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Essentially, I'd like to put down a concrete pad for a patio, but leave a couple of circular areas within that patio unpaved (for planting shrubs).

I'm familiar with the techniques for using dimensional lumber for angular concrete pads, and even using plywood for curved ones, but is there a clever trick or something for creating say a 3' diameter unpaved area within a concrete pad aside from trying to bend plywood planks into a circle?

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7 Answers 7

up vote 10 down vote accepted

Metal landscape edging (the kind that's held in with stakes) should work fairly well. You could either just leave it there or cover it in plastic and remove it after the concrete sets (personally, I'd leave it).

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Good idea, but it may be hard to make it perfectly round. –  Vebjorn Ljosa Sep 9 '10 at 12:56
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This can be done using Bender Board. You should be able to find it in both wood and recycled plastic.

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When using it to form concrete make sure you use enough stakes to hold the weight of the concrete.

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What about a Rubbermaid container? The kind they have to hold ice and drinks/kegs seems about the size you want.

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You got a link to an image of what you are talking about? I'm not sure I understand what you are describing. –  JohnFx Sep 9 '10 at 15:44
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No I can't find one...but while looking a more obvious answer, a trash can... –  nportelli Sep 9 '10 at 18:22
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Use a upside down 5 gallon bucket, paint can, or anything that is deep enough to not get buried in the concrete. They use several old 5 gallon buckets leftover from construction in our basement.

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A wooden barrel has a 21"-24" diameter at the head. You can usually buy a half barrel at a good nursery/garden center. The advantage is that you can easily dismantle it after the concrete has cured by knocking the staves inward.

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I'd look for something else cheap that is about the correct size, cover it with plastic sheeting and use it to keep the concrete out. Ideally it would be something flexible (or breakable :-)) so you can get it out when you are done.

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That's kind my question. Looking for suggestions on that "something" part. –  JohnFx Jul 21 '10 at 22:03
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Why not first install some nice edging (of brick or otherwise) then concrete up to the edging.

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