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A simple, Elegant, Low-Effort Display -- a Fantasy?


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#1 Isculpt

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 10:16 AM

I have designed and built several nice displays in my 30 years in the business of art/craft shows. But they are all too weighty, to fiddly, too needy of a helper, too oversized, -- you get the idea. I'm looking for thoughts about a portable display that can be handled by one person. I have mesh walls, so the display doesn't need to provide a backdrop. Years ago, I saw an attractive pedestal solution that was made out of incredibly thick, strong cardboard (?) tubes. The tubes were so strong that the potter packed his pots inside them to carry, then emptied them out to use as pedestals at a show. Does anyone have any idea where I could get something like that? Or a similar pedestal idea?
thanks, Jayne

#2 pjc0602

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 11:23 AM

At Lowes, in the concrete section, there are very sturdy cardboard pillars/tubes that would make great pedestals. You could cut them to size.

Good luck!

#3 SShirley

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 11:32 AM

U-Line carries long skinny square boxes in heavy weight cardboard, and they even come in white. I actually thought of getting some of those to make pedestals, much like you suggest. I thought I would cut off the folding flaps and make bases and tops out of MDF. Sort of smaller squares screwed onto larger squares to form a lip. So the base would go down, the cardboard would fit over the smaller square, then the top would go on. It would be easy to break them down for travel and storage. If you try it, let us know how it goes. I'm really curious.

#4 SShirley

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 11:39 AM

Here's a U-line link. I didn't find the heavyier white one right away, but you could call them and ask.
http://www.uline.com...orrugated-Boxes

#5 Diane Puckett

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 08:33 PM

If you google tall cardboard cylinder, some possibilities show up, including a place called Yazoo that has cardboard cylinders up to 30" diameter. I also found this Cemetube , and they look to be sturdy and waterproof. They probably cost a fortune but might be worth looking into.

If you make something lightweight, how will you stabilize the setup so things do not get knocked over?
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#6 Isculpt

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 11:48 PM

Thanks to all of you. Lowes' concrete formers -- why didn't I think of that? I'll bet that's what the potter that I remember was using.

Shirley, as a cabinet installer, let me suggest you go with plywood rather than MDF. MDF is much heavier and prone to sag. I've seen it sag as bookcase shelves even in fairly short lengths, and it is much heavier than plywood.

In answer to Diane, regarding stabilizing the pedestals: Before I started working in clay, I exhibited my wood carvings at shows up and down the east coast for 20 years, and my favorite display was composed of white mesh walls with pedestals made from tall cardboard boxes that I painted white and cut to two heights. (see attached image) The tops & bottoms were made from 1/4" plywood, with a "collar" made from 1" pre-finished faux wood molding that hugged the pedestal and squared it up. The collar was glued and nailed to the underside of the 1/4" plywood. I carried gallon baggies of sand, which I dropped into the plywood bottom before fitting the cardboard pedestal into it. The pedestals were backed up to the mesh walls and grouped together, which gave them stability. Those boxes were fine for lightweight carvings, but they weren't strong enough to support the weight of pottery. That's why I was wondering about much thicker and sturdier cardboard for the pedestals. I thought I'd have to use round pedestals to gain strength, but I still have all those tops and bottoms, 16" and 20" square, and it would be great if I could use them. I'm going to check into Uline and Yazoo and see if their boxes are heavy enough for pottery display. As a note to anyone contemplating this kind of display, I will say that trying to level the bottoms was a little time consuming at an outdoor show with uneven ground. I carried a 9" level since I couldn't put the cardboard box into the plywood bottom until it was leveled. I also carried a selection of 1/2" to 2" blocks to put under the plywood bottom until I got it level, side-to-side and back-to-front. I used the cardboard boxes that my mesh walls were shipped in as a carry-container for the flattened cardboard boxes. I won a lot of "Best Booth" awards with this display and a checkerboard floor covering!

Jayne

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#7 Mark C.

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 01:58 AM

My pedestals are over 20 years old and all stack together in three sizes . They have been in countless shows and are light. I carry a pack of tapered shims ( for door and window trim outs) as well as the usual 3/8-3/4 blocks of wood but these larger sizes are more for my other displays more than the pedestals-the tapered shims do the bulk of the pedestals.
They are made with thin 1/4 inch plywood (if I recall birch or mahogany) covered with formica which is glued on with contact cement-I recover them every 10 years or so. The inside bottom of box as well as the seems at corners have glue solid wood strips for reinforcement-I'll post a show photo of them after the post at a few shows a few years back-they live nested on their side in van always.
These are light and nest and will hold whatever you want on them-They look sort of like yours in photo but are much thinner and lighter. You will need wood skills to make them and it sounds like you have that. They are light enough for anyone to handle.
As far as the cardboard ones I have a glass blower friend who use the larger sono tubes (they are named that-cardboard used to pour concrete into) He uses the larger 20 inch to 30 inch ones and covers them with fabric like pro panels uses-Or you can paint them but you will have to a lot as they skuff up fast.
The tops are held on with velco (downward ) so they stay put.
Mark

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  • Attached File  ped1.jpg   60.08KB   165 downloads

