Types of Punch Booths or Fit-ups

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Types of Punch Booths or Fit-ups

Postby Chris » 25 Sep 2006, 12:13

There are many different types of booth. They are all devised for different needs, so none can be said to be better than the others. It all depends.
If you are working outside in a semi permanent location then weight isn't a problem and you need a strong structure. Such booths are built of plywood panels, a sort of sectional garden shed.
If your work is always inside, and you have a car, then a fit-up of folding cloth covered panels is in order. These panels are around 3 foot square so a car is needed for transport, but such booths are very speedy to erect. They are not much use outside since their cloth covered panels cannot be slung in the dryer after being caught in a downpour.
If you are working outside you need something that can be secured by weights or tent pegs against the wind - a major enemy of punchmen.
What is called a trellis booth or a lazy tongs booth is an ingenious folding trellis arrangement first applied to a Punch booth by the late George Blake of Leeds. There are very many variations, streamlined designs, versions in aluminium and wood, different folding methods etc. Such booths were the vogue when most people travelled by public transport and these booths can be folded small enough to fit in a bag designed for golf clubs. Prof. Geoff Felix has a compact arrangement based on such a design, and he travels throughout London and beyond by train, bus, tube and taxi-cab.
This type of booth has a removeable cover which is easier to dry if it does get wet. Also if on grass or sand this type of booth can be secured by guy ropes and tent pegs. But being lightweight it is often difficult to secure when working on a hard surface.
Then there are table top booths, walk around booths, suitcase booths - in fact a great deal of ingenuity goes into constantly trying to design the perfect booth.
If you get John Alexander's wonderful book entirely on Punch frames - "The Expanded Frame File" you will learn about a great many of the various designs. Then there is another design suggested in Glyn Edward's book "Successful Punch and Judy", lazy tongs plans can be found in Edwin Hooper's "Hello Mr Punch" and if you can find a copy of Eric Sharp's "Specialised Punch and Judy Entertainment" you will find excellent plans for his wonderful panel quick erect booths, and for a very practical outdoor booth for the car owner. (Try www.puppetbooks.co.uk or www.maskandpuppetbooks.co.uk)
If you want to buy a booth expect to pay at least £600 - probably more if you want a decent cover or an well painted proscenium.
People who I know offer such work are Prof Mark Poulton, Prof Bryan Clarke, Prof John Styles, Prof Brian Davey. And keep watching ebay - second hand ones do occasionally come up for sale, in which case you might be lucky and get one for around £200. But would it be the right height for you? They are not always easy to alter.
Then there is the whole different topic as to whether you want to work hands in front of face, or hands above head.
It is all a pretty complex topic and nobody can tell you what is best for you.
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Did anyone see this?

Postby Trev » 05 Jul 2007, 12:45

Did anyone see this youtube offering?

http://youtube.com/watch?v=JnBwPODHroQ& ... ed&search=
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Postby johnstoate » 05 Jul 2007, 13:25

Aw, Chris, you failed to mention my forte' - The trailer booth, or adapted vehicle, both ideal if you work mainly outdoors!-I'm most disapointed! :(
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Postby Morris » 05 Jul 2007, 16:23

Chris, is there anywhere in the site that has a diagram or something of how a lazy-tongs booth fits together?
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GETTING IN AN OUT

Postby lesclarke » 06 Jul 2007, 18:28

During a days work we can go in and out of our booths many times.
I modified an existing lazy tongs frame for my first booth, it was lazy tongs on 3 sides for bottom half, none at back, and lazy tongs on the 2 upper sides. At the back there was a horizontal crosspiece at the top and a second one half way down. Getting in and out meant stooping down and ducking in and after a while I found this uncomfortable.
For my next, current booth as well as making it more spacious, I tried to make getting in and out easier.
In the diagram, the booth opens/closes along the left hand side, so that's my opening.
Basically it meant getting rid of some parts of the lazy tong cross pieces, (A+B) and then putting back bracing pieces at (C+D) to restore some of the stiffness. C+D don't fold with the lazy tong movement and require their own location.
I wondered at first if I would keep tripping over the bottom bit, but it has
not been a problem, I don't notice that they are there, and access is easy.
[img]http://www.punchandjudy.com/dropbox/messagepictures/files/backbooth.jpg[/img
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Postby lesclarke » 17 Sep 2007, 17:59

LET'S TRY IT THIS WAY...

http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1133/139 ... d55b_b.jpg


(Diagram to above post)
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Postby Professor Eek » 17 Sep 2007, 18:28

Morris

I've got a diagram somewhere of my fit up with measurements - e-mail me and I'll forward to you if I can find it.

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Postby johnstoate » 17 Sep 2007, 18:52

Another way of giving a clear entrance at the back is to have a floor frame, (Which also aids stability) This can be a simple square with sockets for the uprights on each corner, It can be made to fold in the same way as 'lazy tongs' for travelling, but leaves the bottom of the frame at the back free of cross-bars, making for easy access.
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Postby CvdC » 17 Sep 2007, 22:39

Last edited by CvdC on 18 Sep 2007, 06:45, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby johnstoate » 17 Sep 2007, 23:54

Brilliant stuff Chris, I'm impressed!! - A 'maker' indeed! :D
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Postby Professor Eek » 18 Sep 2007, 12:46

Very detailed and useful Chris
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Postby Richard Coombs » 18 Sep 2007, 13:26

Very nice detailed plans Chirs ...not only a 'Maker' ..but also a clever man with a computor programme ( seems to be the vogue with Chris's LOL)

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Postby johnstoate » 18 Sep 2007, 14:49

Wife's called Chris, Maybe I should change mine, - Or let her do the computey stuff? :lol:
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Postby CvdC » 19 Sep 2007, 07:46

It occurs to me the above plans have been changed.
On advice I have changed the dowels on the top and now use 1/4" bolts with their heads cut off. I glue the end with the thread into the uprights and leave the long shank to hold the guy ropes.
Also I gave up using tool clips to connect the side wings. I have been using magnets as used for cupboard doors. I note that velco has also been used by others. Flapping side wings is a big problem with many booths.
I am also considering whether or not using pins to joing the uprights of two halves instead of square tubing. They seem to work just as well with the advantage that they are less prone to jamming.

The other thing I am curious about is whether or not the lazy tongs can be turned upside down. In the diagram below I have the tongs on the upper half so that the short pieces are on top. Now this means that when they are folded up they add to the length of the package. If they were turned up the other way this would be better. But would they still work? Or would they collapse?
I notice that M. Felix has kept his tongs low.

Image
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Postby Richard Coombs » 19 Sep 2007, 09:13

LookS like a Booth designed by that bloke 'Esher' vv -- who did all the imposible staircases ( and whose work influenced some of the scenery in Labyrinth ..as Geoff will remember )

My latest booth is aluminium and is built to the dimensions of what I used at the Mayfayre ( that is my old booth . plus 15 inch 'conservatory' extension LOL)

This means it is four feet deep , and has TWO lazy tongs sections of 2 foot within that side span. Anyone there early enough with a camera on
Sunday 30th Sept is welcome to take pics of it going up at Cov Gdn ...its a weird booth :-))


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