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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Do you have a special tool or piece of equipment that you've rigged to make your prop-building go faster and easier? Or use readily available items to substitute for a tool you don't have? If so, please share!

Here's mine - I have been doing a lot of paper mache work, and created this to help me with gargoyle wings. There are a number of other drying/propping applications it could be used for.

When doing wings with paper mache and clay, it can be difficult to shape the wings properly. They must be dried in the shape you want them in, which means a lot of finagling (sp?) with props and weights. It usually takes at least 3-4 tries to get it right.

A redo means at least an extra hour of labor, plus several hours of drying time. A screw up while the clay is drying takes even more time.

So I stripped an umbrella, and bent in the outer spokes, attaching them to the right adjacent spoke with fishing line. This forms a flexible and thin outer ring that can hold weight.

Unscrewed the umbrella handle, hot glued it to the inside of a box and tada! A sturdy mount.

Now I can dry both wings in the right positions without having to use any props or weights, and they turn out right the first time. Also, I can dry both sides at the same time - the old method meant flipping the wing over, re-propping, etc.

With as much time as it takes to do the wings...well, for me, this is freaking awesome.

So what do you use to make life easier? :)

Room Table


Display case


Table Glass Furniture


Results WITH wing dryer:

Horn Sculpture Demon Art Figurine


Results WITHOUT wing dryer:

Sculpture Figurine Art Gargoyle Statue
 

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Great idea for a thread - that umbrella frame stand is brilliant and the PVC painting one as well.

Here's my two:



There is a Lazy Susan on that head stand which allows me to turn the head as needed. You can also make them bigger to hold an entire prop dummy:




Here's another tool:



Love the Stanley SureForm Shaver and also it's spent blades. I snap them in half and hold it in my fingers and it 'claws' foam like the devil. It allows me to quickly shape foam in tight places.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Lazy susan...that's brilliant! I'm going to do one of those to put my gargoyles on as a working base. That's such a great idea, why didn't I think of something like that? This is going to make my life so much easier, thank you for posting that! :)

Cool trick with the shaver as well. I don't get to work with foam very much, no way of getting the large foam sheets home. 5 giant sheets of foamboard in my driveway right now would be better than Christmas morning for me. ;)
 

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Glad you like the Lazy Susan idea. On the head one I had installed a long, thick screw in the center of it and her head is on it like a spike. Later on I needed a base for a horse's head that had PVC for a skeleton and so that's why you also see the two PVC bases. Those easily screw on or off.

For the full sized one there is a metal pipe threaded base and the dummy has a metal pipe as a spine. So, she just threads on or off. Hopefully you see that in this picture of the two bases in storage:

 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I have some threaded rod, that should work for me I would think - I'm about to start on a "Beloved" tombstone prop, so that's good info to have. Thanks again :)

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Dang it. Why did I have to go look at your blog? Now I have like 5 more projects to do!! :D
 
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