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Building Booms

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by TupeloTechie, Jan 20, 2009.

  1. TupeloTechie

    TupeloTechie Active Member

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    We do not have and booms at our school and I would really like to use some for low sidelight in an upcoming production. Is there any way to build a few of these (no higher than 6ft) from parts from <insert hardware store here?>
     
  2. coldnorth57

    coldnorth57 Active Member

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    are you talking about shin bursters.... about 3 feet tall a base and a piece of 1.5in pipe welded to it?
     
  3. icewolf08

    icewolf08 CBMod CB Mods

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    In short, there is no way to safely build booms with stuff from your local hardware store, especially if you don't really know what you are doing. Best thing to do is contact your local theatre supplier, they will have what you need and the know how to help you set it up.
     
  4. Esoteric

    Esoteric Well-Known Member

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    There is, but I would not do it if you are not versed in theater (or other construction). But it is possible, I have done it many times.

    Mike
     
  5. Sony

    Sony Active Member

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    The best thing to do would be to rent some 50lb bases and Schedule 40 pipes from your local rental house. They will deinfitely have quite a few in stock and they are very cheap to rent for a week or two. Prolly under $100 or $200 depending on how many you need and for how long.

    I know ALPS around here rents 50lb bases for $5 a week each, and then pipe for 50 Cents per foot, per week. So if you needed 8 then that would be 8 bases at $5 each for 2 weeks, thats $80. Then 8 6' pipes would be $3 each would be $48 so $128 total for two weeks. You could cut that in half if you only needed them for a week.
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2009
  6. ScaredOfHeightsLD

    ScaredOfHeightsLD Active Member

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    ALPS...I see we have another Bostonian on here, where abouts are you from?
     
  7. Grog12

    Grog12 CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    Define low side light. Making floormouns is easy....booms is a different story
     
  8. len

    len Well-Known Member

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    Considering that they last nearly forever, you might try and buy some. Unfortunately, the old Altman base is no longer made, but SSRC makes a good one. I don't think they sell retail tho, so ask your rental house.

    Black Schedule 40 1.5" ID is about $30 per 10 ft section at the hardware. If you call a steel supply house and order it in bulk it'll be cheaper, but they probably have a minimum order and they won't likely cut it to length. Home Depot will do 1 - 2 cuts per pipe for free.

    I take the extra step of cleaning the pipe I buy and painting it black before I put it in service, because it's usually pretty crappy looking.
     
  9. STEVETERRY

    STEVETERRY Well-Known Member

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    There is actually an ESTA/ANSI standard covering this:

    ANSI E1.15 - 2006

    Entertainment Technology--Recommended Practices and Guidelines for the Assembly and Use of Theatrical Boom & Base Assemblies


    ANSI E1.15 gives advice on boom and base assemblies, simple ground-support devices for lighting equipment and accessories. If the assembly is tall, not plumb, loaded unevenly, or likely to get run into by stage wagons or performers, there is substantial risk. This document offers advice to lower that level of risk or eliminate it.

    You can, and should, order a copy from ANSI online.

    ST
     
  10. thommyboy

    thommyboy Active Member

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    What we have done in a pinch for some floor mounts was take a 16" square of 3/4 ply-wood, drill a 1/2 hole dead center, insert a 4 1/2" long 3/8" carriage bolt and tighten with a nut to counter sink the head of the bolt.
    Then on the S4 we removed the clamp and used 2 nuts and appropriate washers to attach the yolk of the fixture to the bolt.

    I have used them for ground row use, shin kickers, and to paint walls w/ up light.
     
  11. midgetgreen11

    midgetgreen11 Active Member

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    I see we have an assumption that all who purchase from ALPS are Bostonians... I live in Southern Rhode Island and order all of my equipment/expendables from there... over ATR Treehoues and High Output
     
  12. beachcombah15

    beachcombah15 Member

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    Ahhh..same here. Here at Nauset High on the cape ALPS just came and completely reoutfitted us in october. They sure set us up well....
     
  13. rochem

    rochem Well-Known Member

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    See this thread from about 6 months ago. I have built a couple of these and they work very well.
     
  14. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    I have had made boom bases made for me over the years, recently it was high pressure, 1.1/2" couplers made out of special materials welded to 1/2" thick steel 36" plate steel. This with rings on the top of the boom for tying into the lighting grid.

    Altman don't make them any longer... lots of others that do I'm sure. 40# cast base is good but lets sand bags slide off and is a bit higher than wanted. Still at the top of the boom one wants to tie off to a hard point.
     
  15. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    What?! How dare Altman abandon a market segment like that?:twisted:

    I like the look of SSRC's 50 BB, but would be concerned about a flat plate sitting level on an uneven surface. See here for a list of SSRC dealers.
     
  16. len

    len Well-Known Member

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    The SSRC is easier to get from the shop to the job site and back. It's square and doesn't roll around in the truck when strapping it in. But on site it's a little more difficult to adjust a couple inches because it's square. The Altman, being round, was easier for one person to just tip the boom over and rotate it a little. The SSRC base doesn't allow that. All in all, I'm very happy with my SSRC ones, tho.
     
  17. Sony

    Sony Active Member

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    Occupation:
    Freelance Electrician/Rigger
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    I'm from all over New England, currently in Rhode Island doing theatre at my college and for companies around Bristol. My parents live in Massachusetts and I plan on moving to Boston in the next 5 months. Gotta find a job though, any suggestions?

    I like the SSRC bases, and yes they are harder to move but not by all that much. I've found you can walk them in the direction you want to go heh.
     

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