Intro: Custom Acrylic Baseball Bat Stand
I recently remodeled my home office and it is now quite modern in style. I am a big St. Louis Cardinals fan and have some sports memorabilia that I had previously displayed in my office and wanted to continue to do so. Problem was that all of my display cases were oak and mahogany in color and just did not fit in the new look of the office.
I settled on some floating acrylic looking white shelves to host my memorabilia but all of the display solutions I found simply did not appeal to me. I had recently been using a laser cutter at my local FabLab for another project I recently finished and decided that clear acrylic holders would be great. Here is a quick walkthrough of how I designed and built my baseball stands.
Step 1: Decide on Materials
Since my prized possesions were going to be sitting on floating shelves I thought it would look equally cool if the memorabilia was "floating" too. For this reason I chose to go with 0.25" thick clear cast acrylic. I got mine from Amazon. Complete parts and tools list below.
- 0.25" Thick Clear Cast Acrylic - Found here: http://amzn.com/B004N1JLI4
- SCIGRIP #16 Acrylic Cement - Found here: http://amzn.com/B003HNFLMY
- InkScape - Free vector design software
- The Epilog Mini 24 - 40W Laser Cutter - At my local FabLab - fablabtulsa.com
Step 2: Measure and Sketch
I decided that two acrylic holders would be perfect to suspend the bat. I decided to place one about an inch from the end of the barrel and one about an inch from the knob (on the grip). I used a pair of calipers I had on hand to measure the diameter at both locations. I measured 25 mm at the grip and 64 mm at the barrel. I took those and drew two circles of equivalent diameter in InkScape and placed them above a defined datum with the center of the circles affixed at the same height above the datum.
Since the baseball bat has different diameters at the barrel and grip and we want to have the bat displayed perfectly level in the end, we need to measure about these datums I speak of above. After doing so it was pretty simple to just measure down from the circles to the datum and define my desired height. I settled with 70 mm to be the height the center of the bat would be above the shelf.
Then to give the stand some support I designed a base that the vertical section would set in. Here I designed the base to look like Home Plate for some added baseball influence and then placed an STL logo on the base that would later be engraved by the laser.
The Epilog likes all lines that are to be cut to be set at 0.001" thickness, no fill. Anything that you want it to engrave instead of cut should be set with fill at 100% opaque and no line.
Step 3: Laser Time!
Take the SVG from InkScape and save it as a PDF. Open the PDF, hit File -> Print then click on the Advanced tab and load the preinstalled settings for 0.25" acrylic. Remove the paper mask from your acrylic (placed there for protection by the factory) and place the mask-less side face up on the cutting bed. Removing this mask helps ensure a good engraving.
Hit Print and in just about 3 minutes you should have all your parts cut out and ready to go.
I have attached the SVG and PDF files. Feel free to modify for your personal use only. Not for commercial purposes.
Step 4: Assemble
Take your freshly cut parts and lay them out. Remove all remaining paper masking and wipe away any dirt or oil. Grab your acrylic cement and apply a very tiny amount along the notch at the bottom of the vertical pieces. Place them into the base and ensure they are standing perfectly vertical. Allow them to cure overnight.
Step 5: Display!
Place them on the shelf and display that beautiful autographed bat of yours! I think these turned out great and really hug the bat. They really do give an even better allusion of a floating bat above a floating shelf. It sits on there sturdy and I have no fear of it falling off should the shelf be bumped.
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