The stand

If you have missed Part 2 click here

The next stage of production was the stand for the base of the owl lectern. I needed to make the owl and the stand in two pieces for ease of storage. I didn’t know how I was going to join them together yet, for now I will just concentrate on the stand and worry about how to attach it later.

I had found a thick cardboard roll in the waste room at work and thought it would make a good upright piece for the stand.

In my original drawing I had a flattened oval kind of thing for the base. Leon and I glued some foam together and when it was fully dried we started to shape it with a hand held hot foam cutter that we had to make for a few different jobs. When we had roughly the shape we wanted we finished it of with sandpaper.

Next were the feet, as you might have guessed foam isn’t that strong so I needed to strengthen them some how. I cut a piece of 3mm (1/8”) mdf to the exact shape of the feet and glued foam to either side and shaped them as in my drawing.

These had to fixed in place so they wouldn’t move under any  circumstance . When cutting the feet out of the mdf, we allowed an extra 100mm (4”) so we could slide this part of the mdf into the foam base  and glue in place.

We also needed to add some extra weight to the base to make it bottom heavy and stabilize it. As the last thing we wanted was for it to fall over and break. A friend of mine was cleaning out his garage and he gave me a heap of screws, pulleys, rope and other rubbish. He brought it over as a joke but to me nothing is rubbish, I will always find a use for it.

Anyway in all that rubbish were some small round weights, perfect for weighting the base of my project. I cut out two slots and wedged the weights in tight.

Tip: Before the glue had set on the feet, make sure that the cardboard roll is perfectly plumb, this is where a spirit level is invaluable.

I didn’t use Araldite to glue the feet as I wanted to be able to make any final adjustments necessary so I used normal PVA glue which works great and sets hard when allowed to fully dry.

Now comes the interesting part, connecting it all together. The small round foam ball needed to sit on top of the cardboard roll, Chester needed to sit on the ball and it all had to be perfectly balanced so as not to tip over.

I had a look around my garage to see what I had that would fit snuggly over the cardboard roll. What I found was the cap of a spray can and it did the job. All I needed to do was to wrap some duct tape around the cardboard roll a few times to get the snug fit I needed.

Now that part was sorted, I cut a hole in the bottom of the foam ball, wedged and glued the cap in place. For this I used Araldite. Now I could place the owl on the ball and get an overall view on how my proportions were looking compared to my drawings. I must say they were spot on and it was coming to life, so to speak.

Back to the base. The bottom of the base needed to look like there was something supporting the centre pole. I cut out some foam pieces into the shape I in my drawing. Bevelled the edges with a sharp blade and placed them around the entire base. When I was happy with the balance of it, I glued them in place with normal PVA glue and left them to dry.

I then had to do something similar at the top under the ball to balance it all out. I decided to make something that looked like it was cradling the foam ball. It also had to have some clearance around it to make it easy to remove the ball and owl for storage at a latter date.

In my detailed drawing I had a decorative element wrapping around the cardboard roll. As I began to think about making this part, it occurred to me that I could turn this into a snake .

Hmmm…. Interesting……

Click to go to Part 4

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