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Tall, Tall Set!

Discussion in 'Scenery, Props, and Rigging' started by theaterscout, Oct 4, 2006.

  1. theaterscout

    theaterscout Member

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    Ok ladies and gents', I am some what in a bind on how to go about construction of my set. We are doing "1984" as our fall play and
    the designer that we sent the script along with our directors ideas too, came back with plans for a 22' tall set. In all fairness it is a simple set: a 30' long back wall with a 3' door built in and two 13' long side walls also that have a 3' door built in so it makes this 3 sided box. The only challenging part is building it. This is what I have come up with so far.

    We are covering the set with muslin so im debating to stay with 2" x 4" or to ease up on the weight and go with 1" x 4". We've broken the back wall down into 3 sections: each section is goin to be 10 1/2' wide and 22' tall. If you notice that is actaully going to be a bit bigger than 30' that is due to the width that the muslin that we are covering it in, thats how wide each roll is. Thats also basically how we are going to do it on the side walls as well but I think that I'm just going to break that down into two manageable sections as well. One of the main problems that I've been mulling over is support and bracing. The main wall I am going to bolt together all 3 sections and put multiple eye hooks into the top of the walls and chain it to a rigging batton. I'm then planning on anchoring it to the floor with 3" drywall screws and with 10' 2" x 4" braces also screwed into the floor. If you have another idea as to how to do it I would love to know!
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2006
  2. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    That all looks good, if you have a rigid grid withing access you could also do compression booms, which work rather well. Also make sure that you have plenty of bracing around that door so when it closes you don't get a ripple effect through the entire wall. When it comes to actually loading in this piece be sure to rig it then fly it out slowly so the mid section does not buckle.
     
  3. saxman0317

    saxman0317 Active Member

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    We have a full time set up for just this reason called "Friggen" On our back pipe we have a wall thats about 28' tall by 50' long. Simple constrution with metal studs and 2x4 plates. Covered in some 1/8" plywood, weighs about 1500 pds and is able to be flown in and out when needed, and if really needed, moved since its in sections. Works real good for back walls, painted white for doing lighting and band shells, and we have hooks to do differnt backgrounds on it down by the art club if were doing something that has backing behind the set. tends to work pretty good for building off of to.
     
  4. propmonkey

    propmonkey Well-Known Member

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    why dont you make 11' walls and then stack and bolt them together? or is that what you are doing? i would go with 2"x4" if your going to have that tall of walls you'll need the support.
     
  5. theaterscout

    theaterscout Member

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    yeah we're breaking it down into two bottom sections of 8' tall and teh top section 6' tall and bolting it together. if anyone wants it i think that i can try to send them a CAD image or a .jpg
     
  6. disc2slick

    disc2slick Active Member

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    Do you have a grid, or structural steel you can hang the units from? Anything that tall will really want to be supported from the top and bottom as opposed to just building huge braces from the ground up. For weight purposes, then, I'd say go with the 1x as framing, it will be easier to hang, and if they are muslin faced you don't need a lot of support. The lower units, particularly the door probably want to be screwed of lagged into the floor if possible.

    -dan
     
  7. theaterscout

    theaterscout Member

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    We have the rigging battons that im going to chain the set to. we're going to put up the top piece, chain it to the batton, then raise the bar to attach the next section. After all of that is bolted together, then the bar will get raised again, allowing us to bring in the next section and bolt it all together. When everything is all in place then all the back bracing will be put in place and (hopefully) everythign will be perfect. Even though I know that nothign ever is perfect!
     
  8. jwl868

    jwl868 Active Member

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    Sounds like you’ve put some time into design of this already.

    I think the top of the bracing should be about three-quarters the way up, so 10-foot boards for braces may won’t be long enough. You might have to reinforce that joint between the top and bottom pieces. Arguably, there is a potential for the wall to “bend” there if some unexpected force is put on the braces or even the wall (although if its supported from the top, that should eliminate that issue).

    Has any one calculated the weight of this and whether or not the batten can support it? - there must be at least 400 lb of wood there? (2x4s weigh about 1.28 lb/foot)


    Joe
     
  9. theaterscout

    theaterscout Member

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    The batton can take about 1500 lbs. I think so that it most likely can, I need to check the specs on it again. I know for sure it can take 1000 lbs. for sure because thats how much I unloaded after one show! That was a beast and boy did it get warm.
     
  10. moderately_clueless

    moderately_clueless Member

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    No specific ideas for now, but my school's doing 1984 this fall too. It shall be interesting to see how you do the show differently. I shall check back...
     
  11. Van

    Van CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    May I just say ..... Gulp ! Yeah I'd check the Spec's on that. Just because you can stack 1500 #'s of pigs on the arbour doesn't mean the lineset can take 1500 #'s !

