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Old 04-29-2013, 10:13 AM   #1
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Sunday project: puppet stand & theater

Yesterday, we had nothing on the schedule. It was warm, but rainy, so that made a lot of options disappear for outdoors. Laura said early in the morning "I feel like building something -and- I want to get a puppet stand or something for the kids." Challenge accepted. (Her "building something" is more like a finishing touch/painting of something, not building as I consider it). I decided to build a puppet-tree and theater. No plans, just made it up as I went.

Went to Menards and gathered materials. About $45, but I already had a sheet of 1/4" sandply. Started with a $3 2x4 stud, the best one I could find in the lumber stack. Cut it inhalf and glued it together:

I didn't take a lot of pictures during construction, because I was just working.

After the glue had cured, I cut off each side on the table saw until it was about a 2-1/2" - 2-3/4" square. I used my Bosch power planer to cut off the corners and make the square into an octagon. About 6 passes on each corner set to 1/16". Lots of sanding then with the Porter Cable and 150-grit.

The tricky part was drilling the holes at close to the same angle. I just freehanded it and got close enough using the corded drill and a 1/2" spade bit. I attached the post to a round base I picked up from Menards using 4x 3" screws. Using half-inch dowel rods cut to 9", I stuck them in the holes with some glue. I think I'm gong to get a round newel post cap to stick on the top, but for now it's assembled:

I ordered some dowel caps to go on the end of those sticks, I had in $10.50 eBay Bucks that I had to use by Tuesday, so those will get here sometime this week.

The "theater" was not hard. Basically 2 2'x4' rectangles, attached to a 4'x4' square using hinges. The sides can fold in and the whole thing is flat for storage. I constructed the frames out of 2x2s (again spending time at Menards to find the straightest and most non-knotted pieces I could). Each 2x2 was dadoed on the table saw so that the 1/4" ply fits inside the frame, then the frame is screwed together. Simple butt-joints here, and lots of sanding everything smooth before assembly. I don't want any slivers coming from this.

I dressed it up by gluing a select pine 1x4 as the "stage," a 1" dowel rod to hold a curtain, and a piece of backband moulding across the top. The curtain rod was mounted by drilling a 1" hole down the center of a 2x2 cuttoff, then I cut the cutoff into slices on the miter saw and simply glued them to the face.

View of the panel inset. It sits back 1/4" from the front edge:

Back side:


It still needs to be painted/stained and Laura is making curtains for the rod, but my work is about done. We're thinking we might chalkboard -paint the panels for another thing to do with it. Dunno.


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Old 04-29-2013, 10:32 AM   #2
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Looks like fun, I was just going to say you should chalkboard paint the sides so they could draw and write on it, but it seems you are think about that already.


Last edited by cdnNick; 04-29-2013 at 11:06 AM. Reason: spelling
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