Mermaid Tail Stand
* This is what worked for me. I do not know how it will work with your tail as they are all different. Measure and make your own changes as needed. So far my tails have been fine on the stand but I do not know how they will hold if displayed long term. For now I am using these stands to dry my silicone/silicone hybrid tails after swimming in them.
Made out of wood and steel.
Step 1: Measure for the height of the stand. I measured from the foot pockets to the waist of my tails. Mine were around 4 feet. Initially I thought we could use a 3 foot (36″) piece (with the fork on top of that) but I forgot to factor in space needed to allow for air flow or a fan under the tail. So for me the 4 foot (48″) pipe worked best for me. To make it taller you could go to a 5 foot pipe but it will make the stand less stable.
Step 2: Measure the length of the foot pockets. Mine are about 9-10″ long. So the fork needed to be around that size. Initially I was trying for about a 12″ fork. But these are my final numbers that work are: Stand 1’s fork is 10″ & Stand 2’s fork is 9″ without padding.
Step 3: Measure the width of the foot pockets. Mertailor tail is wider at 9″ and MerNation tail is a lot more narrow at 6.5″. This made me have to have 2 different size forks (you can probably find a universal size that will work for several tails wanted 2 stands).
- Measuring tape
- Pipe wrench (you don’t really need this but it is helpful if you really have to screw the fork tight to make it fit in your foot pockets or to un-screw the pipe if you make it too tight)
- Cleaner/Acetone to remove pipe grease
- Painting supplies: foam brush, paint brush, gloves, drop cloth, etc.
- Wood stain & polyurethane sealant
- Clear coat spray paint
All the parts were purchased at Home Depot (Tampa, FL Jan 2018).
made for my Mertailor Spellbound Tail
(34 lbs, heavy fluke)
Since this tail is a bit heavier and more heavy in the fluke area with wider foot pockets I decided to go a bit beefier. I went with 3/4″ pipe and regular elbow pipes. I up-sized the floor flange to a 1″ because it has a wider footprint and it will be more stable on the base.
- 1 Pine round 1″ x 23 3/4″ $10.35
- 1 Galvanized steel pipe 3/4″ 48″ $16.38
- 2 Galvanized steel 3/4″ x close nipple $1.68 each / $3.36
- 2 Galvanized steel 3/4″ x 8″ nipple $5.33 each / $10.66
- 2 Galvanized steel 3/4″ elbow $2.94 each / $5.88
- 2 Galvanized steel 3/4″ cap $2.97 each / $5.94
- 1 Galvanized steel 3/4 Tee $3.70
- 1 Galvanized steel 1″ to 3/4″ Bushing $4.26
- 1 Galvanized steel 1″ Floor Flange $13.20
- Zinc sheet metal screws 14×1 (4 pack) $1.18
Total cost: $74.91 plus tax
made for my MerNation Signature full silicone tail
(25 lbs, heavy body)
This tail is very narrow at the foot pockets. I had to downsize to 1/2″ pipe & use the “street” elbows that screw directly into the Tee. I couldn’t find a up-sizing (bushing) piece to go from 1/2″ to 1″. The 1/2″ Flange seemed very small to me but I compromised by using the 3/4″ Flange. It seems to be stable enough to hold up the lighter tail. I also couldn’t put metal caps on the top of the stand (they got caught on the silicone & didn’t fit very nice) so I used some plastic caps that were on the long pipe at Home Depot as a cap to keep the edges of the metal pipe from digging into the silicone while sliding the tail on the stand. Later I put padding over them.
- 1 Pine round 1″ x 23 3/4″ $10.35
- 1 Galvanized steel pipe 1/2″ 48″ $12.98
- 2 Galvanized steel 1/2″ x 8″ nipple $4.26 each / $8.52
- 2 Galvanized steel 1/2″ elbow “90deg street” $2.94 each / $5.88
- 1 Galvanized steel 1/2″ Tee $2.94
- 1 Galvanized steel 1″ to 3/4″ Bushing $3.18
- 1 Galvanized steel 3/4″ Floor Flange $8.42
- Zinc sheet metal screws 14×1 (4 pack) $1.18
- Keep the 2 little red plastic caps that sometimes come on the pipe. (This will help protect the edges of the top of the fork they are free)
- Something for padding (I used old socks) & tape (I used athletic tape)
Total cost: $53.75
Step 1: Screw the pieces together. See diagrams below.
