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DIY C-stand plans..


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#1 Christopher Sheneman

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 02:37 AM

Ran across this, great pics- looks to be an easy build..

http://www.studiolig...rom-steel-pipe/
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#2 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 05:41 AM

Just buy them.
I am all for DIY; but when it comes to things like C-stands or mos grip stuff, it's just not worth it to build your own. Buy the right ones as it'll last forever and actually fold up; rise/lower ect.

I know C-stands can be costly; but once you buy 'em you'll use 'em for everything... for example I use 1 C sand as a hat rack in my living room....
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#3 Christopher Sheneman

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 07:06 AM

How exactly are these "not worth" it? Let's say I'm on a set in New Orleans or Detroit and a car stunt goes terribly wrong smashing up my only supply of stands- the light is fading- I've gotta get this shot.

I could go into an abandoned building, unscrew some plumbing and come out with a C-stand!

Do you understand, Adrian? Knowledge is power.
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#4 Ari Davidson

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 04:15 PM

How exactly are these "not worth" it? Let's say I'm on a set in New Orleans or Detroit and a car stunt goes terribly wrong smashing up my only supply of stands- the light is fading- I've gotta get this shot.

I could go into an abandoned building, unscrew some plumbing and come out with a C-stand!

Do you understand, Adrian? Knowledge is power.



What you do is get production insurance, which I'm sure you'll have in the event of a car stunt. A good grip crew would also know better than to place any gear in harms way. As would the AD, DP, UPM, Dir. etc... Not to mention if this car plows into a nest of stands, they will effectively become spears and likely kill the driver and destroy the camera. By all means though, tread off into an abandoned urban building to hunt down sufficient amounts of non-oxidized pipe, bring it back back to set where I'm sure you have a pipe cutter and threader handy to save the day. Meanwhile everyone else will be dealing with what's important: The welfare of the crew, and the camera.

All hypothetical of course.

Under the mundane and less catostrophic circumstances these are not worth it because:
  • The C-stand is a marvel of engineering that is tried and true. Hence the few evolutions of the apparatus over the course of it's existence.
  • C-stands are often suspending lots of mass, or sharp points which when combined with gravity and/or an unaware human being, will seriously HURT someone. I prefer not to leave this responsibility to frugal engineering.
  • My responsibilites on set extend far beyond teaching people how to use any DIY gear. Productions don't have time for me to teach every day-player or production assistant how to build my gear. I'd much rather be blocking while the truck of industry standard gear is being unloaded.
Yes, the knowledge to make something like this could prove useful in some unlikely scenario, but you're not right.

Don't be a **(obscenity removed)** prick about it.
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#5 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 04:40 PM

Ari,
While I agree with you, I don't think there's need for the language.
I can recall going through the DIY phase when I was still a student, thinking I'm the cat's meow, then I quickly grounded myself. Hopefully Chris will be wise enough to realize he is interfacing with working professionals (most of us, at least some of the time) and be more open to advice later on.

You are absolutely right, of course, Ari. And honestly, in such situations where you've destroyed all your C-Stands, and probably a car, you're not shooting anymore that day anyway as there will be a lot of insurance and medical things to tend to.
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#6 Christopher Sheneman

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 05:02 PM

Don't kill the messenger -did you even look at the plans, Ari? 45,90 streets, nipples and standard pipe. And maybe it's not exactly like the plans but it's close enough- calling all Macgyver's huh?!

None of this fittings are difficult to find in any building structure (no need for a cutter,etc..just some heavy gloves and a wrench?). If it's too difficult for you, if you're concerned for cast and camera- if you HAVE insurance. Then don't do it.

Sure, it's an unlikely scenario but it's just as unlikely that the stunt driver is impaled by C-stands. He probably be helping me unscrew pipe!
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#7 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 05:15 PM

Chris,
I don't mean to offend you, but when you come into someone's house, you shouldn't call them ignorant.
The point which Ari and I are both trying to make is that given how important a C-Stand is, you really shouldn't DIY it. They are cheap enough to buy (compared to most film kit) and certainly very affordable to rent.
There is no quicker way not to be called back on a gig again than to show up with a bunch of DIY stuff which doesn't work quite right-- and or takes too long to work with because it's so cumbersome.
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#8 Travis Gray

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 05:43 PM

So do we have to steal the materials from buildings now?
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#9 Christopher Sheneman

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 05:46 PM

I agree, I think you're both right.

I've never rented equipment- that seems crazy to me. But you guys do it all the time!
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#10 Christopher Sheneman

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 05:52 PM

So do we have to steal the materials from buildings now?


Figure it out!
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#11 Rex Harris

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Posted 27 July 2012 - 04:43 PM

Sorry if this has become an old issue but I just saw it and felt the need to add my opinion.

I agree that on set there is nothing better than the use of reliable and trustworthy, professionally made C-stands, upon which you can rely to do the job safely. I must say however that a few years ago I built some DIY C-stands to my own design which I have used many times on set which much success.

I admit the design in the link above is unsafe and flawed and I wouldn't trust it with any of my crew who's safety and welfare I'm responsible for.

I should add though, I used to be an engineer and with that background comes the knowledge of what metal structures will hold a massive weight and what will fall over or collapse etc. So in short, unless you know what you're doing, I wouldn't put the well-being of yourself and your crew in the hands of any DIY design, I wouldn't even trust someone else to build my own design for those very reasons.

