Where to Buy and How to Use Roll-Up, Pull-Up, or Retractable Banner Stands

Question: I am a graphics broker – or as some would say, a “middle-man” – and would like to know where to find wholesale or discounted pricing on retractable banner stands – also known as roll-up banner stands or pull-up banner stands?

Answer: There are a lot of wholesale companies in the US, Canada, and Europe that sell to brokers. We’ve found that most of them are too over-priced for us to be able to add a mark-up and still remain competitive. And there are sites that sell direct at wholesale that make re-selling banner stands difficult as well.

To find a true wholesale broker, and we can’t toot our own horn here, you need to find a wholesaler with direct ties to factories in Asia particularly. Many wholesalers will tell you they do, but the likelihood is relatively slim that they’re in contact with a company in Asia directly, as there are often multiple layers of “middle men” in Asia as well, although if you can get a second tier middle man, you may be able to be competitive.

We have several plants we deal directly with, and a few 2nd tier middle men as well. The reason it is uncommon to deal directly with the manufacturer in many instances is because they require a secondary wholesaler to buffer them from small orders. For instance, some of the plants we deal directly with we won’t even bother if, for instance, we don’t have over a thousand banner stands to quote. However, some of the smaller manufacturers among our affiliates will give us pricing on smaller quantities and it is very competitive with wholesale sellers in the US, Canada, and Europe.

Question: Where are roll-up banners (pull-up banners, retractable banners) used?

Answer: The three names used in the question are identical items and describe a banner that rolls up similar to a pull-down window blind except there is a base and a pole to keep the banner standing up.

As far as what they are used for, or where they are used, there are a lot of places where they can be used. They are used most frequently at trade shows and seminars where a company may attend for a day or two and need a portable graphic or advertisement that can be hauled in a car or a jet to the location or city where the seminar is being put on.

As far as content for the banners, that will depend, of course, on what the presenting company is trying to accomplish with the banner. It may just be their company logo at the entrance of a meeting room in a hotel or convention center alerting attendees that this is the company meeting or seminar they are looking for.

A company may also use one or more at the back of the meeting room where company reps are available to answer questions and the banners may have salient bits of information regarding products or services the company is offering, inviting attendees to learn more about the products or services by asking a rep or grabbing a DVD or brochure.

A pull-up banner could also have the company logo and/or theme on the banner by the podium as well to create brand awareness as the speaker makes a presentation. Let’s say the speaker is promoting an educational course for attorneys designed to make them honest (I know, not likely) and upstanding citizens, he may have one on either side of the podium advertising the company name and slogan, “Attorney Educators: Changing the Face of the Reputation Attorneys Have,” or the like.

Anyway. Retractable banners can also be used to promote sales in retail environments, or along aisle at trade shows, beckoning potential clients to enter the booth to get more information on your company. So there are lots of uses for pull-up/roll-up banners stands. I’m sure you can come up with more than I did.

Brian Jones, Founder of the Rolling Stones

Last year the music community and fans marked the 25th
anniversary of John Lennon’s death. Predictably, quite a few new
Beatles books have hit the stores just in time for the holidays.
Few bands have managed to carve out such a coveted place in rock n’
roll history, which leads to the age old question: The Beatles or
The Rolling Stones. It’s a debate that has raged on since the early
60s, with devoted fans of each voicing their steadfast opinions.
Others stand firmly in the middle, believing it’s simply a matter
of taste. Both artists contributed much to the history of recorded
music. More than 40 years after their formation, The Rolling Stones
still tour the world, though some argue they are a pale shadow of
the once vibrant band they were in the early 60s. Ultimately, they
are still selling out shows and fans are still enjoying them.

Most Stones fans cite the prolific material of the 1970s as the
group’s best work and few can downplay the importance of EXILE ON
MAIN STREET and LET IT BLEED. But, the term ‘best’ is open to
interpretation. Surely, it had a strong impact on bands to follow
but the same can be said of the Stones early material, represented
by such classic albums like 1966’s AFTERMATH and 1968’s BEGGARS
BANQUET . The early live shows and recordings set new boundaries by
tying classic blues and R&B together with raw rock n’ roll. The
blues foundation, which carried over into the Stones 70s material,
was rooted in the band’s original guitarist and founder, Brian
Jones. The “forgotten Stone” is known to few newer Stones fans.
Still, Brian’s enigmatic persona and unique style mirrors Lennon’s
in the Beatles. Accounts claim Lennon was, in fact, closer to Brian
than any of the other Stones. The two were inseparable during the
infamous Rock N’ Roll Circus debacle of 1968 and there were even
rumors they discussed the possibility of a musical collaboration
prior to Brian’s untimely death in 1969. Our imaginations could
only envision how it would have turned out. Sadly, too few remember
Brian and the often understated impact he had on one of the most
quintessential rock n’ roll bands of all time.

