Thatched Roof

Randy Storms

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We are producing Neil Simon's "Fools" this fall. The design calls for thatched roofs on various village structures, and I am looking for a (cheap) solution. I considered using raffia thatching that is available in rolls from various sources, but I'd like the look to be a little more "Eastern European" and a little less "tiki bar".

Long strips of shredded cardboard might work, but I don't have a source.

Anyone?
 

TeeDeeDon

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Northville, MI
You could use straw, which is pretty inexpensive. There are several how to videos on the inter-webs. Here is just one.
I also think using raffia thatching might work if you can groom it into the right look. The biggest distinction between European thatching and a tiki bar roof is how manicured it looks. The lines are much straighter and less haphazard.
 

josh88

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You could use straw, which is pretty inexpensive. There are several how to videos on the inter-webs. Here is just one.
I also think using raffia thatching might work if you can groom it into the right look. The biggest distinction between European thatching and a tiki bar roof is how manicured it looks. The lines are much straighter and less haphazard.
Cardboard, or straw would also however be quite a fire hazard.
 

Van

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Cardboard, or straw would also however be quite a fire hazard.
As would Raffia or any other non-flame retardant material.
 

josh88

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As would Raffia or any other non-flame retardant material.
I suppose I could have said that too, I mostly meant to point out the hazard with most of the materials one might use. In case that hadn't entered into their discussion yet.
 

Van

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I suppose I could have said that too, I mostly meant to point out the hazard with most of the materials one might use. In case that hadn't entered into their discussion yet.
Yeah, just piling on. I think it's real important that folks remember the Flame treatment. It's something that get's over-looked a lot.
 
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teqniqal

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We are producing Neil Simon's "Fools" this fall. The design calls for thatched roofs on various village structures, and I am looking for a (cheap) solution.
I saw a thatched roof in a theme park in China that was made from what looked like #10 aluminum wire that was painted to look the color of the grass / straw. This could add-up in weight if you have very much of it, but it was long-term durable. You could recycle all the aluminum when you are through with it.

Also, it only has to read like a thatched roof, it doesn't have to be a thatched roof. Consider fire retardant treated muslin over a stiff wire frame and then paint it.
 

AtlanticSmith

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Mar 6, 2012
Location
Texas
I made a thatched roof out of natural-colored bamboo fencing from homedepot for only 24 bucks. I highly recommend that you cut it and that layer it.

BE SURE that you put a flame retardant on ALL natural fibers that you put on stage. This is especially true with HIGHLY flamable materials: Raffia, Bamboo, straw, etc.

https://www.google.com/shopping/product/16172092962152685589?lsf=seller:8740,store:18221050113833015424&prds=oid:2164571659497018318&q=bamboo+fencing+home+depot&hl=en&ei=utGJWaj_BOG4jAOjm4P4Dw&mid=sln4etuZg%7Cdc_mtid_8903jx325196_pcrid_107016512728_pkw__pmt__product_203580820_slid_&lsft=gclid:Cj0KCQjwwqXMBRCDARIsAD-AQ2hPjC3Zg0Anfyesl9bfFd955Ozq7A1Egz7O1coW_z2CwttJPJA4-9MaAkV8EALw_wcB
 

dvsDave

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I made a thatched roof out of natural-colored bamboo fencing from homedepot for only 24 bucks. I highly recommend that you cut it and that layer it.

BE SURE that you put a flame retardant on ALL natural fibers that you put on stage. This is especially true with HIGHLY flamable materials: Raffia, Bamboo, straw, etc.

https://www.google.com/shopping/product/16172092962152685589?lsf=seller:8740,store:18221050113833015424&prds=oid:2164571659497018318&q=bamboo+fencing+home+depot&hl=en&ei=utGJWaj_BOG4jAOjm4P4Dw&mid=sln4etuZg%7Cdc_mtid_8903jx325196_pcrid_107016512728_pkw__pmt__product_203580820_slid_&lsft=gclid:Cj0KCQjwwqXMBRCDARIsAD-AQ2hPjC3Zg0Anfyesl9bfFd955Ozq7A1Egz7O1coW_z2CwttJPJA4-9MaAkV8EALw_wcB
Nice. Cheap and looks good! Got any pics from the production showing the finished product?
 
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Ben Davis

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Oct 7, 2016
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Pensacola, Florida
We have some huts that were built for Thanksgiving service and to get the thatched roof look we used sheets of 1 1/2" Styrofoam. Then dipped a paint brush in Acetone or MEK (MEK will give more pronounced grooves) and drug it across the foam. The acid eats into the foam and gives a nice effect. Can also do this to get a really nice wood grain effect if you cut some chunks out of the bristles to vary the depth.
2011e-11-23_08-01-07_905-1.jpg
 

Van

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A Heavy Wire brush drug across EPS foam will give you the same effect without the use of cancerous <MEK>, Toxic, and noxious chemicals. You will, however, have to clean up the foam dust
 

BillConnerFASTC

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Location
Clayton NY 13624
I love all that foam - clearly prohibited by fire codes. Toss in some working with MEKs and its even better. Anyone remember celastic? I was sick for days after making some fiberglass shields in the basement of a summer theatre. I'm still waiting to see if the stones I made of asbestos furnace cement 40+ years ago are what will eventually take me out. (At least those stones were not flammable!)
 

teqniqal

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Apr 26, 2009
Location
Dallas / Fort Worth, Texas
I saw a thatched roof in a theme park in China that was made from what looked like #10 aluminum wire that was painted to look the color of the grass / straw. This could add-up in weight if you have very much of it, but it was long-term durable. You could recycle all the aluminum when you are through with it.
Ah - ha! I found the pictures of the aluminum grass . . . here ya go.
P1020541.JPG
P1020542.JPG