advice on rigging wall spreaders
Posted 01 June 2005 - 02:51 AM
i'm interested in hearing any bits of advice from people who have rigged wall spreaders before. what did you do to make it safe and is there anything i should be aware of. we'll be shooting in a bar, and most of our lighting will be rigged from above.
Posted 01 June 2005 - 10:00 AM
If you must use a wall spreader use the smallest units you can, safety the units to the spreader, and safety the spreader to the ceiling or pipes above. Sometimes you can add pipe claps to the building to help support the spreader. If the spreader is in a hidden area like the top of a bar you can actually screw the feet into the wall for added security.
Posted 01 June 2005 - 12:54 PM
Posted 01 June 2005 - 12:59 PM
Most important, you will need to cut a 16" piece of 2x4 to attach as a "foot" to each end of the spreader. When it's up in the air, the length of the feet will be horizontal. The reason to put the feet on is that vertical studs inside a wall are generally 16" apart, so your 16" "foot" gives you a reasonable chance of applying the force of the spreader to something solid. A bit of rubber mat on the outside of the feet always helps.
After you get the spreader in position, hand tighten it. Make sure it's running straight and level; you can knock the wood gently w/ a hammer to position it. Once it's in a good spot, and you can't turn the nut by hand, you should give some more turns w/ a crescent wrench. You will know when it's time to stop when you can practically hang from it, or when you see the wood begin to bow, or when you hear the wall crack.
If you hear the wall crack, it might be best to abort the project.
Chances are, the spreader will work fine. If it's up for a while, YOU MUST CHECK IT, due to the natural expansion and contraction of the wood and the walls.
If you're worried about it coming down, you can try to hide a support out of the camera's view, like a c-stand w/ a cardellini. Or, you could support it w/ a vertical 2x4 that's painted to match the wall, or set dressed in some way. Of course, you should look for places to safety the spreader itself. If you're in a dark bar, they may not care if a couple of nice beefy screw-eyes go into the cieling.
If you have any doubts about it, just take it down and go to lighting plan b, which I'm sure you've already formulated!
Posted 01 June 2005 - 02:26 PM
thanks for the advice. the 16" foots on both ends are a great tip. i also plan on using screweyes to tie off to.
is it really a bad idea to splice two pieces together? the only reason i was planning on doing that was because 8' 2x4's will fit in the bed of my truck, and are easier to transport. but if it won't be as stable or safe, then i'll go with the 12' lengths and cut them to size.
Posted 01 June 2005 - 03:37 PM
Other advice: Use a speed square when cutting the 2x4; you'll want the edges nice and straight. It always helps to lay out the entire rig, feet, hardware, and lumber as it will hang, in order to measure where to cut the lumber. If you measure everything seperately, and add everything together, chances are very high that you will cut the spreader too short. Ask me how I know that
Edited by J-Ro, 01 June 2005 - 03:38 PM.