inflatable wheels and sand on stage

Joined
Oct 22, 2015
Location
New Haven, CT
hello all! long time lurker, first time poster….

I have made the calculated risk, for a number of reasons, by allowing our scenic designer to fill our stage with sand. The main problem is that I have a 4'x10' wagon with walls that needs to roll on for two scenes.

I have been told that there are inflatable wheels that could be used for this purpose. Searching online, of course, brings me a lot of non-stage related results. Does anyone have any experience with non-traditional casters for their sets?

Thanks all!

-brian
 

venuetech

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Apr 14, 2008
Location
AK,
I suspect you are looking for "balloon wheels" / "beach wheels"
 

Skervald

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Apr 8, 2014
Location
Minneapolis, MN
You are a brave soul.

I've never used them on stage but Harbor Freight sells a decent pneumatic swivel caster in 8 or 10" size.

You didn't ask and I'm sure at least some of these have crossed your mind. I can see a few possible problems. First, your wagon will either need to be constructed so the casters are severely recessed or be okay with it sitting very high. (on the other hand this could help with clearance issues) Second, depending on how much sand is on the stage, a 4x10' wagon most likely has enough weight to bury the casters making movement difficult. Third, it may be tough to get enough traction on the sand or even a sandy stage top to push or pull a heavy wagon. Any way you could leave a section of stage sand free? Or if it's a simple straight on, straight off maneuver, some kind of a low profile track resting on the stage the wagon could ride on might work.

I hope you figure something out. Love to see photos of the set when you do!
 

venuetech

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Apr 14, 2008
Location
AK,
Sand gets everywhere so be sure to tape cracks and seams in the floor. If you have tile flooring in any back stage area get it waxed to seal the cracks. It may be easier to create a track for the wagon. Any uneven surface will have the walls on the wagon going in and out of plumb, that may cause problems.
 
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bobgaggle

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Nov 19, 2007
Location
Philadelphia, PA
What are your site lines like? Could you build a thresh hold (sand hold? haha) and leave the area where the wagon tracks sand free? But keep the sand DS of the wagon?
 
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Amiers

Renting to Corporate One Fixture at a Time.
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May 28, 2009
Location
Phoenix, Az
What are your site lines like? Could you build a thresh hold (sand hold? haha) and leave the area where the wagon tracks sand free? But keep the sand DS of the wagon?
Sand gets everywhere. I know. you are going to need real tires or I would suggest what Aaron said and leave a section of sand out thats not visble upstage so you can have normal casters.
 
Joined
Oct 22, 2015
Location
New Haven, CT
Hi everyone! We are a little behind on build, as well as trying to sort out how some things will work, so I've been away from this thread. I've lurked here a while, so it feels amazing that so many people replied with such depth!

As for being brave in working with sand...there were a few reasons I was letting it happen. The big reason, aside from student enthusiasm about shoveling (?!?) was that we are slated to get a brand new deck at the end of the season. So that will make as much of a mess as the sand, and everything should get cleaned up as a result.

A word of warning about the harbor freight casters - I saw those when Luke posted the link to Uline. However, I have learned the difference between $65 casters and $15 casters - the welds and cuts are sloppy, preventing the wheels from rotating fully! They would be a disaster and dragged sand under an already heavy wagon that, yes, might push sand instead of rolling on it.

Yes, sand is a disaster of an idea. :)

Looks like we are cutting the sand now. So regular casters it is!
 

Davetp

Member
Joined
May 31, 2015
Location
UK
Instead Of Sand use The Circ De Soli Method and Use cork as it is easier to clean up and reuese as well as easier to move things on.
 

LavaASU

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Jan 2, 2011
Location
Phoenix
Instead Of Sand use The Circ De Soli Method and Use cork as it is easier to clean up and reuese as well as easier to move things on.
Yup, if you could afford it the cork stuff is great. It comes in all different sizes and looks pretty real without the weight and mess.