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Make this Table Top Banner Holder*

by Peter Kokh

Posted 12|01|2002

* Original made for Lunar Reclamation Society (NSS), November 2002, and available for use by Wisconsin Mars Society and Moon Society Milwaukee Outpost

Often it is possible to suspend a banner from a ceiling grid, or along a handy back wall. At picnics, bring enough rope and string it up between trees or posts. But many a time you will find yourself in a situation where there is nothing handy from which to hang your banner or large sign. If you attatch to the front of a table skirt, it will not be visible except when no one is visiting your table.

Here is another idea - make a table top stand out of 1" PVC pipe and fittings to hold an identity sign and perhaps dangle a globe, a space station model, a satellite or rocket model, etc. With this cheap, easy to assemble and disassemble, lightweight system, you are ready for any situation.

The unit as built by LRS and detailed below is adjustable to fit tables of common 5', 6', and 8' lengths.


Here is what you need: (cost less than $10)


  • hack saw or miter saw for cutting PVC tubes
  • sandpaper to debur edges of cut pipe
  • PVC cleaner, PVC cement (recommended)
  • acetone (recommended) to remove black printing on pipe and other parts (PVC cleaner also works)


  • 2 ten foot lengths of 1" PVC pipe - if you need to cut these to fit in your car or take on a bus, cut (or have them cut) in half, that is in 5 foot lengths. This will not affect the design or assembly in any way. Shown below are the lengths you will need to cut.

  • 2 "T"s indicated in green
  • 2 90 degree "L"s indicated in blue
  • 2 coupling indicated in pink
  • 4 end caps in red
  • common metal shower curtain hooks to slide on overhead pipe and hold various items


  • Only those joints shown as assembled are to be cemented. Other joints, shown as gaps above, are friction fit, so that you can take the unit apart for transport and storage
  • Use the cement to make these subassemblies (so you don't lose the fittings)
    • 2 Base assemblies (B): cap + 10" pipe (r) + T + 12" pipe (f) + cap
    • 2 Riser Assemblies (R): 50" pipe + L
    • 3 Top Pipe subassemblies
      • a: 56" pipe by itself (used for 5' folding tables)
      • b: 11.5" pipe + coupling (added for 6' tables)
      • c: 23.5" pipe + coupling (added for 8' tables)
  • assemble dry (no cement) to test assembled dimensions, disassemble, and then assemble subassemblies using PVC Cleaner* and PVC Cement* -- Remove any imprinting on the sides of pieces with acetone on a rag before cementing.

    NOTE: PVC Cleaner and Cement: if you do not have these, buy only the smallest containers your supplier has. That will be more than enough. Cleaner comes in clear, purple, and orange. Get the clear. The cleaner has a dual purpose: removing dirt, grease, and oil; softening the PVC piece so that the cement can make a better bond. Apply the cleaner to the inside of the fitting and the outside of the pipe. Then promptly apply the cement to the same surfaces. Fit together firmly tightly and hold a few seconds. The bond cannot be undone, and any misassembled pieces will have to be trashed. Be sure you have deburred sawed edges of pipe sections before attempting to assemble.

Suspended Items:

This unit is strong enough to bear moderate weight.

A fabric banner or a rigid well-designed eye-catching plaque giving the name of your national organization and/OR your local chapter or outpost. For rigid signs, foam core board is the lightest material.

If your fabric banner has grommet eyes, suspend it with shower curtain hooks which will fit your 1" PVC pipe nicely and slide easily.

For rigid plaques, drill holes or make grommet eyes.

Storage & Transporting:

This unit is designed in subassemblies for knock-down storage and transport. I made a "quiver" case for my unit. For this I used a 5' length of 4" perforated drain pipe, and a pair of 4" drain pipe caps. (Note: this pipe comes in 10' lengths but is not expensive. Many stores will cut it for you.) The perforated drain pipe is much lighter and has thinner walls than 4" pipe made for toilet stacks. Test fit cap to pipe in store to make sure you have picked the correctly mated pieces. I cemented on one cap only. I used a 1" hole saw to drill a pair of finger holes in the second end cap for ease in removing it. This cap goes on with a friction fit and can be hard to remove if you have no way of gripping it. The finger holes help. You might also want to sand the corresponding end of your pipe section to reduce the tightness of the fit.

It will take some practice to get all the subassemblies in the pipe. But they do go in, and easily, if you do it in the right sequence. a, R elbow first, R elbow last, b coupling first, B r first, B f first, c -- once you've got it, it will be easy.

Make some sort of handle to carry the quiver. You can make use of the given drain holes in the pipe for this purpose as long as any fasteners are as close to flush with the inside surface of the pipe as possible so as not to cause hang-ups when attempting to slide in your subassemblies. One option (shown) is to use a pair of adjustable clamps to hold a carrying strap.

The quiver with subassemblies inside will weigh 10-11 pounds.

Options: a long square box 4"x4" x 5' minimum; a fabric sleeve -- I tried a section of carpet tube, but the fit is just too tight.