If like me, you like Funko Pop Vinyl figures then you might want to display them in a nice way. A huge percentage of people just leave them in their boxes and stack them against a wall which to me a uber boring. Other people take them out of the boxes and display them in other ways such as in glass cabinets which can look quite nice. Other people such as myself like to go a little further.
Although I am an "In Box Collector" I don't see why you can have a nice display, so in this Instructable (my first) I'm going to give you an idea of how to make you own smart display shelf.
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Step 1: Decide How Many Stands
First thing is to decide how many individual stands you want or need. On the timber I am using and going by the width of a Pop Vinyl box (120mm) I added 10mm to the width for a suitable gap, I then marked on the timber a faint pencil line to make sure all stands were level.
Take a couple of lengths of 15mm copper pipe and start cutting to length.
Each length of 15mm copper on my big display is 70mm long. This leaves enough for 20mm to go in the timber and then enough for the finished platforms to be in the centre of each box.
Some Funko Pop Vinyl boxes are different sizes such as Michonne and Her Pets triple pack but using the lengths mentioned above will give enough to take a larger box such as this.
Step 2: Soldering the Supports
After you have cut all your required lengths of 15mm copper you will need to start soldering them together. Now I have been taught how to solder on central heating systems so am quite adverse to doing it but there are a couple of things you need to be careful with when do so.
1) If using a blowtorch, please wear safety goggles, gloves and a mask as solder and flux fumes can be quite nasty.
2) Make sure you are in a safe area where you can't set anything on fire but always have a fire extinguisher close to hand just in case.
3) Acid flux is poisonous so take all precautions when using.
4) Have a bowl of cold water to hand.
ITEMS YOU WILL NEED:
- Flux for Lead Free or Lead Solder
- Lead Free or Lead Solder
- 2x2m lengths of 15mm copper pipe plus elbows (or how ever much you calculate you need)
- Fine wire wool for polishing
- Safety mat or suitable working surface
- Gas blowtorch
- Bowl of Cold Water (to cool soldered pieces)
- Hand wipe or material or dry copper pieces
- Pair of Pliers to handle hot copper pieces
- PPE, gloves, mask and eye protection
- Small platforms
- Super glue
- Knife or Sand Paper
When soldering copper pipes, things so many people do is not use flux, overheat the copper pipe and flood the joint with solder. None of those are necessary as you will see from the video below. You need to heat up the joint you are working on from different angles evenly, when do it you will see the flux you have applied start to leak out as the heat makes it very thin and water like in consistency. Keep applying heat, moving it around the joint and occasionally place the solder against the joint to see if it's hot enough.
When the joint is hot enough for the solder, it will flow in the whole joint and flow all the way around as you will see in the videos. No big blobs of solder, no black copper pipe. It's not important in this application but it's good to remember that when you overheat solder, it bubbles and fills with air holes rendering the joint useless in it's ability to retain water.
Once you have soldered one joint, turn off your blowtorch and give the joint 10 seconds to harden then using the pair of pliers pick it and place is gently in the bowl of cold water you have by your side. Dip the pipe in and out a couple of times and then place it on your drying cloth or mat. Then move on to making the next one :)
In the videos you can see I use a support with a 15mm hole drilled in it. This way I can stand my copper pipe up and use both my hands to make sure the joint is soldered perfectly.
Step 3: What You Have
So after you have followed my videos in the previous step and soldered all your joints perfectly ;) you will want to cool them off and polish them up.
You should have all your cooled copper joints by your side. Making sure they are dry, take a piece of the fine wire wool and cup it in your hand. Place the copper in the wire wool and turn it rapidly to clean the flux and oil marks off the copper pipe. What you will be left with is a beautifully clean copper support ready to fit.
Step 4: Fix Stands in to Board
It will be best to polish one support and then fit it into the timber before moving on to the next, this way you don't have to keep handling the copper pipe as the oils from your skin will eventually tarnish the beautiful surface.
Mark the points you want your supports to be positioned on your backing board and drill a 15mm hole using a forstner bit to a depth of 20mm. Take each support and push it in your drilled hole until it won't go in any further. After you have done this you can look down the lines and line them up if some of them have gone in a little wonky.
At this point you will want to apply a small amount of furniture wax to each support to keep it nice and clean but at some point in the future you will need to give the copper and freshen up with some wire wool and wax again but not for a good long while.
Step 5: Add Flat Tops
Now this stage is the most difficult bit as you will need to push something in the copper supports to allow the flat tops to be glued on.
I used a 15mm plug cutter such as the one pictured. Once you have your plugs cut you need to push then in the tops. They will be quite tight but take your time so as not to damage the copper.
After you have plugged the supports you might need to trim the plugs flush with the top of the copper. I used a stanley knife but you can use a sander or sand paper.
Once you have all your plugs in and flush you can now take your little platforms (mine are made from 4mm plywood) and some super glue and stick them on. Take your time to make sure they are centred and dab some super glue on the plugs in the copper and sit the platforms on. Don't touch them for at least 30 minutes to allow the glue to go hard.
Once the super glue has gone hard you can take your pliers and gently twist the supports left or right to get the flat before finally placing your beautiful Funko Pop Vinyls on them.
Step 6: Rinse and Repeat
Keeping your collectables safe is very important to those that have them so take your time and get it right.
I will say one thing though and that is if you have young kids who love to pick stuff and and play with it then you might want to consider an enclosed display. The same goes for pets :)
Step 7: Load It Up
That's it from me on this one. I hope you like the display and hope you get to make your own cool or funky display for your own Funko Pop Vinyl figures.
Nick the Beard