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#8 Isculpt

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 12:02 PM

My pedestals are over 20 years old and all stack together in three sizes . They have been in countless shows and are light. I carry a pack of tapered shims ( for door and window trim outs) as well as the usual 3/8-3/4 blocks of wood but these larger sizes are more for my other displays more than the pedestals-the tapered shims do the bulk of the pedestals.
They are made with thin 1/4 inch plywood (if I recall birch or mahogany) covered with formica which is glued on with contact cement-I recover them every 10 years or so. The inside bottom of box as well as the seems at corners have glue solid wood strips for reinforcement-I'll post a show photo of them after the post at a few shows a few years back-they live nested on their side in van always.
These are light and nest and will hold whatever you want on them-They look sort of like yours in photo but are much thinner and lighter. You will need wood skills to make them and it sounds like you have that. They are light enough for anyone to handle.
As far as the cardboard ones I have a glass blower friend who use the larger sono tubes (they are named that-cardboard used to pour concrete into) He uses the larger 20 inch to 30 inch ones and covers them with fabric like pro panels uses-Or you can paint them but you will have to a lot as they skuff up fast.
The tops are held on with velco (downward ) so they stay put.
Mark


Mark, this sounds like a great idea. I don't quite follow the sentence "The inside bottom of box as well as the seems at corners have glue solid wood strips for reinforcement-they live nested on their side in van always." Is it the bottom piece that has wood strips at the corners & seams or the tall box itself? So, I'm getting that they nest, rather than fold flat? (I had been imagining using piano hinges to make plywood boxes that fold flat, but that seems waaaay too much work!) You carry three of them, and they nest in the van, but I would need to use them as my total display, so I'd need about 9 of them...no way to nest that many and still have van space, I'm afraid! So, am I understanding your pedestals correctly?

#9 Mark C.

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 03:22 PM

I'll take a photo of them in van from inside so you can see them-This will not happen for a few days-I have my 18 day sale going and am glazing and firing just about round the clock-I see some time for this early next week.
Mark
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#10 Mark C.

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 06:34 PM

Jayne
Here's what two look like nested and unnested-the large one has reinforced inner bottom rails and also some added squares in corners as seen. The smaller ones only have side and top wood strips-all of this is inside the out side is all white formica-these are very strong and light.
PM me if you have any more questions.This is an easy job for one with a wood shop-I had these made originally but could do them myself if I wasn't so busy with pottery making. The edges are trimmed down with a electric trimmer or you can use a router.
Mark
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#11 Isculpt

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 06:48 PM

Jayne
Here's what two look like nested and unnested-the large one has reinforced inner bottom rails and also some added squares in corners as seen. The smaller ones only have side and top wood strips-all of this is inside the out side is all white formica-these are very strong and light.
PM me if you have any more questions.This is an easy job for one with a wood shop-I had these made originally but could do them myself if I wasn't so busy with pottery making. The edges are trimmed down with a electric trimmer or you can use a router.
Mark


Thanks so much, Mark. I see that, by making slimmer and slimmer pedestals, quite a few could be nested in the van. Hmmm. I was so intent on fold-flat boxes, that nesting is something I never would have come up with! I hope that your show goes well, and thanks again for taking the time to help me out. Jayne

#12 AtomicAxe

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Posted 10 March 2013 - 07:44 PM

the stackable boxes are a nice idea.

Mine are actually modified concrete tubes ... I cut mine into 18" sections, then attached to the top and bottom of each tube a plywood ring (simple router cut to have and inner hole and groove line the same circumfirance as the tube then epoxy in place) ... and has 4 corrosponding bolt holes to attach them all together so I can actually have different heights depending on the pieces. A few top pieces are cut as well (same as rings without the hole) ... you could probably do the same thing as a transport for larger pieces ... just cut a top plate and bottom plate.

#13 Mark C.

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Posted 11 March 2013 - 01:19 AM

One last note on these formica covered boxes-I have used them since the mid 80's-12-15 shows for almost 20 years and the last 5 years about 9-10 shows. I have recovered them with new formica twice.
I do not think a sono tube for concrete (cardboard) will work as long as far as holding up. The 1/4 plywood (birch or hardwood) will last a long time and you can stack a load on it in auto.
I keep smaller boxes of pots inside mine on way to show.
I have a glass blower friend who has larger tubes and keeps his glass in them . He coated them with a stiff coating and thin carpet-the tops come off and they nest large to small.
Mark
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#14 Frankiegirl

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 09:03 AM

My pedestals are over 20 years old and all stack together in three sizes . They have been in countless shows and are light. I carry a pack of tapered shims ( for door and window trim outs) as well as the usual 3/8-3/4 blocks of wood but these larger sizes are more for my other displays more than the pedestals-the tapered shims do the bulk of the pedestals.
They are made with thin 1/4 inch plywood (if I recall birch or mahogany) covered with formica which is glued on with contact cement-I recover them every 10 years or so. The inside bottom of box as well as the seems at corners have glue solid wood strips for reinforcement-I'll post a show photo of them after the post at a few shows a few years back-they live nested on their side in van always.
These are light and nest and will hold whatever you want on them-They look sort of like yours in photo but are much thinner and lighter. You will need wood skills to make them and it sounds like you have that. They are light enough for anyone to handle.
As far as the cardboard ones I have a glass blower friend who use the larger sono tubes (they are named that-cardboard used to pour concrete into) He uses the larger 20 inch to 30 inch ones and covers them with fabric like pro panels uses-Or you can paint them but you will have to a lot as they skuff up fast.
The tops are held on with velco (downward ) so they stay put.
Mark



Mark - What I am most impressed by are your shelves. Did you purchase those or make them? I have a similar one that I purchased from a friend but I would like more and have no idea where I can get them. They fold down so nicely and flat for easy transport and work well in many situations.




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