Lifting up scenic units

Discussion in 'Scenery, Props, and Rigging' started by Chuwwy, Oct 12, 2019 at 3:40 PM.

  1. Chuwwy

    Chuwwy Member

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    Just curious what people use to lift up scenic units (40 to 200lbs)? Sometimes I've had to dead hang scenic elements to the catwalk. It's usually been rated rope with a bowline and bodies to get the scenery up which is rigged with aircraft cable, shackles, and trim chain. Has anyone ever used prefabricated rope with thimbles? https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07P2RJGJM/?tag=controlbooth-20
     
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  2. What Rigger?

    What Rigger? I'm so fly....I Neverland.

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    Chuwwy, not sure what you mean by "lift up". Are you talking about dead hanging from the grid in lieu of a counterweight lineset? Are you within the design parameters of the catwalk when hanging things on them? You're not suspending scenery from handrails, yes/no?

    When you say "rated rope"- rated to what capacity, and for what use spec'ed by the manufacturer? Bowlines tend to reduce the efficiency (capacity) of a rope by about 30%, as we know. I would steer very clear of buying rope off of Amazon, especially since nobody at Amazon is going to be able to answer your questions. And Rainier is most likely not going to warrant their marine products for our sort of applications.

    Beyond my OCD regarding numbers and design factors: why would you want a pre-made eye in the end of a work rope? The reason for sending things up in arena applications (like rock n' roll baskets, for example) on a bowline is so you can untie the knot and get it clear of the point so you don't have to make/break more than one connection.

    Tell us more, let's have the hive mind figure this out for you.
     
  3. Crisp image

    Crisp image Well-Known Member

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    I have lifted heavy moving lights to a rigging point using static rescue rope and properly designed hardware. the rope is 11mm dia and rated to 3125kg MBS.
    Using a technique called a "Z" pulley system which gives lifting ratios of 3:1 in its native form but it can be adapted to 5:1 or 9:1 easily.
    As far a bowlines go, there are a number of better hitches and bends to use that reduce the head room needed to get things higher up without the need to get a higher rigging point.
    All my systems are used in vertical rescue or industrial rope access systems and I am trained in such systems.
    I would not even entertain using the rope in the link provided and ropes with thimbles for me are not to be used in this situation.
    These are my thoughts and opinions.

    Oh and never never never connect to a handrail. Simply not designed to hold weight like that.

    Regards
    Geoff
     
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  4. Chuwwy

    Chuwwy Member

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    I was talking about using the rope to simply lift the scenic elements up while on the catwalks and deadhanging to the grid below, not handrail. I work with a lot of unskilled students and was looking at ways to simply the process.
     
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  5. Colin

    Colin Well-Known Member

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    Presumably if they're students then it is someone's job to teach them some skills. If so, they should be learning standard practices including using some knots. I'd rather have someone drop the bare end of a rope than a thimbled one, or the shackle/pin needed to make/break as mentioned already.

    But sure, if it seems right for your application then use a thimble splice from a reputable, known/knowable vendor not Amazon, and probably not an anchor rope. In my recollection a thimble splice tends to add $10-20 to the cost of your rope unless you're comfortable doing it yourself, plus more for a shackle to connect to the point you're pulling, plus doing/paying for a new splice if the end gets damaged, as opposed to cutting the bad end off and you're ready to tie your loop knot of choice free of charge. So there's a convenience cost, if it is truly convenient.
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2019 at 11:16 AM
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  6. What Rigger?

    What Rigger? I'm so fly....I Neverland.

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    Aha! Ok, so along the lines of having students- definitely teach them how to use a bowline for hauling things (again, rigging baskets...or scenery...or S4's before they go the way of the dodo) so they know how to pull something up, keep it secured while making the actual point, and then sending the rope back in again. This is one of those actual real world skills, and I'm seeing a dearth of it in our new hires coming out of college.

    Avoid permanent eyes, it will serve everyone better in the long run.
     
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  7. What Rigger?

    What Rigger? I'm so fly....I Neverland.

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    Geoff, you are speaking my language! I love using Z rigs. What are your thoughts on, say, barrel on a bight with a carabiner tied into it for hauling small loads? It definitely solves the headroom issue.
    Also, just for almost-full disclosure, I'm a SPRAT Level 2.
     
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  8. Crisp image

    Crisp image Well-Known Member

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    Barrel on the bight is one of my favorite techniques. Like you said eliminates the head room. So many time I see a figure 8 loop tied that is way bigger than needed and then for some reason they run out of space.
    The versitility of z rigs is really good. Here is a video of some training I did. It is on the classroom and is a 9:1 z rig using an ID20 and pulleys and a couple of ascenders. Good times. That is 1min 27ses
    Regards
    Geoff
     
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