The idea to get my own lifecast stand came more as a necessity than a desire. I’ve sculpted some prosthetics on my facecast and although it was cool, one thing that always annoyed me, was the lack of angle to work on the cast. I always had to look down, on a terrible position for my back/neck. And when you realize that you’re sculpting sometimes 8-10 hours a day, that can turn into a problem.
So I wanted a stand for quite some time. Unfortunately I couldn’t find any to buy, at least not in the country I live. And building things is always a delicate subject to me, because I always think I won’t be able to do.
Until I’ve started to binge watch MythBusters, then I was all “I SHALL BUILD ALL THE THINGS”. And started to do my research for this project.
Step 1: Sketching the Idea
I’ve done a basic sketch on how the mechanism should be, measured my facecast to get the measures of the stand, and checked if everything was alright.
On the pic you can see a basic blue print of what I had in mind.
I already knew that being my first stand I would discover things I would like it or not about it, and have to adapt later for the future. And I’m looking forward to this. It’s funny how I’ve learn so much with my failures.
Step 2: Getting the Woods Plaques
Anyway, I got the woods plaques I needed, all the rest of the things, and sat my ass down on an afternoon to build it. And I’ve done it. I actually done it.
Trying to explain what I did: I had three main pieces of wood. The bigger one, that would be my front part, and where I would hang my facecast. One smaller that would serve as the base of the stand. And the last one, a square piece, that would allow control on the angle for me to sculpt.
Step 3: Using Hinges to Be Functional
I’ve connect every single one of them with hinges. 3 for each, to be precise. My father, looking into it later, told me 2 would be enough but I was playing safe. Idk, I’m not a carpenter, I’ve just winged as I thought it would be best.
Working with hinges allows me to fold my stand, and take it to places without much trouble. If you don't plan to take the stand in your vacations (or elsewhere :P) you could just connect each wood piece with some "L" brackets.
Step 4: Making the Front Pratical
I know my front wood looks hella tall for the facecast, but I’ve build thinking on the possibility of future facecast and the difference of size between faces. I also thought on the possibility of me doing a facecast that goes below the shoulders, so this height would be necessary.
Another thing I did was to put a smaller size of wood on the front of my stand, sort of like a shelf, in case I wanted to support anything on it. Tbh I was thinking on support the base of the facecast, but this was not really needed. So now I’m thinking on putting my tools there.
I’ve glued this block of wood with wood glue and fixed with these “L” brackets.
I’ve also put a “L” screw, to be the hanger for the facecast (you need to make sure you have something to hold on the back of the cast - on my facecast I’ve put a piece of pipe behind so I can hold it or hang anywhere). It holds pretty neatly, but I think I will change those for screws that have a safe mechanism to plug behind… I just need to find them.
Oh yeah, I’ve done two options of holes for me to hang the facecast as I pleased.
Step 5: Making the Back Work
Speaking of the back, my plan was to put two smaller blocks of wood, again, glued and fixed with “L” bracket and these would give me the angle. The top one would be a 90º angle and the lower one is one nice angle I’ve eyeball.
However, that didn’t worked. The stand kept falling apart, even broke my cast! So I had to change for one bigger block of wood [5x5cm]. And because it’s bigger I end up without the option of regulating the angle of the stand.
I could just screw the stand all together, and be done with it, but I left it like this because I want to have the possibility of folding my stand and taking to places, as I said.
However I will be changing/fixing this for sure. I already know what I need to change to get the angle thing, but I will leave this for another stand. Aka to the future.
Step 6: Overall Thoughts
On total this baby cost me $40 bucks. However I must tell, the wood I got almost priceless because a friend of my parents is a carpenter and he sold me the wood, already cut, for $20 bucks. Which is nothing really…
The rest was spend on wood glue, screws, hinges, etc… And I’ve bought more than what I really needed just to play safe.
Still, hella of a deal. For those who are interesting in buying a stand I know ProRenFX sells one (through their instagram), so you should look it up. But it costs around $150 US dollars #justsayin’
I've been working with this stand for the past month, and so far it's pretty neat. You can see in my pic that since my front wood is so big I can put a lamp on top of it, giving me the necessary light to sculpt (I also have two more lamps so I can have the best lighting set).
One thing I got was a stand support that rotates, making my life even easier to sculpt. This I've bought it online, and it's fairly easy to find. One day I may decide to even build one, who knows?!