Stage scenery

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ConciergeRepairs
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Stage scenery

Post by ConciergeRepairs » Mon May 28, 2018 8:11 am

I was asked to make some stage scenery for a local production. The scenery is basically a timber frame onto which a full sheet of 3.6mm ply has been pinned. i used 75x18mm pine for the frame, added a cross brace at 1200mm, corner braces at opposite corners and ply triangles on each corner.

The problem seems to be that the panel twists when stood on end - does anyone have any experience of building something like this? Any suggestions?

Simon.
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Re: Stage scenery

Post by Grendel » Mon May 28, 2018 8:25 am

I've made that sort of thing. The ones I made were designed to stand next to each other and I connected one to another with loose pin hinges. Though the panels themselves did warp a little ( didn't help they were outside most of the time) once joined to it's neighbour the warp was pulled out. Each panel was fitted with a hinged prop on the back , essentially just a large right angled triangle hinged on the vertical . This was swung out and held in place by a bag of sand or a large metal tent peg if it was used on grass.
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Re: Stage scenery

Post by Manc chippy » Mon May 28, 2018 4:33 pm

Where did you get the timber From? Timber is natural and doesn't keep it's shape but some places have cr@p stuff that you could pull 4 off the shelf to buy one straight one.
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Re: Stage scenery

Post by Job and Knock » Mon May 28, 2018 5:46 pm

Assuming that the flat is designed to sit permanently on the stage you normally fix them down to the stage using steel or timber braces which stiffen them up. Also the corners are generally braced with thin plywood or hardboard gussets in the corners (not shown in the attached illustration):
Stage Flats Back 001_01.jpg
Stage Flats Back 001_01.jpg (39.1 KiB) Viewed 729 times
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Re: Stage scenery

Post by Grendel » Mon May 28, 2018 5:56 pm

Thanks for the picccy j&k . The one on the right is identical to what I have made although that big brace on the back was hinged as we moved them a lot and it made transport easier and ercection quicker. For what it's worth the fronts were made to look like stone walls.
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Re: Stage scenery

Post by Job and Knock » Tue May 29, 2018 2:52 pm

At one theatre I used to do a bit for yonks ago (as a volunteer) we used to have re-useable steel bars with a flat on each end. The flat sections were drilled so that you could nail them to a scenery flat and to the floor as well (pr alternatively hold them down using a combination of sandbags and stage weights)
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Re: Stage scenery

Post by ConciergeRepairs » Tue May 29, 2018 3:30 pm

Wow! Much kudos to the group for the quality of the answers, i am blown away.....

I suggested a metal brace as suggested above, but this was rejected. The timber was pretty straight, i checked each length when i bought it.

Perhaps i just need to throw more timber into it.......

I really appreciate your combined thoughts...

Simon.
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Re: Stage scenery

Post by Grendel » Tue May 29, 2018 4:19 pm

ConciergeRepairs wrote:
Perhaps i just need to throw more timber into it.......

.
It's something of a balancing act in some respects. More timber or thicker timber or a steel frame all add weight more than anything else. It can increase the ridigity but heavier panels are more difficult to handle and as such can get abused more , it can take longer or need a few extra hands to set up , take down and move.
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Re: Stage scenery

Post by wine~o » Tue May 29, 2018 5:07 pm

Thicker ply will help.

Pic of the rear of the prop please ?
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Re: Stage scenery

Post by Grendel » Tue May 29, 2018 5:35 pm

From experience thicker ply will still warp in this situation and has the disadvantage of being heavier too. Most of the ones I made were 6mm ply with frames of something like 40x40mm but there were a couple made with 18mm ply , it was there so got used , but I wouldn't say they were necessarily better or for that matter . There was a degree of warping with all the panels although I would say they were used outside and at times simply stored outside so they did get damp on several occasions.
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