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12' Palm Tree

Discussion in 'Scenery, Props, and Rigging' started by Charc, Oct 18, 2008.

  1. Charc

    Charc Well-Known Member

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    Hello all,

    I have a bit of construction issue here. I have some friends who have an issue with a scenic piece they are building. It's a 12' tall, black, palm tree. The original plan was to frame the entire thing in 1x2, and ground support it with a stage brace. I have some major concerns with this plan, as you can see from the elevation [which I might scan in later]. The stage brace can only support this thing up about 6-7'. We can't have that much material that high up.

    My idea is to frame the bottom use a stage brace, and also run lines up to the grid, to take the weight off the top, which may or may not be framed. However, I am concerned that the leaf sections may have some weight distribution issues.

    I'm not sure, I have some other ideas, but does the booth think?
     
  2. Charc

    Charc Well-Known Member

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  3. avkid

    avkid Not a New User Fight Leukemia

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    Why the heck are they using 1x2?

    I would just make the thing out of 1/2" ply.
     
  4. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    Is this to be a two- or three-dimensional palm tree?
     
  5. Charc

    Charc Well-Known Member

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    2D Silhouette, thanks for asking.

    Another issue is that the palm tree is going to be black, so whatever is supporting it won't really "disappear" well.
     
  6. zuixro

    zuixro Active Member

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    On our last show we had a couple of 12' palm trees. We cut them out of luan, framed them up with 1x4, only to have them cut from the show a week before opening night. They were flies though, so they didn't really have to be structural. Yours sounds like it will have to be attached to the stage floor. I think you might run the risk of overloading them at the top, then it starts twisting, and suddenly you have a headless palm tree. You could add braces on the back, but as you add more weight you risk toppling them over. How set in stone is the design? could you make the base a little wider, like by adding a "mound of dirt"?
     
  7. bobgaggle

    bobgaggle Well-Known Member

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    if it's just a silhouette, I'm assuming its gonna be upstage rather than framing the proscenium or something. Why not run some cable down from your grid or battens to take the weight?

    this will only work if the tree is as high as the teaser, to avoid the silhouette of the cable. Don't know how high your space is.
     
  8. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    I would use 5.2mm luan or 1/4" ply whichever is easier/cheaper for you to get. Use 1x3 on end to make it nice and rigid. Tweak your design slightly. Stand the tree up a little straighter so that a single line can run all the way from top to bottom to bear the weight and be hidden by the trunk. Use two more lines attached to the leaves at the top to prevent twisting. The trunk can still have some curve, but you need to straighten it out a bit.



    and yes the booth thinks. ;)
     
  9. Van

    Van CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    Give me a day I'll draw you a framing option, but my take is to go with what Gaff said, 1/4" luan, the framing can be standard or Hollywood, though Hollywood would be my preference on the bottom part of the tree and standard or flat framing on the top. I'll look again but I'm betting, if this is a static piece < it stays onn all the time> then there is no reason you can't secure the bottom frame to the floor and support the very top with some 1/16" cable.

    BTW the "Standard" notation on a sketch like the one you posted should be "Build X's 2. R&R" Reverse and Repeat, as the word Inverse my be a bit too complex for some wood butchers.:rolleyes::mrgreen:
     
  10. Van

    Van CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    Ok quick and dirty drawing time. I'm hanging at the theatre anyway 'cause both my kids are cast in the show currently in rehearsal!
    I think it's pretty self explainitory .
     

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  11. bobgaggle

    bobgaggle Well-Known Member

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    you could make the trunk out of ply or luan then make the fronds out of pink foam. Its so light you might not even need additional bracing
     
  12. arik52

    arik52 Member

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    Thanks so much for your help everyone. Van, I actually drafted up almost the exact same thing (by hand), and we proceeded with that plan. We had already purchased our aircraft cable and rigging equipment when our coach decided to influence the designer and have her changer her mind. We ended up detaching the stems and not using them, and detaching the two parts of the top of the palm, mounting them on proscenium and the walls in front of proscenium with picture hanging hardware and masonry screws so that they can be put up just for the Havana scene of guys and dolls. I'll post a picture as soon as we finish the process and get them up. Here is what the beautiful palm trees looked like before the coach changed everything on us.

    [​IMG][​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     

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