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Braking on marley

Discussion in 'Scenery, Props, and Rigging' started by thespi96, Dec 16, 2008.

  1. thespi96

    thespi96 Member

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    So here's the situation: I'm doing the TD work for a Swing ballet in Feb. and one of the scenic pieces is a small rooftop chimney about 3x4 wide. It needs to move on and off the dance floor, someone will dance on it, and I can't drill through the marley into the floor to put drop bolts to brake it. I can only put brakes on one side, and I don't think regular wagon brakes will work. I've got these giant step like brakes, but they are loud and clunky, and yeah....what advice or opinions do you have about marley and braking on it so it doesn't shift the floor, etc?
     
  2. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    1.) A tip-jack with a hinged caster plate. http://www.controlbooth.com/forums/scenery/2209-moving-scenery-wagons.html . http://www.controlbooth.com/forums/...-work-table-design-suggestions.html#post78763 .

    2.) A "standard" wagon brake should work also, if you modify it to have more surface area on the "foot."
    [​IMG]
    Standard Wagon Brake #4510 from Rose Brand
    3.) Air Casters - air powered heavy load moving equipment

    I've rolled many a Genie personnel lift across Marley and never had much of an issue with the screw-down outrigger bases.
     
  3. sk8rsdad

    sk8rsdad Well-Known Member Premium Member Fight Leukemia

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    Retract the casters rather than trying to brake. (Maybe that's what Derek means by a tip-jack). Mount at least one pair of casters on a hinged bar so that when hinged down they lift the truck in the up position the truck rests on the floor. There are many of ways to apply leverage to the caster/hinge assembly so that it can be raised and lowered quietly.

    See the attachment for a cheesy sketch.
     

    Attached Files:

  4. Les

    Les Well-Known Member

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    Any time I had to use the Genie on a Marley floor at the community theatre (with dead-hung battens - ugh - used to be an old single screen movie house) I would use those 1'x1' carpet tiles with the adhesive rubber on the back (the ones they use to make large "rugs" out of). I'd flip it sticky side up and let the out riggers screw down onto that. I know this is not a question about Genies but I just wanted to throw that out there.
     
  5. Traitor800

    Traitor800 Active Member

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    So here's the braking solution that I learned last summer for wagons. We used it for all of our musicals because the typical wagon breaks just don't cut it when theres dancing going on on the platforms.

    Alright so to start, you want to place an extra 3/4" plywood pad under the downstage wheels of your wagon. Flip the wagon over and your platform should be slanted with the high side downstage and the low side upstage. Next you are going to make the brake, cut a piece of 3/4 ply that is roughly 1/3 the square footage of your platform. For 4x8 plats I use a 2'x6' wagon brake for the OP's wagon I would use a 3'x2' piece of ply for the brake. Next you are going to cut 2 6"x6" 3/4 ply pads and 2 strips 3" wide strips of 3/4 ply that are the same length as the longest side of your brake in this case 3' long. Now glue and screw the two strips onto one side of the brake(now the bottom), they should be flush to edges. On the other side which is top you are going to glue and screw the 6x6 pads, approx 6" in from the ends along one of the longer sides. You should now have a completed brake pad. If you look at it from one of the end grains you should see what looks like sorta a squashed letter h cause it should only be 2.25" on the thicker side. Now you are going to take two Barn Door Hinges(the ones with a square side and a Triangle side) attach the triangle side to the 6x6 pads on top of the brake. Now place 3/4" blocks under the upstage wheels of your platform. This should make the top of the plat level with the stage. Screw the rectangle side of the hinges into the upstage side of the plat, centering the brake pad in the platform. Remove the block under the upstage wheels.

    The way this works is that when you lift the brake the upstage edge of the plat lowers and the wheels come in contact with the floor and it rolls but when you put the pad down it lifts the upstage edge off the deck and the wheels are no longer on the deck.

    I know this probably doesn't make sense to most people so if there are any questions I will be happy to answer them. I wish I had Pics, but I never bothered to take any of the brakes. But yeah this should help on Marley because of the large contact area of the break so it wont damage the floor
     
  6. coolbeam

    coolbeam Member

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    Being a fourth year Mechanical Engineering student, do you think you could draw it out and post a PDF?
     
  7. jessamarie6

    jessamarie6 Member

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    Have you ever tried using carpet? stapling carpet, fuzzy side down, to the bottom of a unit will make it slide very easily without castors at all, and will be much gentler on your marley. Combining this method with standard friction/stage/wagon brakes (whatever you want to call them) may be enough to keep a piece like this from moving around on it's own.
     
  8. joeb

    joeb Member

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    Traitor -

    I am pretty sure I understand your description, and - if I do - I have a couple of quick questions.
    1) When you flip the brake down, do you put any weight on it? If not, what keeps the brake from flipping up if a large amount of weight is put on the upstage edge of the platform (e.g. a dancer jumping or putting all weight onto one leg)?
    2) Doesn't this put all the weight of the upstage platform on the screws or bolts you attach the t-hinge (the type of hinge I believe you are referring to) to the platform with and the pin of the t-hinge? Have you ever sheared off any screws doing this?
     
  9. MNBallet

    MNBallet Active Member

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    This past summer I did an opera that had a marley floor to cover up the ugly yellow wood stage floor. The scenic designer used 3/4" ply with some non-skid mat on a hinge (I think it was a locking hinge) on the upstage side of the platform. When down, the non-skid mat was on the floor and then put a stage weight on it. I was quite supprised how simple it was and how effective it worked. 2 of these held a 8' by 8' platform for dancing. For a swing number I'd go more.
     
  10. Traitor800

    Traitor800 Active Member

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    What keeps the brake from flipping up is the edge of the pad, it takes a lot of force on the upstage edge to get the brake to roll over that edge. If theres a lot of dancing then sometimes it will come up and then we just put a stage weight on it or have a stage hand sit on it.

    The T-hinges we used were pretty big I would say about 4 inches wide on the square end, and we never had an issue with them getting bent and we had some pretty big pieces of scenery. We would normally use screws and never had one shear, but we did switch 1/4" lag bolts for attaching the brake pad to some of our larger pieces.

    MNBallet that sounds like a pretty similar design to the one that we used, I will post a drawing of what I described some time this week now that I am back at school and have access to CAD and /or a scanner.

    -Chris
     
  11. joeb

    joeb Member

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    Sounds interesting, I might give this a try for a wagon heavy show I have coming up. I've never been impressed by the functionality of standard stage brakes.
     
  12. Traitor800

    Traitor800 Active Member

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    Alright so heres some quick sketches that I did in Acad showing the general idea of the braking system that I described. If I have some time between classes this week I will draw up something more detailed. The first pic shows the brake in the up position and the second shows the brake in the down position.
    Brake_up.jpg
    Brake_down.jpg
     

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