Friday, September 24, 2021

Custom Display Stands - Part 2

One of the four modular print displays that I designed and built

Last week I shared with you the first of two posts covering the design and construction of new custom print displays for my convention setup. As mentioned in the first post, I spent a lot of time designing, planning, and prepping for the construction of the displays. I didn't want to leave anything up to chance, which was one of the main reasons I created the cardstock mockup of the display. With everything planned and squared away, I purchased the wood and hardware, and it was time to finally build these much-needed displays. 

This past weekend, I set aside the time and got to work. I typically shy away from these sorts of endeavors (for a myriad of reasons that I will not get into today). Still, after all options were exhausted to purchase or customize an existing display, I was left with building my own as the only avenue forward. In the end, making the displays I needed was the only real option, which took time to accept. I lived with the cardstock mockup for several weeks to think about it, make sure it was what I needed, and it was able to do everything I could ever need for the foreseeable future. Sometimes it takes time to process a project and mentally prepare for it. By the time this past weekend rolled around, I was confident that it was only a matter of going through the motions to see them completed. Much to my delight, I was correct. The first thing I did was cut all the wood into the components to make the four displays.

The most consistent length needed was 25", so I made sure to start with a perfect 25" board and then based all other cuts and measurements on that first ideal board. It did not fail me, and everything came out uniform and consistent. 
Once the boards were all cut, it was time to build. I concentrated on a single display at first, making sure all the measurements and planning were correct. Some things had to change and needed to be modified as I went, but that was expected. My mockup was cardstock, and I was not working in wood and the thickness of the material needed to be taken into account once the final construction was happening. This is the basic form, a two-tier shelf.
One of the main features of these modular displays is that the supports for the top tier need to be removable. This not only helps them be more practical, but it also makes them easier to transport. Once all the supports were cut, I clamped them together and marked out where the bolts would go, and drilled them all at once. This ensures that they are all uniform and interchangeable. The last thing I need is for them to be paired with a specific display. That would make setting up a nightmare.
The back of the display was always going to have a little foot. This is due to standard board sizes and the fact that I did not want to sheer off the extra for each board. The foot also allows a more significant footing for the entire display. It turned out that I over purchased some of the smaller boards and Dear Wife suggested that I use it to make a little lip for the back, as it is on the front. This would make a little catch-all space to store things that usually do not have a home on our table setup. I had just enough wood to make this happen, and it really finished off the back nicely.

Making the sideboards was the most challenging part of the process, and I had to wait till I had one completed display so that I could get the final measurements. Once cut and attached, it really finished off the entire build and proved that I was not crazy to set out to make these. 

Once the first display was completed, I did a happy dance and got back to work making the other three. Now that the first was done and all the final measurements were locked in, the construction sped up dramatically and got easier with each one. Now that they were built, I handed them off to Dear Wife, and she painted them all in a paint she picked out for them. Two coats and some drying time later, I had four great looking displays.

In the first configuation, the displays hold two prints each. This is the smallest profile and allows a little space on the top tier for self-standing items.

Configuration two has a single rear support and will display three prints. This will allow me to more cleanly show an odd number of images or leave an opening in the wall of prints so that there is a sightline to items behind the displays. This setup will go nicely with another display mirroring the configuration.

Configuration three is the standard setup and will likely be the one most used. It holds four prints and creates a wall of art, allowing people to come up and look and touch the prints of their choice. 

Configuration four combines two displays and allows for the presentation of six prints while also taking up less table space. In the future, this may come in handy as the number of prints available increases while the tablespace at events stays the same.

Configuration five flips the display around and over and allows for a slightly different arrangement. This setup enables the display to handle a larger amount of oversized items while being visually still similar to the other displays. 

I can not wait to have them out at IX next month filled with my new fine art prints. While I currently only need three displays, I went ahead and made four. You never know when an extra display will come in handy, and I am building for the future. It is likely in the coming years that I will need to make additional displays, but I will cross that bridge when I get to it.

That's all for another exciting week on the blog. See you back here on Monday! Until then...

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