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Doorway in Flat

Discussion in 'Scenery, Props, and Rigging' started by lieperjp, Feb 25, 2009.

  1. lieperjp

    lieperjp Well-Known Member

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    I was watching Practical Technical Theatre: Set Construction and Safety, and in it, Bob Fowler says that a door can be framed and set in a theatre flat. I mentioned this to our set designer and he doesn't believe that a theatre flat built of 1x3s can support doors or windows. In the movie, they only explain how to build an arch out of flats and not really doors, it is just mentioned. So, can a door be framed in a theatre flat?
     
  2. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    Yup, you can do it. I hate those videos, I own the full set and they are the most boring things to watch in the world. Halfway decent info, but still, boring as possible. If I am going to build a door flat, I prefer to build it out of 1x4 or build the door area big enough to construct a full jam out of 1x6. Using 1x4, you do not always have to build a jam.

    [​IMG]

    This was the last show I did scenery for. It was a flying wall built in 6 sections with 2 operating doors. I built all the flats out of 1x4 and stiffened it with 2" 1/8" angle iron. If you are going to put doors in a flying wall, be sure to put in sill irons to keep the door square when it flys. Also, you need to add more bracing then usual to keep a ripple effect from happening.
     
  3. lieperjp

    lieperjp Well-Known Member

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    Agreed. The Videos are pretty boring.

    Thanks for the info!
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2009
  4. joeboo46

    joeboo46 Member

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    It may not have been the "correct" way but I have framed many doors into 1"x3" flats using 1"x6" for the door jamb. Never had any problems. Obviously 1"x4" is the way to go if your purpose allows for it.
     
  5. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    That works fine, you just have to take into account the jamb when building the flat.
     
  6. Van

    Van CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    Sometimes I think the only reason we TD's exist is to make sure door's are properly installed in door flats. I've made the mistake many times, on working drawings, of simply putting the rectangle in and putting the door dimensions simply to have a carp frame a hole in the flat to those exact dimensions, forgetting to take into account the thickness of the jamb and the swing allowance of the dor and hinges. I, typically, install my doors directly into the flats using the 1x4 as the jamb. This works well for door that are opening onstage or towards the "front" of the flat. Usually you install a door that opens offstage or towards the back of the flat with a little more framing support as, unsupported, the 1x4 or 6 will flex too much and throw off the geometry of the door.
    The true "old school" way of installing doors in flats < flown/stationary broadway style flats> was to construct the wall with an opening in it. When the wall was flown in, or moved onstage a carp would run to the door way with a door unit in hand. A door unit would be the Jamb with a casement molding attached to it and the door hung in it. The jamb would be kept open on the bottom by a "Sill Iron" sometimes called a "saddle iron". The Casement molding would have either bolts or lag screws poking through it, these would line up with holes in the flat which would allow the carp to place the door unit, then tighten it in place with Wing nuts from the offstage side.
    I'll try to get all these terms installed in the Wikki ASAP with some pictures and stuff.
     
  7. debbi

    debbi Member

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    We framed in a hollow cord door with 2x4's triangle base on either side of frame .And put flats tight in to sides .Make small flat if ya need to for door frame to line up on top line flats ...We made our flats with door in mind...Well hope that mite help ya ...Have a great day debbi
     
  8. Clifford

    Clifford Active Member

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    We've always used 1x3's with molding on the downstage side of the flat to make it appear there is a door frame. But then we use light doors most of the time. It's probably different for heavier doors.
     
  9. David Ashton

    David Ashton Active Member

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    I have always used standard steel door frames built into flats, and if the doors are only opening on stage I plasma cut the frame in half and it does 2.Mind you I always make flats out of steel, so easy and always straight.Steel frame, ply screwed on then canvas glued over, it works for me.
     
  10. theatre4jc

    theatre4jc Active Member

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    This thread is so interesting. I've never built a soft cover flat with a door in it. Every flat I've ever made with a door has been a hard flat, we called them Hollywood flats, but I don't know if that is the proper term. When I was in high school and we built soft cover flats for doors we went to a local family run hardware store and had them donate some demo doors. It was a pre-mounted door and jam that was freestanding and worked well with very little side support, which the flat provided. We just left a perfect sized hole in the existing flat which we secured the jam to. Worked great for us for a couple of years.
     
  11. icewolf08

    icewolf08 CBMod CB Mods

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    Broadway flat: A standard flat construction usually used for softcover flats. Framing is usually 1x3 on face.

    Hollywood flat: A standard flat construction usually used for hard cover flats. Framing is usually 1x3 on edge, however larger 1x can be used to increase stability and the depth of the reveal of the flat.
     
  12. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    More on doors:
    If possible, doors should always hinge US and open offstage. Except for closets, doors always open into the room one is entering. To determine whether a right-hand or left-hand door, stand in the doorway with your back to where the hinges will be. In which hand is the knob?

    Has no one ever used an independent doorframe temporarily held in the flat's opening with two strap hinges screwed at an angle only to the outside of the jamb, one on each side?
     
  13. Van

    Van CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    :rolleyes:
    Oh I have, but I'm old so that question doesn't apply to me right ?
    I'll have to do some more SketchUps of Doorway attachment, as soon as the ability to upload graphics is restored.
     
  14. icewolf08

    icewolf08 CBMod CB Mods

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    Now, I was taught, and I see it in practice, that door always open into the more private space. So if a door leads offstage into a bedroom, the door would open offstage. If you are in the bedroom, the door to the bathroom would open offstage (into the bathroom) but the door to the hallway would open onstage (into the bedroom).
     

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