Portable St. Andrew`s Cross - BDSM Workshop

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I built my first St. Andrew's Cross in January, 1997 as a how-to construction project for our local Munch group.  I'd found no good information at that time on the Web, and used the article contributed by John Warren in KinkyKrafts as a starting point.

I quickly decided that I wanted a St. Andrew's Cross  for my own personal use and to take to local and not so local parties. This picture was taken in, April 1997 and shows the cross in it's simplest form, mostly stained, and ready for it's debut at my birthday party before going on the road to parties in Greensboro and Virginia. The Cross has gotten a lot of use and mileage, and is an ongoing project and has been modified several times to try out new ideas, therefore it isn't exactly like the Cross's I build today and shows the signs of use, travel, and experimentation.  I think these imperfections contribute to it's character!

The picture above the cross in it's original format. It had to be taken apart and reassembled whenever it was moved. Disassembled, the two main beams, 2x6x96 inches were a bit unwieldy, even with a mini-van. I wanted something more easily transported and setup, and added hinges in the upper arms so that it could be folded for transport and storage..

  In the picture on the RIGHT, you can see the hinges added to the upper arms to enable the cross to be folded for easier storage and transport without having to take it apart.

Construction Details

The St.Andrew's Cross is made of two 2x6x96 wooden beams. They cross at approximately a 26 degree angle, though this is a matter of taste and judgment. The wood is removed where they beams cross so that they fit inside each other. I use a circular saw and router to remove the wood, and smooth it up with a belt sander.

The upper arms are connect on the front and back with door hinges. In these pictures you can see a strip of leather between the ends of the pieces of wood. This strip provides some tension for the hinges to compress against, reducing wobbling and tightening the joint when the arms are raised. It also fills in the narrow gap in the wood and prevents tender skin getting caught and pinched as the arms are pulled on. 

The Cross is supported by a back leg that is hinged to a cross brace bolted to the back of the Cross. The top of the leg is visible in the back hinge picture above. Here we show the bottom of the leg. One end of the chain in the picture is connected to the center of the footrest. The other passes through a hole in the leg as shown here. This arrangement allows easy adjustment of The Cross' angle by moving the eyebolt that bisects the hole in the back leg to different links on the chain.   For stability, the end of the chain is fastened to a solid object, such as an eyebolt or screw eye in the baseboard.

The St. Andrew's Cross now folds for storage and transport. The picture on the LEFT shows one arm folded down. In the picture on the RIGHT, both arms have been folded and the back leg folded to the body of the Cross as well. In this position, the whole cross is approximately 50 inches wide, 54 inches high, and 3.5 inches thick. It slid under the back seat of our 1988 Plymouth Grand Voyager, and was easily transported and could be setup in less than 5 minutes.  I say SLID because we later traded up to a 1995 Grand Voyager LE and the thicker padding in the seats and under the carpet made it too tight a fit under the seats, so the cross has to be transported on it's side. 

One of the advantages of the folding arms is that the St. Andrew's Cross also folds to easily fit into the back of a closet or under a bed when folded.  In this situation the key advantage of this design is that the cross can be erected and taken down in  a couple of minutes.  We keep one at our house in the closet of our playroom, and find it's quick erection time an advantage.

I've been working on a design I call the Hotel Cross for some time that would fold differently and be able to fit into a fabric bag for transport measuring 12" x 4" x 48".   This design has been built and is currently being tested, and when I'm happy with the design, it will be offered here. A key point of the design is to not loose any of the strength or comfort of the existing design in the translation to a more mobile and compact format.

Building Crosses for Sale

I build Crosses for sale based on requests and the availability of time and energy to complete the task.  I've built crosses in cooperation with their final owner and to ship to them if out of state.  Where I've done this, I've done it as an unfinished cross, ready for the owner to stain and finish, thus getting their energies as well as my own into the finished product and make the cross more theirs when it's finished.  I can produce a finished cross if desired, but so far, my clients have opted for the unfinished route.


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