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Weights To Hold Your Booth Down
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One issue not usually spoken about is how fragile our booths are in the wind. A number of exhibitors have learned this at the first show they exhibit at. I've asked for a few forum members to take pictures of their weights, especially when they build them. In addition to Janet Parke's excellent description of the lead weights she uses, I'd also like a few pictures and description of someone making weights out of PVC filled with concrete.

Using Lead Tire Weights
by Janet Parke

I bought 10 feet of 3" PVC, cut off the wider "female" end and divided the rest into four equal parts. (If you're going to fill the PVC with concrete, you could get a larger diameter, but if you're going to use lead weight, as I did, don't get anything larger than 3".)

For each weight, get two end caps.

For the hanging end of each weight, I got a large eye bolt, two large nuts and two large washers (one set each for the inside and outside).

I got a one-piece metal handle for each weight and bolts, washers and nuts with which to attach them. The handles are handy for picking up and carrying the lead weights and they help keep the weights from rolling around in your vehicle.

After attaching all the hardware, I glued the bolt end to the pipe using special PVC adhesive. I did this end first so that the filler would arrange itself around the long bolt inside the pipe. I filled each pipe section with leftover lead tire weights. You should be able to find these for free at tire stores. If someone wants to charge you, say "No, thanks!" and go on to another shop. The smaller (non-chain) stores tended to be friendlier and more helpful to me. I took along a pair of gloves in case I needed to do the actual filling, but in every case, the mechanics did it for me.

At this point, the pipe weighed around 16-17 lbs. As the lead tire weights are bulky and leave a fair amount of space in between, I decided to fill in the space with lead shot purchased at a sporting goods store. While the shot is tiny and fills in all the empty space, it's also fairly expensive. I ended up using a 25# bag of lead shot in each pipe in addition to the tire weights, which makes each one a hefty 40+ lbs each. They're definitely the most compact and heaviest weights I've seen, but I'd advise using as much free weight as possible before having to spend money on the shot.

I will use Velcro straps or small bungee cords to secure the hanging weights to the legs of my tent.


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