We are trying to figure out an alternative to a regular cardboard drum. It needs to be at least 23-24 inches round. I have a big fear that a cardboard drum will buckle under the weight of a 5 tiered cake.
So all you smart cakers, what do y'all use?
And what do you cover them in?
I buy drums. They're quite strong and I have 24" ones on my shelf right now.
You can also use plywood.
I just did a large cake for which I wanted a hexagonal base, so I cut one out of MDF using our table saw. It was pretty heavy, but was really solid and I felt very confident picking up the heavy cake on in.
Edited to add that it was covered in fondant with ribbon trim. It's also a good idea to glue something to the base so you can get your fingers underneath to lift it. I forgot about this when I was purchasing materials, so I just hot-glued on a bunch of plastic coupler rings.
I use plywood for larger cakes...the larger ones definitely get covered with fondant (cover it well in advance to prevent most, if not all, of the denting.) otherwise, you got overlap from the cake board wrap.