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Topic: Ren Faire Table???
Message: Posted by: skyfire (Oct 10, 2013 05:36PM)
I am looking for a small table that is very portable for either Cups and Balls, or the Three Shells, but one that would look like it's from the Ren Faire period. Does anyone know of a table like this, or have one that they use at a Ren Faire setting? Or even just a hand carrable top that I could set somewheres?

Thanks to any that answer...
Message: Posted by: Pizpor (Oct 10, 2013 06:27PM)
From what I've seen, most people use something like a waiters tray stand for the base and a decorated piece of plywood for the top. It's a pretty basic set up.
Message: Posted by: Motley Mage (Oct 10, 2013 07:20PM)
The setup Pizpor describes is pretty standard and totally period-authenthic. I will try to post soon a photo of mine, perhaps with the basic specs for building (which I have posted previously) and a period picture as well.
Message: Posted by: Mr. Woolery (Oct 10, 2013 07:38PM)
Take a look at Bill Palmer's site for a PDF of his Ren Fair table top. Very nice basic setup.

I'm looking forward to Motley's pics, too!

Message: Posted by: Motley Mage (Oct 10, 2013 08:51PM)
This is a photo of my close up table. The basic structure is as Pizpor described. The base is a tray jack that I got for free from a local restaurant that was going out of business. (They cost about $75 dollars new from restaurant supply houses for a good one like this.) The top is constructed of two 1/8 inch thick pieces of maple or cedar (I forget) veneer plywood glued back to back to minimize warping and a frame constructed from picture moulding, all bought at Home Depot for under $50. I even got them to cut the ply to size for free. Miter cutting the frame was the hardset part. The pad on top is a $5 kitchen rug from WalMart. I stained the frame to match (sort of) the base...another $4. I will attach the period drawing when I find the file.
Message: Posted by: Motley Mage (Oct 10, 2013 09:01PM)
Message: Posted by: Motley Mage (Oct 11, 2013 12:55PM)
Trying again:
Message: Posted by: Motley Mage (Oct 11, 2013 02:13PM)
I cannot seem to get photos to post. I've done it before, but it's not working. The file size and pixel count are okay; I'm not sure what the problem is. Sorry.
Message: Posted by: Pizpor (Oct 11, 2013 09:10PM)
This is the rig I built about 8-9 years ago. For what I put it through, it's been holding up remarkably well.




The wood for the stand was leftovers from an old futon chair frame that I was hanging on to, but ultimately decided that I was never going to buy another futon cushion. The top is 3/4" plywood covered with an interesting fabric I found at a fabric store. The straps are just tool belt straps that I found at Home Depot. With stain and other odds and ends, I might have $35 and about 4 hours of woodworking time into the whole thing.
Message: Posted by: Ekuth (Oct 12, 2013 01:55AM)
Pipzor, that's bloody brilliant. Could we get a look at the underside of the table? I'm interested in how you secure the top to the upper leg bracing.

I admire the use of the strapping to secure the top when packed, as well your use of angle iron to secure the bottom for travel... I'm guessing your bag opens up via a spring closure (like a squeeze top coin purse) to form a full servant for lapping? Also nice, tough corner reinforcement there...

Message: Posted by: Pizpor (Oct 12, 2013 09:10AM)
Thanks Ekuth. That's very kind of you. This thing has been a work horse and seen some hard miles. There's no real mystery on keeping the top on the stand. It just lays there. There is a banner that I hang from the dowel you can see on the underside of the tabletop. Between that and the sack, it doesn't move around much.

As far as the servant goes, I've never done very much ditching during my act, especially when on stage. I use the bag more when I'm doing my Pub Show at the Renaissance fairies, but when they move me onto a stage the angles typically don't work for much table top work (see photo). I adapted some moves and use the Cellini pouch I bought from The Ambitious Card for sort of a lapping-while-standing kind of thing (if that's a real term)

One note on the base. The tool belt buckles make the height of the table somewhat adjustable. If you need a little more height, just pull the legs a little closer together with the belts.



Message: Posted by: meyegr (Oct 17, 2013 12:45PM)
Very cool table!!

Pizpor - how did you Photoshop in the crowd?? :) :) :)
Message: Posted by: Rook (Oct 17, 2013 04:18PM)
That is very clever! (takes notes)
Message: Posted by: Pizpor (Oct 17, 2013 05:06PM)
Hey Greg,
I think at least you were there!
Actually, it's amazing how many people will show up when you start yelling 'free beer!'

Thanks Tom.
Message: Posted by: Motley Mage (Oct 19, 2013 04:17PM)
I've tried several times now to post photos of my table and failed. Sorry. Maybe someone can tell me what I'm doing wrong? I keep choosing the option to attach a file but it does not work. I've done this before, but nothing seems to work now.
Message: Posted by: Motley Mage (Oct 19, 2013 04:21PM)
Like this:
Message: Posted by: Pizpor (Oct 19, 2013 05:24PM)
I did it by putting the pics in Flickr (I think Photobucket works too) and then you copy and paste the sharing code for the pics off those websites. I don't think you can just upload files from your computer.

I hope this helps. Somebody else might know how too.
Message: Posted by: medievalmagician (May 8, 2016 03:11AM)
This is an old thread and any previous photos are no longer linked. I would be interested in seeing the photo's if it was possible.
Message: Posted by: Pizpor (May 14, 2016 06:01PM)
I'll try reposting them when I get back to my computer. I think I still have them.
Message: Posted by: Pizpor (May 15, 2016 12:03PM)
I think this link will work.

Message: Posted by: medievalmagician (May 15, 2016 12:55PM)
That worked, thanks Pizpor
Message: Posted by: Rook (May 16, 2016 12:20AM)
Yep, still an awesome table!
Message: Posted by: Pizpor (May 17, 2016 07:56AM)
Thanks! This thing has been a real workhorse since I built it about a dozen years ago. I'm guessing I'll probably have it until it gets run over by a truck or destroyed in a fire or something 😀. Another Ren Faire season starts in just a few weeks, so back at it!

If you haven't seen it yet, check out this show trailer for a series being produced by the people behind Mystery Science Theater 2000/3000.


It's called Renfest, and it's being shot at the Minnesota Faire where I work. They have a really fun premise behind the drama which is the backdrop in a target rich environment of overly creative people. Their plan is to be at the festival for part of this season to film their episodes (pending funding. (Check out their Kickstarter))
Message: Posted by: Pizpor (Aug 3, 2019 10:02AM)
A friend of mine asked for help building a magic table the would fit the theme of a wild west show. I was able to build him this. The top has a quarter inch of neoprene under a deer skin cover. It's dead quite when doing chop cup work.
Message: Posted by: Rook (Oct 19, 2019 12:10AM)
Beautiful work!
Message: Posted by: D. Yoder (Oct 22, 2019 07:35PM)
I have found that I need a table with legs that adjust individually to compensate for uneven surfaces since the faire I work at is on the side of a hill. The top needs to be able to withstand rainy weather. I use a wooden tripod that used to hold a telescope. The top is a board covered with cloth with scalloped edges. Nothing fancy but it gets a lot of use.