Truss Protector

stantonsound

Active Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2005
Location
Charlotte
ok, we are talking about clamps in the other threads, as well as the clamps putting a dimple in the truss if overtightened, so I thought I would mention this.

A few years ago, I rented some 12" truss for upright towers for a convention and had to hang lights off the side. I was concerned about putting dimples in the rented equipment, so I called the rental house and asked for a bunch of cheeseboroughs or megaclaws. The owner said that they should have given me some truss protectors and would have one of his guys deliver them to me.

I was expecting something fancy, high-tech, or borderline magnificent, as I had not heard of these. When they arrived, I was disappointed and felt foolish. They were simple pieces of PVC plastic pipe that had a notch cut out of them that just slipped around the truss and the c-clamp goes around it. What a good idea. They are sold commercially, as seen below, but are very easy to make. The ones pictured are from citytheatrical and are listed at $2.55 each
 

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Jezza

Active Member
Joined
Jul 18, 2005
Location
Poughkeepsie, NY
Yep, pipe condoms they are. Cheeseboroughs are great for movers, heavy gear, or dropdowns. However, if your jusing hanging Source 4 or PAR can, the weight isn't sufficient enough to warrant a cheeseborough which easily costs 2x to 3x the cost of a regular c-clamp. Typically, whenever I've rented truss and put truss condoms on the order, they come free as part of the package. The rental company wants to protect their truss just as much as you are concerned about putting dimples in it. Its a win-win situation.
 

len

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Joined
Oct 23, 2004
Location
Chicagoland
Note: if the following is a violation of the TOS regarding rigging, please delete it.

We call them that as well. Here's another tip if you're doing a piece of vertical truss and want to hang something off it:

Take 2 cheese and put them in opposite corners of the truss holes at the top of the truss (assuming you're using bolt end truss and not spigoted truss). Get a piece of 2" pipe 4 - 5' long (you can rent them or have them cut at home depot, etc.) and run that through the 2 cheese. Now you have a tower where you can hang 4 - 6 lekos in the same horizontal plane. I wouldn't extend the pipe more than 4 - 5' to keep the center of gravity lower. Or you can also put a moving light on each side. JUST MAKE SURE EVERYTHING IS BALANCED. And use some sandbags.
 

wolf825

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Joined
Apr 7, 2003
Location
Eastcoast USA
ok, we are talking about clamps in the other threads, as well as the clamps putting a dimple in the truss if overtightened, so I thought I would mention this.
A few years ago, I rented some 12" truss for upright towers for a convention and had to hang lights off the side. I was concerned about putting dimples in the rented equipment, so I called the rental house and asked for a bunch of cheeseboroughs or megaclaws. The owner said that they should have given me some truss protectors and would have one of his guys deliver them to me.
I was expecting something fancy, high-tech, or borderline magnificent, as I had not heard of these. When they arrived, I was disappointed and felt foolish. They were simple pieces of PVC plastic pipe that had a notch cut out of them that just slipped around the truss and the c-clamp goes around it. What a good idea. They are sold commercially, as seen below, but are very easy to make. The ones pictured are from citytheatrical and are listed at $2.55 each

For what its worth--when a company fails to send protectors and you need to protect the truss--you can also use a Penny etc out of your pocket of change (note--dimes are too small and thin..nickels and quarters--well now its getting expensive.. :) )...you just have to make sure you seat the clamp bolt firmly and seat the penny in firmly when doing this method (wiggle the instrument around to make sure its clamped as it should not move), as a penny is not curved and can swivel around against the aluminum, and give a false sense of security against a curved surface. So you need to seat it firmly when tightening the bolt...you can tape the penny in place as well to hold it at first--but you will need to hold and keep the penny in place as you tighten. This is one of those emergency or last minute things you can do in a pinch and only if its needed (and often the penny is ruined afterwards)....but truss protectors are much more preferred and much better. But I can't tell you how often I get to a gig and we are always ONE truss protector short....

Keep in mind as well--when tightening the c-clamps, you do not need to wrench down so tight as to dig into the pipe or truss....thats overtightening and is not neccesary and in Aluminum it will dent or bore a hole right into the truss and then you will have just purchased yourself a piece of truss you can never use again as the company will probably rip you apart for that. I can't tell folks how many times I see folks cranking down on a C Clamp like its gotta hold up the space shuttle--goin 6-7 times tight so that its burrowing into the steel pipe...This is NOT neccesary...and you can end up doing damage to the clamp itself and bend it outward. Several of the clamps once they reach a certain stress or fatigue will simply snap. Just finger-tight the C-Clamp first, then give it 1 - 2 turns with your wrench and you should be fine. When you tug on the instrument as long as the C Clamp is not sliding around the pipe or moving from its position and following your pulls etc, you are good... Attach your safety and move on.

