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Hi and a turntable question, please

Discussion in 'Scenery, Props, and Rigging' started by Ellen, Mar 16, 2009.

  1. Ellen

    Ellen Member

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    Hi,

    I found this forum searching for info on how to build a turntable. We're not doing Les Miz, surprisingly enough. We've got an 8' radius platform made of two layers of 3/4" ply glued together. With set and actors (17 max) I figure a conservative weight is 4500 lbs. We had a parent who volunteered then flaked on making a steel pivot for us. So now I'm scrambling. McMaster has lazy susans that can hold 1000 lbs. With many castors, would this work or does the pivot need to be able to support the entire mass? Is there something else I can use?

    Thanks
     
  2. Van

    Van CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    Occupation:
    Project Manager, Stagecraft Industries, Inc.
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    Portland, Or.
    Ellen,
    First off, Welcome aboard!
    Second, I'd love to throw this question in the scenery section, but I need to brush up on this moderator thing first.
    Third,
    No the central pivot really doesn't need to support any weight what-so-ever. Your first radius of casters should be close enough to the center pivot point that any weight born by the center of the revolve is transferred to that first ring of casters.
    You said someone flaked on building the steel pivot ? Not a problem. Go to almost any decent Hardware store, Heck even Home Despot will do, Get a floor flange for a piece of 2" ASTM scd#40 steel pipe. Now get a nipple < very short piece of pipe that is threaded on both ends> Make sure the nipple is shorter, by at least an inch, than the distance between the floor and the underside of your turntable plate. Now get a floor flange for 1.25" ASTM Scd#40 steel pipe and a nipple for it as well. These two nipples should just slide inside of each other. If not than go down one size to 1" pipe. Make sure the nipple is the proper length. < HD will cut / thread pipe for you for a very nominal fee. >
    Coat the smaller nipple in axle grease. mount it to the floor using 1" lag screws mount the larger nipple to the underside of the revolve, you're ready to take a spin.
    Hope that helps.
    Feel free to re-post this question in the scenery forum. Check out the drawings I have posted in the Wikki. they detail how this center pivot is constructed.
     
    Ellen and (deleted member) like this.
  3. Ellen

    Ellen Member

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    Thank you so much! My dept head is pushing me to learn big tech and discovering this forum is gonna keep my head above water (and my turntable above that stage deck) for sure!
     
  4. draco17315

    draco17315 Member

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    Location:
    York, PA
    HELLO, we just got done doing Les Mis here in Glen Rock, PA and we used a 20' motorized revolve....under your layers of plyboard, you need to find the exact center, this is very important then use a 1 or 1.5" metal flange with a piece of the coresponding metal pipe, threaded on one side to fit the flange (lowes or Home depot) and cut to just short of your final height of the turntable. then you want the closest fitting metal pipe that will fit over this 1 or 1.5" pipe and you need to do the same, use a metal flange and threaded pipe that is just long enough to slide over the pipe attached to the underside of your platform, this bottom pipe should just be long enough to tough the top flange, nount this to a plyboard circle that is about 3 feet wide, make sure to use a lubrication and don't be stingy, we used a spray called white lightning (i think), it is kind of a foam. then you need to make (what we called the web because that is what it looks like) strips of plyboard about 4 inches wide and these should form a web like pattern when your done, you would need to do the math for your size turntable to figure out the angles and length for each piece of plyboard. attach all these starting at the center smaller circle and either mount to the floor or you can use some fly rail weights just be sure to keep them shorter than your platform from inside to inside of your plyboard circles. after all this is set-up you want to use 2, 2.5 or 3" casters at the most, you want the rubber kind that are kind of rounded around the edges and do not use locking casters and they have to be swivel style. mount these to your web of plyboard with 2 on each piece on your small section of ply then add as you go, 3 on the next set, 4 on the next, so on and so forth, be sure to keep them all on the correct angle to flow smooth and be sure to mount upside down to let your platform revolve on top of the wheel part of the caster. make sure to add either luan or .5 " ply pieces to the bottom, outside edge of your platform that follow the curve neatly, this gives the outside casters a stopping point so that your revolve does not get out of line...when this is all completed, you should be abel to spin very smoothly with minimal noise (assuming you are not motorizing it which is a whole other story) then build your surrounding platform around you revolve platform making sure that all of your cuts are as clean and accurate as you can get them, trust me, it's worth the extra time to be careful with these cuts. to spin manually, you can use a spade bit (probably a 1.5") to cut a few holes near the outside edges of your revolve and your crew can use a pipe to stick in the wholes for a scene change and spin it....there are other ways to do this, but this is the easiest...hope this helps....it sounds confusing, but take it step by step and you will be fine...good luck
    Joe
     
  5. techcrewgod

    techcrewgod Member

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    we use this all the time on our trucks to make revolves....we use four inch swivel casters. it works great[​IMG][​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2009
  6. techcrewgod

    techcrewgod Member

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    the reason theres a cutout in the side of the truck is so we can move the revolve on and offstage just by removing the upper pipe.[​IMG][​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2009

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