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Flats out of steel tubing and muslin without luan?

Discussion in 'Scenery, Props, and Rigging' started by gafftaper, Oct 17, 2008.

  1. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    Hi, Trying to help out a friend with no budget. He needs to build some flats. He's got some 4x8 steel tubing already welded up into frames for frats and just barely enough budget to buy muslin to cover them. However, he doesn't have the extra budget to buy luan to properly attach to the steel tubing first. Any ideas on how to attach muslin to steel tubing to make flats.

    Adhesive doesn't sound like a very good solution. With such a small surface area it seems to me sizing the muslin would pull it loose.

    Rivits on the back every 6" ?

    Maybe screw some 1x2 to the back to sandwich the muslin in between?
     
  2. mbandgeek

    mbandgeek Active Member

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    You could try the drum head method with tie line, sting, or rope. I think putting grommits every 6 inches around the entire edge would make it flat enough. After you punch the grommits you can just snake the line through and pull it tight and end it with a knot of some sort.

    Im too tired to draw what i am trying to describe, so just imagine the back side of the flat being like a giant shoe, with the tie line being the shoestring and the muslin being the sides of the shoe in which the shoe stings snake in and out of.

    I think the criss crossing pattern would hold it on tight enough to give you a good surface to work on.
     
  3. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    Sometimes R&R flats are built with male Hook&Loop (Velcro) around the perimeter of the frame and female H&L sewn on the edges of the painted heavy canvas.
     
  4. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    Laced Drum Head and Velcro are both interesting ideas. Thanks I'll pass them along.
     
  5. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    I personally think someone need so donate him some luan strips. I think he will actually end up spending more on this trying to get around the luan problem then he will actually save. We are talking a sheet of luan cut down to 1" stripes, 20 bucks right (and thats for CDX, which usually works better anyway)? I think you could easily spend that on supplies to glue, stretch, whatever on it.

    Now that being said, the velcro thing is a good option, as well as the drum thing. But once again, I think you will be dumping more money into it then its worth. If it is work the drive, I have 6-7 cut up sheets sitting on my dock right now waiting to go into the dumpster, I am sure others do as well.
     
  6. icewolf08

    icewolf08 CBMod CB Mods

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    We do this all the time. On the back of the steel frame attach some wood using Tek screws. You will want the wood to go around the entire frame and you probably want it to be at least 1/4" thick. The good thing about this is that you really can use any scraps you have laying around. Then staple the fabric to the wood and size as you would any flat.
     
  7. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    Thanks guys, Scrap wood strips on the back makes a lot of sense and I'm sure he can afford one sheet of 1/4" CDX.
     
  8. Tmeche

    Tmeche Member

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    The drum skin idea would give an interesting aesthetic depending on the production.
     
  9. ajb

    ajb Active Member

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    What icewolf said. If you do it a lot, though, a T-nailer will quickly pay for itself by cutting the time to install those strips by 90% or so.
     
  10. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    T-Nailers are a bit outdated. There are much better products out there now. AeroSmith makes a product called the Versa-Pin system that kicks the butt of any T-Nailer I have ever used. My summer home uses this to skin and deck ever steel piece we produce. We have used it non-stop for 2 seasons now and it has kept running without a hitch. It also has more kick back then any tool I have ever used.
     

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