plans for a wooden booth any info?

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plans for a wooden booth any info?

Postby gaz » 30 Apr 2012, 04:10

Was thinking about the possibilities of a wooden booth. I have been offered a few outdoors lately on tarmac, and started thinking of the advantages of having a wooden booth.

I don't know if anyone knows of any plans or anything similar. I am thinking interns of hinged panels with pin hinges to hold the sides together...

any info on wooden booths would be a great help :D
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Re: plans for a wooden booth any info?

Postby Chris » 30 Apr 2012, 16:15

This year there will be more outdoor hard surface bookings simply due to the number of Jubilee street parties and school playground simulated street parties. Is it worth making a special booth just for this year? The usual number of hard standing requests are much lower.
Of course it must vary area to area, and I suppose if you live in a city then there will be more such opportunities than in a rural area like mine. But of course in a city there is much less wind so any type of booth is easier to secure.
I do have a couple of hard standing booths which I use no more than 8 times a year. I know of friends who manage to use their lazy-tongs booths quite succesfully.
I will attach some pictures of my solutions:

This first shows an ordinary lazy tongs type fit-up which attaches to two heavy planks of wood, front and back with heavy screw eyes and nylon ties. I have a ply floor which lays across the planks and thus gives extra stability when I am stood in the booth. This worked quite successfully over many performances.

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This second picture shows an Eric Sharp designed outdoor booth. It is of heavy aluminium tubes with a canvas tilt. The tubes fit into a sheet aluminium tray/floor. From either side of this tray swings an ingeniously designed support upon which you park the tyre of your vehicle. This wonderfully supports the whole structure.

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This third picture is a wood panel booth which is heavy and bulky to transport, and tricky to erect single-handed. But it is stable in the wind due to its own weight. It has the added advantage of being lockable and very weather proof.

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A disadvantage of this type of booth becomes apparent if the ground slopes. It is quite difficult to manage this if the ground is not level.

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Luckily I had done a recce beforehand and had arrived with a selection of wood to build up at the back. If I hadn't done so I would have been stymied.
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Re: plans for a wooden booth any info?

Postby Richard Coombs » 30 Apr 2012, 19:27

Nice pics Chris.
Yep like you I travel with a box of varying thickness plywood 'wedges' to level up ground.

This is for my canvas sided booth ..because the lazy tongs fit onto a base plank ( I find its easier to level the ground under a plank rather than putting individual packers under each 'leg' of the booth )

They come in handy not only on grass , but also on hard surfaces ...because as you know , sometimes the 'perfect' spot to position the booth can often have to take on a manhole cover , or sloped drain or soak away , or other bit of wonky street furniture.

And unless you are on a bowling green or golf course ... even so called 'flat' grass is liable to have dips and hollows ....and sheep meadows or country fairs etc ... well its all lumps and bumps ( hopefully only earth and mud !)
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Re: plans for a wooden booth any info?

Postby Chris » 30 Apr 2012, 20:06

On soft ground I don't bother putting packing under the legs - I just push the longer legs into the soil, sand or whatever. I don't think a plank is a very good idea. The whole thing with legs is that you only have to find four level points and the whole thing is level. With a plank it has to be level at multiple points over the surface or else you have a see-saw. That's why most furniture has legs rather than a flat bottom. Similarly with stage rostra.

PS. Sheep droppings are a particular hazard in Wales. Small and sun-dried aren't too bad, but fairly fresh ones make lovely squishy patterns on the underside of tarpaulins used for children's seating. They pong delightfully in a hot vehicle on the way home.
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Re: plans for a wooden booth any info?

Postby lesclarke » 01 May 2012, 17:26

I've talked to 2 profs recently, one is fancying a wooden booth and the other is trying out a new one. The one who fancies one thinks it will make life easier in bad weather, and the one trying it out hasn't made his mind up yet, and is looking at the pros and cons.

Never handled or experienced one, and always thought that the weight and bulk could get excessive, and all-in-all the lazy-tongs method, in all its variants is such a good design, and adaptable to taste.
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Re: plans for a wooden booth any info?

