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C-stands (correct operation of)


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#1 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 06 November 2016 - 11:18 AM

I gave up, and bought some.

 

Freude! Schoner, Gotterfunken! Tochter aus Elysium!

 

The problem is that the fastest way I know of to unfold the legs is to flip it over, placing the top end on my shoe to avoid it getting covered in the thick, all-encrusting ooze that coats the entire country at this time of year, and unfold the legs by hand. This works, but there's an increased risk of knocking a chunk of plaster out of an expensive location, and I'm wracked with uncertainty over the fact that full-time lighting people seem to be able to dance some sort of elaborate jig and flip the legs open by foot, without so much as a downward glance.

 

Is there something wrong with my rather second-hand C-stands, or am I simply an inexcusable greenhorn in the world of professional thing-support equipment? Is there a maintenance procedure I could reasonably apply to make them easier to deploy?

 

I should probably point out that they are extremely second-hand, to the point where one of the gobo arms is actually bent. That's a length of 5/8" steel tube with 1.5mm walls. How on earth do you bend a gobo arm?

 

31962_10150194309480576_843455575_124962

 

Oh. Oh, I see.

 

P


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#2 aapo lettinen

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Posted 06 November 2016 - 11:39 AM

I open the c-stands by placing the longest leg agaist my knee and then opening the legs counter clockwise with hand. That is the "normal" way to do it I think, at least it is one of the fastest ways to do it
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#3 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 06 November 2016 - 11:42 AM

Phew. I wondered if it was just me.


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#4 JD Hartman

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Posted 06 November 2016 - 01:02 PM

Flip it up on your shoulder with the legs in front of you. 

 

Spring loaded legs?  Disassembly, cleaning and re-assembly with some lithium grease might help.


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#5 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 06 November 2016 - 01:15 PM

If they are the non spring loaded type, you put them over your shoulder, feet in front of you, undo the lock, spin the stand and the legs will fall into place. Then lock it.


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#6 Gregg MacPherson

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Posted 06 November 2016 - 02:41 PM

Phil,  I remember the "no old C stands in the UK" theme entertained by you and Freya.  I'm surprised you did not make a little selfie video...dumpster diving to rescue old stands...wading through old junk in someone's garage..while emphatically proclaiming the impossibility and joy of the whole experience....

 

Lucky you then.  Did you find a couple for Freya also.

 

Re the bent gobo arm.  With care you should be able to bend it back.  Re sticky spring loaded legs.  I dissassembled a few of those a while ago.  I think I found a drawing on Matthews site.  I made a crude extension for a hex socket and then dissassembly was posible.  If you have to put that off you could try getting some lubricant in there from the outside.


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#7 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 06 November 2016 - 03:12 PM

I was thinking about shooting some beauty shots of them, attractively backlit, perhaps with a little mist in the air and a Hollywood Black Magic filter, possibly to the strains of Schiller's Ode. Then I realised it would be kinda hard work.

 

They're ex Arri Rental and have thus been effectively thrown over a cliff and left to sit in a swamp for a year or ten.

 

Spring-loaded legs. Possibly some WD40 is in order.

 

P


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#8 JD Hartman

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Posted 06 November 2016 - 03:47 PM


Re the bent gobo arm.  With care you should be able to bend it back. 

 

Once metal is bent, it's stretched, it will never have the same strength in that spot again.  A new piece of tubing for the Gobo arm is a modest investment.


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#9 Gregg MacPherson

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Posted 06 November 2016 - 06:41 PM

Yes,  better to replace it,  if it suits ones skill set.  The old ones I have,  the tube looks pressed into the casting.  JD,  do they just tap out?  If I had one that was unusably bent I would try.  But if only slightly bent I would probably straighten it.  I think you (JD) are being a bit conservative on the local properties of the bent steel. 

 

But who knows.  I don't know what the steel is.  Quickly grabing an old spreadsheet,  a 900mm long tube,  OD=16mm,  WT=1.5mm,  with a 5.7kg weight at the end will give a peak stress of 229MPa,  the yield stress for 1010 steel,  meaning the tube begins to bend.  But something like 4130 is about twice as strong to the yield point.

 

So much fun.

 

So Phil,  'fess up,  did you just walk into the Arri lighting rental shop ,  ask and they said yes...


