Mini Review: Painter's Pyramid

Two Painter's Pyramids on a workbench

If you've been in a home improvement store or perused a woodworking supply catalog recently, you've likely seen the Painter's Pyramid. These small plastic pyramids hold your project off the workbench while you apply a finish. This keeps the piece from accidently sticking to the paper or cardboard used to protect the bench. In addition, they Painter's Pyramids allow you to finish both sides of a workpiece in one finishing session.

Each pyramid is about 2 inches in height. Three of the sides have a hole while the fourth face is open, allowing the pyramids to be stacked for storage. The plastic is about 1/8" thick. The manufacturer's website claims they can hold up to 200 pounds, more than enough for nearly any project

In the past, I've achieved similar results using nails a couple of different ways. To finish both sides of a workpiece, I've driven nails through a scrap piece of plywood and rested the workpiece on the points of the nails. For supporting tables, I've hammered nails part way into the bottom of the legs (where the nail holes won't be seen). While this works, it is somewhat inconvenient.

What I Like

  • Easy to store. Since they are small and stackable, they don't take up much storage space.
  • Easier to rearrange than nails through a board.
  • Less damaging to the workpiece. Nails have a tendency to mar the surface of the wood if you're not careful.

What I don't like

  • With smaller parts, which don't have much weight, the workpiece has a tendency to slide around a bit. The point of a nail tends to grab the workpiece a bit. This isn't much of an issue if you are spraying a finish.
  • The tip of the pyramid isn't as narrow as a nail. If you're trying to finish both sides of a panel and both sides of the panel will be visible, plan on having to touch up the spots where the pyramids touched the board.
  • They are not sold in packs that are multiples of four -- they're sold in packs of 10. Most of the time you need four to properly support a panel or table, so it seems like they should be sold in packs of 8 or 12.

Overall, the Painter's Pyramid is a simple concept that does what it says and solves a real problem. I doubt I will return to using nails in boards anytime soon

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