Postby Chris » 01 May 2012, 17:35

Really the only thing to be said for a wooden panel booth is if you are in a semi-permanent location - a summer season for example. Here the ability to lock up securely while you have a wander, or a meal, is a real advantage. Also to be able to leave overnight in situ, without worries about the weather, is an obvious advantage.
Otherwise a look at some of the designs in John Alexander's "The Expanded Frame File" are surely the way to go.
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Re: plans for a wooden booth any info?

Postby gaz » 04 May 2012, 15:46

Wow! Many thanks for all the pics and info... It gives me something to think about....

The plank idea seems the cheapest solution, and I hadn't even thought of uneven ground and a wooden booth.

Once again many thanks! :)
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Re: plans for a wooden booth any info?

Postby gaz » 04 May 2012, 15:49

HI Chris

just thinking... so on the planks you attach the bottom of the lazy tong to them?

I was wondering if you thought using the usual ropes attached to the top of the booth and then attached to the ends of the planks might work?

cheers
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Re: plans for a wooden booth any info?

Postby Chris » 04 May 2012, 17:47

Definitely not.
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Re: plans for a wooden booth any info?

Postby cobaltblue » 04 May 2012, 20:53

This is a lightweight booth ,hinged fits into the back of my car.I fit it to a duck board made from decking helps in windy weather.
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It takes about 10-15mins to erect
it all bolts togher and the canvas is fitted with velcrow
I will be parting with it so if your interested let me know
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Re: plans for a wooden booth any info?

Postby lesclarke » 08 May 2012, 12:01

Looks an interesting design, any chance of bigger pics?
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Re: plans for a wooden booth any info?

Postby Chris » 08 May 2012, 12:58

It looks very nice - but the dreaded words "it all bolts together" rings warning bells for me.

John Alexander wrote:I must confess that I have a deeply rooted hatred of wing nuts. They are in league with the Devil and are not the inanimate objects they appear to be, but can quickly move out of sight whenever they are dropped. In grass they can disappear entirely. They do not breed in their box, but melt away so that there is always one missing, even though they were all there when you packed up last.

see "The Expanded Frame File" http://www.arcadypress.co.uk
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Re: plans for a wooden booth any info?

Postby lesclarke » 08 May 2012, 21:15

Since a child I have always liked wingnuts, they appeal to me, it's a lot about the the shape and I just like using them. I suppose they give me a sense of security. So even after having a chuckle at John Alexander's advice I was keen to use them.

I remember reading John's advice to instead use the new 'wonder' thing called Gravity, and later incorporated that idea into an indoor booth.

My main booth has 6 wingnuts, 2 are 'captive' in that they are never full unfastened, just slackened and tightened again, but 4 of them do need to be fully unscrewed and then screwed back in place. (I believe John refers to a similar usage where the nuts are not fully unfastened.)

Anyway, after almost 10 years I think I've lost a couple, so it's not been a problem, I have dropped them from a height into grass a fair number of times, but 'cos I chose nice shiny brass ones, they are easily spotted.

But I would be wary of a design with a series of components and a bag of nuts and bolts where it was easier for bits to go astray.

In the Frame File John mentions that the variety of 'fittings' are not as available as they were in the past,and I've noticed that also a lot of 'fittings' these days are very poor quality, I recently bought a nice brass hinge that when unpackaged would not hinge unless brute force was used!
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Re: plans for a wooden booth any info?

Postby Chris » 08 May 2012, 21:46

I, like John, detest wings nuts - or any nuts. I don't mind the bolts so much - so can sometimes avoid the dreaded nuts by using those fittings which insert a thread into a pre-drilled hole. Thus you screw the bolt directly into the wood. At least you only have one thing to lose and that, the bolt, being bigger is more visible when you drop it.

As for hinges: I use a lot of hinges in marionette jointing. I ALWAYS remove the pin supplied and fit a new one, stronger, and I rivet over the ends. Pins as supplied are nearly always too tight when you buy them, and then when they work free they also gradually creep out. They are probably related to wing nuts.
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Re: plans for a wooden booth any info?

Postby BilBug » 09 May 2012, 00:29

After reading the discussion here, I'm assuming you're not going for an 18th century puppet booth a la http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Burattini_ca_1770.jpg

I have built a similar booth, used in Italy and England as noted in Collier/Cruikshank amongst other places, in recreating an 18th century show . Other pics at http://www.furtradeclerk.blogspot.com. A couple of carved heads at http://www.woodlandpuppets.blogspot.com, more to be posted later.

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