How to Quickly and Securely Install a Sculpture Outdoors Without a Concrete Pad

outdoor sculptures

Upward Spiral

Normally I recommend to clients that they bolt their outdoor sculpture to a 4-6″ thick concrete pad with four to eight bolts, depending on the size of the sculpture. The major concerns are high winds and theft. (During the period when the US was selling all its scrap steel to China, one local sculptor had three of his steel sculptures stolen from outside his studio. What a heart breaker. They probably went straight to the scrap yard and then to China.)

Some times, however, I want a temporary installation for an outdoor sculpture, such as in front of our gallery. Then, I can change my mind and move sculptures from place to place or when it’s time to deliver a sculpture, I don’t have to cut the bolts, etc. When done properly, I have had a temporary installation last as long as 7 years (but then we sold the sculpture and the experiment ended). We can get big winds in South West Michigan: 50-60 mph gusts are common, especially in April.

First Attempt – trying a minimalistic approach with this outdoor sculpture. What is the least I have to do? This setup took about two hours, including cutting the wood, rounding up supplies, etc.

But it only lasted a year.

Second Try for an easy Outdoor Sculpture Installation

This procedure was actually easier. I didn’t have to lie on my side to secure the bolt to the doggie auger. The lag bolts are in tight.

What about if the base of the outdoor sculpture is round? You can make a square frame or an octagonal frame. Either way, just make sure there is enough wood to bolt the sculpture to, beneath the mounting holes in the base, and the mounting wood is secured to the frame and secured to the doggie augers.

What about if the mounting system is hidden and there are no holes in the base to secure lag bolts to the pressurized wood? Then you will have to do the trick of lying on your side and removing one side of the frame to work beneath the sculpture. You can screws bolts or eye-bolts into the nuts welded to the bottom of the base, then secure those to the doggie augers. Alternately, you can run thread rod through the eye-bolts and secure that to the outside of the frame.

More Information for Outdoor Sculpture Installation

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