Using Dutchman (wheat paste) for softcovered flat seams.

wemeck

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Mar 3, 2003
Location
Chicago, IL, USA
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.
 

wemeck

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Mar 3, 2003
Location
Chicago, IL, USA
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.
 

propmonkey

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Joined
Jul 22, 2004
Location
Milwaukee, WI
we still dutch. just usually white primer paint or what ever color we're using.
 

wemeck

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Joined
Mar 3, 2003
Location
Chicago, IL, USA
TechnicalDirector3-W said:
Were these just soft flats with a frame and muslin covering that you used as a wall?
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.
 
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Jan 20, 2004
Location
North Dakota-USA
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.
 

sallyj

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Feb 23, 2004
Location
Pittsburgh, PA
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
 

wemeck

Active Member
Joined
Mar 3, 2003
Location
Chicago, IL, USA
sallyj said:
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
We only use ours for masking and flying walls. Everythingelse are hollywood flats.
 

theaterscout

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Jan 27, 2005
Location
Rockton, IL
I know that I am going to sound stupid asking this question, but what is dutchman? I have never heard of it before.
 

wemeck

Active Member
Joined
Mar 3, 2003
Location
Chicago, IL, USA
theaterscout said:
I know that I am going to sound stupid asking this question, but what is dutchman? I have never heard of it before.
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.
 

wemeck

Active Member
Joined
Mar 3, 2003
Location
Chicago, IL, USA
TechnicalDirector3-W said:
I think I know what the answer is but can someone explain the exact difference between a flat and a "Hollywood Flat"
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.
 

Peter

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Joined
Oct 2, 2004
Location
MA, USA
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)
 

Van

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Jul 27, 2006
Location
Portland, Or.
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.
 

martyclynch

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Joined
Feb 8, 2010
Location
Illinois
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.