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Pockets in Drops (Preference for Chain vs. Pipe)

Discussion in 'Scenery, Props, and Rigging' started by Chris Chapman, Jan 18, 2010.

  1. Chris Chapman

    Chris Chapman Active Member

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    Location:
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    What is everyones current preference for what goes in a pocket on a drop? I know a lot of it situational based and I usually prefer pipe over chain especially for painted drops.

    Our scrim for example, has been loaded with a temporary pipe. I'm thinking of moving to chain instead for ease of loading and unloading. (We don't keep our scrim hung unless needed.)

    Thoughts?
  2. epimetheus

    epimetheus Active Member Premium Member

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    In my limited experience with drops, legs, curtains, etc., I've seen pipe used on drops, scrims, cycs, etc., basically any place where the drop needs to be as smooth as possible, not pleated, etc. I've seen chain used in curtains, legs, etc., basically anything pleated.

    I'm sure the pro's on CB will correct me if I'm off base here. My apologies for the numerous et cetera's.
  3. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    I am not a fan of chain in any type of drop. Be it a scrim, cyc, or painted drop. I have done shows where we have piped legs and borders. It gives a very tight and clean look to the soft goods. It looks almost as good as a hard portal.

    With chain it is nearly impossible to stretch anything tight enough to look perfectly flat. This shows up enormously on a scrim. At my last job I had a white scrim on a traveler track at the plaster line. It had chain in the pipe pocket. Besides the fact I had no clue why it was installed, it looked really bad when it was shut.
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2010
  4. MNBallet

    MNBallet Active Member

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    I have a cyc that we made and put chain in the bottom, but it looks like crap so everywhere I go I put pipe on the floor, put the chain under the pipe and then stretch it both by flying it higher and side to side with weights.

    Chain is really only good for black legs, and maybe a border if the fabric is not heavy enough.

    Kenneth Pogin
    Production / Tour Manager
    Minnesota Ballet
  5. FatherMurphy

    FatherMurphy Active Member

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    Since scrims are made from a knit fabric, I'd be very worried about a chain eventually stretching and pulling the center much, much lower than the sides, creating a nearly impossible situation for getting it wrinkle free. At least with a pipe you have some resistance to the moment calculations, although the ends will creep up over time even with a pipe.
  6. BrianWolfe

    BrianWolfe Active Member

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    Chains for anything that rides on a traveler or has fullness(not flat). Pipe for anything that needs to be stretched flat.
  7. len

    len Well-Known Member

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    The one venue I worked in, all the tours used pipe that was separated from the drops. Drops in hampers, pipe got put on the bottoms of the meat racks or on a scenery cart, etc.
  8. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    Thats the typical thing to do. I think it would also be really hard to correctly fold a scrim with chain in the pocket.
  9. jcfalc01

    jcfalc01 New Member

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    I'm the TD at our local high school that does huge productions and has a 30 batten flyrail. I would agree that chain should be used for anything that needs depth, legs, travelers, etc. We have gone to plastic electrical conduit. It is easy to put together, when placed in the pocket in the "correct" orientation, it slides right through. If we need to add a significant amount more weight to hold the drop taut, we will add metal conduit inside the plastic conduit. We can even add galvanized or black pipe without threads. We seal the ends with conduit plugs. Very inexpensive and easy to store and cut. The inside pieces don't need to fit perfectly making them more versatile.
    Good Luck.
    BrockTucker and (deleted member) like this.

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