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Help for Research Project: Grids

Discussion in 'Stage Management and Facility Operations' started by Superwoman, Feb 24, 2009.

  1. Superwoman

    Superwoman Member

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    I am conducting a research project in which I need a good idea of the sizes and materials of grids used for the hanging of curtains and set pieces. I am asking for the dimensions of the individual grid beams and the distances between them. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    That could be anything from off the shelf ceiling truss to S20x96 I Beam.

    Usually beams are on 9' or 8' centers to allow loft block to be attached, but depending on the battens being used that number can get larger or smaller. There is not a typical design though, there are commonly used designs but it all depends on what the house is built for. Some theatres are built to just hang dead hung curtains and electrics. Others are built for 90 linesets with a maximum load of 1000# per lineset. Therefore, the steel must be able to support 1,800,000# plus all the rigging hardware and infrustructure.

    Also, there is a difference between the grid and the steel. In most newer installs, loft blocks are underhung on steel that runs DS/US. The "grid" is hung below that and allow for people to walk around and access the loft block and to hang points.

    So... what kind of theatre are you looking at?
     
  3. Superwoman

    Superwoman Member

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    Okay, I am talking about the steel or the place at which equitment would be secured to. As for the theatre itself I will be focusing on those that use dead hang locations rather than linesets.
     
  4. Van

    Van CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    Project Manager, Stagecraft Industries, Inc.
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    So are you looking into more of a pipe grid situation ? If you are wondering about Hardware reccomendations for attaching to existing steel structures / I-Beams, there are several options available depending on the aplication, load, and permanance. Actual rigging info, you are not going to find here. If you don't know how to ask what you are looking for you shouldn't be trying to do any rigging in the first place. I, and most here, would reccomend that you contact a Profesional Licensed Rigger or a Stage rigging company. I hope we can help you figure out the information you are looking for.
    When you say research project are we talking a hypothetical application, or are you looking into actual contsrtuction techniques.
    We're a ery nosey bunch and the more info you provide about what you are doing the much more likely chances we can steer you in the proper direction.
     
  5. DaveySimps

    DaveySimps CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    It very much appears as if it is for a research project for school, not for actually rigging a system. She posted in the New Member forum stating she is a college engineering student trying to incorporate a bit of theatre into her degree.

    ~Dave
     
  6. RichMoore

    RichMoore Member

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    I used to work for Texas Scenic as an installation rigger, i.e., one who installs theatrical equipment into performance spaces, so perhaps I can shed some light onto your query, which I presume is a research project for a grade.

    Normally, the structural steel is not visible from the stage itself, but is covered over with drywall and painted, usually black. As stated by Footer, it can be ceiling truss or I-beam or channel steel and normally runs upstage and downstage on 7 to 9 foot centers. In most cases, depending upon the width of the stage, there will be 5 to 7 steel members from which to hang.

    Usually, bull-dog chain is wrapped around the structural steel and through bolted with x-number of inches of chain hanging down that is then used to secure the hanging brackets for the curtain track or pipe from which the curtain or electric will be suspended.

    Does that help?
    Rich
     
  7. icewolf08

    icewolf08 CBMod CB Mods

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    Controls Technician - TAIT Towers
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    If you are researching this for a project or for an install, probably the best thing to do is contact JR Clancy or Sapsis Rigging as they really are the industry leaders in this country for rigging. You also might get in touch with some of the major theatre design/engineering firms like Fisher Dachs Associates.
     
  8. Superwoman

    Superwoman Member

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    Thank you for the suggestions about firms to contact about grids installed. Actually the system, I am working with at the university is a channel steel running up and down stage that serves as both the grid and the steel (as explained earlier). I have never worked with this type of system before. Everywhere I have work up till now has used hung pipes by which the lights and curtains were hung. I appologize I do not know termology with the grid. I am working with a senior technical director, but I still have a bit of a learning curve. The most important information I am trying to find is the spans between the steel and the dimensions of the steel beams themselves in various theatres. I'm trying to make my rigging system as universally adaptable as possible.
     
  9. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    Theater Manager & T.D.
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    Still unclear what you are doing in general.

    Can you explain more of what you mean by the word "Grid" as there are several ways to use it. It sounds like what you are talking about is NOT the typical use of the word. As Van said it sounds like you are talking about hanging a pipe grid or possibly dead hanging pipes from the ceiling. The most common use of the word "grid" refers to a part of a theater building with a fly system. It is a steel grid (little rectangles about 1"x3"), mounted around 7 feet or so from the top of the fly space. Permanently built into the building, the grid supports and/or allows access to all the cables and pulleys of the fly system. You can go up and walk around on this grid to repair and maintain your fly system or it can be used for rigging. You don't hang lights from it as it's typically more than double the height of the proscenium arch and it has no pipes or attaching points... it's little steel rectangles for walking on.

    Is this a class project?
    Are you trying to design something that will actually be installed?
    If you can post pictures or drawings of what you are trying to do that is always helpful.

    I'm sure we can help you but we need a little more information.
     

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