Art Fair Insiders

Call for Artists, Making Money at Juried Art Fairs, Craft Shows and Festivals

Holding Down the Booth: Part 3 - Commercial weights

There are just a few options for purchasing weights, commercially made. Sculptor Jim Eaton with an industrial design background made and sold the Eaton Weights, Happifeet was another product available for some time and every now and then those John Deere tractor weights show up. The weights made precisely for tents usually come with an attaching system specifically designed for tents.

1. Dumbbells:

2. I think this is an iron bar:

3. Weights from your John Deere tractor:

4. One Eaton weight:

5. Stack your Eaton weights:

6. Happifeet:

7. and if you're really worried about blowing away bring your barrel and to make it really nice wrap it up:

Do you own any of these? Any recommendations?

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Comment by Richard L. Sherer on September 9, 2016 at 5:27pm

On one of these post I said I would show picture of belts made to secure PVC/concrete weights. I also have 5 gallon buckets of water along center side and back walls tied into corners.

Comment by Ernie Komarek on April 1, 2015 at 2:50am

You're right, Chris. I did the math after I posted that. The square posts look promising. Since I display western landscape paintings I've also been playing with logs for posts. I have about 300 8ft. logs I cut a couple years ago. Problem is the bulky load to transport, but the hand peeled logs looks cool. A horizontal beam across the front kinda looks like a ranch gate.

Comment by Chris Sebastian on April 1, 2015 at 12:08am

Ernie - Keep in mind that you'll need four times the length in 2" pipe to equal the weight of 4" pipe.  So you'll be looking at 12 ft of 2" pipe to get the same weight as the 3 ft long 4" pipe.

I ended up going with 4" square pvc fence posts.  I chose this over 4" pvc pipe because it gave me about 25% more volume (weight) than 4" pipe, and since they are square, they don't roll around. 

Comment by Connie Mettler on March 31, 2015 at 2:20pm

I'm thinking, Greg, that that is one of the things that sustains the creative life -- so many things to do besides create awesome work, and it is a relief to turn away and go build a better booth for a spell and then return to the studio. Then take a break and write a blog post, or shoot some new images for the jury, etc. 

Comment by Greg Little on March 31, 2015 at 10:47am

All weights obviously serve an important and necessary purpose. It sure would be interesting if everyone would put as much creativity into their weights and find additional ways to enhance their appearance as we do with our work and displays.

All weights I see are functional but I cannot remember ever seeing any that ever gave me that WOW factor that I see in some work. I guess it is a good thing that show promoters do not put any emphasis on the appearance of the required weights. Even the commercially manufactured weights are not visually appealing.

Comment by Ernie Komarek on March 30, 2015 at 6:26pm

I like those 4" PVC pipes filled with concrete, but I'm thinking about trying 2" PVC but 6 ft. long instead of 3 ft. Fill with cement with just sand, no gravel, and make it soupy to fill the smaller pipe. Attach to posts with strap ties and it would prevent the posts from buckling, too. Also 2" is easer to carry without adding a handle.

Comment by Kathleen Eaton on March 30, 2015 at 2:12pm

The newest commercial product in this field was just launched in February and is called the 'Ingot', made by U.S. Weights in Olney, IL. They can be seen on their company web site www.canopyweights.com It's a really versatile product, heavier by volume than the PVC weights, and can be strapped to canopy legs or stabilizer bars...hung from the frame.

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