I've been given couple of big rolls of photographic background canvas rolls but these came without any holding stands. To give you an idea - imagine a toilet paper roll but like 240 cm wide/long one. Unlike cardboard tube of toilet paper roll, these canvasses are rolled on a sturdy aluminium hollow tube.

I've got few lengths of CLS timber ((L)2.4m (W)63mm (T)38mm) but not sure how to build a sturdy enough stand. Here is the drawing of what's in my mind -

Stand drawing

My main question is how to build the bottom bit (three legs stand)? and if it could be collapsed for folding to make storage easier?

  • Think most three legged stands use two steel straps as hinges and a mitre cut angle to lock the leg to the upright. Can also use a simple door type hinge if the hinge pin is removable. It is harder to do because you have to mark where the hinge goes, then attach the separated hinge pieces to the upright and the leg before putting them together with the pin.
    – crip659
    Aug 24 '21 at 12:56
  • Four legs on each would be easier. Then you could just drill 4 dowel-width holes at a 45 deg angle towards the bottom of the stand. Then add dowels cut to length. They are also removable.
    – dandavis
    Aug 24 '21 at 20:11

The most stable joint for this in wood would be a Mortise & Tenon joint. Making this joint is reasonably easy if you have some tools like a table saw and some chisels and/or a mortising attachment for a drill press (pillar drill in British). You can make them entirely with hand tools - a simple cross-cut saw and a chisel and hammer/mallet were all that was necessary for many centuries before all the power tools were invented.

Normally, stands like this will have 3 legs in a triangle as you've drawn because that's a very stable design requiring a minimum of material. However, since you're working with a square post, having 3 legs would require that 2 of them go into corners of your posts and that will make things more difficult. I'd suggest using 4 legs, simply because it will make the work easier.

Make your mortises at an angle in your posts, I'd suggest that you have 2 on opposite faces at one level, and the other 2 on the other faces at a different level. This will make it easier to make the interior joint spaces and, more importantly, will give more strength and stability to each joint. Cut your legs at a matching angle and cut the tenons to fit.

If you have well made, snug fitting joints, you should be able to pull them apart for storage and knock them back in place when you need to set it back up. Glue, obviously, will prevent you from taking it apart, so don't glue it.

Since this will take some precise joints, I'd suggest that you do some practice M&T joints to improve your skill set before tackling the real project. It's not difficult, but you'll want some practice before digging into your full-size lumber.

I'd suggest that you visit the woodworking sister site for any specific questions you may run into while making your M&T joints. There's a lot of knowledge and expertise there to guide you through the process.

All that said, I'd really suggest that you pick up some pre-built aluminum stands. Considering that the backdrops were free, the investment in the stands would be a reasonably small cost in comparison. They'll also be lighter to move, fold and store easily, and be easier to transport.

I'm all for DIY and woodworking, but sometimes, it's easier to get something that's designed for the purpose.

  • 1
    I love making my own stuff but I have to agree that if you want the legs to fold, buying collapsible metal stands, will be so much cheaper and easier. "Photography light stands" ... $30 for a PAIR, then you put a small amount of creativity and effort into attaching the roll to them ... probably using a broom stick and some metal brackets.
    – jay613
    Aug 24 '21 at 14:28
  • Yes, that's what I thought too to use something readymade or made for different purpose for it. I already have got one metal coat stand so I just need get another one and I can use some shovel sticks to hold it in place and stick on top of these hangers. thanks
    – Danny
    Aug 24 '21 at 15:53

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