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Gloves! Protect your hands!

Discussion in 'General Advice' started by delnor, Mar 3, 2003.

  1. delnor

    delnor Active Member

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    My sophomore year in high school I watched as some people flew in a line that was out of weight, not riding the break properly and what ended up happening was a runaway. The guy that was doing most of the holding held onto the line as it dragged him almost 15 feet in the air. He wasn’t wearing gloves and ended up burning his hands so badly that he had bandages on them the rest of the run of the show. He hands are now permanently scared from that. Gloves are a must when handling any stage equipment, especially fly lines. If you want to get some cool ones that come highly recommended by ILC (Intelligent Lighting Creations one of the biggest dealers of automated lights in the country) check out www.setwear.com they are a little pricy but for heat resistant gloves that will stand up to anything that’s where to go.
     
  2. tm1000

    tm1000 Member

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    Reminds me of a time when we had a line unbalanced for moving something and after school an actor came into the building for rehearsal. Another actor said, "Hey could you move that curtain" and the actor (thinking he knew everything) walked over to the line and said "yeah" I think it's this one. Well when he released the line, he went up about 5 feet before some techs ran over to stop the line. The moral is, "don't let people who don't know fly touch the fly system"
     
  3. dvsDave

    dvsDave Benevolent Dictator Administrator Senior Team CB Mods Fight Leukemia

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    An6ther Rule of Thumb is.....

    The real lesson to be learned here is to make sure that you properly balance your fly system in the first place so that nothing can get away from you... and those are darn cool gloves too!!
     
  4. delnor

    delnor Active Member

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    Fly Systems

    Yep, keeping a balanced fly system is extremely important for everyone’s safety. The most important rule of a fly system when loading or removing weight is to “Keep the weight on the ground”. This MUST be carefully thought out each and every time you change the load of your system. If the weight is on the ground it has nowhere to go if you lose control of the system. Keeping the weight on the ground can be accomplished if you take the time to unload your arbors. I would highly recommend that to change weights you use an electric winch, hook up the winch and take any slack out of the line, remove weights from the arbor if you are taking weight off the batten and then flying the line out using the winch. That way when the line is down the weight is to, and it cant go anywhere well you are working. To add weight to a batten there is no reason to remove weights from the arbor, but still use an electric winch. Trying to muscle lines to the ground almost guarantees a runaway. If you can’t afford a winch then you need to have a catwalk so you can remove and add weight without having to struggle with pulling the arbors down. Anyway, think about the weight and how far it has to travel should you lose control. The farther it falls the more damage it will cause.
     
  5. TechDirector

    TechDirector Active Member

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    I know! Our flies are pretty well balanced though. But for our show, we are going to have this huge backdrop that weighs somthing like 300 pounds.......we have plenty of weights to counter balence it though. Why are those ropes so friggin' rough though? Is it because they are always going through the gears and all?
     
  6. delnor

    delnor Active Member

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    Fly Ropes

    That depends on the types of rope you have on your fly system. There are lots of different kinds of rope and kinds of strands, materials, colors etc. If its rough it could be a hemp type rope (brown in color) hemp is extreamly strong and very durrable but can be a little ridged. I love hemp ropes, but when they get old if you are not wearing gloves and moving flys around you will get little splinters in your hands. If the ropes in your fly system are starting to fray or crack they should be replaced with new ones. You might want to concider a cotton polyfiber rope, they have different types of inner cores but the nice thing about a softer rope is that if for some reason you must move a fly line without gloves you wont get splinters.
     
  7. netforce2003

    netforce2003 Member

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    Another time that you should wear gloves is removing a broken lamp from a lighting fixture. We had some fixtures that werent being used so we tested the bulbs and one wasnt working. Interestingly enough at one time it had gotten so extremely hot that there was a bulge in the glass. Well I was trying to remove the lamp (which was broken at the base) with some pliers and shattered it. I'm glad I had gloves on or I probably would of gotten cut.l
     
