This topic has 11 replies, 7 voices, and was last updated 4 years, 11 months ago by Former Member Content Archive.

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     Angelique Powers
      • Experience: 20+ years
      • Scenic Status: Full Time Regular

      Member Member

      Admittedly I stole this trick from the scenics over at the Guthrie Theater. Cut a 2×4 to the length of 4′ 6″ and screw on a smaller piece of 1×3 to the end. You want at least 4’2″ between the spacers. Work in multiples of 3 to create as many as you need.

      Lay one sheet of 4×8 maso, plywood, mdf etc on the floor. Place the three spacers evenly across the sheet at both ends and in the middle. Stack the next 4×8 sheet on top of the spacers and repeat.

      I usually only have enough room to prime and base half of my “floor” for a show at a time. This helps give me more space and keep working.

      I have never gone higher than 14 sheets.

      You will also want to create a nice rolling cart to hold the spacers when not in use. [attachment=2]IMG_0691.JPG[/attachment][attachment=1]IMG_0692.JPG[/attachment][attachment=0]IMG_0693.JPG[/attachment]

       Tina Yager
        • Experience: 15-20 years
        • Scenic Status: Full Time Freelance

        Ohh, I like this trick. Thanks for sharing, Angelique.

         Angelique Powers
          • Experience: 20+ years
          • Scenic Status: Full Time Regular

          Member Member

          I just came back from a visit at the Guthrie and they have updated their boards to also include a 2×4 on the posts instead of just a 1×3 – because it lifts higher for when they have to paint sheets of 1/2″ or 3/4″ material instead of 1/4″


          Oooooooo this so much easier than how we use saw horses for drying racks! We’re about to start some floor planks.

          We usually use sawhorses with plywood on top and then place another set of sawhorses on top. I don’t have a good picture, but we place planks under the sawhorses, across the supports, on top of the plywood and then repeat.

          What does the storage rolling cart look like?

          We’re going to try this method!

          Thanks for sharing!

           Angelique Powers
            • Experience: 20+ years
            • Scenic Status: Full Time Regular

            Member Member

            I don’t have picture of the cart- cause we rolled it into deep storage – as we won’t be using it for a while- so moving it out of the way is an extra bonus.

            You will find that grabbing the boards and placing them down on the floor is more ergonomic when they start in a vertical position, plus they take up slightly less space that way.

            It started out as a little 2×3 throw away platform that we were gonna throw away, but added wheels instead. We fit three small Hollywood flats on three sides with a little extra support(the boards get heavy fast. )And then we just used a chain on the front to keep then in, but easier to load in and out.

            Hope this helps!!!

            Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk


            Ok. Thanks again for the info. 😀


            These are great! I’m going to have to try and make some for our shop!

            Going along these same lines, one of my shop projects this summer was a drying rack for the scene painting class.

            (I run my shop full-time in the same space that the class is offered, so I needed somewhere for class projects to dry without eating up my floor space, and ability to work on the shows).

            The T.D. and I batted around several solutions, but this seemed to check the most boxes.

            I wouldn’t use it for floors necessarily, because it is more likely to warp than the solution outlined previously, but for class projects/samples, I think it’s going to work well.

            So, these are the things we thought about in making our decision…

            A) My floor space is limited, so I wanted something that wouldn’t eat up much floor space.

            B) The students come in at varied times to continue work on their projects, so I wanted something that was easy-access (i.e. not stacked), and where each student had a dedicated space.

            C) The space I have available for storage is adjacent to the loading dock. (I have a huge wall of windows, and 5 doors in my space, so wall space is awkward as well) Because of this, I wanted something that is removable (if needed) for load-ins, load-outs, strike.

            D) The projects can vary in size, so I wanted something that could accommodate multiple sizes of projects

            E) Class budgets are somewhat small, and while I do the majority of projects on lauan or maso, I wanted something that could be utilized for soft flats as well.

            F) My budget for this project was pretty small, and most of the more beefy or permanent solutions weren’t fiscally possible

            G) I wanted something that had pieces and parts that could be easily replaced if part of the system failed vs. something that might have to be rebuilt entirely

            H) My shop also has brick walls, so I wanted something that didn’t require too many attachment points

            So, here it is (Descriptions below each photo):
            [attachment=4]20170623_164305 – Copy.jpg[/attachment]
            [attachment=3]20170623_164335 – Copy.jpg[/attachment][attachment=2]20170623_164353.jpg[/attachment][attachment=1]20170623_164543 – Copy.jpg[/attachment][attachment=0]20170623_164617 – Copy.jpg[/attachment]

            We haven’t started using it regularly yet, but I’m excited to see how it holds up!

            I’m finding little tweaks to make as I test it throughout the summer, but I’ll keep you guys posted as to how well it functions ‘in practice’ when the semester is up and running!


            I love that system, Heidi! I’m reminded of the racks we had at my University for scene painting class. We didn’t have the hinges though, nice touch. I’m curious to see how they hold up under weight of projects. If needed, you could always attach little casters at the bottom for extra support.


            Hartford Stage


            Ooh! Casters are a great idea! I think I’ll try adding those if I have a little extra funding left at the end of the semester!



              I am so going to use this idea. Genius!

                • Experience: 15-20 years
                • Scenic Status: Full Time Regular

                This thread has saved my sanity on this project. 24’x96′ checkered floor. Thanks y’all! 😁


                Okay. So the racks have been in use for over a year and a half, and I have to say, I’m pretty pleased with them.

                -They’ve held the weight of up to three sheets of lauan per rack and haven’t had any break.

                -They have a dedicated space for each student and are easy to access and remove. (I think I would have raised the upper trough by about half an inch though. They are a tight fit and can be a little tricky).

                -They are easy to remove and re-install. (The pins can be a little hard to line up the first few times, but once you get the hang of it, it’s not too bad).

                -We used them as the frame for a muslin project, and they couldn’t get the muslin stretched as perfectly as I would like without removing the trough (which we didn’t want to do), but we just made the finished project size slightly smaller (since these are really only used with muslin for class projects). Removing the staples was easy. They held up fine to starching and paint, and none warped or ‘potato-chipped’ on me.

                -While this seems like a tiny thing, it makes grading projects easier. Not only do I have their names in the tag slots at the bottom (in case they forget to tape their name on the back— we re-use both sides of the lauan multiple times through the semester), but they’re never fighting over storage space. Additionally, when I grade, I just flip through them like turning the pages of the book. No more stacking and un-stacking to grade projects!

                -When we don’t have a class going (it’s on a 2-year rotation), it’s a great place to store sample boards/stencils, etc. for the current show.

                That’s all that comes to mind for now, but overall, it seems to be a pretty effective solution for the way my shop functions.

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