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Why do we have tailbones and why are these on flags and nets?


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#1 Tim O'Connor

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Posted 28 July 2008 - 07:25 PM

Why do so many flags and nets have this offshoot
from the main stem but in thinner stock?


1. I'm guessing that it could be for strength.

2. Maybe it's for safetying, although I've never ever seen anybody use it for that.

3. Maybe it's for storage, to facilitate hanging on a hook/pipe, although I haven't seen
that use ever either.

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#2 Michael Belanger

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Posted 28 July 2008 - 07:31 PM

I've wondered about the origin of the "flag appendix" as well. I assumed your 3 points plus I also tend to use it as a handle to hold the flag when inserting into the grip head.

I have a couple of scrims hanging in my garage on a hook by the way.
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#3 Daniel Wallens

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Posted 28 July 2008 - 08:31 PM

The reasoning behind the original manufacturing is unknown, as not all companies include it on all their flags. However, it has proved useful in many occasions:

1- Provides strength and stability to the flag, especially in the rotational sense (you can grip the entire thing, not just the pin, in the grip head in windy situations).
2- When clipping two flags together (say, a single and a double to make a triple) using grip clips, this appendage often serves better than clipping just the outer frame.
3- Picking the flag up, and carrying it. When carrying a bunch of flags say, 5 or more at a time) it is much easier to have a bit of a handle there, instead of just grabbing the pin in your fist.
4- Safetying, yes. When a flag is rigged to perms/greenbeds, or anything overhead, safetying everything is a good idea, even though it's not always done in practice.

I'd say those are the most common, but on a case-by-case basis, someone on set is always coming up with a new use for it.


-DW
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#4 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 28 July 2008 - 09:23 PM

Storage, hanging on the wall with one of those and the hooks/board you find in department stores (name escapes me) but have seen it done.
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#5 Tim O'Connor

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Posted 28 July 2008 - 09:41 PM

Excellent, thank you all.

Daniel, are what you call grip clips the same as spring clamps?



This is what I know as a spring clamp.

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#6 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 28 July 2008 - 09:43 PM

I call them pony clamps?
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#7 Chris Keth

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Posted 28 July 2008 - 11:11 PM

Grip clips as far as I've always known them. If you want a specific size they're "No. 1s," "No 2s," and "No. 3s."
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#8 Daniel Wallens

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Posted 28 July 2008 - 11:27 PM

Yes, a grip clip is the same as a spring clamps. Probably those are the most common names. Also, other names are: spring clips, pony clamps, handy clamp, hand clip, hargrave. Many times, on set, the key will just call for this by it's size: "fetch me a #1" and the grip should know what to get.
The numbers denote (usually, depending on the manufacturer) what the approximate maximum expansion of the mouth is in inches.

-DW
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#9 Tim O'Connor

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Posted 29 July 2008 - 01:13 AM

Yes, a grip clip is the same as a spring clamps. Probably those are the most common names. Also, other names are: spring clips, pony clamps, handy clamp, hand clip, hargrave. Many times, on set, the key will just call for this by it's size: "fetch me a #1" and the grip should know what to get.
The numbers denote (usually, depending on the manufacturer) what the approximate maximum expansion of the mouth is in inches.

-DW




Cool, thanks guys.

In fact, the first time I ever encountered a spring, er grip clamp at all was on a film set, although I've since found them to be useful
for many other applications and have met many craftsmen who use them in non film fields.

I think a lot of cool film tools have migrated into production by clever film people who see new applications for tools from other trades.
I always figured that some savvy grip knew about furniture clamps and saw how they could have a spud put on them and be used to hang a
light. I think that I first encountered a furniture clamp on a film set and so for me I saw how it could be useful for clamping furniture
as well as hanging lights!

Then there are the ACs who I've seen get their dentists old tools (don't know the proper name but they're metal picks) and applied
them to cleaning cameras.
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#10 Bill Totolo

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Posted 29 July 2008 - 04:09 AM

I was just hanging a flag over "The Black Kids" in a studio today and used that appendage to run a safety wire through.
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#11 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 29 July 2008 - 09:46 AM

In terms of genius grip tools. . . the vice-grips with spuds floored me when I first saw them. What a great idea!
I just noticed my road-rags kit is w/o the handy, dandy handle "tail bone."
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#12 Michael Collier

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Posted 29 July 2008 - 02:13 PM

I have always found those appendages usefull when hand holding a flag while waiting for a grip to stick it. You want to see what the flag/net/silk is doing to your light without throwing your own shaddow, so it makes sense to have a small square of metal to give you directional control while hand holding. Plus if you hold that spot when a grip does indeed stick it, you have less chance of having part of your hand caught in the gobo. anyway, thats why I thought they are on there.

Maybe they are there for the same reason Forrest Gump was named Forrest. To remind us that sometimes we do stuff that, well, just don't make no sense.

I will second the baby-spudded vice clamp for cool grip tools.
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#13 Chris Keth

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Posted 29 July 2008 - 05:41 PM

The numbers denote (usually, depending on the manufacturer) what the approximate maximum expansion of the mouth is in inches.

-DW


I never thought of that. I figured it was just a last number in a product code or something.

I've always thought the spackling knife with a baby pin on it was kind of ingenious.
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#14 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 29 July 2008 - 05:45 PM

That is a genius one. .. how 'bout this, the Cartillini. Definitely the most useful mounting I have come across.
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#15 Andrew Brinkhaus

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Posted 29 July 2008 - 08:25 PM

Wall spreaders always amaze me. Not sure the talent and producers feel the same way though. ^_^
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#16 Mitch Gross

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Posted 30 July 2008 - 11:34 AM

If you line it up just right, you can grab both parts of the flag's handle in a grip head. This increases stability and means the flag can't rotate in a strong wind.
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#17 Riku Naskali

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Posted 04 August 2008 - 10:39 AM

I've used it also for hand-holding. Sometimes you don't have time/manpower to get a stand, and have to hold it in place by hand. You just gotta wish the shot won't take too long, a flag gets surprisingly heavy after a while.
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#18 Jamie Metzger

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Posted 20 September 2008 - 12:44 AM

If you line it up just right, you can grab both parts of the flag's handle in a grip head. This increases stability and means the flag can't rotate in a strong wind.


Seems so obvious, but I've never thought about trying it. I will now!

I've noticed that with this "tailbone", the flag won't go all the way into the gobo head; meaning that you reduce the risk of clamping single/double nets in the head. I've seen them rip because of this, but you guys seemed to have mentioned much more reasonable solutions.
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#19 Drew Valenti

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Posted 23 December 2008 - 12:58 PM

I find the hook very useful, like when a light is going up and I know it will need a flag or net. I'll place a c-stand nearby and hook the flag/net on the knuckle of the c-stand. It's for helpful little things like that.
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#20 JD Hartman

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Posted 24 December 2008 - 12:32 PM

The offshoot, as illustrated in the photo, reduces torque induced stress on the weld holding the pin to the frame. While handy to hang a net or silk for storage, it's there to prevent the pin from being twisted off.

Pony and Hargrave are the names of two companies that manufacture spring clamps.
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