-w
 

wolf825

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Premium Member
Joined
Apr 7, 2003
Location
Eastcoast USA
The key is to only have a 6" wrench. It makes it hard to over tighten anything.
JH

I'm actually a big fan of the palm sized widget hand wrenches for beginners who are working on aluminum truss to show that how tight is tight enough.....but yes a small wrench is usually just right...

-w
 
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Van

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Jul 27, 2006
Location
Portland, Or.
The key is to only have a 6" wrench. It makes it hard to over tighten anything.

JH
Any wrench over 6" on an electrics call gets taken to the metal cutting band saw and taken down to size. I've actually gotten thomas truss back with dents in it even with truss condoms ! ERRRRR
 

PadawanGeek

Active Member
Joined
Apr 27, 2007
Location
Northern California
a penny is not curved and can swivel around against the aluminum, and give a false sense of security against a curved surface. So you need to seat it firmly when tightening the bolt...you can tape the penny in place as well to hold it at first--but you will need to hold and keep the penny in place as you tighten.
Or if you have a pair of pliers, you can bend the penny at a small angle at the middle and then when you tighten the c clamp, the penny will curve a bit because it is copper and be more secure.
 

Footer

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Nov 24, 2005
Location
Saratoga Springs, NY
For what its worth--when a company fails to send protectors and you need to protect the truss--you can also use a Penny etc out of your pocket of change (note--dimes are too small and thin..nickels and quarters--well now its getting expensive.. :) )...you just have to make sure you seat the clamp bolt firmly and seat the penny in firmly when doing this method (wiggle the instrument around to make sure its clamped as it should not move), as a penny is not curved and can swivel around against the aluminum, and give a false sense of security against a curved surface. So you need to seat it firmly when tightening the bolt...you can tape the penny in place as well to hold it at first--but you will need to hold and keep the penny in place as you tighten. This is one of those emergency or last minute things you can do in a pinch and only if its needed (and often the penny is ruined afterwards)....but truss protectors are much more preferred and much better. But I can't tell you how often I get to a gig and we are always ONE truss protector short....
Keep in mind as well--when tightening the c-clamps, you do not need to wrench down so tight as to dig into the pipe or truss....thats overtightening and is not neccesary and in Aluminum it will dent or bore a hole right into the truss and then you will have just purchased yourself a piece of truss you can never use again as the company will probably rip you apart for that. I can't tell folks how many times I see folks cranking down on a C Clamp like its gotta hold up the space shuttle--goin 6-7 times tight so that its burrowing into the steel pipe...This is NOT neccesary...and you can end up doing damage to the clamp itself and bend it outward. Several of the clamps once they reach a certain stress or fatigue will simply snap. Just finger-tight the C-Clamp first, then give it 1 - 2 turns with your wrench and you should be fine. When you tug on the instrument as long as the C Clamp is not sliding around the pipe or moving from its position and following your pulls etc, you are good... Attach your safety and move on.
-w
I have actually had some places give me a roll of pennys before....
 

wolf825

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Apr 7, 2003
Location
Eastcoast USA
I have actually had some places give me a roll of pennys before....

LOL...I've heard of similar instances... I always tossed a small handful into my chalk bag so its hard not to be on a gig without a few "just in case"....


-w
 

wolf825

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Joined
Apr 7, 2003
Location
Eastcoast USA
Or if you have a pair of pliers, you can bend the penny at a small angle at the middle and then when you tighten the c clamp, the penny will curve a bit because it is copper and be more secure.

good point!

With the price of copper and so on--we may start seeing nickels and quarters cause a penny will be worth more....

-w
 

Jezza

Active Member
Joined
Jul 18, 2005
Location
Poughkeepsie, NY
Back to the wrench thing for a second, I agree with the 6" wrench idea, I see way too many things over tightened. However, a 6" does not function as a good hammer as we all tend to do with our c-wrenches. I'm just extra careful when I tighten stuff down with my 8"...or better yet I use my speed wrench and hold it halfway up the shaft to control the pressure. Ha!
 

Van

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Portland, Or.