Stackable DIY Painter Pyramids - Homemade




Introduction: Stackable DIY Painter Pyramids - Homemade

"Painter pyramids" are used whenever you are painting a door panel or items that need to be flipped around to paint both sides in one go. The alternative of leaving one side to dry before turning it to paint the other side would just take to long. The tiny points leave minimal marks on the less visible side.

There are commercially available painter pyramids made out of plastic, that actually look like pyramids... Duh! But why buy if you can make it out of scraps in about 15-20 minutes? A very common solution is to take a few pieces of scraps and run a screw through them. The problem I find is that they don't stack well for storage and if you have a big bunch of them for a large project, it can get quite messy.

My little design improvement makes them stackable, thanks to the hole I added. This Instructable could stop right here as the picture pretty much says it all, but I'm going to give a few simple tips on how to "mass produce" them.

Step 1: Make a Prototype

I like to make a prototype to see if I like the final result before making a whole bunch of something. I also come up with improvements or better ways of doing things during the prototyping. But you can skip this part.

To make a prototype, take a rectangular piece of scrap. Ideally, the long side should be twice the small side.

Draw a line across the middle to create two squares, then draw the diagonals of each square to find the middle of each square. With a square, transpose the two centers to the sides of the rectangle so that you can use them as reference. Dimensions might be driven by the scraps available... You can finish it off by drilling a hole and driving a screw to see if you like the finished product.

In your pile of scrap plywood (3/4" - 18mm), cut long strips the same length as you rectangle, then go ahead and transpose the center measurements on those strips, and draw the lines across the length. This will save you a lot of measuring once you have cut out the small rectangles.

Step 2: Cut the Blanks and Drill Holes

Ideally, if you have a table saw, you should have a sled. On your sled, set a stop block to cut all the blanks out.

Remember those center lines we drew in the previous step? They come in handy now. Set the marking gauge to the center of the width and mark the centers on all the parts.

In this case, I am going to use a 13 mm metal bit to drill the hole. A: because its the largest I can fit on my drill press and B: I can drill a nice countersink with the same bit. Because this is not a brad point bit, I like to mark the holes with a punch to make the centering of the drill bit easier. But that is really optional...

In each rectangle, drill all the way through one half and make just a countersink on the other half. I went through the trouble of drilling a pilot hole in the center of the countersink because on my prototype, the screw went through a bit crooked. The pilot hole is quick to drill and takes that concern away.

Step 3: Put the Screws in and Adjust the Height

Just drive the screws in. The screw length should be just shy of twice the thickness of the board you are using so that it does not protrude when you are staking them.

Set them all side by side and check that they are all the same height roughly with the edge of a plank. Adjust as needed with a screwdriver.

And there you go, a big bunch of stackable, reusable painter pyramids made out of scraps... As many as you want!



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12 Discussions

Darn, clever. thanks for sharing.

Nice. If you drill a third hole clean through at the center, you can then pair them up and stack or hang them on a dowel rod. My great-grandfather had a bunch of these in his shop. And after he died, no one could figure out why he made so many(there were over 12 pairs), but they were passed out to all his kids and grand-kids that wanted a pair. Somewhere in a box, I have my fathers' old pair.

He used those old square nails instead of screws, and sharpened each point to a nice 45 degree point(which he blunted just a bit). The old guy could be a pain sometimes, but he DID know woodworking - he made cabinets and furniture for over 20 years before a stroke took him quick.

1 reply

Hi Drake! I really like the idea of an extra hole to pass a rod. I will implement that. One thing that I find very humbling is that our predecessors came up with such great solutions on their own, without internet! I've had the privilege of knowing a few such people too.

Fantastic idea. We are currently building and painting cabinet and drawer parts, and this will help a lot!

1 reply

Nice thing is that you only have to make them once. then you can reuse them over and over. The tips of the screws are easy to clean with solvent if needed. Good luck with your project!

Great idea with the hole to allow stacking. I have a suggestion though. ...instead of the screw, make a hole with a forstner bit the size of a golf tee head deep enough to have it the same height you recommend and glue the tee in place. You could further strengthen the union by filling the rest of the open space with epoxy. The tee would make for less possibility for puncture into the grain if working with a softer species of wood.

2 replies

Thanks for the suggestion Rick. I liked the ideas of screws because of the very thin point, but true enough, that could damage a softer wood. The golf tee is a nice alternative for a softer, albeit more blunt point. I will keep it in mind if it becomes a problem one day.

If using the epoxy, you may be able to use a standard bit since a flat surface to glue to is no longer that important.


11 months ago

I have done this with a scrap piece of plywood and many screws. I like this better for storage.

Great idea but ouch.

Neat idea. I only need four, but storing them without stabbing myself will mean I actually keep them, rather than making an unmaking them every time.

This is such a clever solution. Great idea, thank you!