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Prevent autopole/polecat marks


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#1 Ed Blythe

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Posted 03 November 2007 - 02:23 PM

Heya - long time listener, first time caller.

Wanted to get some tips from people about tricks they use to stop polecats/autopoles leaving ring marks on walls. Shooting in the producers freshly painted apartment and don't want to irritate her. I've always tried to use duvateen or blacks but inevitably there's still a mark and the pole is less reliable.

I saw some other posts around these parts suggesting mousepads or other pieces of rubber padding. Don't have any to hand - would prefer not to shell out for them. Other solutions? Tips on not compromising stability?

Probably also worth asking about ways to clean the marks off once damage is done. One is a realist.

Not putting anything too serious on the polecats - probably just a diva light, maybe a 4x4 kino select instead. Wall distance is 9'6" or 3'6" (is there a model short enough for the latter? From memory the longer ones go about 8' to 12' and the shorter one....maybe 5' to 8')

I remain,



Ed
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#2 Valerio Sacchetto

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Posted 03 November 2007 - 05:56 PM

Here we usually put layers of paper towels secured with tape on what i believe are called wall spreaders.
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#3 Ed Blythe

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Posted 03 November 2007 - 06:10 PM

Whilst I haven't had the pleasure of using them, I believe wall spreaders are a different beast (involving a long 2x4 piece of wood, yar?). I think the principal with autopoles is different because they operate using suction caps on either end - so putting thick pieces of fabric can reduce their stability/load capacity.

I think.
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#4 robert duke

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Posted 03 November 2007 - 10:32 PM

wall spreaders and polecats work on the same principle. Outward pressure fights downward pressure. The rubber cups are designed( ha) to prevent marking walls. We have been using polecats a lot on the show I am on. To prevent marking we first give a layer of duvetyn, and then a layer of bleached muslin held over the ends with a rubber band, like a surgical bootie. this does really well at preventing marks. If you get some marks a damp towel should wipe off most of the marking. after that Id talk to a scenic.

There is a small polecat available, I believe it is 3'-5' but dont hold me to it. If you own them you can always cut one down.
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#5 Tim Terner

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Posted 04 November 2007 - 04:47 AM

I always keep several beer mats in the clamps box - they also comes in handy to put a glass on :P
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#6 Ed Blythe

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Posted 04 November 2007 - 11:36 PM

I always keep several beer mats in the clamps box - they also comes in handy to put a glass on :P


Sounds a little closer to the sort of kit expenditure I'd be up for....


Any other tips?
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#7 Walter Graff

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Posted 05 November 2007 - 06:41 AM

Does your autopole have the white inserts that go on the rubber endings? Those are usually enough but sounds like your poles are missing them. When I use poles that don't have the covers I cover my rubber pads with gaffers tape and then trim them cleanly around the circle. Works well and gives the autopole good gripping ability.

Edited by WALTER GRAFF, 05 November 2007 - 06:43 AM.

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#8 Ed Blythe

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Posted 05 November 2007 - 01:43 PM

Does your autopole have the white inserts that go on the rubber endings? Those are usually enough but sounds like your poles are missing them. When I use poles that don't have the covers I cover my rubber pads with gaffers tape and then trim them cleanly around the circle. Works well and gives the autopole good gripping ability.


They'll be from a rental house, and my experiences with the place haven't included the white inserts before. But good to know.
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#9 Walter Graff

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Posted 05 November 2007 - 02:16 PM

They'll be from a rental house, and my experiences with the place haven't included the white inserts before. But good to know.


Then forget the inserts. They were probalby lost a long time ago. Simplest to simply tape the rubber ends with g-tape and trim the tape to fit the disk. No simpler way, and very effective.
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#10 Matt Hingstman

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Posted 07 November 2007 - 11:24 PM

Cardboard.
Cut it, use it, trash it. Repeat process.
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#11 Walter Graff

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Posted 08 November 2007 - 12:04 AM

Cardboard.
Cut it, use it, trash it. Repeat process.


I'd avoid cardboard for two reasons. First (and especially if you are doing a horizontal hang), cardboard is slippery. Microscopically it has little hairs. that translates to slippery so your pole could slide out from under you. Secondly autopoles do about 3/4 of an inch clamping to tighten between two surfaces. Cardboard has air pockets that you'd be compressing. That means a good portion of that 3/4 of an inch is lost to the autopole first compressing the cardboard. That means it does not grab as well as it does simply compressing the rubber that you'd start out with near tight on the two surfaces already. gaffers tape the rubber ends. It is simple and very effective without causing the auto pole to not give you everything it can.
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#12 Jon Rosenbloom

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Posted 08 November 2007 - 12:30 AM

Don't want to shell out for a couple of mousepads? How much can they be??
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#13 Dan Salzmann

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Posted 08 November 2007 - 11:21 AM

I've seen this done with beer mats that are free and pretty high density - not much in terms of air pockets.
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#14 Ed Blythe

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Posted 11 November 2007 - 05:46 PM

Don't want to shell out for a couple of mousepads? How much can they be??



Hey man - don't try to make me less cheap than I am. Cheapness like this is not learned - it's born. I am the ninja of cheap. :ph34r:

Besides, I came by some very thin rubber matting that should do the trick.

Have actually had not great experiences with gaff tape before - pole held, but so did the marks. I'm guessing I should be using white tape, not black as in the past.

Rock n.
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#15 Walter Graff

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Posted 11 November 2007 - 05:59 PM

White is right. With anythijng you use the point is not to contaminate. To put tape on and then put them on a place where the tape gets dirty doesn't help much. Or even easier, order a few of these and keep them after your done for hte next time you rent:

http://www.bhphotovi...oot_Covers.html
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#16 Jon Rosenbloom

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Posted 12 November 2007 - 01:00 PM

Well, you don't want to use gaffer's tape on the walls, it will tear off the paint. Use paper tape, or better yet, blue painter's tape, which is available at any home-depot/ hardware store.
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#17 Walter Graff

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Posted 12 November 2007 - 01:09 PM

Perhaps it was not understood. Take gaffers tape and tape the tops of the rubber ends of the autopole.s Don't tape the walls. Simply cover the end of the rubber cap. Then use a blade and trim it into a circle in the same shape as the rubber end. There you have it. I have 14 autopoles and when I loose the white insert that is what I do and no marks. Of course you have to replace the tape with each shoot as they get dirty in transport. I have also used those hospital socks you see that are blue and are used ot cover your shoes. ANy fabric will do teh job too. I hope this helps and puts an end to this incredibly long thread that should have ended ten posts ago.
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#18 Ed Blythe

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Posted 13 November 2007 - 07:56 PM

I hope this helps and puts an end to this incredibly long thread that should have ended ten posts ago.


I'm sorry... I'm so very sorry... Now you may go back to your properly equipped lives.

Thanks all
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