60,000,000 Year-Old Stalagmite Display Stand #1: Any Suggestions?

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Blog entry by OttoH posted 07-07-2014 09:37 PM 1594 reads 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of 60,000,000 Year-Old Stalagmite Display Stand series Part 2: The process has begun »

I have been asked to build a display stand for a 60 million year-old Saw Tooth Stalagmite that will be displayed in the Deadwood Visitors Center. The stalagmite weighs 450 pounds and is about 3 1/2 feet tall and 28 inches across at the widest point.

It will be placed in one of the corners of the room so it will be protected on two sides, being a degreed engineer I understand the various statics and dynamics of the project and am trying to come up with the best design to ensure the stalagmite does not tip over if a rambunctious tourist thinks they are Hercules and tries to move it.

Anyone ever make something similar and have any lessons learned they wish to share?

-- I am responsible for how I respond to everything in my life - - Deadwood SD

7 comments so far

View leafherder's profile


1599 posts in 2156 days

#1 posted 07-07-2014 10:46 PM

My degree in museum management taught me that the only way to keep people from touching it is to put it behind glass. If you want to encourage touching but discourage people trying to move it, put a hole in the glass so people can reach one hand through to touch the base (not the top – your engineering degree will tell you why). All the armed guards and “do not touch” signs in the world will not stop the one idiot who is convinced that the warnings do not apply to him.

Other than that, if you want an artistic and attractive base try a quick google search for suiseki – a Japanese art form involving putting interesting rocks on sculpted wood bases. (Several Lumberjocks have made some very nice suiseki bases, but I don’t think of them were this big.)

Good luck and please post your results.

-- Leafherder

View changeoffocus's profile


467 posts in 1821 days

#2 posted 07-07-2014 11:04 PM

This will be interesting.

View AandCstyle's profile


3179 posts in 2461 days

#3 posted 07-07-2014 11:52 PM

I am not an engineer nor do I have a degree in museum management so take this FWIW. Get a concrete pedestal (can be spray painted if desired) of the appropriate size and epoxy the stalagmite to it. If you think you might want it to be removeable, drill a hole in the top of the pedestal and the bottom of the stalagmite and epoxy a short section of pipe/rebar into the pedestal and drop the stalagmite down on the pipe.

-- Art

View palaswood's profile


1055 posts in 1955 days

#4 posted 07-08-2014 12:01 AM

Oak stump. Done.

-- Joseph, Irvine CA, @palas_woodcraft on Instagram

View Bogeyguy's profile


548 posts in 2272 days

#5 posted 07-08-2014 12:58 AM

Please don’t glue it or drill, pleeeease.

-- Art, Pittsburgh.

View stefang's profile


16144 posts in 3538 days

#6 posted 07-08-2014 05:53 PM

You might consider a stand built kind of like a step or a ‘U’ shaped support about 3/4 height of the display piece which could offer some side or surround support instead of just a flat tabletop type of base with the stalagmite just sitting on top. I’m thinking of safety and also providing a good contrasting visual background which would make the piece standout better. I hope you post your final solution so we can see your final solution.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View cdaniels's profile


1320 posts in 1705 days

#7 posted 07-15-2014 01:50 AM

you should build a wood “cave” for it

-- Jesus was a carpenter... I'm just saying

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