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FOOT BRIDGE

Discussion in 'Scenery, Props, and Rigging' started by jamisonpi, Jun 16, 2008.

  1. jamisonpi

    jamisonpi Member

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    Hello,
    I need help with constructing a footbridge for Music Man Jr. Small to teeney budget. LOL

    Jamison
     
  2. curtg

    curtg Member

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    To really help, I need a lot more information about the scale of your production.

    The typical community theatre foot bridge is a small arch. Some bridges I have seen are modified wagons with the arches painted on the sides.

    Quick and dirty, construct a 2' high table 3'X4' with ramps or steps on each end.
     
  3. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    As always the #1 question is how much is a "teeny budget"?

    Then as curt said we need more dimensional information. "I want it to be about 6' long and 3' off the floor. Capable of holding 12 people." Tell us what you are trying to do and how much you have to spend and we will help you figure out what you can actually afford to do.
     
  4. bobgaggle

    bobgaggle Well-Known Member

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    you can just have ours...some dad built the one we have for the show and needless to say it was underwhelming. do you want to be able to see through it? (like and arch) cause ours was a total of 4 inches off the ground and used three stiles with cross pieces to form the decking...
     
  5. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    I guess there's no need for fall protection with a bridge like that. :rolleyes:

    There are a lot of great options using standard platform construction techniques... but we need a little more data as listed above.
     
  6. Van

    Van CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    What they all said. I could send you some amazing drawings and custom designed scale renderings, but until I know how big, what budget and what skill level, I have no idea how to help you.
     
  7. TechSooth

    TechSooth Member

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    Pussies. Took me 30 minutes. Adjust as necessary.
     

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  8. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    Wow.... Just wow.....
     
  9. curtg

    curtg Member

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    I would say wow, but one size doesn't fit all situations. The picture illustrates a quick and dirty solution. The challenge is finding an eloquent solution.

    There are still a lot of things to consider, even on a tight budget. Eight inch steps get people up and down fast, but they will be seen as steps. Six inch steps are easier to act on but would extend the bridge by two feet.

    If the bridge is set on a diagonal, I would replace the steps with ramps. The railing detail could make or break the illusion.
     
  10. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    I wasn't commenting on the drafting... more of the comments made....
     
  11. TechSooth

    TechSooth Member

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    We're talking to a person that needs ideas, not specifics. I'm pretty sure anyone charged with the construction of a set is capable of adapting this idea to fit their situation. I merely tried to give us all a starting point to begin the discussion. Down and dirty is the name of the game with a tiny budget. If you've got something cheaper, let's SEE it. And remember, Jamison, "Putty and paint make it appear what it ain't."

    There are many further embellishments, such as using ramps instead of steps (actually a valid and artistically interesting point) or using extensions to create the illusion of thickness, attaching foam "stones", railings, ect. WE know these things. I'm simply suggesting we move this discussion into the realm of reality and out of the amorphous "conceptual" stage where everyone has a different picture in their minds eye. Collaboration requires communication, and nothing communicates like an image.

    Like I said, it took me about 30 minutes to draw this up in VectorWorks, compile the layers into a pdf using Quark and upload it. I realise that this is a "forum" indicating "words," but a picture is worth many thousands. Let's see what YOU got. By the time Jamison has this thing built, we should have a nice repository of Ideas that can be a reference for future discussions.

    Now, discuss:

    1. Method of construction
    2. Types of materials to be purchased
    3. Artistic embellishments
    4. Modifications to fit the actual space
    5. Desired mood, placement, height, usage, placement and strike, ect.

    Let's try to give Jamison a little more than questions, then let him ask us.

    As a side note, I did notice yesterday that I forgot to include an additional 1 x 8 ripped to 6 1/4" for the lower riser in the cut sheet. That's the kind of information I would expect us all to be looking for in order to ensure that when the process is completed, Ole' Jamison don't head off to Home Depot with an incomplete shopping list.

    C'mon guys, let's see some juices flow. And I'm sorry if I ruffled any feathers calling you pussies. I didn't think I typed it out loud...
     
