Roll drops/scrims

meatpopsicle

Active Member
Hello Hive,

The middle school drama teacher in my town is interested in putting a scrim into his facility and with no fly space he is looking into roll drops. Is this viable with black sawtooth? Or white? He mentioned that some systems can be controlled via DMX. This, for me, cuts close to the “no automation controlled via dmx” that has ever been preached.

What are some of the upsides and downsides of rolled drops and who are some likely vendors to bid? I’m looking for a little edumacation on rolled drops!

TIA
 

egilson1

Senior Team
Senior Team
CB Mods
Premium Member
It all depends on how wide of a drop. The wider you go the more deflection in the drum and the more the fabric tracks poorly. I tend to run away from roll drops as they never seem to work as envisioned. They are also a PITA to install since the drum will come as one solid tube. So again, if it's a 40' wide drop you need to be able to get that 42' by 8" tube into the space, lifted into position, and then working.

Thern makes them, and so does a company call Formance Inc.

https://www.thernstage.com/products/roll-drops/
http://www.formanceinc.com/
 

Van

CBMod
CB Mods
Premium Member
Also depends on what kind, top roll or bottom roll. While DMX is not a good choice for 'automation' control it can be used to trigger a relay that activates a protected system building a limited system that controls something as innocuous as a roll drop is stupid simple and inexpensive, if you're not looking for an out-of-the- box solution.
 

JohnD

Well-Known Member
Fight Leukemia
There is also THIS one from Gerriets which comes in sections and has a maximum width of 39'4".
 

kicknargel

Well-Known Member
So, alternatives:

1) Traveler track. Scrim is stretchy, and therefor forgiving in terms of unfurling and hanging nice. If you can rig it so there's some sideways tension at the four corners (something you clip in), and a chain in the bottom pocket, it should hang pretty well.

2) Gathering. There's probably a right term but I can think of it. Similar to Austrian, but without the swags. You'd have strips of rings stitched up the back of the scrim (about 10' apart side-to-side), with lines running through them and connected to the bottom pipe. Pull the lines, the bottom pipe raises and the scrim bunches up on the rings on the lines. Again, scrim will behave fairly well in this manner; the downside is the ring strips are visible when seeing through the scrim. I knew a theatre that did this with hog rings attached directly to the scrim, but they tended start to wear out by the end of the run.
 

meatpopsicle

Active Member
So, alternatives:

1) Traveler track. Scrim is stretchy, and therefor forgiving in terms of unfurling and hanging nice. If you can rig it so there's some sideways tension at the four corners (something you clip in), and a chain in the bottom pocket, it should hang pretty well.

2) Gathering. There's probably a right term but I can think of it. Similar to Austrian, but without the swags. You'd have strips of rings stitched up the back of the scrim (about 10' apart side-to-side), with lines running through them and connected to the bottom pipe. Pull the lines, the bottom pipe raises and the scrim bunches up on the rings on the lines. Again, scrim will behave fairly well in this manner; the downside is the ring strips are visible when seeing through the scrim. I knew a theatre that did this with hog rings attached directly to the scrim, but they tended start to wear out by the end of the run.


Thanks. This sounds like cable management that we do on truss that has to come in and out. Cable tied to rings that run on the chain of the motor. As the truss runs out the cable is gathered on the top. Same idea here where we are gathering the scrim on the bottom pipe as it runs out.
 

gafftaper

Senior Team
Senior Team
Fight Leukemia
Finally, if it's not too large and more of A temporary use, you can build it yourself. I've built two roll drops. I've posted about doing it here a couple times so do some searching. The center deflection on a home made drum is a lot worse so you have to stay shorter. The short version of how to do it is Go to the carpet store and get a big cardboard center roll. Its been a few years but I got one about 16' long by 4" diameter. Then I took 1x4's Cut sits down the middle so I could spline them together into a + shape Screw them inside the roll and you have a pretty stiff roller drum.
 

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