Dual Purpose Mounts for Folding Fans
To reduce risk to folding handheld fans during study and/or display supportive mounts were designed to serve both functions.
2008 Wright Ave
Greensboro, NC 27403
18 E. Main
Newark, DE 19716
P.O. Box 1776
Williamsburg, Va 23187
Photo Credits: All images courtesy of Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.
This mount design uses a pleated folder stock support attached to a sloped mat board and archival cardboard base to create a custom fit cradle for an unfolded, decorative hand fan. The mount provides support for storage and can be used for display purposes as well. The form is covered with self-adhesive, black sueded polyethylene. The nap of this material reduces the risk of slippage of the fan and provides a visually unobtrusive mount suitable for integration into exhibit case design.
Materials, Tools & Supplies
• Acid free folder stock (10 pt.)
• Archival corrugated board
• 4-ply museum quality matboard (black)
• Self adhesive sueded polyethylene (black)
• Double-sided tape
• Hot melt glue sticks
• Soft padding materials such a polyester or cotton batting
• Polyethylene foam
• Flexible tape measure
• Compass (large) or ruler with marking gauge and pivot point attached
• Straight edge
• Utility knife
• Rotary cutter
• Metal spatula
• Bone folder
• Bamboo skewer
• Glue gun
MAKING THE INITIAL MEASUREMENTS
Begin with the fan folded.
1. Measure the guard length from the center of the rivet to the tip. This will define the outer circumference of the pleated folder stock support. (Fig. 1)
2. Measure the length of the sticks from the center of the rivet to the lower edge of the leaf. This is more easily seen from the side of the fan while folded. This measurement will be used to create the proper width of the pleated folder-stock support. (Fig. 2)
The next set of measurements will require the fan to be open.
3. With the fan open in a position that adequately shows the image but does not stress the sticks or the leaf, trace the outline of the fan onto a piece of 4-ply mat board, and cut the shape. We chose to use black mat board so that it would blend in with the color of the polyethylene covering to be used later in case the mount would ever be displayed in such a way that the bottom might be seen (e.g. on a tilt in a double-sided case). The tracing should be made to create as tight a “footprint” as possible so that the edges of the mount will be minimally visible when on display.
4. Using soft padding material, such as tissue and/or blotter, position the open fan so that the upper guard is at the proper height to create the natural decline between the guards. This varies widely among fans. Fans with many sticks, and therefore many pleats, tend to have a greater decline than fans with fewer sticks, which have wider pleats and rest in a flatter orientation. In this orientation, the upper guard is as horizontal as possible from the rivet to the end of the guard. The height measurement should be taken from the bottom of the guard thickness to the mat board base.
5. Move the fan, maintaining the exact position desired for the mount, to a padded surface that will provide ample support for taking the additional measurements needed with the fan still open. We used a thin blotter that was slightly larger than the fan with layers of tissue. This allowed the fan to remain stationary but be easily turned around for taking measurements. The padding prevented any pressure from being placed on the edges, leaf pleats, or the sticks from resting in an open position.
6. Working at the upper edge of the leaf, measure the width of paper sector from the pleat peak to the adjacent pleat valley, then vice versa, working from the upper guard (the side which will be elevated) along the length of the fan. If the pleats are a fairly regular dimension then an average measurement can be used. These measurements will be used to make the pleats of the folder-stock conform exactly, or at least as close as possible, to the fan that will rest in it. We made a list of each measurement taken beginning with the width of the upper guard followed by the width from that guard to the first peak (abbreviated P1). The next measurement was the first peak to the first valley (abbreviated V1). [Figure 3] The list continued using this numbering convention. These will later be used to label the folding template created on the folder-stock for the support.
MAKING THE PLEATED FOLDER-STOCK SUPPORT
7. On a piece of 10pt folder stock, draw an arc of at least 180° (though it is likely the leaf will be smaller than this) using a compass set to the guard length measurement (Step 1). This will define the outer circumference of the folded support. Make a mark around the tip of the set point of the compass (center point) to make it easier to find for subsequent steps.
8. Reset the compass width to the measurement taken of the sticks (Step 2). Replace the fixed tip of the compass to exactly the same spot (center point) as before and make a second arc inside the first. These two arcs define the height of the pleated support and should match the height of the leaf of the fan. Do not cut this piece out yet. (Refer to Figure 4)
9. Mark the locations of the pleats along the outer edge. Define a start point and mark the measured width of the upper guard. Then measure the distance from the guard to the first peak and mark it. Continue transferring the measurements from the list taken in Step 6 along the outer arc. We found it helpful to label each mark with the Px, Vx designations used for listing the measurements.
10. Using a straight edge, draw a line connecting each of the marks around the circumference with the center point location of the compass used for making the arcs.
11. Cut out the crescent shaped panel.
12. Using a straight edge and metal spatula, lightly score the pleats along the lines drawn in Step 10 and fold. Bone over the folds in sections to create sharp, well defined pleats. (Figure 5)
MAKING THE SLANTED BASE
13. Using the base created in Step 3 as the template, cut sectors of blue board to form steps that will create a slope to the base. [Figure 6] Two or three steps should be adequate for most fans even with a steep decline. The decline will terminate at the lower guard edge with the pleated support resting only on the mat board.