Edited by Gregg MacPherson, 06 November 2016 - 06:48 PM.

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#10 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 06 November 2016 - 06:56 PM

Man, I've used C stand arms for all sorts of things, but I've never bent an arm.

 

This picture is from a film I did 15 years ago. There was no way to hang lights, so we made a C stand bridge that went up the sides of the walls and over the top. It was a nifty idea my gaffer and I had at the 11th hour.  We hung 1 Arri 1k's from it. :) 

 

 

 

lightingrigtomshouse.jpg

 


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#11 Gregg MacPherson

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Posted 06 November 2016 - 07:16 PM

Tyler,

The arms get bent when walked on or driven over.  If one bends an arm in service one is well wiged out,  doing something silly. 

 

JD was thinking of how servicable they might be after being bent,  then straightened,  because the most highly stressed part of the section is compromised by the bending and straightening.  Probably the top and bottom of the section are in compresion,  so less able to fulfil their structural contributions.  The top will need to deflect to make any contribution at all,  and the bottom is preloaded already.

 

Your rig in the photo would be interesting,  but we can't see it.   Can't see the way the C stand rig was done.


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#12 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 06 November 2016 - 08:32 PM

I'm not sure they'd let me into Arri. Anyway, I don't think that the main Arri depot in the UK actually does lighting anymore.

I got mine from an equipment dealer who'd bought them ex rental. He's very useful. Warehouse is Aladdin's cave. In fact, you can probably quite accurately imagine me in the role of the hilarious monkey sidekick from the Disney movie, staggering helplessly toward the HMIs, lower lip a waterfall of drool.
 

download.jpg

 

P


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#13 JD Hartman

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Posted 07 November 2016 - 06:26 AM

Yes,  better to replace it,  if it suits ones skill set.  The old ones I have,  the tube looks pressed into the casting.  JD,  do they just tap out?  If I had one that was unusably bent I would try.  But if only slightly bent I would probably straighten it.  I think you (JD) are being a bit conservative on the local properties of the bent steel.

 

If these were "new" to me, I certainly want to look as new as possible going out on their first job.  Take to break out a cloth baby diaper and a tube of polish.  https://www.simichrome.com/

 

Most arms I've seen are held into the head casting with one or more setscrews.


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#14 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 07 November 2016 - 06:30 AM

They're the conventional type, Arri logo in the castings. I could replace the tube if I could find some 16mm chromed steel tube. It's not a big deal, anyway.

 

What's slightly alarming is that they've got blue paint markings on them, presumably as an anti-theft measure. Thus, I look like a thief.

 

P


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#15 Gregg MacPherson

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Posted 07 November 2016 - 12:58 PM

You could just use stainless steel.  Check the tube size with a vernier,  wether it's 16mm or 5/8" (about 15.875mm),  or just check the fit of the available tube in the hole.


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#16 JD Hartman

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Posted 07 November 2016 - 02:42 PM

I believe the ARRI stands were actually made by Manfrotto in Italy.  A suitable replacement tube can be found by taker the old one to your local Iron Monger. 


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#17 Edward Lawrence Conley III

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Posted 09 November 2016 - 04:51 PM

the arms will never really get bent from use- there's just no way you could put a load heavy enough on the arm without bagging the crap out of the stand.

 

For rentals they're usually bent from being on the bottom of a pile of other stands, thrown in to the back of the van and then the sandbags are loaded on top :)


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#18 timHealy

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Posted 09 November 2016 - 07:58 PM

I open the c-stands by placing the longest leg agaist my knee and then opening the legs counter clockwise with hand. That is the "normal" way to do it I think, at least it is one of the fastest ways to do it

 

 Don't use your knee. Metal against bone hurts. I just use my inner thigh to open or collapse. I think Phil gets the idea you should not turn it over by now. If the knuckles or grip head is loose, when you turn it over the risers come out or the arm spins around. You look like a hot mess if that happens in front of a crew.

 

Some grip stand brands and or models are a pain in the ass no matter how you open them.


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#19 Gregg MacPherson

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Posted 09 November 2016 - 10:06 PM

Edward Lawrence Conley III,

Are owning up to having bent some C Stands that way,  throwing them randomly into the truck with bags on top? Shame...


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#20 Robin R Probyn

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Posted 10 November 2016 - 12:35 AM

Or grips putting their wallets on them.. 


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