I’ve read nearly every book on the life of Brian Jones and visited
his grave in the English countryside a few years back. Most books
say the same thing: they talk about Brian’s early life and
childhood; his meeting with Mick and Keith, which led to the
formation of the Stones; his subsequent downfall due to lack of
self-esteem and drug use, and his untimely death ruled a suicide
but still believed by many to be murder. Lost in all of these books
is the true insight into Brian as a person. There is mention of
both his many character flaws, which contributed to his ultimate
downfall, and his many attributes, including a tenacity that drove
the Stones to the forefront of a musical rebellion. The two
conflicting sides of Brian’s personality somehow melded together to
form a musician with unique talent, whose musical “flavorings”
helped the Stones stand out from their contemporaries; from the
sitar on “Paint It Black to the dulcimer on “Lady Jane”.

The Rolling Stones were formed in the early 60s when Brian came
together with childhood friends Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. In
the early years, the three held each other in admiration and even
lived together in squalor in a small London apartment without heat
during one of the roughest winters on record in the UK. Brian had a
hard time holding onto steady work and he and Keith would spend
hours practicing guitar riffs in their freezing apartment. The trio
would often share a bed to keep warm at night, a story that
eventually led to rumors that Mick and Brian had a sexual
relationship. Mick, Keith and Brian were the glue that held the
Stones together until they crossed paths with Andrew Oldham, who
became their manager and marketer. His business savvy impressed
the group and they trusted his input, which eventually included
elevating Mick and Keith to the post of songwriting team (an
unofficial ‘poster boys’). Though not able to break into the
“Glitter Twins” writing monopoly, Brian was able contribute
enduring musical masterpieces, with instruments ignored in
contemporary music up until that time. Truly gifted, Brian was able
to pick up just about any instrument and learn how to play it in
just a few hours time. His brilliant sitar performance on “Paint It
Black” is heralded as one of his best. The song owes its “classic”
status to Brian’s inspired performance. Regardless, Brian was
gradually removed as self-proclaimed ‘leader’ of the Stones. Only
those present can be certain of the dynamics at play, but the
accepted version is that Mick and Keith grew closer while writing,
as Brian became more and more alienated. His severe self-esteem
problem, something he was never able to conquer, apparently kept
him from offering input and further isolated him from the band. It
has been said that Brian actually wrote songs and had he been more
mentally stable, he might have been confident enough to present
them to the band. They are now rumored to be held by one of his
many ex-girlfriends. Some members of the Stones inner circle claim
that Brian, and not Keith Richards, actually crafted the famous
riff that launches the Stones classic “Satisfaction”. The story
goes that Brian was playing the riff one day, and Keith heard it.
Later, Keith awoke in the middle of the night and began playing the
riff into a tape recorder, expanding on it to create the tune that
became legendary. The rumor of Brian’s input has never been
corroborated. Ultimately, Brian’s paranoid insistence that the
remainder of the Stones were “out to get him” kept him from
achieving his most coveted musical: to be recognized as a

By the mid-60s, Brian Jones had developed a serious dependence on
illegal drugs. Sadly, these mixed badly with his poor mental
health, leading to further isolation and paranoia. If Brian were
alive today, he would most likely be diagnosed as manic depressive
and placed on medication to control his extreme ups and downs. In
Brian’s day, however, far less was known about such medical
conditions and Brian was left to cope with his growing stardom and
increasingly shrinking role in the Stones and unable to dig himself
out of the cycle of alternating megalomania and self-loathing.
Interestingly, Mick and Keith’s much-publicized “drug orgy” at
Keith’s home, Redlands, eclipsed Brian’s own arrest and trial for
retaining a controlled substance. Even in drug use, Brian had
failed to measure up and he continued to feel defeated. As Brian
sunk deeper and deeper into a drug-induced stupor, it has been said
that his personality became unbearable. Many claim the drug use
made him nasty and violent and he was accused of beating more than
one of his ex-girlfriends, which eventually lead to the infamous
“Anita Pallenberg incident”. Anita, a German model Brian met in
1966, has been called Brian’s only ‘true love’. In 1967, she
joined Brian and Keith, among others, on a trip to Morocco. Legend
has it Brian became irate with Anita and beat her to the point
where she fled to Keith, hysterical and begging for help. Keith
came to her rescue and the entire group left Morocco, leaving Brian
behind. Keith and Anita would eventually become lovers (legend has
it she also had onscreen intercourse with Mick while filming the
cult film “Performance”) widening the gap between Brian and the
other Stones even further. By the time Brian returned to the UK on
his own, his relationship with the Stones was beyond repair.