  8. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    I like Stage Set X rope best, but Sapsis Rigging has some other good varieties on rope.
    "a bulge in the glass." Bulges in the glass usually isn't from the lamp operating at any higher temperature than normal. Given the voltage stays within normal limits, which would only blow the filament. Such bulges in a lamp are usually caused by Finger Fu#%ing the lamp. In other words the oils from your skin on quartz glass won't allow it to cool down properly and uniformly. That causes a bulge or other things to happen such as changes in color to the globe (like it becoming silver, white or purple) of the lamp and usually also the filament being moved away from or towards the bubble. It can also happen if the atmosphere is dirty and especially if a lot of fog is used around the equipment in making the bulb retain heat in that area. There are some other rare causes for this along with other things such as a filament that stretches out and actually can sag to the point that it burns it's way thru the glass if used horizontally. But that's really rare unless it looses a support.

    Clean inspection gloves, lint free towettes and denatured alcohol are good things to have around and use when doing lamp things to prevent the lamps from going bad. Not the gloves that you are focusing instruments with either - the type doctors wear.

    Just a few thoughts on a long subject.
     
  9. wolf825

    wolf825 Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    The boys at ZFX flying Illusions have a cool set of gloves for rope work. Worth checking out IMO... www.zfxflying.com

    So Ship, do you save some of the better and more colorfully blown lamps in a small collection? I have a small collection I use to explain what can happen etc etc--like cyc lamps where you can see where some dofus used 4 fingers to put the lamp in (they're great "shakers" too :) ), and some natural failers where the lamp bulbed out on one side into those pretty grey colors, or the filament actually protrudes out the side of the blown lamp.. I dunno...I find some of those failures to be like "art"... =)

    -wolf
     
  10. dvsDave

    dvsDave Benevolent Dictator Administrator Senior Team CB Mods Fight Leukemia

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    You have any pictures of them? They would be a cool little gallery on the photo albums on ControlBooth.com.
     
  11. Jo-JotheSoundDog

    Jo-JotheSoundDog Active Member

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    There used to be a visual artist in Virginia that would stop by the theatre I was working at the time to collect our blown lamps and burnt patterns. She would then take them and mount them to colored paper, add a fancy frame, and slap a five hundred dollar price tag on them. My favorites have always been the ones where you can still see the fingerprint of the culprit.
     
  12. dvsDave

    dvsDave Benevolent Dictator Administrator Senior Team CB Mods Fight Leukemia

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    I live in Virginia, where was she located?
     
  13. Jo-JotheSoundDog

    Jo-JotheSoundDog Active Member

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    I believe at the time she was in Buena Vista.
     
  14. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    I should take a photo of the wall. Right now it's only about 4'x4' and totally full, with bad cables wrapping around between each of the mounted items. Than I have two more somewhat large boxes marked "scary things" to add to more sections of the wall. But it's going to be a while until I get back to doing such things. I'm kind of waiting until the shop moves, and I'm given my own repair room instead of the very public area I took over and expanded from near the lunch room. At the moment, I'm not allowed to install them because it's a high traffic area for guests. Wouldn't want some big LD to see the "Wall of Shame" and connect it to anything that could be coming from our use even if a lot of it has. We do have things mounted such as boards showing how to tie various knots or how to wire a slip plug that would be universally usefull in all school tech rooms. One might consider doing a proper way to do this board besides a wall of shame.

    I have noticed that some of those bad but really colorful bulbs loose their color with time unfortunately. But the ones and I agree especially cyc type lamps that have balooned to over double their normal size will never get smaller. I have things from a 1926 30amp plug and socket where the plug is basically a hollow wooden handle with two steel plates screwed to it and the socket is porcelain and huge. Very dangerous and exposed to stray fingers. To the first vapor seal with a twist plug in weather tight boot I ever experienced. Total melt down of the plug as I kept twisting but it would not pull loose while live. Believe I have 4 or 5 different sizes of Stage Pin plug and lots of interesting lamps. Than things like my education in balancing your load... a double pole 100amp circuit breaker with half of it completely melted down, an it still being in the on position. Zip cord that has become brittle enough to expose wire when folded, lamps with those finger prints, lamps with nice shades of purple or silver, lamps with the filament balooning out of the glass and totally encased inside the quartz etc. Another cool thing is a wire nut that was touching a wire with an exposed conductor. The wire actually melted thru the wire nut, and became encased within it, than shorted out the circuit.