But that's just my opinion, not the undisputed law of the universe.
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#12 Christopher Sheneman

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Posted 28 July 2012 - 05:19 AM

I admit the design in the link above is unsafe and flawed and I wouldn't trust it with any of my crew who's safety and welfare I'm responsible for.


Why is that?
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#13 Rex Harris

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Posted 28 July 2012 - 07:28 AM

Why is that?


When I said the design was 'flawed and unsafe', what I meant was there are no safety guarantees, it's not been load tested and you have no idea how much weight you can put on it safely, also it lends itself well to toppling over at the slightest bump and the top pipe which goes to the 5/8 pin could well bend or snap if you get the 'weight balance' wrong.

I'm not saying 'don't use them', I'm just saying I personally would feel a little uneasy about it, especially leaving them in the hands of crew members who may be a little more reckless.
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#14 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 28 July 2012 - 08:56 AM

The functionality of thos sort of thing is one thing; its insurability is another. There are circumstances where it's fine. It's possible to do unsafe things with almost any equipment.

As to the design itself, on the basis that it's cast iron, it's probably more likely to snap than bend, which is dangerous as it's a sudden failure. Users of this sort of thing would be well advised to look carefully for signs of flaking, crystallisation and cracking around points of stress - but then, all equipment should be inspected regularly, regardless of origin.

Personally I would have thought it'd fine; I might not put enormously heavy stuff on it, and I might drill and pin the screw threads, as that's probably the most likely route to trouble. I'm someone who tends to complain when people do tiny, independent shoots uninsures, but I think it's possible to be too much of a rules lawyer sometimes. I don't really know, but I think if you loaded this to anywhere near the breaking strain of the components, you'd be in an unsafe situation with regard to it toppling over anyway.

P
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#15 David G. Smith

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Posted 29 July 2012 - 01:20 PM

The thing that I don't get about many DIY filmmaking projects is factoring in the time and effort of gathering the parts and tools needed to make it and then putting the stuff together negates the savings from just the sum of the parts. Maybe if I had a set up work shop with all the right tools I might feel differently, but I don't at this time. C-stands are not cheap, but making them would, for me, cost much more in my time and hassel then I think would be worth it. Of course, I have a good couple of rental houses near by so C-stands aren't an issue.
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#16 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 29 July 2012 - 05:48 PM

I've built quite a lot of toys in the past, both because I or my employers couldn't afford to buy it, or because it didn't exist.

There are only two responses that really apply to the concern about the time it takes. They are:

- The fact that many freelancers are time rich and money poor. Anybody who's self-employed in the film industry who tells you he's rushed off his feet six days a week is a...
- Some people, me included, like building things, and consider it a leisure pursuit.

P



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#17 David G. Smith

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 01:37 AM

I've built quite a lot of toys in the past, both because I or my employers couldn't afford to buy it, or because it didn't exist.

There are only two responses that really apply to the concern about the time it takes. They are:

- The fact that many freelancers are time rich and money poor. Anybody who's self-employed in the film industry who tells you he's rushed off his feet six days a week is a...
- Some people, me included, like building things, and consider it a leisure pursuit.

P


I can see that and I hope that my post did not come off as snarky, that was not my intent. I am actually a big fan of DIY, but my M.O. is a little different. I use a lot of unconventional lights, but what I have settled on is to mix and match unconventional (And usually used) gear in whole to make up the lower cost DIY solutions. This building from scratch thing is not something that I am good at and, as noted above, doesn't add up for me. Those who are good at from scratch building projects would, naturally, have a different perspective. Now, I can see the need for all types of stands in a kit, lord knows that you can never have enough stuff to hang poop from but using this DIY solution as a total replacement for professional C-Stands is not something that I can wrap my head around.
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#18 Ricardo Casco

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 08:57 PM

How exactly are these "not worth" it? Let's say I'm on a set in New Orleans or Detroit and a car stunt goes terribly wrong smashing up my only supply of stands- the light is fading- I've gotta get this shot.

I could go into an abandoned building, unscrew some plumbing and come out with a C-stand!

Do you understand, Adrian? Knowledge is power.



My my you are creative! I did laugh at this


DIY... its DIY, I don't think building something you intent to use all the time, specially infront of clients is such a great idea. I do also have to agree with Adrian, a C-Stand, even though its an extremely simple item, still has had countless time of engineering and design. I wouldn't really want to waste space with too much DIY stuff, not to say I havent made anything which I have. I find it... exciting, but in the end I always end up buying the real thing
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#19 Christopher Sheneman

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Posted 05 August 2012 - 03:21 AM

I followed the instructions, cost about $38 at Lowes. Leans a bit but very sturdy, I - a 200lb man- got on it and jumped up and down- nothing. Build Ford tough and I could've put JB weld on the threads-which I didn't. Put a few hundred pounds of lights on it and sand bag like crazy.
Try this design out!

Posted Image
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#20 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 05 August 2012 - 06:17 AM

Do the legs fold up, or do you have to tighten it all right down? I guess you could pin them to prevent rotation.

From a looks perspective it's actually quite presentable other than the joints on the legs, don't you think?

Wish I could buy pipe fittings that cheap here. Bah.
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