It’s clear, through stories from bandmates, ex-girlfriends and
friends, that Brian Jones could be an outright louse but he could
also be a trusted friend and confident musician. Sadly, by the time
the Stones recorded the infamous THEIR SATANIC MAJESTIES REQUEST in
1967, Brian was worlds apart from his former ‘best buddies’. He
hated the album and repeatedly begged the other Stones not to
release it, claiming it blatantly ripped off the Beatles SGT.
PEPPERS album. Strangely enough, this is the first Stones album
that featured a track written by a Stone other than Mick or Keith,
Bill Wyman’s “In Another Land”. Upon release, Brian’s opinion was
proven correct, as critics and fans dismissed the album as a pale
shadow of its Beatles counterpart. Over time, the album has been
given much more credit for its place in rock history. By the time
the Stones hit the studio to record the follow-up, 1968s BEGGARS
BANQUET, Brian was all but useless. Luckily, he was able to
contribute some fantastic slide guitar to “Salt of the Earth” and
lend some backup vocals to “Sympathy for the Devil”. Sadly, Keith
was forced to pick up most of the slack on this album, and Brian’s
dismissal from the Stones was all but imminent. Brian managed to
contribute mildly to LET IT BLEED, released in 1969, but his part
is barely worth a mention.

The Stones asked Brian to leave the group in June of 1969. The
split was reported in the press as mutual, and Brian retired to his
home, Cotchford Farm, formerly owned by A.A. Milne, writer of the
classic “Winnie the Pooh” books. Brian spent much time working on
music and ‘detoxing’ during this time. He reportedly discussed
collaborations with other musicians, including the members of
Credence Clearwater Revival and John Lennon. Sadly, on July 2,
1969, Brian Jones was found dead in his swimming pool, his passing
ruled “death by misadventure” a/k/a drowning. Interestingly,
neither Mick Jagger nor Keith Richards attended Brian’s funeral,
though the Stones held a ‘memorial concert’ in Hyde Park days after
his death. Both Charlie Watts and Bill Wyman attended the service
in Brian’s native Cheltenham, while rumors that Brian’s death was
actually murder surfaced shortly thereafter. First, his girlfriend
at the time, Anna Wohlin, was whisked away never to be seen again.
Second, though Brian was an expert swimmer and there was a nurse at
his home the evening of his death, no one was able to save him.
Third, though Brian did have narcotics in his system at the time of
his death, they were not strong enough to have rendered him
helpless in his own pool. New theories have abounded in books by
Wohlin and Terry Rawlings, among others. The general consensus is
that Brian was killed by a live-in contractor, Frank Thorogood.
Published reports claim the two had a falling out, prompting
Thorogood to hold Brian’s head under the water until he drowned.
Rawling’s book claims, according to former Stones tour manager Tom
Keylock, Thorogood eventually confessed to the crime on his
deathbed. British producer Stephen Wooley is currently working on a
film centered mainly on Wohlin’s book. STONED (scheduled for
release in early 2006) claims to finally ‘solve’ the mystery of
Brian’s death. According to Wooley, Janet Lawson (the nurse at
Brian’s home on the night he died) offered valuable information
that led to the ending of the film. The indie film may be hard to
find at local theaters but a DVD release is also planned. Whether
or not the film is a success, the music of the Stones will stand as
a testament to Brian’s legacy. If you aren’t familiar with the
early material, now is your chance to pick it up. It surely shaped
all Stones material to come, including their current work. If you
are interested in more on Brian’s life, there are many books to
check out, each with subtle nuances and interesting stories. Either way, it’s a pleasant musical education. Happy New Year!

If you are interested in more articles let us know.