    Back to the topic. How far of a distance to your audience ? I once worked on an Opera set where the TD had put together a whole system of backflap hinges and cabling. we were lofting walls somewhere in the area of 28 feet. I Hope when you say you are using eyehooks at the top of the wall you are reffering to eye bolts that go all the way through the framing and not " Lag - eyes". Personally I would run the cables through all of the toggles all the way to the bottom rail. Installing nicos or crosbies along the way to distribute the weight. What are you framing the walls with ? when getting to serious heights I think it is wiser to step up and bite the bullet for CVG or #1 or better Specially if you have to support by cabling.

    Just my couple 'o cents worth

    Have fun! Good luck !
     
  12. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    and to add to van... remember when flying anything... keep all riggin in compression at all times.
     
  13. jwl868

    jwl868 Active Member

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    footer4321

    Bear with me, please. I'm not familiar with the language or rigging and I'm more familiar with statics.

    Anyway, what does "keep all rigging in compression" mean?

    Thanks

    Joe
     
  14. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    Whenever something is rigged, and I know this piece will not be flown but you are still rigging it as if you where, you need to keep the load in compression. Basicly, instead of putting eye bolts in the top of the unit and hooking your picks (the physical cable that will hold the load) off of that you rig it so the weight is supported from the botton of the piece, not the top. That will make the top piece of your flat carry the entire weight of the flat, puttin the screw that hold that piece to the side pieces in tention, and the bottom pieces also in tension. If you were to run your cables through the entire flat and terminate them at the base of the flat you now have the flat in compression. Instead of having all the weight of the flat trying to pull the flat apart, it is now holding it together. This is especially important when working with any type of wood units. Steel pieces, if properly designed, can get way with not being in compression, but to keep a 10:1 safety factor it usually it still rigged this way.
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2006
    jwl868 likes this.
  15. jwl868

    jwl868 Active Member

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    Thanks

    (So its the flat or the load that's in compression, then)

    Joe
     
  16. Van

    Van CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    Yes,
    think of it as if your'e lifting up while gravity is pushing down and the flat, or what ever else you are rigging , is being squished
    < compressed > in the middle. Things tend to be stronger when squished. Funny I was just explaining this to my crew while discussing the construction of "Triscuits" or "stress Skin" platforms.

    ( BTW before anybody gets the I idea that I think gravity pushes down, please understand that I used that phrase as a way of illustrating the point. I mean people who think gravity pushes down are as silly as those who think the Earth revolves around the sun ! )
    (p.s. Almost everything is stronger when squished, except my left thumb, I squished it the other day with the bail on a paint can and now I can't seem to hold on to anything with that hand )
     
  17. theaterscout

    theaterscout Member

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    Alright Ladies and Gentlemen, sorry about not getting back to you earlier with any updates. I was out of town on vacation and upon coming back today it looks like I may need another after the show.

    The Update: While I was out of town, apparently no one wanted to call me and talk to me about the changes that they were talking about and to get my opinion. What they want to do now is to have the back wall raised everytime that there is a scene change. In my opinion I want to tell them that it is technically not a good idea and that we can find other ways to make the change work.

    My Reasoning Why: I calaculated it all out today and if I did all of this correctly the back wall is going to weigh close to 1,100 lbs. Our rigging is rated to 2,000 lbs. However the system is 10 years old and I don't want to put all my trust in it because it is a little old and I don't know if it needs new ropes after that long. I just don't want to put anyones safety at risk and I absolutley won't at all.

    If its assembled the way that it has been advised to on here, its will work correctly, but I don't want to put the safety of anyone at risk by doing otherwise. If its all stationary I believe that we will be in good shape.

    Comments or concerns?
     
  18. Thranduil

    Thranduil Member

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    Im not positive on this... but I think that a 10 year old rigging system shouldnt be a problem, unless the ropes are hemp and havent been replaced. Our fly systems are orgional with the building(1948) in both theaters, but are still fine. The hemp, up until recently(before the district cut our funding completely) was mantianed. Its still in decent condition however. If I can fly a 1000 lbs drop on an arbor thats 50 years old, im relitivly sure that you can as well, espcially if its only 10 years old.
     
  19. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    If you feel it won't hold it, don't do it. If it is a wire rope system (which I assume it is) then there is little to no weakening in the system over a 10 year period, as long as it hasn't rained on stage lately. If you want to get your rigging checked before you start going at it this is always an option: http://www.sapsis-rigging.com/SafetyInspections.html

    If your lines are rated at 2,000 lbs, they should hold it without a problem due to a 10 to 1 safety ratio figured into all overhead instalations. But then again, if you do not feel comfortable doing it, DONT DO IT. Call a local rigging company, the nearest college theatre, the stagehands union, the nearest lighting company, or uncle bill himself to come in and give you a hand.
     

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