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Using Dutchman (wheat paste) for softcovered flat seams.

Discussion in 'Scenery, Props, and Rigging' started by wemeck, Oct 28, 2003.

  1. wemeck

    wemeck Active Member

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    Does anybody still use Dutchman (wheat paste) with strips of muslin to cover seams on flats anymore?

    I had to make a stone wall a few years ago, and we did not want to use foam, so I used newspaer balls drapped with square sheets of muslin that we doused in Dutchmen. I used a long steel rod that had a triangle shape bent out of the rod on one end as a whisk with the drill press. Stuck the muslin down on the wall surfgace and places a few staples around the perimeter of the muslin to hold it down. It worked quite well. We still have the scenery units today.

    I just have not scene people using dutchman. For lost in Yonkers I used a combination of white gaffers and wide masking tape.
     
  2. TechnicalDirector3-W

    TechnicalDirector3-W Member

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    Dutchman is still used in my high school theater that i now work in. we have many different uses for it such as covering seams. Some of the students have tons of fun with it and make a huge mess...
     
  3. wemeck

    wemeck Active Member

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    Well it is almost a year later and still have not seen any dutchman in use. 2" masking tape seems to be doing the job nicely. I had a large soft-covered flat flying wall for Hello Dolly! last summer and I used masking tape and then just used some of the left over 'size' to base the tape. The size was made from a recipe I got from Assistant Professor Valerie "Kate" Brugh. The recipe contained one part white-glue to one part paint, and 1/2 part water.
     
  4. TechnicalDirector3-W

    TechnicalDirector3-W Member

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    Were these just soft flats with a frame and muslin covering that you used as a wall?
     
  5. techieman33

    techieman33 Well-Known Member

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    We still use dutchman's at my old highschool, and at my current college. But i think it's becoming something of a lost art, i don't see it used much anywhere, most people use gaff, or masking tape.
     
  6. propmonkey

    propmonkey Well-Known Member

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    we still dutch. just usually white primer paint or what ever color we're using.
     
  7. wemeck

    wemeck Active Member

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    These were muslin soft covered flat that was made up of two sections that were 20' feet long and 16' tall. The assembly or layout of the walls was far from text book. I had to use pre-existing soft-covered flat inventory with limited supplies to build or repair. One of my master carpets helped lay-out the wall to the point where we needed to build only two flats. a 2x8 and 2x4.
     
  8. TechnicalDirector3-W

    TechnicalDirector3-W Member

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    with our flats we have now started to build them to specifics as that we have started making a few more set with them and saving them after thus saving money on the set. But we make the frame with 1'4"s and luan as keystones and toggles them cover the size frame in muslin and just use a 1/2 white paint and 1/2 elmers wood glue spread on with a paint brush as a fastener... it works really well.
     
  9. sallyj

    sallyj Member

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    It has been my experience that Lauan is not the best thing to use for keystones or cornerblocks. I have seen fasteners blow right through lauan. 1/4" Plywood, although more expensive, is a better material to use.
    Our theatre doesn't dutch any more. Heck, we rarely use standard flats anymore.

    SJM
     
  10. wemeck

    wemeck Active Member

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    We only use ours for masking and flying walls. Everythingelse are hollywood flats.
     
  11. theaterscout

    theaterscout Member

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    I know that I am going to sound stupid asking this question, but what is dutchman? I have never heard of it before.
     
  12. wemeck

    wemeck Active Member

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    It is a wheat paste that becomes a fabric addhesive when you add water and stir very very well. You then saturate a 2" to 3" wide fabric usually muslin and then you smooth the strip over the seam of two soft covered flats and then paint when dry.


    Or if you want to make a cobble stobe wall you can cut hankerchef size muslin and then saturate in dutchman. The next step is to ball-up a full newspaper sheet and then drape the wet piece of muslin over it. Repeat process until the desired density and size of cobble-stones is created. Then allow time to dry and paint.

    Hope that helps.
     
  13. TechnicalDirector3-W

    TechnicalDirector3-W Member

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    I think I know what the answer is but can someone explain the exact difference between a flat and a "Hollywood Flat"
     
  14. wemeck

    wemeck Active Member

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    1.) They are hard-covered with luanua instead of soft.
    2.) The 1x4 frame is put together like a platform, so the 3.5" side is perpendicular to the luanua skin.

    I have limited shop space so I try to keep about 15 4x8 & 4x4 hollywoods and a few 3'-6" x 8' hollywoods.
     
  15. Peter

    Peter Well-Known Member

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    From what I can tell, the duchman you are describing is alot like paper-mache (or however you spell it, i think it has an accent mark or two). Just you dont use it with paper, you use it with flats... someone please correct me if i am wrong!

    (I know paper-mache can also be made with elmers glue, but i think you can do it with flour too)
     
  16. TechnicalDirector3-W

    TechnicalDirector3-W Member

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    yes it is a lot like paper mache, although paper mache would not have quite the same effect and or hold up the same as dutch.
     
  17. WAdramamama

    WAdramamama Member

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    Don't you use dutchman to cover the seam between two hollywood flats when joined together?
     
  18. Van

    Van CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    Holy Necro posts Batman ! good question though. I think we've hit it in a couple other threads but in short, ducthman - ing doesn't always work so well on Hollywoods. The dutchman tends to be too thick and leaves a visible hump. Personally I prefer to hit the seams with painters chaulk. disassemble the wall, then when you move to the theater rejoining the soft edges is much easier. Or you can wait and hit them in the theater, time allowing. There are, however as many techniques as there are painters, I'm afraid.
     
  19. martyclynch

    martyclynch Member

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    I have had great success using plain old joint compound on hollywood flats. If I need to cover a seam I can use tape but it rarely comes to that. I will say that there was one show I painted where the shop had the time and the money to basically cut out one single piece of muslin for the entire unit set and glue it on (sort of an omni-dutchman). I can vouch for its effect but I wouldn't exactly recommend it.
     
  20. rsmentele

    rsmentele Well-Known Member Fight Leukemia

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    I use dutchman quite often when I have moving joints that I need to cover, its works well to cover the hinges and stays flexible for long periods of time.
     

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