DefstarLtd Auctions dedicated to providing unique products from entertainment memorabilia to technology and beyond. Please check out our website and contact us with questions.
Thank you,

Dawn Simonds

Lee Simonds


[email protected]


ENGLAND’S NEWEST HITMAKERS / 1964 [includes a fantastic cover
version of Buddy Holly’s “Not Fade Away”]

THE ROLLING STONES, NOW! / 1965 [great slide work by Brian on
“Little Red Rooster”]

OUT OF OUR HEADS / 1965 [featuring the classic “Satisfaction”]

AFTERMATH / 1966 [standouts include “Paint It Black” and “Lady Jane”]

BEGGARS BANQUET / 1968 [Brian’s ‘swan song’ slide work on “Salt of
the Earth”]

“Jumpin’ Jack Flash” / 1968 single [some nice ‘color’ from Brian]


“Who Killed Christopher Robin?” / Terry Rawlings [June 2005]

“The Murder Of Brian Jones” / Anna Wohlin [October 2000]

“Golden Stone” / Laura Jackson [October 1993] (this one is out of
print but worth finding)

“Death Of A Rolling Stone” / Mandy Aftel [September 1982] (major
collector’s item, fetching more than $200 used and very rare)

“The Last Decadent” / Jeremy Reed [July 1999]

“Brian Jones: The Inside Story of A Rolling Stone” / Nicholas
Fitzgerald [October 1985] (another rare find, not much new
information, but worth it for a collector)

“Paint It Black: The Murder of Brian Jones” / Geoffrey Guliano
[April 1994] (I’ve heard mixed reviews on this one; it’s quite
similar to Terry Rawlings’ book.)

Angle Roll Bending Machine Information for Buyers

When it comes to metal fabrication equipment, you may have heard of an angle roll bending machine. Some may refer to it as a section bending machine, but its purpose is still the same – form raw pieces of metal into desired shapes and sizes.

If you have ever seen an angle roll bending machine, you would agree that most are constructed in a vertical steel frame. It is common that the bending portion of the machine is located on one side, with the power and drive of the machine on the opposite side.

This writing is intended to educate and help the purchaser of Angle Bending Machines to ask the right questions when considering a purchase.

Power source:

Small units are powered by an electric motor with a reducer. The power transmission is accomplished by gear trains and or chains / sprockets combinations. These are units used in small job shops and rod iron fabricating establishments. The new generation of the section bending machines is powered by hydraulic systems. These are used for bending from the smallest bars to very large wide flanged structural beams.

The large hydraulic units have a double pump hydraulic system, with one providing the flow for the rotation of the rolls and the other for the extension and retraction of hydraulic cylinders attached to arms carrying the bending rolls.

Some designs use one main hydraulic motor, usually mounted to an epicyclical in-line reduction gear, which imparts rotation to all three rolls. Another variation is each roll having its individual hydraulic motor/ reduction box combination directly driving it.

The Bending Process:

There are some terms used in the industry describing the capacities of Section Bending Machines and the process used, which the purchaser should become familiar with.

Square and rectangular rods, round rods, square and rectangular tubing, round tubing, standard pipe, equal leg and unequal leg angles, “C” and “MC” channel, “S” and “WF” beams, “T” bars …these are sections which can be rolled on section bending machines.

“Leg out” means the leg of a section, like in angles will stick outward from the ring formed in a radial direction. “Leg in” means the leg of a section, like in angles will stick inward from the ring formed in a radial direction toward the center of the ring. “Leg out” is also known as “Easy way” and “Leg in “Hard way” There are exceptions to this terminology when it comes to channels, whereby one can bend a channel leg in, leg out and the hard way when bent on its side.

Bending of round sections, pipes and round tubing require special tooling other than what is usually provided standard with section bending machines. In special cases with square and rectangular tubing where the wall thickness is low…the manufacturer should be consulted as to whether special all section enveloping tooling is required to avoid the section from collapsing under the bending forces.

Bending Channels, S beams and WF beams the hard way, present a special challenge because the force of bending would sometimes collapse the web connecting the flanges. Most manufacturers of heavy section bending machines offer what is called a “Traction Tool”, which holds the section back and supports the web so as to avoid collapse.

Machine Capacity:

Each section has what is known as a “Section Modulus”. This value is a measure of the resistance a section displays to bending. It is the quotient of the sections Moment of Inertia about the axis passing through its center of gravity, which coincides with the neutral axis of the section and the furthest distance on the section from that neutral axis. In symmetric sections bending about the neutral axis both ways will give the same section modulus, however in non symmetric sections, the section moduli are different for calculations of leg in and leg out bending.

