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New Scene Shop

Discussion in 'General Advice' started by BNEL, Mar 6, 2009.

  1. BNEL

    BNEL Member

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    Location:
    Minnesota
    So I have been hired by a public school district in the position of District Auditorium Manager. I will looking after 3 performing spaces and 1 scene shop. Two of the performing areas and the scene shop will be opening in the fall of this year. I am currently specing out the scene shop. I have been working many different technical theater positions in which I would say substandard working conditions. I do not want this shop to be in this position. First piece of advice I'm looking for is what are the standard tools that you would see in a standard scene shop?
    I also have a industrial arts teacher in the district that has always worked on the past theater productions and has requested that I spec out welding equipment for the shop. Now all my training is telling me never to mix metalworking and woodworking in a shop. What is other peoples experiences with this type of situation?
    The shop is 37 by 50 with alot of vertical space.
    Thanks
     
  2. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    Location:
    Saratoga Springs, NY
    Table saw, chop saw, band saw, panel saw (best thing for students), stationary sander if you can. Thats what I have in my shop. Most shops I have worked in have the same. A router table would also be nice.

    Be sure you have a secure locked room inside your shop for tool storage. Make sure its not on the district key so you don't have janitors steeling your screw guns. As far as hand tools go, you can never have too many screwguns. Buy them in bulk and don't buy them for long life. Dewault is not worth it in a High School because the gun will get abused or lost before its life is over. I go with Craftsman combo kits, for 129 bucks you get a 18v drill and Impact driver. Otherwise, you will need standard tools like circ saws, sabre saws, sawzalls, etc. A good air compressor with hose drops is also a plus. Each hose should have its own regulator.

    Now for the welding thing... I have worked in a multitude of shops as a welder. You first need to decide what you will be welding. I devide this up into two camps, large full stage items and crafts/hardware/sculpture. In the full stage items I like a table about 6' wide by at least 24' long. If I am working in a tall house, I usually like to go up to 30' with that table. Odds are you will not be building 24' long flats. For the smaller work areas Usually a steel table that is 3'x6' or so will suffice. On this I usually want a drill press, a vice that is capable of being heated, and a bench grinder. If you can afford it get a carbide chop saw. It is a far better way to go compared to abrasive saws. I would suggest picking up a 220v Mig welder if you can afford it and have the power. I would also suggest getting a torch set if you can. With all of this I will assume the industrial tech teacher will be able to show you and your students safe instruction.

    Your right, mixing welding and wood can lead to bad things happening. Luan likes to burn, and I have lit up luan on numerous occasions (I always weld with a spray bottle around). Best case scenario your shop should be all concrete. Odds are it will have a wooden floor. It needs to be well sealed, that should protect it. Putting down masonite will also help. You need to have a cordoned off area that is only for welding. It must be saw dust free. To section it off either install welding curtains or welding shields. These are portable and and be stored if not in use.

    [​IMG]

    These protect against slag going everywhere and also protect the arc from lighting up the entire shop. I will post a few pictures of shops I have worked in tonight.
     
  3. thommyboy

    thommyboy Active Member

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    The World?s Leading maker of safe 10-inch Table Saws ? SawStop
    Working in a educational environment this is a INVALUABLE tool. Our woods lab installed 2 of these this fall. The stop mechanism is about 40-50 bucks but we have managed to save 2 students from major damage to their digits. The only minor issue we ran into was when ripping some T-111 that was left outside overnight. The moisture content was too high so the blade read it being human and dropped the blade. Better safe than sorry.
     
  4. Erwin

    Erwin Member

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    Location:
    Halifax, Nova Scotia
    How much is one of those saws? Impressive.
     
  5. thommyboy

    thommyboy Active Member

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    as of September

    Cabinet Saw Prices

    3 HP Saw $3,099
    5 HP Saw $3,399
    7.5 HP Saw $3,899
    36" Fence, Rails and Table $458
    52" Fence, Rails and Table $538

    Contractor Saw
    1.75 HP ~ $1700
     
  6. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    Occupation:
    Theater Manager & T.D.
    Location:
    Seattle, Washington
    I have a Sawstop. Not only is it extremely safe it is also the nicest saw I've ever used. VERY high quality build. I've got a big 3 phase, 220v, 5 h.p. model, 52" table and rails, wheeled base, and two spare break cartridges for a little less than $5k including tax and delivery to my door. The stock fence is excellent, Unlike Delta I don't see the need to upgrade to a secondary manufacturer fence like a Biesemeyer.

    Total was a little over $1000 more than an equivalent from Delta. Schools all over the place are buying thme because they are SO much safer. They are also a serious tool used in the pro shops of both Cirque Du Solei and Disneyland.

    I was told the company history was they invented the safety mechanism and tried to sell the technology to some of the big boys like Delta and Powermatic. They were turned down so they said, "Fine we'll build a better saw than you sell AND it'll have our safety mechanism too!" It truly is a fine machine.

    I was told they are working on a similar brake technology for a chop saw and a band saw.


    Also let me recomend a Makita Compound Miter Saw LS1214FL mine cost $670 through Grainger. It's an AWESOME tool that you will never regret... you'll be jealous that you don't have one at home, but you'll never regret the choice
     

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