While our Two and Three-Footers are made to be portable, a custom base or enclosure makes them look more professional. There are several pictures of custom bases for our smaller Wells on www.spiralwishingwells.com/public. As you can see on that page, making a custom base doesn’t mean that it still can’t be moved if you need it to be somewhat portable.
Following are some hints and cautions to consider:
- Be sure that your custom base doesn’t raise the height of the Well which makes it difficult for children to reach the coin launch ramps and to see the coins spin all the way down into the funnel. Recommended rim-height is about 23 to 25 inches. Children will try to climb on the Well if it is too high.
- Minimize any portions of the base being wider than the funnel which creates a surface upon which children can climb. Also, a wider base makes the launch ramps more difficult to reach, and effectively moves the center of the funnel farther from view which makes it more difficult to see the final spirals. An example of this is shown here. It looks great, but it makes it more difficult to reach and see.
3) We do not recommend wheels such as the one shown in this picture. The Well should be solid and stable. By the way, as you will see in that picture, they also made it too tall for children which, in the end, will significantly reduce the revenue.
The easiest and least-expensive base to make is a “box” with a hole in the top, such as the one made by the Columbus Zoo for their gorilla enclosure, shown here. The funnel is then attached to the top surface, and the snout of the funnel fits through the hole. A box has 4 large sides on which you can place sponsorship messages or a description of the funding project, and it is easy to add a hinged door and lock on one side. But if the box is too large, its corners will extend out beyond the rim of the funnel and create a surface on which to climb.
The problem with this design is that the corners create a climbing surface. It is also a little bit too tall. As a result, children are continuously climbing up on their knees on the corners. This creates a possible falling-danger, and it blocks other children from seeing the coins spinning.
While the box-shape is easy to make, we would recommend making it smaller so the corners don’t extend out as far, OR angling the corners down as illustrated in the accompanying photo-shopped version of the same picture. Adding an angle and covering it with a triangular-shaped piece is very easy construction.
While more difficult, making a round or 6 or 8 sided base base will also eliminate the climbable corners.
Custom Graphics Wrap
While you can build a solid wood or metal frame on which to apply the full graphics banner, some have just "hung" it from the inside of the rim. They use our base to support the funnel. And because it has a locked door which can easily be reached through a gap or overlap of the graphic in the back. The overlapping seam of the graphics wrap is in the back, and they just open up the seam like a curtain to access the padlocked door to retrieve the coins. If you do this, you will want to turn the door of the base to the back which requires that you drill 3 new mounting holes in the top of the base that match the funnel mounting ring...very easy and quick.
We have provided a detailed instruction sheet for the simplest method of making and affixing a hanging graphics banner.
The graphic banner for a Three-Footer is 112 inches long x 19 inches tall (285 x 48 cm). The material is PVC, 510 g/m². The self-adhesive hook-and-loop (Velcro® strip) is affixed to the back-inside of the funnel rim and the counterpart to the upper front side of the PVC banner. The banner hangs about 1 inch (2.5 cm) above the floor.
You can find rolls of hook-and-loop tape by searching the web for, "hook and loop tape". It is also available locally at most stores that supply packaging and boxes. Your graphics sign maker will probably also have it.
Whichever type of base that you decide to make, we are very willing to consult with your fabricator. Our goal is to help you end up with a base that meets your needs, both cosmetically and functionally. If you want to discuss your ideas or run your plans past me, please don't hesitate to ask.
And of course, we look forward to seeing pictures and adding your Well(s) to our website.
1-937-985-5863 (Eastern USA)
- Student Guide