    In other words, it's never too soon to start a collection of your own cool or scary stuff. Eventually you will get to a place that you can display it proudly. I'm sure this site will eventually also have something like a photomorgue of shame eventually too.


    On a side note, some young college pup came up to me today with a CYX 2,000w lamp that had it's tip broken off but filament still good. Asked me what to do with it and if it was okay. I told him to put it back into the Fresnel and turn it on to see if it still worked. But alas, I did stop him a few moments later on his way to do so and explained that such a lamp could very possibly explode and he would be cleaning glass out of the fixture for hours. It was a compitent pup and I didn't want him to waste his time. Other tech people would be fair game. I'm one of those TD types that gets to do what I want for the most part without being questioned about it. Life is good. If I want to demonstrate how a HPL lamp when thrown up against a wall won't have the "POP" of a old TV tube, I get to do so without fear of being yelled at. Besided the fixture was going out on the 311 tour and they were already pressed for time in getting all the gear out the door this afternoon. Prepping those 2Kw Fresnels took enough time with cleaning corroded lamp base pins and all.

    I have a method or two that works really well for cleaning the contacts and lamp bases on equipment that's charred much less welded or going bad especially on cyc lights and movie type high Wattage Fresnels if anyone is interested later. Works on lamps of up to 5,000 Watts in heat but isn't always worth it for lamps of under and including 575 Watts.

    Many times it's a forgotten thing to do and much more important than just remarking on the lamps with finger pints on them. With such lamps, they can last an hour or many productions. Just depends upon where the finger print is and the heat involved. Lamp with part of it's filament hanger broken off but the lamp seems to be okay many times will live up to almost full life and there is no real reason to replace it. If you are in a low budget theater, and the lamp doesn't look that bad, just a bit finger printed or a touch silvering, in many cases it might be worth it to leave the lamp in given you don't know how long it really will last before it's really going to need to be replaced. Tag the fixture for constant observation instead of replacing the lamp. Lamp bases and contacts are mouch more time consuming to replace, much less will be a constant source for lamp replacement costs.

    At a start I would recommend that when ever you pull a lamp look really good at it's pins or contacts. What do they look like, is it still in like new condition, is there any charring or pitting, much less welding going on? Take a flash light and if possible an inspection mirror and examine the contacts of the lamp base, does it look good?

    Here is why. If you put a bad lamp due to carbon buildup or pitting into another fixture with a good base, it's going to destroy that good lamp base to mach than superseed the damage already on the used lamp you are installing. If you put a new lamp into a fixture with a bad base, it's going to destroy the contacts of the new lamp just like it did to the old one. The more resistance to conductance, the higher the heat at the lamp base will be. Given a high enough wattage, it can be sufficient to actually weld the lamp base to the lamp base. Had a RSC lamp type cyc light just yesterday where most of the lamp came out of it, but it left behind it's lamp base contact on one side still attached to the pin. Guess which side. Much of the time, especially on cyc lights or RSC type fixtures including Quartz work lights you see at Menards, the springs retaining the lamp become loose with age and this adds to the resistance to a good circuit. But there is much more.

    Where I work, we take a lot more time now than we used to in prepping equipment, but the fixtures we prep and repair - (in the thousands owned), also are less in need of lamp or lamp base replacements because of it. Now a days, such fixtures are really ensured of working and wear out needing major repairs a lot less due to some preventative maintinence and more care with them than just visually inspecting them and turning them on. A bit care with them in real maintinence saves a lot of money in replacing stuff. Isn't worth it for most standard Leko fixtures, but especially for cyc lights with contacts that are spring mounted, and other high wattage fixtrures, it's worth some extra time with them.

    Things like every few years especially on a cyc light, you should open up the fixture and examine the wiring in general and especially that section leading to the lamp bases. Many times that insulation on the wire will have long before melted away for the first few inches away from the lamp base. There is a lot of 200c silicone heat wire out there feeding the lamp base on cyc lights that will have melted away as opposed to silicone, fiberglass braded heat wire that will also melt some and become brittle at times, but still cover the conductors. Lots of ways to fix this and other things in my experiences with high temperature re-wiring on fixtures. Now I buy a 250c heat wire for all around usage even if a little less flexable - as long as it takes the heat. Even have a 450c heat wire on the Peter Gabriel tour right now to see how it holds up to abuse in a 5,200 Watt 8-Light Mole Light type fixture.

