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High-Shine black flooring

Discussion in 'Scenery, Props, and Rigging' started by tdtastic, Feb 5, 2017.

  1. tdtastic

    tdtastic Member

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    Many shows (like Phantom) have a high-shine, almost mirrored, black floor. You see this on a lot of TV specials and game show sets as well. What is this building material called and where can you get it? I used to know the name but forget. It comes in standard sized panels, Im guessing 4'x8'.

    Any other material ideas of how I can create that same finish on a wall would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    I am always forgetting the name also. It's essentially 1/4" hardboard (Masonite/MDF) with the black shiny laminated to one side.

    Two similar very thin vinyl products, that I think would work on a wall, provided your surface prep is nearly flawless with no imperfections:
    http://www.rosebrand.com/product1958/Ballare-Glossy-Floor.aspx
    http://www.gamonline.com/catalog/gamfloor/index.php (Hopefully this made the migration to become a Rosco product.)


    I'll keep on trying to come up with the name of the sheetgood product. Or someone else will come along and help us both out.
     
  3. Jay Ashworth

    Jay Ashworth Well-Known Member

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    "Marlite"
     
  4. Van

    Van CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    If you are simply looking for a High Gloss Black finish there are several ways of accomplishing it. A floor requires a much more resilient finish and therefore the materials for a floor tend to be MUCH more expensive. You can accomplish a wall treatment with "black" mylar, available at Rose Brand or other places. I have used some High Gloss DTM Latex Paints with great success. It's all about Surface prep.
    Now if Budget isn't a concern I might suggest a High Gloss Laminate like Wilsonart. The biggest issue with Laminate is if you look at it wrong it can get scratched. I would suggest the "Nova" plastic polish line for maintenance.
     
  5. josh88

    josh88 Remarkably Tired. Premium Member Fight Leukemia

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    We just did one of the major car shows and just put gloss laminate over mdf for the show deck. easily shipped as single sheets and layer down on site.
     
  6. icewolf08

    icewolf08 CBMod CB Mods

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  7. kicknargel

    kicknargel Well-Known Member

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    Yes, "Marlite" is a 4x8 sheet of 1/4" MDF with a high-gloss black surface, common in TV production. Not sure if that's a real brand name or one of those flighty industry terms. Marlite.com seems unrelated.

    I've bought it from A&G Lumber in Culver City, CA.

    I just googled up another source, also in Culver City.
    http://www.studiosupplier.com/albums/album_image/9038397/8277336.htm
     
  8. kicknargel

    kicknargel Well-Known Member

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    BTW, I suspect Phantom is just paint, or some kind of coating.
     
  9. Moose Hatrack

    Moose Hatrack Active Member

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    Circa 1970- I remember Johnny Carson mentioning "Battleship Linoleum" in the studio.
     
  10. JohnD

    JohnD Well-Known Member Premium Member Fight Leukemia

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    It used to be a quite common stage covering. It was also used on battleships, hence the name, but the navy stopped using it after the Pearl Harbor attacks because of flammability.
    It was also used often in Hollywood for musicals in the thirties. Check out any of the Busby Berkleley movies, or even better, check out The Great Ziegfeld especially the A Pretty Girl is like a Melody number. That is one of my all time favorites.
     
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  11. Van

    Van CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    Battleship Linoleum...There's a name I have not heard since.........
    Yeah it weighs 300,000 pounds per sheet and each sheet is like 27'-5.6275" X 49.375 meters.
    and it smells.
    Oh did I mention it's heavy?
     
  12. Moose Hatrack

    Moose Hatrack Active Member

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    Now I'm curious, how thick was it? Was it the weight that kept seams smooth? Edges could never curl up on a sheet that massive?
     
  13. Moose Hatrack

    Moose Hatrack Active Member

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    Yep the Pretty Girl is like a Melody number is beyond amazing. It is a chapter
    in the history of coordination. I suppose Fred & Ginger hoofed and tapped it out on Battleship Linoleum then?
     
