is smaller than the mid portion of the garden planter. When the apparatus is positioned under the planter the lift will be created when the planter cradles inside this square.
First you will need to determine the size of the square. Find a point anywhere on the planter that is about 1/3 to less than ½ the way up from the bottom of the planter. Measure the horizontal distance of the planter at this point. This is the length of the sides of your square. Next measure the width of the small sides of your wooden plank. This will be the length of the four grooves cut into the wooden planks. Find and mark the middle point of each plank. From each side of this mark measure ½ of the length of your square. For instance, if you determined that the length of your square was 20 inches, measure 10 inches from each side of your midpoint. This is the outer most portion of your square. Next, measure from this point toward the end of the wooden plank the distance of the side of your small sides of your planks. You should get an area that is about 2-3 inches in length on each board. This will be the site of each groove. The depth of the groove should be between 1/3 to ½ down. Measure this and mark. Check your measurements again for accuracy.
After your grooves have been marked use an electrical saw to cut into the groove. Cut several times to create what will look like a fork when finished. Only cut down to the mark you have measured. Using a wedge and a hammer, chisel out the small pieces of wood to open up the grove. The bottom of the grove does not have to be exactly even. Position the apparatus into the groove to check for a fit. Remove any extra wood as needed.
After all of the groove have been made and the planks fit together wrap the four sides of the square with carpet. Secure the carpet to the planks with duct tape.
Frank Lloyd Wright reproductions offer exceptional designs for landscapes and gardens. Installation of your concrete garden planter can sometimes be completed by the homeowner with the right tools and resources. Professional installers are recommended for installation of large garden planters. Whether large or small planters are chosen for your garden Frank Lloyd Wright replicas will bring you enjoyment for years to come.