Step 2: Measure the forks to make sure they will fit in the foot pockets. At this point I folded my tails down and carefully slid the forks into the tails to see if it fit. I needed to screw the elbows into the Tee on the First Stand a lot more than I thought I would. This was difficult and took a lot of muscle. (Just be prepared to put some elbow grease and leverage into it. My Fiancé brought me his pipe wrench to help.)
Step 3: Find the center of the wood base (use your measuring tape). Screw the Flange into the wood base using a drill. Screw the Bushing into the Flange.
Note: Now you have 2 pieces: the fork (It kinda looks like a Triton) & the base. You can store it separately like this when not in use.
Step 4: Screw the fork into the base.
Step 5: Add padding to the top of the fork.
I only did this on the Second stand (for my MerNation tail). I thought the 3/4″ caps on the First stand had a nice round surface area that wouldn’t dig into the foot pockets too much (if needed I’ll add padding later). I used 2 old socks and rolled them up so there were several layers covering the top of the stand. Then wrapped them with athletic tape.
NOTE: If you are going to seal the steal pipe with Rust-Oleum, add the padding after the paint is dry.
There are many different options for padding and I’m curious to see what you guys decide to use. My way isn’t likely to be permanent and I’ll probably have to redo it whenever the socks or tape come off.
The wood and steel need to be sealed (especially since water may be dripping from your tail as it dries). The wood may warp or do weird things. Eventually, the steel pipe will rust (it will take many many years…but eventually it will happen).
Step one: Stain wood and seal with polyurethane. Or paint with a water resilient paint.
Optional Step two: Clean the steel with Acetone to remove the grease from the pipes. Seal with a clear coat of paint. I used Rust-Oleum Clear Spray Paint. I didn’t want to use a colored paint because I was worried it would transfer onto my tails.
When I put my tails onto the stands, I roll/fold them down so I can see the foot pockets. Then I lift (or attempt to lift) them onto the stand. Or you can keep the tail on a table with it folded over and lean the stand into the tail. Once you see the fork is in the foot pockets than lift the tail and stand upright. Be very careful with your tails so you’re not allowing the stand to poke into the silicone bodies and potentially making holes or weak points.
Note: My MerNation tail had been dry for almost a week (or so I thought)…Then when I put it onto the stand for the first time there was hidden water that had dripped from it. I realized how much I needed a new way to dry my tails. I hope these will help. This is also why you should seal the wood base…to protect from water damage.
There are concerns about monofins cracking or the weight of the silicone body pulling away from the fluke. Remember that each tail is made differently. They are connected differently. They weigh differently. I do not recommend leaving your tail hanging unobserved for too long. Please check for possible damage. I do not know how your tail will react with the long term use on the tail stand.
I would like to hear the good and bad experiences that you’ve had with tail stands. Please leave me a comment.
There are also several options to making tail stands. The above just what I have done. I didn’t come up with the idea on my own. I got the idea from a Pod member who posted a picture of an already made stand. Then I asked my Fiancé to help me make one. These are some of the pictures I used for reference. *Please let me know if these are your designs or pics and I will give you credit (or remove the photos, if you request). A lot of the popular tail stands are made with PVC and maybe a good and less expensive option for you.
Side note: I also attempted to hang my tail on the wall using guitar hooks. It worked well for about 3 months then one day as the tail shifted one of the hooks pulled out of the wall. The tail fell and one of the heel fins tore. Sooo, I decided that wasn’t the best option for me to dry or store my tails.
If you have a tail stand or you build a stand like mine, please send me a photo and/or post on Instagram and tag me (my IG mermaid site is MermaidAerialPrincess). I’d love to see how everyone else is doing it.