A recent post in the Educational Theatre Association (EdTA) Open Forum about a mobile costume shop workstation was so cool that I decided to do a post here on a paint cart I designed years ago for a local theater.
The shop already had a dedicated space for storing paint stock and accessories, so this cart was intended to provide a place to mix and store all the paint for the current show under construction. It was built from scrap materials, mostly 3/4″ plywood, and had shelves on both sides for various-size paint cans, as well as plastic bins for tape, gloves, masks, chalk, and other small items. It also had a rack at one end for extension poles, straightedges, and similar tools. Because it was on casters, it could be easily moved around the shop, or out onto the stage, as needed. The overall dimensions were about four feet by two feet, by thirty inches high.
The paint-can opener, which always tends to disappear, was tied to a string secured to the cart handle, and it never disappeared after that.
Sometime after the cart was built and in use, I added a new feature to it.
A lot of scenic artists use music stands to hold their painters’ elevations while they work on a set. It keeps the documents safe, off the floor or work surfaces, and makes them easy to refer to while painting. So adding one to the cart seemed like a natural.
Rather than cannibalizing a perfectly good music stand, however, I made a simple one out of closet pole and some scrap plywood. It had a simple tilting device on the back, held together by a bolt and a wingnut, and rode in one of the holes on the rack at the end of the cart.
Visiting scenic artists were delighted with this, as it gave them a safe and convenient place to keep their painters’ elevations and other reference materials.
In future posts I’ll be describing similar shop-made accessories that can make life much simpler and more productive. Stay tuned.