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Drywall or Depleted Uranium

Discussion in 'Scenery, Props, and Rigging' started by Anvilx, Jan 29, 2010.

  1. Anvilx

    Anvilx Member

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    The show is Noises off and we are constructing a fairly large turntable like thing (It lacks a motor) and the TD thought it would be a good idea to use drywall all over the structure totaliing at least 9 sheets. The issue I see with that is drywall weighs a lot and it is relatively fragile, compared to say plywood. So would it have been better to have built it with luan or a thicker plywood/luan? The TD said that his choice on it had something to do with paint. But can't you paint plywood/luan! Has anyone else used drywall in a situation like this? Is there a better solution?
  2. BrianWolfe

    BrianWolfe Active Member

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    Sheetrock is heavy and fragile. There is no reason to use it on a set. The same visual effect can be achieved using lighter and more durable material.
  3. last125eagle

    last125eagle Member

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    best noise reduction is from homosote, he is full of it.

    Drywall is used for fire rating on homes and that alone.

    I think homosote is fire rated as well.

    Dry wall is heavy, annoying, and fragile.

    why not just waste money and cover the whole thing in MDF.
  4. SHARYNF

    SHARYNF Well-Known Member

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    This is where someone confuses home construction with set construction. Properly primed you should have no problem with the finish.
    If you wanted to go way over the top, you could put down a first coat of epoxy like they do with marine bright work, but IMO there is no need for this

    As I have said before, theater is an illusion, you don't have to physically build the object as though it were a permanent structure

    Sharyn
  5. JustinTech

    JustinTech Member

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    Negatives
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    - Fragile
    - Extensive network of bracing underneath so no one walks through it

    Positive (from what I can see)
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    - painting will be smoother without the texture of ply or Luan

    Possible fix to gain the positive without the negative.
    ---------------------------------------------------
    Paint Luan with a thicker paint to smooth off the texture then use overcoat of desired color(s).

    If I am wrong on any of this would someone inform me, seeing as I am here to learn more than to help. :)

    Justin W. Crouch
  6. n1ghtmar3

    n1ghtmar3 New Member

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    If the turntable is unmotorized you want to keep the weight down as much as possible. If the drywall is solely for the smoothness and lack of grain I would skin in luaun then cover it in muslin. The luaun will give you the solid surface and the muslin will give you the nice paintable surface.
  7. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    Anytime you see a wall on TV or onstage, 9 times out of 10 its made with luan. The little crevices in luan go away after you walk 5' away.

    Are the studs are your set on 16" or 18" centers?
  8. scenerymaker

    scenerymaker Member

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    Another thing you can do if wood grain is your problem is to skim coat the luan with thinned-down drywall mud to fill the grain, then you can't see it from 2 feet away. Of course, the audience couldn't see it from 30 feet away anyway, so you are wasting your time, but it sure will look purty!

    Until an actor rakes a chair across it and dings it, that is. :grin:

    Don't bother.
  9. Anvilx

    Anvilx Member

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    I couldn't help laughing. Basically the outside edges were framed and then 2X4s were added here and there. The only spots given particular attention are around doors and windows. In one spot there was a 5' span with out a single stud in between.

    We moved it today, it took a class of 15+ guys to do it. I'm not sure how that is going to work during the show. Even better news, the pivot point was miscalculated so it has to be moved ~7" upstage. But what topped it off was that we received a delivery of more drywall today!

    I'm going in tomorrow to work on it I'll see about getting a few pictures.
  10. Irish

    Irish New Member

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    Another option is always to cover it in Luan, and then add a muslin cover to that. Fast and easy.
  11. KeepOnTruckin

    KeepOnTruckin Member

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    If your top floor is not well braced, all the pushing to wrangle the set may throw the top wall out of alignment, causing problems with shutting your doors and maybe even cracking your drywall.

    I speak from experience with the same show
  12. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    Much less you can't re-use it much at best and have to pay to get rid of it.

    Yes, painting plywood even Luan is easy enough and looks like a drywall or even better yet a plastered wall on a set = it's how it's normally done. Need a plaster technique, you can scim coat over either the plywood or drywall but for all intensive purposes there won't be on a set a difference between drywall and plywood.

    Drywall will perhaps be cheaper if not re-using the materials for the set on a different show. This even for fire code where you have to paint or treat both sides of the scenery - drywall or not.

    Personally I have known some in the industry that prefer drywall say in speed of a set going up or something, but never stood with them especially for the re-use of the materials after the show. This much less how much it will cost to pay for disposing of this one show only medium. Beyond that, can't use pneumatics with drywall and that should slow you down some in constructing.

    Some thoughts, have your TD get real. Or if has budget for the extra time, and dumser fill, it won't effect your set sot perhaps it isn't a point you should be fighting as long as both sides of the set flame treated and this company not concerned about re-use of materials.

    At somepoint... fine as lon as you have offered your opinion on wasting money but that person with the final deciscion has made his or her choice. Doubt it will effect your set so go with it after stating the reasons it's just not normally done but could be. Perhaps Broadway for a long running show in basically building a room does so but I doubt it.
  13. Anvilx

    Anvilx Member

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    [​IMG]

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  14. bigtim

    bigtim Member

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    Tom, I was in residential construction in Austin for over 20 years. Saw a lot of 2x4's "added here and there" and a lot of drywall. I don't recommend either one for your set, especially for Noises Off.

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