Sunday, May 19, 2013

Proof of Concept

Bead and Button is fast approaching and I'm in pretty good shape on the Planning For Classes Front. I've made samples recently enough that I shouldn't have forgotten what comes next while I'm teaching them. I have three or four colour-ways and will bring completed samples in each colour-way for each class. I've assembled far more kits than I have sign-ups.

Not too concerned there.

Meet the Teachers is the thing that's been giving me conniptions though.

We get the eight-foot table and you can't have anything on the floor around it, and anything on top of the table can be no more than three feet high, and therein lies the challenge. 

At previous shows (to which I've had to fly), I made fabric boxes to hold kits that folded flat and assembled with velcro, but they were pretty high maintenance. The kits would get messy and out of order and sort of fall over and the boxes were pretty flimsy even with inside stiffening and they don't hold all that much but this time what with being able to drive there I thought I could do better.

I started thinking about tiered displays, something like magazine racks, and started searching online to buy some. Most seemed too small too big too narrow too wide too tall or less useful in some way or another. Then I saw something that looked like a deck chair, a sling chair, the kind that has a length of fabric suspended between the short ends of a wooden frame, and THEN I saw instructions to make a deck chair and then I started Having Thoughts.

My woodworking skills are minimal, but you don't need to sand or mitre or in fact much of anything if you use PVC pipes. I hear they can be painted, but time could be a factor so that may not happen.

I made one as proof of concept before buying out Lowe's entire stock of half-inch PVC pipes, corners, tees and feet.
 It's missing back feet, but is otherwise what I would characterise as a resounding success. The kits are all visible, it's light and folds flat and the most difficult part (not so difficult) was drilling the holes for the bolts on which the fold/unfold action pivots. I think it might turn out to be rather awkward to trim the bolts (they're about a third of an inch too long), but I might just use them to hang samples and make use of their sticking-out-ness.

I'm feeling awfully self-satisfied right now, which will no doubt pass as soon as I begin cutting three-and-a-quarter inch lengths (ten per unit) for the other four stands that I need to make.
And I also made another colour-way for Cellini Netting.


marsspyder said...

They have spray paint made for plastic at Lowes. I don't see why it wouldn't work for PVC as long as there are no greasy or oily spots. Also, they have a primer in that same line if the plastic colors aren't suitable. Even if you don't paint them, they still look great!

Charlene said...


I bought some spray paint today, and will try it out when I get home after work. Yesterday I glued them (what a stinky job) which has made them really sturdy. I think they'll work out very well.