Legs, Legs, Legs! (Betty Grable, Eat Your Heart Out!)
Once again, welcome to the Techies Corner. In the last few articles we have talked about platforms, the types of platforms, special platforms and how to brace them. This month we will look at legs, legs of many types and how to make them and what their pros and cons are.
Legs fall into two major types, those that support by friction pressure and/or the shear strength of fasteners, called the standard leg, and those that support by direct, in-line compression, called compression legs. I am sure that there will be several types of legs that I will miss or forget. Please contact me directly and I will make space for those and include them in next months article.The basic difference between the two types of legs is manner in which they support their loads. A friction/shear leg relies on the tightness of the fasteners, the sideways friction generated between the leg and the platform and the sheer strength of the chosen fastener. The compression leg relies on the direct in line compression of the leg material.
Up to now we have been dealing with single platforms. This month we will look at ways to use studwall supports for decks, large platform layouts and that thing in the middle, the one-off platform.For those readers who are fairly new to platform layouts in theatre, a one-off platform is one that might be neither 4 nor 8 and may be three sided, four sided, five sided or more, have no angles of 90 degrees and is built specificly for that one show, that one time use. For example, a one-off platform might join two rectangular platform groups to form large, angular formations.
Homasote is a gray board that is made out of paper. It comes in 4'x8' sheets and is 1/2" thick. You'll find it in almost any school being used as bulletin boards. you can push pins into it with ease. So, why on platforms? If you cover the platform with Homasote and then cover that with muslin it can be painted very nicely and it becomes very quite to walk on.
Note: We are NOT suppliers! I've gotten a few emails asking me for prices and such. Call your local lumber yard/building supplier. I don't think Home Depot has it.
Plywood comes in several different thickness, types and grades.