Thursday, March 29, 2012

Wedding Dessert Stand


Quick announcement – I am no longer going to be doing monthly updates to this blog.  I’m tired of doing WIP posts and then having all my builds spread over numerous entries.  I will simply be doing project completion posts from now on.  This means that when I finish, say the ASHPDs, I will make one post detailing the complete build process.  I may even go back and consolidate several posts into one, especially the Destro build.  So, no more monthly updates; simply project completion posts from now on.


The Wedding Dessert Stand

Two of my very best friends recently got married and they asked me to build them a cake/cookie/tart/dessert stand thing.  They aren’t real big fans of cake, so a traditional wedding cake was right out, but they still needed something cake-ish looking that meshed with their overall vision of the wedding, to hold the actual wedding desserts on.  I was incredibly honored that they would ask me to build something this important.  I had plenty of time to build it, but due to my complete lack of focus and poor time management abilities, I actually got caught up in other projects, and ended up working on this one until midnight the day of the wedding.  I was still able to get it done and ready for use though, but just barely.  Lesson learned: When someone asks you to build something very important and you have a clear deadline, put other projects on hold and focus on this one.

After an afternoon of talking about what they wanted and a few quick sketches, I came up with this design.
Cake-Cookie-Tart Thing

The wedding was going to take place in the Bijou Theatre, here in Knoxville.  It is a beautiful and old theatre, so their entire wedding look was what some might call Steam Punk, but I thought it was just more vintage (not enough copper tubing and gears for true Steam Punk).  The over all design, as you can see was for three main tiers and a few floating tiers.  The very top was reserved for their “cake topping monsters”.  Now with a design, off to the hardware store.



A few sheets of 2’x4’ MDF, some dowel rods, and a case of liquid nail.  I had originally intended for the whole structure to be modular for quick break down and reassembly.  Intentions often change.


One half of the base with dowel rod pieces to join to the other half.


Umm…they didn’t line up exactly as I had planned, so a bigger hammer was needed, and the modular base flew out the window.


Both halves glued together and the support pieces glued in place.  The center bit is a section of PVC piping.  The central dowel rod fits in it perfectly and allowed me to secure it in place with screws.


If you’ve been viewing my blog for any time, you may notice the lack of kitties in the background of my workshop.  That is because they are all upstairs with us now.  We’ve still got Leo and Remus available for adoption is anyone is looking for a kitty.


This was the first rough assembly.  Nothing was leveled or balanced.  I just wanted to see if it would even work.  I got the clear acrylic rods from TAP Plastics online.  Great company with a good selection, reasonable prices and fast shipping.  I ordered a lot of material from them for other projects coming up.

Next came sanding, bondo, sanding, sanding and eventually painting.


Still some fine tuning to go, too, but we’re getting close.

I also wanted to add some filigree style details to the piece, but when I tried, I failed miserably.  The paint just didn’t work and ended up bleeding into the base coat.  This happened on Saturday.  The wedding was Sunday, as in the next day.  We had the reception dinner that Saturday night, too.  So, no time to fix that big of a screw up if I didn’t get on it and stop moaning about it.

Fast trip to the hardware store again for spray paint (thank god it was sunny, warm and dry that day), hopefully some stencils, and better paint for the details.

More sanding to remove my screw up and no, I don’t have pictures of what the screw up looked like.  Just trust me, it was bad.

Finally around midnight everything was done, and I was actually pleased with it.  Last thing was to move it to the Bijou Sunday morning.  Naturally two things happened Sunday morning.  It was raining and I made the whole structure one half inch too tall to fit in the back of my Santa Fe. 

Fortunately, I could take out the central column by unscrewing it from the PVC collar.  Throw the drill, extra screws, brushes, paint, and glue into what I dubbed the “OHSHIT” bag, and off we went.


All in all, I think it turned out great.  I was a nervous wreck until I heard my friends say they loved it.  That was all the approval that it really needed.  I am my own worst critic, after all.  The monster cake topper was made by another of their friends and fit in perfectly.