14. Several rectangular shims of blue board were stacked along the upper guard edge of the mat board base to achieve the height of the guard measurement from Step 4, keeping in mind the sector-shaped step will be the last layer in reaching this height (Step 27). Similar strips of blue board were placed at the other step locations to create a gentle slope. Affix the shims to the mat board base and to one another with double-sided tape (Figure 6).
COVERING THE PLEATED SUPPORT AND THE BASE
15. Test fit the fan to the pleated folder stock support prior to covering to ensure that the number of pleats and the measurements are correct. Place the pleated folder stock support on the base and then rest the open fan on the pleated support. If there are any problems associated with fit, remove the fan from the support and correct the problematic area(s). If the support was adjusted, replace the fan and to make sure the fit is correct.
16. Cover the pleated support with sueded polyethylene. Cut the sueded polyethylene into sector-shaped strips wide enough to cover 2-3 pleats and long enough cover the full height of the support with approximately 1-2 cm turn over at each end. As you are affixing the polyethylene in place, press it into the folds of the support. Cut the polyethylene so the join of one piece to the next will occur in the valley, to decrease the potential for lifting or detachment. Turn the edges around the end of the pleated folder stock support, clipping and folding the polyethylene onto itself as necessary to cover the folder stock completely. This is most important on the outer edge; the inner edge won’t be as easily seen once the fan is in place.
17. Cover the edges of the base that will be seen once the pleated support is put in place. Allowing for a 2-4 cm turn over on each side of the edges. Many snips and folds will be necessary to follow the rounded edge.
PUTTING THE PARTS TOGETHER
18. Place the pleated support on the base and the fan on the support to check that the spread of the pleats and the slope are correct. If necessary, tighten or widen pleats to best accommodate the fan. Once the positioning is correct, place registration marks (we used small strips of tape) on the pleated support and the base so that pleat locations can be easily lined up when adhering in place (Figure 7).
19. First attach the upper guard sector in place with hot melt adhesive. Then work in short sections to affix the rest of the folder stock support with the adhesive. Lift the support and spread adhesive over a small section, lay the folder stock down in place based on the registration marks and allow the adhesive to set. Proceed by lifting the remaining portion and setting down another section as described (Figure 8).
CREATING AND ATTACHING THE STICK SUPPORT
20. Cut, in an arc, a piece of the unbleached cotton batting and adhere it to the mount with hot melt adhesive, minimally applied. Add enough thicknesses of unbleached cotton batting to ensure that the sticks are resting on the surface of the cotton without the cotton pushing on the sticks and elevating the fan leaf out of the pleated support (Figure 9).
21. Cut a piece of sueded polyethylene that is in the relative shape of the unbleached cotton with a little excess. Cover this cotton with the sueded polyethylene and push the excess sueded polyethylene with a skewer, or other pointed tool, underneath the pleated support (Figure 10). If necessary, use hot melt adhesive to tack down pieces that are not properly adhered, but make sure that no adhesive will touch the fan.
CREATING AND ATTACHING THE RIVET SUPPORT
22. Place the fan on the mount and measure the distance from the underside of the rivet to the base of the mount. If the fan leaf is slanted so that the upper edge is not in contact with the pleated support, elevate the rivet to the necessary height and then take a measurement. Ensure that the rivet is not so high that it places stress on the upper edge of the leaf and lifts the lower portion of the leaf from the mount. We found that using shims of blotter sufficiently supported the rivet to take a measurement.
23. Using a scalpel, carve the support for the rivet from polyethylene foam. The rivet support should be shaped roughly like a chair so that the highest point provides extra support if the fan should slip down when tilted (Figure 11). Ensure that the highest point is not so high that it obscures the head of the fan. The “seat” of the chair should just touch the lowest point of the rivet. If the rivet is pronounced, cut a slight depression in the “seat.”
24. Cover the rivet support with sueded polyethylene. Many cuts will be necessary to get the covering to conform to the shape of the support. If necessary, use hot melt adhesive to tack down loose edges.
25. Construct a temporary padded support, like the one formed in Steps 4 and 5 and place the fan upon it. Put an appropriate amount of hot melt adhesive on the bottom of the rivet support and adhere it to the mount. Replace the fan on the mount.
THE FINAL ADJUSTMENTS
26. After the fan mount is assembled, check the lower and upper guards. If one or both are not sufficiently supported, the creation of a wedge(s) is necessary. Measure the height from the supporting surface to the height at which the guard should rest. If the guard is not completely horizontal, it may be necessary to have one end of the wedge be smaller than the other. We took measurements at the uppermost tip of the guard and the point where the wedge would stop to obtain the correct height.
27. Create the triangular prism (wedge) from folder stock to the measured height and ensure that the wedge runs at least the length of the pleated support. This creates a unified and clean look. Cover the wedge with the sueded polyethylene and adhere the wedge in place (Figures 12 & 13).
28. Check once more to see if all of the sueded polyethylene edges are properly adhered, and if necessary, use the hot melt adhesive to place loose edges in plane. Remove the fan from the mount for this step and replace the fan when finished.
29. Congratulations! You have successfully created a custom fan mount (Figure 14).
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