Wanted: Outdoor Booth

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Re: Wanted: Outdoor Booth

Postby James » 20 Dec 2012, 21:32

Harvey,

If money's tight you could be better using your £150 buying John Alexander's excellent book on booth building "The Expanded Frame File", along with a cheap power drill (reduced in the Boxing Day sales), a few lengths of proper timber, some ironmongery, and a few metres of fabric to cover.

You may even end up with a few pounds to spare.

You'll find plenty of advice on this board about booth building, as well as the photos of Geoff Felix's ingenious design, but John's book really is a must have.
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Re: Wanted: Outdoor Booth

Postby CvdC » 20 Dec 2012, 23:59

James you make it all seem so simple.

You do need four lengths of straight timber an inch square. These are typically sawn in half (top and bottom sections) and one sits on top of the other either by slipping into a piece of square or round tubing or more simply using a large nail on one end fitted loosely into a hole on the other piece.

The four vertical pieces are held upright using a clever framing technique made either of timber, or better, aluminium (3mm x 20mm or there abouts). The aluminium needs to be cut to precise lengths and attached to the wood with bolts and using large pop rivets.

Then you have the proscenium and stage, puppet hooks and the cover to sew. I am getting exhausted just thinking about it. It has taken me four days to make one not including the painting of the proscenium and backdrop. It is a daunting task if ever there was one.

You could simplify it all by using three panels joined to each other by hinges (like one of those partitions women coyly get changed behind in the movies). This won't break down as compactly but is far simpler.
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Re: Wanted: Outdoor Booth

Postby johnstoate » 21 Dec 2012, 02:27

Or you could keep it where it belongs in the 'Workshop' section, follow the advice there. Or create your own design to suit your personal needs, Booths are easy enough to make if you have the time & inclination, And given your age, ( Same as my youngest son) you could perhaps, use this as a school technology project to count towards your gcse's!
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Re: Wanted: Outdoor Booth

Postby Trevek » 25 Dec 2012, 22:33

Out of curiosity, has anyone ever tried to make a booth frame from plastic pipes? I remember a chap making all his house furniture, sofas etc using it. I imagine it'd be too light for a booth in windy weather, but might be a cheap alternative.
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Re: Wanted: Outdoor Booth

Postby Chris » 26 Dec 2012, 21:45

Yes Trev, I've tried various fit-ups with plastic conduit. It's very popular with church group puppeteers, particularly in the US. I don't find it very satisfactory either in sturdiness or assembly. You usually finish up with a large number of very similar looking tubes which are like a jigsaw to fit-up, even though colour-coded. Of course it does have the advantage of being light-weight and very easy to cut. But in any length it has a tendency to sag and although it there are various right-angle joints you can buy for it, it is less easy to fit cross bracing. Rectangular constructions all too easily become parallelograms.
Also friction-fit joints are not good for repeated set-up and pull down. And it isn't a good material for adding the hooks and myriad gadgets you find you need with a puppet show.
It might have a use for classroom shows, and for school or similar where it has only occasional use.
The only professional use I have made of it has been to use it on occasion as a sheath for dowel rod. Where I have wanted a long length of dowel (which can easily be accidently broken in transit) I have enclosed the dowel in a length of poly-tube of appropriate diameter and this greatly reduces the danger of snapping, yet remains rigid and can take screws and bolts.
In the toy shops there are many toy structures (wig-wams, wendy-houses, play shops etc.) availably using this material. They are fine initially, but don't stand up to repeated use. Similarly you can buy so called "extra wardrobe space" - clothes racks made of polytube and with a plastic cover. Again they are fine on display - but hang any weight of clothing on them for any length of time and they sag and distort.

Generally for all puppet booth making wood, with some metal fittings is very hard to beat. That is why it is the traditional material having proved its worth.
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Re: Wanted: Outdoor Booth

Postby Trevek » 27 Dec 2012, 17:55

Thanks Chris,

that's very interesting.

Personally, I have a wooden frame but have also used metal square-sectioned tubes (bloody heavy!). I was just curious.
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Re: Wanted: Outdoor Booth

Postby Harvey » 27 Dec 2012, 20:54

I would rather bye one than make one due to I am not good with DIY I do build some stuff for my show I do now have a door way theatre ( got for Christmas) I can't really use it outside
Last edited by Harvey on 25 Feb 2013, 02:08, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Wanted: Outdoor Booth

Postby Harvey » 03 Feb 2013, 11:09

I have waterproofed my indoor booth thank you for all your tips :D :) :lol:
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Re: Wanted: Outdoor Booth

Postby Richard Coombs » 03 Feb 2013, 17:12

It would be nice to see some pics of your booth Harvey ..or your Blowy Clown , if you are able to take some.

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Re: Wanted: Outdoor Booth

Postby Harvey » 04 Feb 2013, 21:13

I am sorting that out at the moment My Computer is playing up.
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