Tuesday, July 19, 2011

How to Assemble My Cupcake Stands and How to Shorten Them.

When you receive your stand and get it unpacked, you should have a pile of parts similar to this.  Be careful handling them.  They may have a protective coating of a beeswax polish on them and are very slick.  Just wipe them down with a soft cloth.

To modify (shorten) your stand, see the end of this blog.
9 Tier Cupcake Stand Parts
Before we proceed, I need to explain what a T-nut is for those of you that aren't familiar with them.  These nuts are used to hold the entire assembly together.  There is one in the base and one in the top tier plate.  They look like this (uninstalled).

***IMPORTANT***  Pay particular attention to the following.  It will eliminate any problems with assembly. These are already installed for you.

To install these I first use a 3/4" forstner bit, to drill a nice flat bottomed hole a little less than 1/8".  The depth is important because you want it to be level with the surface.  I then drill a 5/16 hole all the way through the board for the barrel of the t-nut to sit in, and for the rod to pass through.  

I then place the t-nut over the holes, with the prongs down, and hammer it in until it's seated.

The four little prongs hold the t-nut in place, but it can fall out.  This is not a failure!  If it does, simply line up the prongs with the holes they made in the wood and push it back in.  Take care when inserting the rod, or you'll just push it back out.  You will see further on in these instructions how, when everything is tightened up, they really embed themselves.  Now, on to assembly!

First locate the base.  This usually the thickest board with rubber or felt "feet".  Make sure the t-nut is fully seated, then place the base feet down on a table or floor.

Next, take the tape off the threaded rod (It's just there to keep the washer from getting lost.).  Leave the nut and washer on the rod.

Gently insert the rod (end with nut and washer) into the hole and screw the rod into the t-nut.  You will want to turn the rod until it's just level with the top of the t-nut on the bottom.  You will probably need to use your free hand to feel underneath so it doesn't stick out too far.  If it does, it could scratch the surface you set it up on.  If the nut above the washer stops it from going in far enough, just back it off a little.

Grab a 7/16 wrench or a pair of pliers and tighten the nut on top of the washer.  Tighten it until it's just snug.  Double check the t-nut on the bottom.  It should now be fully seated in the base.  Problems can occur here when you start tightening the nut on the top.  If the t-nut is not seated beforehand, it will spin and act like a drill bit cutting into the base.  It's not a major problem, it just makes assembly more difficult.  You should now be at this point.

You may now start stacking!  Slide a spacer onto the rod.

Then your largest tier plate.

Repeat until you get to this point (no top installed)

The top can now be screwed on.  Again take care not to push the t-nut out.  Screw the top down until it's just about snug.  Now walk back a few steps and check that the spacers are fairly straight, if they aren't, move them a little until they are.  Once you are satisfied it all lines up, finish tightening the top.  Once again, it doesn't need to be overly tight.  The rod should not extend past the top of the t-nut.  ***NOTE***  I assemble these before shipping so I can be sure it all fits.  If there is a problem, contact me.  

You're done!

To shorten your stand you will need a length of 1/4-20 all thread rod available at hardware stores and home centers.  A 6 foot piece is about $5.  You will also need at the very least, a hacksaw.

Install the full length of the rod just as you did above in the assembly instructions.  Place the amount of spacers and tiers you would like on the rod to achieve the desired height, leaving off the top tier plate.  Hold the top tier plate next to the rod as in the picture and make a mark on the rod.

Before cutting the rod with the hacksaw, remove the last spacer (in case you slip!).  You should end up with something like this.

You can now finish the assembly.  Save the extra rod for possible future modifications.

I hope these instructions will help.  If you have any questions feel free to contact me.


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