Depending on the design of the machine, each machine will have a certain capacity of bending. Thus the pressure exerted on the machine members will dictate the limit, before rendering the deflections the members sustain unacceptable or the wear and tear caused on the machine would be excessive. This limit is what is specified as W or S (Section Modulus Capacity) in in3 or cm3.

In general catalogs and brochures describing section bending machines would give the maximum section sizes a machine can bend of each type of structural or bar section. With a minimum diameter the machine can bend them to. By rule of thumb and practice it has been established that the minimum diameter of bars, tubes and pipes is ten times the height of the leg or the dimension taken in the radial direction. For the rest of the sections it is approximately 11 to 12 times the height of the section or the leg.

When a section dimension and thickness is not mentioned on the capacity charts, the user either needs to calculate the section modulus of the section and if this is less than the Section modulus capacity of the machine, he/ she will be in the safe zone and no damage will come to the machine. If in doubt it would behoove the user to contact the manufacturer for professional advice.


Section bending machines have become sophisticated and are using NC and CNC to bend complicated forms. These controls have canned programs for standard sections and they use teach mode where by the operator can produce the part manually and the machine keeps track of all the steps he/ she uses to accomplish the job. Then the program is memorized and archived for continuous use.

The new controls can even collect their own section characteristic data, by bending a piece of the section at different settings. The radius produced at a certain setting is input into the program and by taking three readings, the program surmises the reaction of the section to bending forces; then uses the information when the program parameters are entered and the part is run…at first trial the machine would produce a near perfect part. With small adjustments, what used to take hours of testing, experimenting and developing is cut down drastically.

Controllers have large memory capacity and many job programs are stored and recalled easily. Most units have RS232 communication capability and lately USB ports have been appearing on most of them. There are many operating systems used on these controllers…some are still using DOS, some use Windows and even Linux, while some have proprietary operating systems.


With each passing day, technology is improving, and this is no different for angle roll bending machines. Computers and engineers are largely responsible for section bending machine construction, and this allows for more precise equipment. Some inexperienced shoppers may jump at a machine with greater horsepower or even one that weighs more. Do not be fooled; instead consider these things when buying: reliability and durability of materials used in the machine’s construction, solid design, and of course ease of maintenance.

A Simple Ceramic Art Education Project

Like most elementary school art teachers you probably strain your brain to come up with simple and fun clay making lesson plans. Here’s a suggestion for kids from third to seventh grades which demonstrates basic ceramic techniques and at the same time provides a functional and attractive art object which can be used as a Mother’s Day or Christmas gift. Making a ceramic tray decorated with beautiful impressions accurately and quickly demonstrates to students how easy it is to create beautiful pottery as well as providing a basic understanding of how clay feels, how to use tools to cut the clay to size, and how to give surface texture. This project provides instant gratification in a first-time ceramics class, and thus increases the students’ self-confidence and their interest in learning more about pottery-making.

The materials required for this ceramic art education project are a slab of clay rolled out to 1/4″ thickness, a rolling pin, a pin tool, a window wipe, clay stamps, leaves or other flat found objects, newspaper, WD-40 lubricant, a wooden board sized to reflect the inside dimensions of the finished tray and a piece of foam 2 1/2″ to 3″ thick, and a bit larger than the size of the finished tray. Then, using the rolling pin or a slab roller flatten the clay to a uniform 1/4″ thickness. Place the slab on a sheet of newspaper. Using a window wipe or a metal pottery kidney, smooth out the surface of the slab. Spray the bottom of the wooden board with WD-40 so that the clay slab will separate from it easily. Lay the board on the clay slab and mark the outline of the board on the slab. This will define the inner dimensions of the finished tray. Arrange the leaves, or other flat found objects, in the center part of the tray and press them into the clay with the rolling pin.

Using a ruler, score the clay slab an inch or so wide all the way around the area defined by the wooden board, and cut it out from the slab. This strip will be the rim of the tray. Decorate what will become the tray’s rim with clay stamps, or by other means. This is where classroom ceramics creativity can be truly inspiring and innovative. Place the cut-out tray slab that is still clinging to the newspaper on top of the foam. Placing the lubricated side of the wooden gently in the center of the cut-out tray. Press the board onto the clay until the the clay rim erects to the angle desired; the tray is now fully formed. Using the pin tool, remove the board from the clay by starting at the corners and lifting gently. Allow the tray to dry to leather hardness, and then bisque-fire. Glaze the tray as desired, and fire to cone 06.