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Flats - Back to the Basics

Discussion in 'Scenery, Props, and Rigging' started by SpaZuM, Jan 12, 2009.

  1. SpaZuM

    SpaZuM Member

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    So, I've been building studio/hollywood flats recently using 1xs. I'll usually build the flat frame using 1 x 2 1/2" or 3"; however, I haven't found a standard width for the joists and stiles. Is there a standard? If so, what is it? I'd really like to do this correctly especially since I'm in an education environment.
     
  2. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    I usually put my toggles on 4' spacing. Some places will put the lowest toggle at 32" to accommodate a chair rail. If you want to do this, fine, but most places are just doing 4' spacing. On platforms, 2' spacing is standard.
     
  3. SpaZuM

    SpaZuM Member

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    I'm sorry, I guess I wasn't clear. Let me clarify. I'm not looking for spacing between joists; I'm actually looking for what the standard thickness for a single 1x stile or joist would be for a studio/hollywood flat. Obviously, it is 1" thick (actually 3/4") by 2", 3", or 4" - is there a standard?

    [I suppose I don't exactly know how to ask the question]
     
  4. Van

    Van CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    Occupation:
    Project Manager, Stagecraft Industries, Inc.
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    Standards do vary from place to place. I prefer 24" O.C. for toggles when using 1/4" luan, if using 1/8" 24-18" OC. I certain cases I like to build what essentially amounts to 1x4 stud walls these use 1x4 studs on 18" centers, then get 1x4 toggles between each stud, the toggles go in at 24" OC.
    This was a technicque I picked up when building Movie sets and it comes in real handy when building 2 story or weight bearing walls.
    As a side note I am also very found of buying 1"x8" or 6" then ripping it to 2.25" to use for stiles, rails and toggles. even if you only use it for toggles it saves you a bit of money. Be forewarned though, you need a good tablesaw, and decent lumber to make this work.
     
  5. SpaZuM

    SpaZuM Member

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    Great information. Thank you so much. We have a great table-saw (Sawstop); finding the right wood is the tricky part.
     
  6. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    1x3 ripped out of 1x8 is pretty common. I build with all 1x4 here because I don't have a cabinet table saw and even if I did the kids have trouble running through long boards. You also run the risk of making water skis if you have bad lumber. Really, it all depends on what you want. Each theatre is different, and as long as you always build stock the same way, you will be in good shape.

    I know of a few places that are completely doing away with hollywood and broadway flats and going with either space frame flats or steel framed flats out of 1x1, covered with luan then covered with muslin. If the bolting patterns are kept standard it makes load in very quick.
     
  7. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    Oh great Goshen's ghost, what then will theatre professor's teach? No rails, stiles, toggles, keystones, and corner blocks? Heresy!:twisted:
     
  8. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    I have not actually given that lecture yet, and if I get my way (truck load of steel), I won't be giving that lecture. Instead, a welder in every childs hand....
     
  9. jonliles

    jonliles Well-Known Member Fight Leukemia

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    Footer-
    I can see it now "Child with Welder Destroys School - CCCEPA Moves to Sprayberry"

    Speaking of which, we are in Splost 3 for a theatre renovation. I'd love to pick your brain. The Current Staff is leaning on me for suggestions on the renovation.

    Jon Liles
    Sprayberry Dad

    PS Tell Robert C and Jennifer S hello for me.
     
  10. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    Na, I have my own building, the fire would not spread THAT far, also I would get a new building..... :twisted:

    So with that, flats are flats, if you stay consistent they will keep on working for you. Steel is the way to go if you have the skill, tools, and money (though they are not much more). I have built more portals out of steel then I wish, and more flats then any one person ever should. To each his own...
     

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