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Evan Williams
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Elite user
439 Posts

Profile of Evan Williams
I have come across a question while building my first base. I am working on Rand Woodbury's style from his Illusionworks tape volume 1.

I saw the legs that he uses to make his base, and they look like someone welded a piece of flatbar to a piece of angle, and then drilled the necessary holes. I have checked at all of my local hardware stores for anything similar and nobody sells them. I'm guessing Rand makes these himself.

So, my question is that is there anyone who makes these that I could buy them from? (From a single person, a store online, etc)

Also, what are some other good alternative legs to this style of a base that can come on and off with ease as well as still look great?

Any help is much appreciated. Thanks,

Michael Messing
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Inner circle
Knoxville, TN
1813 Posts

Profile of Michael Messing

You need to go to a shop that sells "aluminum products." (That's the category used by the phone company in my yellow pages. Look under aluminum in your phone book.)

The legs are made of aluminum alloy angle. They sell it in long lengths or you can have them cut it to size. Home Depot and Lowes both sell alumimum angle but it's not alloy.

The aluminum angle Home Depot and Lowes sell is pure aluminum. (You can tell by the fact that the inside corner is square.) What you want to use is aluminum alloy. The inside corner will be rounded. The aluminum alloy angle legs are much stronger. (This info was explained to me by my local supplier.)

I usually get them cut to length and then I drill the holes myself. You'll want to put a little drilling lubricant on the bits to make sure they don't get too hot.

Hope this helps.

Leland Stone
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Profile of Leland Stone
Hiya, Evan:

If the legs you require are actually welded rather than simply worked cold as Michael suggests (riveting, bolting, drilling, milling, tapping, and similar machine work are 'cold' processes, as opposed to flame/plasma cutting, welding, brazing, forging, which are 'hot' ones), you may wish to enlist the aid of a machine or welding shop in your area. Rates will start at around $45/hour US, so any advance work you can do will shave dinero off your final cost.

Alternatively, you may be able to check with your local adult ed or vocational college, whichever offers welding &/or machine shop courses. There, you may be able to find a student who can do the work for you at very little cost. [At least that's how I made extra cash while learning blacksmithing].

Leland Edward Stone
Evan Williams
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Profile of Evan Williams
Thanks guys, that helped a lot.

One more question about bases: What gauge sheet metal works best for the bottom? I would like to not have to pay a ton for it, but also have it be strong enough to last a while. Thanks.

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Profile of hugmagic
I would guess that 28 guess will be adequete for this. It depends upon the span you are crossing. Again talk to the people at a sheet metal shop and explain (without exposing) what you are trying to do. Or write me with more info and I can make a best guess judgement for you as work with sheet metal a lot.
Richard E. Hughes, Hughes Magic Inc., 352 N. Prospect St., Ravenna, OH 44266 (330)296-4023
Write direct as I will be turning off my PM's.
George Ledo
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SF Bay Area
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I gotta ask...

I understand you're making a base from instructions in a book, and you want to use the metal legs described. However... why do you have to use the metal angle legs? There are lots of metal and wood furniture legs on the market which would more than likely work for your base, as well as give it a different look.

I'm not busting on you; really, I'm not. I'm simply curious as to why it seems to be so important to make these bases look like everyone else's bases.
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Evan Williams
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Profile of Evan Williams
Thanks Richard, I'll go to a sheet metal shop ASAP and do just that.

George, no worries about your curiosity. I understand completely what you are asking. The past few days I have looked around and I might actually just use square wooden legs instead of metal. The metal angle was just something I wanted to know a little more information about.

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Profile of R2
I prefer the wooden legs with the threaded post which goes into the base and is wing nutted from within.

It makes for easy disassembly of the casters from the base unit for easier storage and transportation.

With the metal angle iron...etc..idea you are stuck like chuck and it doesn't look as nice on stage either unless you are going for the industrial look common these days?

Best of choices my friend Evan!~r2
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Profile of Regan
I am in the process of building some tables. I am using microphone stands for the base. When I finish, I may post the results at the Café.

Mister Mystery
Dave Dorsett
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Macomb, Illinois
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Profile of Dave Dorsett
As someone who has built professionally, I recommend caution with wooden legs especially if over a foot long. There are a lot of stresses involved with rollers, uneven stage floors and occupant's weight.
You can get a very similar effect by cutting a pattern you like into the aluminum angle or into plate which is then welded together.
As for the sheet metal, Mr. Hughes is right in his estimate. Just make sure your attachment points are close together to spread out the stress.
Dave Dorsett
Douglas~Wayne Illusioneering
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