Posted 08 July 2007 - 04:37 PM
Posted 08 July 2007 - 05:32 PM
A Matthpole or polecat is a telscoping tube available in different sizes, that locks into place when spread between two walls (or floor and ceiling).
They are useful, but have also have their limits like any tool. They're great for getting small, lightweight units up high without stands on the floor or permanent damage to the structure. But you can't put too much weight on them, and you have to find solid framing and parallel walls to brace them against (not to mention getting them in straight/perpendicular to the walls).
A neat trick with a Matthpole in tight spaces is to mount it between floor and ceiling, to free up floorspace that would otherwise be taken up with the legs of a stand.
Posted 09 July 2007 - 02:41 PM
Posted 09 July 2007 - 08:23 PM
I've used speedrail spreaders many times and they work great (very similar to Mattpoles), but Michael's right, you can't hang anything too heavy on those.
One trick that I've used on older plaster walls is to use a half apple box on either end to spread the outward force over a larger area than the hardware end pieces use. My feeling is that if the box is hollow, with the usual strengthening members inside it would spread the force better than a solid piece of ply (or a pancake).
Limit the items on the pipe to 2 or 3. A kino and a couple of tweenies is about the limit (and better if they're arri tweenies since they're lighter.
I've also sistered two 2x6's together and gone 18'. I sweated over it alot. It think we hung a couple of BJs on it. Remember that if you're using wood that temperature and moisture will effect the wood and that you might have to tighten the spreaders if they've been in a cold room over night.