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Attaching flats

Discussion in 'Scenery, Props, and Rigging' started by sturner, May 5, 2008.

  1. sturner

    sturner Member

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    We are attaching removable flats (painted muslin) to fixed walls for our scene changes. The scheme we came up with to attach the flats was a fixed rail at the bottom of the wall to slot the bottom of the flats into, and velcro to stick the upper parts of the flats to the wall.

    The velcro isn't working out too well - warped wood and maybe not perfectly vertical walls are making it hard for the velcro to stick and hold the flats. So my question is - what would be a better way to attach flats so they can be quickly set/removed during scene changes?

    Thanks,
    Steve
     
  2. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    Loose pin hinges tend to work, or a slot on the top and bottom that the flat can slide into. I would lean towards the hinges, if you want the "pro" grade, check out rosco's loose pin hinge.
     
  3. Van

    Van CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    Hmmmm, what kind of Velcro are you using? I've actuall done a similar technique and it worked really well. Anyway you asked for other solutions, you could try either buying aluminum picture hanging rail, or manufacture some overlapping hanger peices from wood and attach them to the back wall and the back of the flats. I'll attach a drawing in a couple of formats to help explain.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jul 15, 2008
  4. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    What about an upside down U channel at the top, deep enough so when lifted the flat clears the bottom channel? (Think sliding glass doors, or the sliding doors on cheap entertainment centers).

    Sorry Footer, I didn't read your post as carefully as I should have. You'd already mentioned my alternative. FWIW, I dislike loose-pin hinges, most of the time.
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2008
  5. jwl868

    jwl868 Active Member

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    Can you "shim" out the velcro so that the flats and wall make better contact?

    Joe
     
  6. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    Quick, someone, invent DMX-Controlled hook and loop. Or an electro-magnet? Or regular magnet, some of the new ones are incredibly strong for their size.
     
  7. Van

    Van CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    Yeah, Yeah, that's it! Go buy 1000 rare earth magnets. Mount half of them in the top of the flats, inbed the other half in the back wall.
    Or mount a peice of steel on the top of the flat, on the back wall of the theater take 800 ' of 00 < 2 aught> feeder cable and wrap it around a couple of spikes driven into the wall. Patch the feeder from your disconnect to a really big light, I'm thinking a 10K fresnel. As soon as you plug that baby in and get current flowing through it, Bam! Instant Electro magnet!

    Problem solved, chalk another one up for the crew at CB.
     
  8. soundman

    soundman Well-Known Member

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    As long as we are talking about electro magnets you could use solenoids to hold the flats. The way I see it would be to drill holes in the top of the flats and fix the solenoids to the wall somehow. When the solenoids are at rest the pins are down locking the flats into place, turn on the juice and the solenoids energize and the pins lift up allowing you to walk the the flats down.

    Just another idea.
     
  9. Grog12

    Grog12 CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    I'm sorry...but this is just a bad idea.
    Namely because I'm an @***ole and I know that'd I have way to much fun with it.
     
  10. bobgaggle

    bobgaggle Well-Known Member

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    Maybe attach a two pins to the upper corners of the flats. two corresponding (and reinforced) holes in the walls that they can slide into and hang the flat that way. This could work in two scenarios: either you have a busy pattern on the wall so that the holes can go unnoticed, or you're doing a high school play, in which case no one cares.
     
  11. icewolf08

    icewolf08 CBMod CB Mods

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    Here is another practical solution. Bevel the edge of a piece of 1x3 or 1x4 at 45˚ and mount it to the wall such the the bevel is on top and angles into the wall. Bevel the edge of more 1x3 and attach that to the flat with the beveled edge down and facing the flat. then you should be able to hang the flat on the rail you put on the wall.

    I would draw it, but I am kinda supposed to be doing other things.
     
  12. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    Sounds like a project for Doug Fleenor


    Back on topic
    .
    Is this a wall that you can attach something to? You could make a track to hold the tops of the flats and let gravity do the rest. Run a strip of 2x4's across the wall at about 1" taller than your flats. Attach a strip of 1x6's to the 2x4's, flush to the top of the 2x4's, there by creating a track. Slip the flat up into the slot and then push the base up against the wall it won't go anywhere. Dimensions are just off the top of my head so you would have to experiment to see what would work in the real world.
     
  13. avkid

    avkid Not a New User Fight Leukemia

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    Oooohh...E-Track on the walls.
     
  14. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    I like this solution the best so far. (Other than the DMX Velcro™). It's the way Norm Abrams often hangs stuff. Might want to add a 3/4" spacer on the bottom backside of the flats to keep them perfectly plumb.
     
  15. sloop

    sloop Member

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    I believe this is called a french cleat and it works very well. The two beveled edges simply slide together making a solid hold. To remove just lift. As long as all the flats had their cleats in the same place, switching panels would be a snap.

    A quick search turned it up.. yes it is a french cleat

    http://www.newwoodworker.com/frenchcleat.html
     
  16. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    I want to bump my idea back into the mix here. Although the French Cleat is a cool solution it requires a pretty precise level of carpentry skill. Based on the velcro and warped wood mentioned in the original post I'm guessing this particular crew may have a hard time pulling it off. My idea of a slot that you slide the top into and then just kick the base into the wall works just as well and requires very little skill to put up.
     
  17. Van

    Van CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    I want to point out that the French Cleat idea is what I suggested at the very beginning.

    :twisted::twisted:
     
  18. icewolf08

    icewolf08 CBMod CB Mods

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    Sorry, I didn't open your dwg, and the image file is really blurry.
     
  19. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    And Alex 'splained it way more gooder.;)
     
    icewolf08 likes this.
  20. Conner8809

    Conner8809 Member

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    approx. how tall are the sheets of muslin?
     

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