When you want the ultimate strength from your FormBoss® steel garden edging installation, you should consider concrete haunching. Concrete haunching is a quick and easy way to give your edge all the strength you could possibly need. By doing this you’re reinforcing the lower part of the edging and giving it a solid base to sit in, which will add to the overall longevity, strength, and make your installation practically vandal proof. Here is a picture from the Sydney Botanical garden showing an example of how continuous concrete haunching can be done.
Using a float to even out the surface of the concrete and to compact it slightly will make for a stronger haunch. This is done in conjunction with the tapered stakes which gives it further anchorage. You can do a continuous haunch for maximum strength, or you can use “blobs” of concrete on the stakes to save a bit of time and material.
The preparation work involves a bit more digging than usual, as you need about a 100mm wide trench to sit the edging and concrete in. For large commercial jobs consisting of hundreds of meters of edging it can be a great time saver if an excavator or Bobcat can be used to dig the trenches. As a general rule of thumb a wheelbarrow of concrete mix will do about 10m of haunching.
A picture of the finished results at the Woolloomooloo Gates, Sydney Botanical Gardens, NSW
Because FormBoss® is so flexible prior to installation, you’re able to create concrete form work in just about any shape you could imagine.
What to do?
Simply install the edging with the lip of edging facing outwards from your area to be concreted.
You will not need to dig the FormBoss® into the ground as far as usual, just make sure the toe of the edging is under the soil to avoid concrete spilling from underneath the edge.
Why use FormBoss® for form work?
We offer three different finishes of the FormBoss® Steel edging system, REDCOR® Steel, galvanised, ZAM® and stainless steel by special demand. If you are after a more unique look for your garden beds and edges you can paint the steel whatever colour you desire!
If you’ve decided you want a unique colour for your FormBoss® edges, you’ll need to start with galvanised steel. The paint will stick much better than the REDCOR® Steel, and you have to break the bank to pay for the stainless.
Step 1: You’re going to need to shape up all your curves and angles before you start painting. The paint will crack off if you start shaping the steel after painting (unless it’s specialized paint, which will generally be quite expensive).
Step 2: Get some methylated spirits and wipe down any surfaces that will be painted with a rag. This will ensure the thin film of grease that preserves the shelf life doesn’t disturb your paint job.
Step 3: Wash down the edging with a hose so all of the methylated spirits is removed from the surface. Leave it to dry.
Step 4: Talk to your local paint store to ensure you buy a paint that will be adhesive. You will need to tell them that you’re painting hot dip galvanised steel, and that it needs to be durable enough to stand up to outdoor weather. Different paints will vary in their application instructions, be sure to talk to your local specialist about best practices and read all the instructions on the paint before starting.
This is a shortlist of acceptable and unacceptable paints taken from the “American Galvanizers Association”. Take the time to have a look around their website, there is a lot more great information on preparing and painting your steel, and a huge resource of information on galvanised steel in general.
|Acrylics||Sometimes||If the pH of the paint is high, problems may occur do to ammonia reacting with zinc|
|Aliphatic Polyurethanes||Yes||If used as a top coat for a polyamide epoxy primer, it is considered a superior duplex system|
|Alkyds||No||The alkaline zinc surface causes the alkyds to saponify, causing premature peeling|
|Asphalts||No||Petroleum base is usually not recommended for use on galvanised steel|
|Bituminous||Yes||Used for parts that are to be buried in soil|
|Chlorinated Rubbers||Yes||High VOC content has severely limited their availability|
|Coal Tar Epoxies||Sometimes||Rarely used, only if parts are to be buried in soil|
|Epoxies||Sometimes||If paint is specifically manufactured for use with galvanised steel|
|Epoxy-Polyamide Cured||Yes||Has superior adherence to galvanised steel|
|Latex-Acrylics||Yes||Has the added benefit of being environmentally friendly|
|Latex Water-Based||Sometimes||Consult paint manufacturer|
|Oil-Based||Sometimes||Consult paint manufacturer|
|Portland Cement in Oil||Yes||Has superior adherence to galvanised steel|
|Silicones||No||Not for use directly over galvanised steel, can be beneficial in high temperature systems with base coat|
|Vinyls||Yes||Usually requires profiling, high VOCs have severely limited their availability|
|Powder Coating||Yes||Powder coatings generally work exceptionally well over galvanised|
Steps can easily be created using FormBoss® metal edging profiles to form a strong and durable front face to a step. They are very popular in our REDCOR® Steel version, because of the natural organic weathered look, it also offers a natural anti-slip feature as the edge is textured. Our Galvanised steel can blend in very well since grey is a neutral colour, and can look fantastic in modern buildings. Using FormBoss® for steps gives you total freedom of design, you can have them straight, curved, with angles or why not create something completely unique. We offer a wide range of profiles to suit almost any step height, and utilize our wide range of our angled stakes to make sure they remain strong and secure after many years of use.
Displaying how angled stakes reinforce your step, before back filling over the screws.
The installation process is basically the same as a standard installation, with a few exceptions. Please refer back to the video and standard installation instructions for the basics:
Having clean creative steps can really do a lot for your design. Make sure to find a nice crushed rock to finish your steps with, crushed rock will drain really well, and comes in many different colours. This is steps like never before, FormBoss™ allows you to have complete control over your design!
What’s your next step?