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So how unsafe are these walls?

Discussion in 'Scenery, Props, and Rigging' started by soundop, Apr 28, 2009.

  1. soundop

    soundop Active Member

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    For our show wizard of oz we have four 16 foot tall woods, built with one by and luan, the front two walls are held up by a brace and scrwed to the floor, these two walls seem safe, however our other six walls arebeing held up on battons and scrwed into the floor, they are also warped and leaning, and they have a lot of swing even though they are scrwed into the floor, we have already had one cable that holds the wall to a batton come apart. my main worry is that some one is going to hit the wall with a piece of scenery and cause it to pull the scrws up. i suggested lag bolting them to the floor, but my td said that the four screws are safe enough. the other worry i have is that we are flying people, and these walls set every thing swinging when they are hit or brushed aganst

    (sorry for error in title should be how*)
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2009
  2. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    I am just going to assume that Foy, ZFX, or Hall is in the space with you, because if they are not you have much bigger fish to fry then just a few flats. So, they are there, I can sleep at night. Ok, thats better.

    Now, on to these flats. The two flats you have braced (or "jacked" as we say) are fine. Thats a pretty typical way to hold up a flat. Now, the other two, thats a whole another matter. If you have already had one cable break holding the flat up, its time to get someone in there that knows how to actually rig for theatre (maybe ask the guys from the afformentioned companys, they should be able to help). If those guys are not there, I would sudgest taking down the flats and stop flying the person that you are flying. Lagging it into the stage is not going to help, you have to deal with what gravity does to tall things, and securing it to the floor better is not going to make things better. They do need to be rigged to a batton or jacked to the floor.
     
  3. Van

    Van CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    Occupation:
    Project Manager, Stagecraft Industries, Inc.
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    I'll second Footer, I do that a lot, in his assessment of your situation. I've worked operas with 26' tall walls that were nothing but luan and 5/4 framing. these were held together with cables running up to battens. If it's done the right way it's no problem at all, done wrong it's a recipe for disaster. People should NEVER count on a screw , lag or other, in to the deck to hold a flat vertical. A screw into the deck is a means of keeping the bottom rail of the flat from moving back and forth. A flat should ALWAYS be held up with a Stage brace, Jack, or be affixed to another flat in such a way as to create a "brace" < 2 flats screwed perpendicular to one another for instance as in a box set> A screw into the bottom rail of a flat cannot fight the torsional stresses placed upon it from a flat of over 10' in height. Even the manner in which a flat is built is working against a screw holding it vertical.
    If the flats that are being held vertical by wires are not properly picked i.e. with the wire rope running to the bottom of the flat and secured to the back of the flat incrementally, if they are simply being picked from the very top rail with a ceiling plate, then there may be an issue. If a ceiling plate is being used then it must be secured in place with through bolts not just dry-wall screws into the rail. If there are issues like this, you might suggest the TD pay a visit here. We might be able to give pointers on proper applications of theatrical hardware and securing of scenic elements.
     

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