    Another thing to look for is shop repairs to equipment using materials that you could find at a hardware store such as crimp terminals or wire nuts that are made of nylon, vinyl or PVC. All of these electrical connectors work fine on lamps under 100 Watts, but once you get higher in temperature, all fail at about 190 degrees F - or 150 Watts. All these connectors are also rated for the same temperature. Had a ME at the shop that was convinced that Nylon was rated for a higher temperature and it was thus used for almost all high temperature applications. I now have equipment to re-wire in the hundreds that all have the same problem. Yes at a high temperature things like a nylon butt splice won't melt down, but it will become brittle. Move about the fixture or touch that splice and it's insulation falls off. Look at the wiring or sleeving to it also. Does it have cuts or rips in it, conductors exposed or abrazed? At times some glue will repair a fiberglass insulator, but is it time to replace the whip? Gee there is some SJT wire used as a whip on a high wattage light. Melted down really well. Gee there is some SJ wire coming out of the fixture, didn't melt down, but it's really brittle to the touch. When inspecting fixtures, especially those repaired by well intentioned people, it's good to inspect them well every few years.

    The upshot is that if you at least look at the lamps and lamp bases of the fixtures you are servicing while you are doing so, you can prevent them from a lot of costly repairs later. Setting up a policy of hopefull once a year giving a good service call to all equipment if not a rotating service plan to the equipment can save a lot of money and give dependable equipment to the inventory.

    nuff now on my work inspired sidetrack!
     
  15. wolf825

    wolf825 Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    Hi Ship,
    hehe..sounds like my job sometimes...execept we don't interact with the students much...its not in our job description or permissions. Our campus firmly believes that those who teach should have master's degree's and other pretty wallpaper to prove they know what they are doing. Funny thing is those who are in the position to teach tech and stuff and use this facility for the student performances are clueless and end up coming to us to find out how to do something. They may teach theory or tell students to read a book really well....but actually knowing how todo things or teaching HOW to do things and the safety or reasons behind it--forget it. NONE of the instructors have any outside or working experience...just a degree and an attitude of knowing-it-all. They know NOTHING of real world practices, safety or anything technical having to do with theater--so much so they hire outside tech advisors or designers for their shows because they just simply couldn't do it..and they know it and are allowed to hire outside professionals to cover their butts. If the teachers were left to do their own tech and production, it ends up worse then most amature community theater...it never fails that they end up calling on us or other outside professionals to advise. Every show they have done for the past 10 years has been some kind of joke or disaster--with lots of complaints by patrons for show-quality and the lack there-of... Something has failed (user caused usually) and it has never ever run close to professional in quality or standards, and because they never ever teach students how to run consoles or DO anything technical (they have things set up to push GO and thats all), the students don't learn a thing about the craft they study. Theynever learn how to fix things or figure out things cause they don't know how any of it works--theyknow how to press the GO button or ON button, and thats it. Every show that WE run the rest of the year (all outside shows, rentals and professional tours & concerts), its always gets rave reviews and is run like a broadway house (minus the local IA dues :) ). Its sad...but they don't care about what they teach or any true skills they teach. Its just passing on a pretty wallpaper... I've seen a few grads of this school's program in my travels...they were never prepared by their degree-qualified "supposed" professional teachers for true real-world tech, production and theater WORK and most got crap jobs or had to start all over after graduation cause they were taught nothing. Wall paper around here is just that..wall paper...other programs in other colleges and schools do a much better job...but this one here is beyond pathetic.

