How to recycle your exhibition pedestals and save the planet.

Circuit suggested that the pedestals for the Knock on Wood installation should be made of unpainted 19mm MDF instead of the traditional white-painted version that would get lost in their large white space. Great idea! But these fine pedestals would be thrown away after the show was over.

Since I designed the pedestals specifically for these instruments, I suggested that they might be constructed so that they could be taken apart, transported as flat panels, and reused at the next Knock on Wood venue.
a list of sizes for the pedestals

Circuit ordered the MDF cut to size.



We assembled the MDF panels using "removable" Tesa double-sided tape. Normally, it is intended for fixing carpets and can be removed without leaving a sticky residue. Assembly was faster and cleaner than using normal wood glue but of course not as strong.

The tape is 50mm wide. It was stuck along the join, about 3mm from the outside edge of the join and the remaining strip was sliced off with a sharp knife. The remaining strip was used for two more joins.



picture of a clamp and nail
Having tried doing it alone, I can say that aligning the join is definitely a two-person job, each checking the alignment at their end of the join. It is best achieved by using right-angle clamps at each end to guide the panels into position. Trick: a nail is placed in the join to hold the surfaces apart and then withdrawn when the panels are perfectly aligned.



The side joins were firmly clamped and then the top was added and weighted down. The tape is like an impact adhesive so the clamps and weights could be removed and the pedestals carried to their final positions once the tape was firmly embedded.


Disclaimer: Don't try this at home! The result is "good enough" for compressive loads but it is not intended to be as strong as a glued join and is certainly not suitable for cantilevers, as bravely demonstrated below.
picture of a cat on a dangerous shelf

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