Monday, August 6, 2012

Sonotube Containers

In 2007 I decided to try showing some work at a couple of summer art/craft shows.  One of the issues was making a display system and also there was the problem of transporting the heavy pieces without getting them banged up.
This idea isn’t original with me.  I adapted my system from some of the blacksmith meeting gallery displays I had seen.  I purchased 16” sonotube cylinders at a local hardware store and cut them into 2’ sections.  I got some 2” thick blueboard and cut out circles which would fit inside.  The bottom one was glued in place.  I learned a bit about proper adhesives for the job after trying one which dissolved the plastic.
The top circles were about 20” diameter and cut from hardiboard.  One of the blueboard circles was centered and glued to the hardiboard to help it fit securely in place.  All exterior surfaces were painted white.
The containers were sturdy and I thought the concrete tops might be good insurance against a sudden summer shower.  For transporting, I put the cylinder inside a heavy-duty contractors trash bag, put the ironwork inside the cylinder, added protective packing material, then pulled up the bag and tied it so there was complete weather protection.  The lids were all placed in a couple of other trash bags.
When we set up at a show it was relatively easy to move each cylinder on a hand cart, untie, unpack the ironwork, put the bag and packing back inside the cylinder where it was out of sight, put on a lid and arrange the ironwork on the display pedestal.
I’d say it all worked pretty well.  I’ve thought about using pieces of sonotube with blueboard ends as shipping containers but haven’t actually tired it.
I don’t do shows anymore so the containers just serve to store finished items and keep them protected. I enjoyed the show experiences except for the effort involved in getting there and back and the setup and take down.  It seems like an activity suited for the young or for crafts that don’t involve a medium as heavy as iron.

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