    Ok, enough of my rant and tangent... I guess it shows that I really feel strongly on what goes on here, or moreso what DOESN'T go on here. But I/we were hired to make outside events and high profile college events fly at top level quality and professionalism...not to make the theater-cirriculumn shows be what they cannot be. We are constantly reminded by the Dean of the campus that it isn't our problem..and we always have to bite our lips and just move on. They are on their own to fail and do it wrong, and sadly they do that very well. Anyways...I originally was answering you about the lamp that your pup came by with---it would be fun to put it into an old unit and see just how far it would go til failure...slow dimmer curve about 1% increment upwards slowly and see what it does. I've done it with a few broken tip lamps (FLKS and HPLS) just to see what happens... sometimes its a short quick glow and it dies, other times it may last a bit before it pops. I just find it interesting.... =)

    -wolf
     
  16. TechDirector

    TechDirector Active Member

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    anyway back to the main topic on gloves: I like those latax gloves that medical professionals use. My job as a counseler at a summer day camp, requires me to take out garbage every day. And I feel better about touching that nasty trash wearing those latax gloves. Gloves are way cool whether you are handleing fly's in a theater, or taking out the garbage that is way over capacity and kids still think their trash can fit on the very top.
     
  17. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    That's a shame the school has that kind of policy. The students are done a real disservice. I have it in the back of my head to become some college's TD at some later point should I ever leave my current posting. Last time I TD'd at a college, the school was too small and not only was I in constant coordination with the students but I ended up doing most of the work anyway. Certainly not worth $1K in fees for a show. But I know what you mean about the re-training. Lots of stuff that was basic for me in school just doesn't seem to be taught universally.

    As for the lamp, good question. Perhaps I should have let him put it in. I don't think I have ever really looked at what would happen in such a case - tip of the globe cleanly broken off. Large CC-013d 2Kw filament. I theorize that with the exposure to the air that the filament would quickly go super nova, but too fast to cause an explosion with pressure. Than again, good question especially if put on a dimmer and slowly dimmed up. Come to think of it, that broken lamp at the tip means that they broke it when they were pulling the lamp out of the fixture... Gonna have to have a talk with the boys on Monday about being careful.
     
  18. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    Ushio in their 2000 "Light Reading" magazine had a few interesting articles about cool lamp failures in articles like "Premature Death or First - Degree Lamp Slaughter" amongst a few other useful articles. Granted the lamp dimming article is better stated in some Osram texts, but overall, it's a good read. http://www.ushio.com/lightreading.htm

    As for the subject of gloves, Latex gloves are getting to be very common to work with for changing lamps. Never got into it myself unless I'm lamping a bunch of fixtures. I don't like how they feel. Unfortunately I have seen the wearing of such gloves spread to people wearing them all day long and for doing everything. Want to keep their hands clean, away from the Goof Off or something. Far too tempting to think that the gloves you were handeling equipment with are clean and good enough to also handle lamps with since your finger prints won't be on them. It worries me when I see people handeling equipment and changing lamps because I never see them changigng between uses. (Yet to catch anyone in the act so far however.)

    Back when I was focusing lights and before Set Wear came out, I used to use racing gloves, than some leather draw string cow boy like work gloves for working the fly system or handeling stuff. I still have a few pairs of the work gloves about. They work fine for my occasional usage but I could see where in focusing lights all day that something such as Set Wear sells could be useful. Deluth Trading co. http://www.duluthtrading.com/ also has a bunch of good gloves on the market.

    One caution I would have for people wearing any type of glove that I see broken all the time. That's not to wear any gloves while working with power tools especially a table saw. Getting a sliver from a sheet of plywood is going to heal a lot faster than what will happen if the saw blade snags a glove and sucks your hand in. Just something to remember.
     
  19. Crewguy7

    Crewguy7 Member

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    He he, thanks for the advice for when not to wear gloves,

    Hey, delnor, can i assume this is the reason for having the "Memorial Flies" plaque above those flies?
     
  20. wemeck

    wemeck Active Member

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    I use to wear a pair of black batting gloves before set wear. One of my crew kids wore the set-wear gloves one day and I was really impressed. I have both a fingerless pair and the $20 work glove. The Full fingered Work Gloves are great at strike, and the fingerless are usefull for dailey shop stuff.


    Two more rules to live by,
    1.) Never wear lose clothing around powertools. Saw a gross picture in Junior High Wood shop were somebody got their tie caught in a lathe. Was not pretty.
    2.) Never pipet by mouth.
     

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