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Building a temporary stage/platform

JFink's picture

Got an interesting request today, somebody I know is having a party and hiring a band and wanted to know whether I could build them a raised platform to act as a temporary stage for the band. I don't know much about how big, or exactly what area the platform would be sitting on (haven't seen the yard yet) - but for the purposes of this discussion, I think those are moot points anyway. I say moot because I'm really more interested in discussing the theoreticals behind it...


It got me thinking...how to basically build a knockdown deck, and still have it be safe?


Justin Fink - FHB Editorial

Justin Fink - FHB Editorial

(post #105952, reply #1 of 13)

TJI's. The rest is easy.

Screw the rim on it, screw a t& g plywood deck on it...and rest it on whatever supports are necessary for it's size. We had a modular one at the timberframe shop when we needed a flat surface.


Edited 3/26/2008 2:31 pm ET by jesse

(post #105952, reply #2 of 13)

And what did you do for transfering the weight to the ground? concrete blocks?

Justin Fink - FHB Editorial

Justin Fink - FHB Editorial

(post #105952, reply #3 of 13)

transfering the weight to the ground? concrete blocks?


Could.  10" - 12" rips of plywood would probably suffice for the short term use.


Oh, and if possible, round the dimension up larger than requested.  Stage "users" always underestimate the space they use (and especially the minimum space needed "around' things).


Stockpile a couple extra sheets of ply to support speakers, too (they won't fit on stage with the band-see above).


If you can, find out if the band is dumb* and uses stage monitors or if they are smart and use wireless earpieces.  You need 3-4' extra to get the stage monitors in front of the players.


*Stage monitors are dumb.  First, they are heavy and they take up valuable stage real estate (at a premium in the dinky joints new bands play earning their chops).  Next, they cause hearing loss--not something to encourage if a person is planning a long career in music.  They are also one more thing the ham-fisted mozon playing at being a sound man can screw up.  Mostly, they are dumb in that a good wireless system is the same price with less rigging and is much better for the artist.  Rant ends.


Occupational hazard of my occupation not being around (sorry Bubba)
I may not be able to help you Occupational hazard of my occupation not being around (sorry Bubba)

(post #105952, reply #4 of 13)

Welcome to the Theatre Department!


We built TONS of these, and they will stand up to alot more abuse than a band will throw at it:


Basic Platforms


Needed: 


4x8 sheet 3/4" A/C plywood
5 (4.5 actually) pieces of 1"x4"x8'
2" flooring screws (we used to use drywall screws for this!  We also used staples for attaching the 1x4 to eachother)
Carpenters glue


Yes, you will be tempted to use 2x4.  Don't.  It will only make it heavier than you need, without adding any real strength.


You will cut two pieces exactly 4' long, these go on the short edges of the plywood.  Cut two pieces 94.5", these go along the long end of the plywood, but inside those first two pieces.  Cut three more pieces 46.5", these will be placed every 24" OC.


If you need to build a bunch of these, it will pay off to build a jig - one for predrilling the holes in the plywood and one for holding all the 1x4 in place while you glue and screw them together.  Ensuring each of these is EXACTLY the same pays dividends down the road.  When finished, take a belt sander and knock off all the hard corners - pretty ladies will be moving these, not old salty thugs like yourself ;).


Support and attachment:  You will elevate the platforms using 2x4 uprights.  Ideally these will be set in place, then the completed platforms placed on top.  Use 3/8 Bolts to hold everything together, and predrill everything as accurately as possible.  Ideally, any platform could replace any other.


These platforms are easy to move, stack well, and are easy to maintain if damaged.  They can be used over and over again, or taken apart and recycled for other projects.


Rebuilding my home in Cypress, CA


Also a CRX fanatic!


If your hair looks funny, it's because God likes to scratch his nuts.  You nut, you.

YAY!  I love WYSISYG editing!  And Spellcheck!

____________________________________________________

(post #105952, reply #6 of 13)

All good advice...I'm loving it.

Justin Fink - FHB Editorial

Justin Fink - FHB Editorial

(post #105952, reply #13 of 13)

The method that xxPaulCPxx posted is real easy to do and is real similar to the ones we used when i was running a few different restaurants and they worked really well. portable, long lasting and easy to build.  see if a rental store wants to buy them when you are done with them.


too bad you aren't closer I could have lined up a one of our trailers for you to use. 55' step deck semi trailer or a 40' gooseneck would have been the quickest/easiest way if you can get them in your yard.  This is what a lot of communities do for street dances.


Ebe

(post #105952, reply #5 of 13)

last garage band we saw playing in an actual garage was on a stage of 3/4 ply sheets simply laid on top of concrete blocks.


 


thinking they had 3 sheets wide.


 


12 wide by 8 deep ... plenty big.


 


Jeff


    Buck Construction


 Artistry In Carpentry


     Pittsburgh Pa

    Buck Construction

 Artistry In Carpentry

     Pittsburgh Pa

(post #105952, reply #7 of 13)

I just noticed you said Yard, as in this might be set up on a lawn.  With the supports being every 4', you could take them down to those concrete blocks.  If there was alot of variation in the ground, you could set buckets on the ground where there were low spots and add enough mortar to make up the gap under an upright support.  Add some x bracing if you are over 24" height, otherwise some diagonals should be OK.


If everything was pretty flat, you can make a "comb" of upright supports on a long 2x4 sill.  When it is time to put this together, you would move these combs in place, them place the platforms on top of the teeth.


Rebuilding my home in Cypress, CA


Also a CRX fanatic!


If your hair looks funny, it's because God likes to scratch his nuts.  You nut, you.

YAY!  I love WYSISYG editing!  And Spellcheck!

____________________________________________________

(post #105952, reply #8 of 13)

Flatbed Truck


Greg

(post #105952, reply #9 of 13)

You beat me to it


http://grantlogan.net/


 




But you all knew that.  I detailed it extensively in my blog.

(post #105952, reply #10 of 13)

Yes, but I can't make any money building flat bed trucks!

Justin Fink - FHB Editorial

Justin Fink - FHB Editorial

(post #105952, reply #11 of 13)

got a flat trailer ? rent it to them.

(post #105952, reply #12 of 13)

All good ideas. 


 I'll add a few points.  If you've got a sawmill nearby you can get 1X10s or 1X12s pretty cheap.  I used rough cut pine.  Depending on how dry they are, you might need to straighten up one edge (I used an EZ guide for that) then rip them all to the same width on the TS.  If these will be set up on grass or ground that step may not be needed.  (I had to build a set for a chamber orchestra and they were to be set up indoors on a church floor so they had to be pretty much even.)


I placed the 1xs the long way 16" OC but I think I used 5/8" ply to save a few bucks (it was for a non profit).  Screwed the frame together, used glue and shot the ply down with ring shanks.


One additional thing which makes them much easier to move around is to make a router jig to cut small slots in the side and end pieces for hand-holds.  If you've got the time, run a round-over bit around the slot for more comfy hand-holds. 


Of course the slots are easier to cut and shape before the frame is screwed together.  Ask how I know that.  I bought the cheapest grey paint I could find and rolled them quick, quick.