  12. Van

    Van CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    That took 30 minutes ?
    Umm let put aside name calling, crassness, and testosterone, and address the original question. "I need help constructing...." If we are talking to a person that doesn't even have a clue as to where to start then all the drawings in the world aren't going to help. As much as we all enjoy being a repository of knowledge here at CB, I feel it is also our responsibility to teach a bit. I take it you've heard the saying, " Give a man a fish, feed him for a day...", Well I sort of believe in the Socratic method. If you do not have the proper knowledge to form a coherent question about an issue then you probably don't understand the problem in the first place.
    " My light doesn't work." How many possible explanations are there for that? While, to you, the answer to the original question is two step units a platform and a couple of facades, in reality that may be either unfathomable, or out of the question due to budgets, shop availability, or level of carpentry competence.
    I don't think anyone's responses were an invitation to beg, I think all the responses showed a common level of concern about forming the proper answer not just the expedient one.
     
  13. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    Agreed. Couldnt have said it better myself.
     
  14. CynicWhisper

    CynicWhisper Member

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    Ooh! This is not as hard as it looks. What we did was simple. For one thing, if you happen to have a bunch of stairs sitting around ( we did for some reason) use these as a starting point. If you don't...

    At home depot and other stores I'm sure, they have some precut stair starters. You'll need four of equal size. We just had the three-step versions. They're essentially just pieces of wood cut to standard stair specifications so all you have to do is add wood for the steps and pieces going down to the floor and they're done. So you have four of these.

    You also need a platorm. It needs to be the width of the stairs you'll be using and a short-ish length. Four or five feet will work fine. I can give you specifics on what you want the platform to look if you need it, but just some 2x4's and some 3/4 inch plywood ought to do you fine.

    So you have two sets of stairs plus a platform. Platform goes on top of the top step of the stairs and ta-da! Do some creative fastening and you have a bridge.

    We wanted it to look like a curved bridge rather than just a straight platform across, so we got some lauan, just cut a piece with a slight curve on top and straight on the bottom and screwed it on the side of the bridge.

    Then we added some railings. Just some 2x2's every foot or so with a rail on top. Looked dang spiffy. Especially if you adust the length of your 2x2's to work with the curve of that luaan. So then you have a curved, fancy looking bridge without any difficult calculations, just some creative measuring.

    Last step, we wanted a stone looking bridge. We got some of that insulation stuff from home depot, foam on one side and foil on the other side. We cut it into stone shaped pieces with simple hand saws, distressed them a bit so they didn't look so squarish. Painted it a base grey color, then did some spackling (not sure if that's the right word) with both lighter and darker greys with a natural sponge. It looked spectacular expecially for having spent a relatively small amount.

    Let me know if I can answer any questions. This is a pretty quick and easy method. Not the most advanced to be sure, and I wouldn't trust it with too many people on it. But we only needed two people on it and it worked swimmingly. We also put some carpet on the bottom of it to make scene changes easier. I can try to find a picture too.

    Hope this helped!
     
  15. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    Hey Techsooth, Why all the drama?

    I don't know anything about you. I do know you just called out Van a well established member of our community who has given countless hours to helping people around here for years. He is a REAL pro who I bet can design and build circles around you. If you want a challenge you picked the wrong person.

    Why all the questions? Because hanging out here more than a few weeks you will find that people show up and ask vague questions that they don't have a clue of how to begin. This person may not own a saw for all we know... as such your drawing is useless to them. Experience around the booth has shown it's far more productive to ask some questions to assess the person's, knowledge, skill, facilities, and most of all budget. Plus as Van said we have a long tradition around here of not just doing the work for someone. We like to teach here. If you post a message in lighting asking for help with a lighting design, no one is going to do the design for you. Instead, you will find people who will help you for weeks with how to do your own design.

    Finally we try to model professional behavior around here. Calling people "pussies" will get you fired in many theaters. Around here it'll definitely get your hands slapped by the Senior team or worse.

    Take a deep breath dude. You did a nice drawing, now we have to wait to find out if he can afford it or knows what to do with it in the first place.
     

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