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Wooden Stage + Scissor Lift

Discussion in 'General Advice' started by macsound, Sep 13, 2018.

  1. macsound

    macsound Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    Going to do some maintenance on lighting that's hung above a stage at a fairly new church.
    It was built in an old industrial building with a cement slab floor.
    The stage is about 60' wide and 25' deep with a 20:1 ramp along the front. The stage is 28" tall and the surface is 3/4" A/C painted plywood with joists every 4 feet and 2x4s in simpson ties crossing.
    I want to rent a Genie runabout to do the maintenance, but I'm unsure how I know if the ramp and stage is able to handle the weight of the genie. In other venues, someone has already determined they're comfortable or uncomfortable with the lift, but no one at this location has any experience with a lift on the stage.
    I was thinking a runabout because they're 1 man and weigh about 1300lbs instead of a 2 person which is about 2800lbs.
     
  2. Van

    Van CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    Occupation:
    Project Manager, Stagecraft Industries, Inc.
    Location:
    Portland, Or.
    I would consider renting rolling Scaffolding, real scaff not painters scaff, and performing your work from there. Single layer of plywood on a 4'x4' support structure might hold a lift but I wouldn't trust it.
     
  3. Colin

    Colin Well-Known Member

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    Occupation:
    Technical Director
    Location:
    Eastern Massachusetts
    Someone more qualified than me might soon ask you for joist size and material, and where/how they transfer load down to the slab. And spacing of the 2x4s, and orientation of the plywood to the framing, and really that's how they built it?

    I thought runabouts started at closer to 1600lbs for the shortest version and up fast from there.

    Unless planning to work alone, why the runabout? Major time crunch? And if planning to work alone, I say don't work alone.
     
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  4. BillConnerFASTC

    BillConnerFASTC Well-Known Member

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    Occupation:
    Theatre Consultant
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    3/4"ply and joists 48" on center. No, hell no, don't try it. Way to light weight for technically meeting the requirements for people.

    Snap a picture if you think my interpretation is wrong. Terms vary but generally 3/4" ply needs to be supported with joists on 16", maybe 19.2" centers.
     
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  5. macsound

    macsound Well-Known Member

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    Location:
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    I'll definitely spend some more time under the stage to get my estimations correct.
    Wanted a lift just to minimize 1000 times up and down a ladder. And it will probably be a couple afternoons, so setting up scaffolding and tearing it down might be too much effort to the result.
     
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  6. RonHebbard

    RonHebbard Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Location:
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    @macsound @Van @Colin Writing in full support of real scaffold sourced from a real supplier. Not only with casters but request car-sized wheels with rubber tires in good condition and request them for at least two reasons:
    1; The larger diameter will roll MUCH easier.
    2; The larger foot-print / contact area will spread the load across more surface area and leave less (or zero) damage in their wake. During my apprenticeship such scaffolds were commonly referred to as "Hay wagon style" as they included tie-rods and joints across one end with an approximately five foot central handle for pulling, pushing and steering. I spent at least three months dragging one of these around a job site through a layer of crushed stone / gravel with up to six standard height scaffold sections and a number of 2" x 12" scaffold planks across it to install several hundred lineal feet of EMT on the underside of a Q-deck ceiling then made a second pass to install several circuits of 347 / 600 VAC wiring and high-bay industrial lighting. Large diameter pneumatic tires on a 'hay-wagon' style base section. Highly recommended.
    EDIT: Working alone? BOO! HISS!! Definitely find a friend or two and add a hand-line and possibly a proper Klein metal-framed, sturdy, canvas linesman's bag for rapidly and more conveniently schlepping materials and tools up and down. FAR less effort than wearing yourself ragged.
    Who are you doing this favor for??
    Then STRONGLY suggest "they" (whoever "they" is [There's ALWAYS a "they"]) get off their duff and contribute some effort and support.
    Toodleoo!
    Ron Hebbard
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2018
  7. lwinters630

    lwinters630 Well-Known Member

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    Location:
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    This is not a time for estimations. Hard actual numbers. Better yet structial engineer to get load rating.
    2x4 joist 25' long 4' oc. Is not safe. 20' up in a bucket is not where I want to be when something goes wrong.
     
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  8. Crisp image

    Crisp image Active Member

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    Location:
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    Can you get a boom lift and work it form the concrete floor? Just a thought.
     
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  9. jdenora

    jdenora Member

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    Location:
    Lehigh Valley and the Poconos
    Be smart and check with the engineer that was contracted for he construction of the space. And get it in writing! It won't matter if bring in a lawn chair attached to helium balloons. If someone gets hurt or worse, it's on you.
     
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