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How did you build your Triscuit platform

Discussion in 'Scenery, Props, and Rigging' started by Daniel Woodard, Apr 5, 2018.

  1. Daniel Woodard

    Daniel Woodard New Member

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    Location:
    Lexington, SC
    I want to switch to the triscuit platforms and I've seen that there are many ways to do this:
    Yale 5/4 lumber & 5/8 plywood, Penn State 1 inch thick extruded polystyrene with 5/8 OSB & Texas metal frame design and several other variations.
    This is a small community theatre and many times there is just one person building sets and setting platforms so the lighter the better.
    How did you build yours?
    How has it worked out for you?
     
    Jon Taylor likes this.
  2. Doug Lowthian

    Doug Lowthian Active Member

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    Location:
    International Falls, MN
    We built ours with a sandwich of 1/2 in plywood, 1x4 web spaced at 0, 12, 24, 36 and 48 and edges (flat), one more 1/2 in ply. Glued and screwed liberally.
    Set up on 2x4 stud style walls on opposite sides with studs spaced 2' on center. and diagonal cross bracing all the way round. Each platform is 4x4 and when set up each is screwed to it's neighbor and a common diagonal across them all.

    We covered the top with 1/4 hardboard for appearance. zero flex, zero movement, rock solid stability.
    Each panel weighs about 70 lbs (never weighed them, just guessing based on me picking them up and hauling them)

    Worked out well every time we used them. I have used them to build stages, platforms in sets and even put a 18 inch high one on casters for a set piece.
     
    RonHebbard and Daniel Woodard like this.
  3. Van

    Van CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    Occupation:
    Project Manager, Stagecraft Industries, Inc.
    Location:
    Portland, Or.
    Rip a 2x4 in half.
    Square the pieces so they're 1 1/2" x 1 1/2".
    Cut the 'Rails' to 3'-11 7/8".
    Cut five 'toggles' @ 1.5" X 1.5" X 3'8 7/8".
    Space the toggles evenly across the rails.
    Tap / pre-drill and secure with glue and 3"x#6 Drywall or wood screws.
    Rip 1/2" B/C ply to 3' 11 7/8" x 3' 11 7/8".
    apply liberal amounts of glue to one face of all the framing.
    place the top piece of Ply with the top grain running the same direction as the toggles.
    Secure with screws every 6" on perimeter, 12" in the field.
    Flip the triscuit.
    Apply glue.
    Place bottom Ply with Top grain running perpendicular to the framing.
    Secure with same screw layout.

    Let dry.

    Drill 3/16" hole in framing 2" from each corner so you can later secure the triscuit to pony walls or stud walls of whatever you want to call them.

    The size allows you to use a piece of 1/4" masonite to space the triscuit with a gap at 4' between each unit. The gap keeps you from having to deal with squeaks. Running Roofing felt on the top of your stud wall rails will also guard against squeaks.
     
  4. Amodttech

    Amodttech New Member

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    Location:
    Brooklyn
    Sorry to hijack this thread a little bit, but I'm considering triscuits for an upcoming build.

    I need to build an entire stage deck (about 30' x 20') that tracks upstage about 8'. I've done a much smaller version with traditional 2x4 framed + 3/4" lidded platforms, but we're concerned about the weight and the noise.

    would 1/4" ply sandwiching 1/2" homasote be an ok substitute for 3/4" ply? my inclination is no, but I'm starting to second guess myself. I'd ideally make them 4x8' instead of 2' square triscuits, we're not really concerned with reusing them for other plays so ease of storage isn't too important.
     
  5. Van

    Van CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    Occupation:
    Project Manager, Stagecraft Industries, Inc.
    Location:
    Portland, Or.
    I would say, without any testing or equations being made, that Homosote simply doesn't have the structural integrity to hold the 1/4" ply. Any type of Laminated 'Engineered' lumber product is, ultimately, only as strong as the bond between it's layers and fibers. While I feel you could get a decent bond between the ply and the homasote, the homasote itself doesn't have the interior bonding necessary to hold it's top and bottom layers together.

    It's kind of like the Peeling floor thread that has been going on here. When you pull tape off a floor and it pulls up the top layer of Masonite, the failing isn't the bond between paint and floor, the failing is the flooring. I've seen 1/2" MDF sandwiched between 1/4" and it is pretty stout, but you certainly are saving any weight.
     
    RonHebbard likes this.
  6. Daniel Woodard

    Daniel Woodard New Member

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    Location:
    Lexington, SC
    Just FYI the Triscuit or Stress skin platform is a 4' square design to be lighter and smaller for storage. I've seen in other threads where they have built different sizes and configuration
     
  7. Amodttech

    Amodttech New Member

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    Location:
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    thanks guys, this confirms some of my suspicions. I don't think it's right for what we're doing
     
  8. kicknargel

    kicknargel Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Denver, CO
    We have the Texas, steel-framed variety. We like steel, and like being able to cut holes or otherwise beat up the lid, and replace it easily. But if weight is a chief factor, one of the other varieties is probably better.

    Here's a little tip: when we drill the 4 screw holes in the corners, we drill out the plywood bigger and insert a threaded insert, then countersink the insert. This makes a metal bearing surface for the screws and prevents the holes getting chewed up over time as people over-drive the screws.

    As a for-hire shop that rents to all kinds of clients, we try not to rely on installers having much TLC for our stuff.
     
    RonHebbard and Daniel Woodard like this.
  9. Captain Audio

    Captain Audio Member

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    Location:
    San Antonio
    We have 16 Texas Triscuits with a steel frame and 5/8" plywood on top. If a show requires more platforming than sixteen 4'x4' triscuits, we usually just use some traditional 2x4 platforming.
    Our steel platforms weigh somewhere in the neighborhood of 45 pounds I believe. If you want pictures I can upload some.

    We have also built specific steel frame for platforms that will have odd leg configurations.

    It's great to be able to build stud walls, throw triscuits on top and then screw it all down. It's much easier to platform that way with two people.
     

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