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free standing figures

2336 Views 10 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  Richbeast
Hey guys. It has been quite awhile since I have been here. I have made quite a few pvc framed figures over the years, this big guy is an example. Anyway, they have been in my yard in years past, anchored down by rebar. I usually hammer in the rebar right into the soil and leave about a foot above ground. Then I simply slide the pvc pipe legs over the rebar. However, this year I am in charge of a room at a local haunt, and they need to stand on concrete. I realize for most of you this is probably a common sense question I am going to ask, but I have not done it before so figured I would ask you. What is the cheapest, simplest and most effective methods that you have found to stand your props up without anchoring them to the ground? I would like to either be able to convert these guys back, or have them effectively free stand in my yard and withstand wind again next year as well. Any help is appreciated!!! -Rich


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That's a good looking prop.

The easiest way and something I've done is to take a 5 gal bucket and fill with quick set cement. After mixing in some water I'll place a cut down piece of electrical conduit (or you can use PVC) and insert into the bucket. I'll have the pipe sticking up by a foot for instance and then I can slide another piece over the one in the bucket (e.g. 1" might be used in the body of the prop but it's 3/4" in the cement bucket).

I've used this to anchor something like a demon prop that had a robe like costume. The 5 gal buckets won't work for your 2 legged prop so you might need to do a combination of quart sized buckets or paint cans or possibly large boots filled with the cement (kind of adds meaning to sleeping with the fishes).
Hi Richbeast,

If you are using 1 inch schedule 40 PVC for your legs, our mounting bases might work for you. You can mount them on a piece of 3/4" plywood and then just stand your figure up on the base. You can use the included self drilling screws to lock them in place and then when you are done, just pull them back off the bases. http://www.spiderhillpropworks.com/Universal-Mounting-Base_p_12.html

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My method would be to make a wood base from scrap wood, either plywood or 2x lumber, depending how top-heavy the prop is. Then take an end cap for the pvc pipe and shoot a screw or lag bolt through it into the wood base, paint the whole thing black, and when you mount the prop, just stick the ends of the leg pipes into the end cap, and shoot a screw or drill a hole/cotterpin combo to secure the leg pipe to the end cap.
Wooden legs...By using 2x4s for legs I can mount them to a 2' X 2' piece of OSB. I can always mount a piece of PVC to the legs if I am going to put them in the yard.

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I get the stand to an big oscillating fan and paint it black. the back of the figure is connected to the stand.
Plywood base painted to match the floor always works, if you want to disguise the wood further a section of astroturf with a dead flower or weed sticking out of it installed between the base and the prop will add to overall effect.

To mount the prop to the plywood a pipe base flange works great. Screw the flange to the wood and use a 10- 12" nipple sized to fit inside your current slots vs. the re-bar. I used this method to convert a staked yard prop to indoor and its very sturdy. Best part is there is no modification to your prop and set up is super easy. For storage unscrew the nipples from the flange and its just another flat piece of wood.
Oh, I forgot one other thing. If the floor is at all uneven putting a set of furniture style "feet" in the corners will allow you to have a stable platform or level it.
Don't be afraid to think outside the box. Can you hang them from the ceiling, with the feet on the floor? How about a piece sticking out of the wall and into the back of the prop?
Thanks for the help guys!!! I think the flange idea is great, or the simple act of just screwing the pvc fittings to plywood could work. If I have to go the umbrella base way I could as well I suppose. You have been a huge help. I appreciate you guys, as the guys at Home Depot don't quite understand that I'm not doing a normal pipe project. No matter what they look at me like I have two heads. :)
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