  14. RonHebbard

    RonHebbard Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Back in the seventies, Canada's National Ballet used to tour with rolling racks of dark grey battleship linoleum. Every rolling rack held three rolls. To reduce damage, the rollers were (from memory) about 16" to 18" in diameter with the lowest roller as low as was feasible and only minimal clearance between the rollers once they all had their linoleum rolled onto them. The carts were heavy (of necessity) when empty as their construction was welded steel with iron tired casters. No rubber treads on those brutes. The cart's bases were rectangular supporting the uprights which were leaned back similar to a traditional scenery dolly in an effort to assist with the center of gravity. Even the "loaders" were willing to permit "hands" to help muscle the carts off the trucks and then four to six "hands" would stoop and strain as they put their shoulders into rolling each cart across the dock and into a wing where they'd be parked beginning as lined up as possible to in alignment with the first roller to be unrolled. Of course they were unloaded from the top down with the first roll being unwound as far DS as they were planning on dancing. As the linoleum was heavy and thick yet easily ripped and damaged if not properly supported, gripped and handled; we'd begin unrolling with four "hands" (hands as in stage hands, four hands = four persons / 8 actual hands) across the lead end adding several more along the sides to aid with support and movement. They'd normally mask our prosc' in to 50' and each roll would extend past site lines into both wings. Making each rolled length, as a pure guess, maybe 60' long. Their prop man always made certain his best and longest strip went downstage while shorter strips, or any with end damage, would run across further US where legs were dressed a little further on stage. I remember the first season they arrived with their then brand new flooring and custom manufactured carts they'd designed and fabricated in their own shops. They were proud as punch, protective as he__, handled them with reverence and treated them like gold. By the time we were near the end of any one roll, a whole lot of "hands" were straining really hard to drag the lead end into the opposite wing and then the entire strip needed to be muscled into its correct position neatly parallel to cross-stage. A cart would be rolled one width US and the process repeated.
    That was some heavy flooring and those were some DARNED HEAVY carts.
    Sorry! With apologies for another of my boring TLDR posts.
    Thanks, and no thanks, for the memories @Van.
    Toodleoo!
    Ron
     
  15. RonHebbard

    RonHebbard Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Yeah and remember she had to do it in heels and backwards! (Ba ding! Rim shot + cymbal crash.)
    Toodleoo!
    Ron Hebbard.
     
  16. JohnD

    JohnD Well-Known Member Premium Member Fight Leukemia

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    The lino used for printmaking seems to be 1/8" thick, at least that sold by Blick. I remember the lino used for stages as being more like 1/4" thick.
    As far as the Hollywood musicals, in re-watching them it is interesting to note that MGM was much better at crane and dolly shots than Warner Brothers. Lots of jiggle (of the camera) in the Busby Berkeley musicals.
     
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  17. RonHebbard

    RonHebbard Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Purely from memories in what's left of my mind, more than 1/8" and thinner than 1/4" so I'm going to go with 3/16" 'til someone chimes in with an actual spec' or a sample and their vernier calipers.
    The weight definitely held it down and in position without moving but our National Ballet ALWAYS taped all of their seams across the entire visible width using one continuous length of their favorite floor tape. The older it got, the more brittle it became requiring even more care in handling to avoid damaging the edges and especially the lead ends which took the most strain when dragging it across the deck and the hands trying to grip them without flexing them. The touring prop-person was saving any substantial scraps for individual dancers to warm up in the wings.
    Toodleoo!
    Ron Hebbard.
     
  18. Moose Hatrack

    Moose Hatrack Active Member

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    Mr. Hebbard, TLDR can never apply to you. Never a wasted word. Never a grim read. Thank you for ALL of your exquisitely written details.
     
  19. Jay Ashworth

    Jay Ashworth Well-Known Member

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    No; they're the same people -- they just sell a billion and six more things now.

    Marlite is -- or was -- a trademark of Masonite Corporation.

    In fact, they appear to have been Marlite Masonite Corporation along the way, The Google tells me. :)
     
  20. RonHebbard

    RonHebbard Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    @moosehatrack You flatter me sir but I thank you. Being blind now it often takes me an hour to type a post and often longer to proof it. Thanks again, "flattery will get you everywhere."
    Toodleoo!
    Ron Hebbard.
     

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