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TOPIC: Scaffold set-up for wall replacement

Scaffold set-up for wall replacement 17 Feb 2005 10:45 #28817

If you were going to install new acoustic panels on a theatre wall from approx 5 to 20 feet high from a sloped floor, what is the best method to keep a balanced scaffold ??? Beside renting a lift is there a way to do this or should I build a platform ??? It would run a length of about 100 feet as well......Thanx
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Re: Scaffold set-up for wall replacement 17 Feb 2005 12:34 #28818

  • jimor
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With a sloped floor, a rolling scaffold is too awkward and dangerous, so stationary scaffolding is your only real choice. Modern metal ones can be rented with either the screw jack arrangement to change heights to adjust to some extent, or the lock-tube type where different lengths of tubing are piled up and locked together, with longer sectons on the lower end of the sloped floor.

Going 20 feet high with amateurs doing the work may invite dangerous problems, so you might want to consider hiring an experienced crew that will both hang the panels and assemble/disassemble the scaffolding; the scaffolding supplier will make recommendations. Yes, it is more money, but what is your and your people's safety worth?
Jim R. (new E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) member: www.HistoricTheatres.org
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Re: Scaffold set-up for wall replacement 16 Mar 2005 03:31 #28819

  • Phishface
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I have an alluminum scaffold made by the Upright scaffolding Co. and it scales over the theatre seats, its narrow enough to roll out and down isles and its legs are adjustable. You could probably[ find a rental company on the web that rents in your area. Good luckQUOTE]Originally posted by jimor:
<B>With a sloped floor, a rolling scaffold is too awkward and dangerous, so stationary scaffolding is your only real choice. Modern metal ones can be rented with either the screw jack arrangement to change heights to adjust to some extent, or the lock-tube type where different lengths of tubing are piled up and locked together, with longer sectons on the lower end of the sloped floor.

Going 20 feet high with amateurs doing the work may invite dangerous problems, so you might want to consider hiring an experienced crew that will both hang the panels and assemble/disassemble the scaffolding; the scaffolding supplier will make recommendations. Yes, it is more money, but what is your and your people's safety worth?</B>[/quote]
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Re: Scaffold set-up for wall replacement 17 Mar 2005 00:51 #28820

  • BurneyFalls
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I, too, am currently installing side curtains and insulation. We are using fully adjustable aluminum scaffolding and it works slick. It is lightweight, not bulky, and stays put with the locks on the wheels. It has arms that can be attached for additional stability, but we are not using them. We are currently working in an empty auditorium, but just a few months ago we put curtains up in my other auditorium and maneuvered two separate scaffoldings around the seats without much problem. We had wide OSHA aluminum planks connecting the scaffolding. Might not be an OSHA approved installation method, but it worked great.
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Re: Scaffold set-up for wall replacement 17 Mar 2005 14:56 #28821

Is it cheaper to repalce a wall with drapery vs 2 inch thick fabric wrapped acoutic panels, for an area of about 5000 square feet. Also, whick may sound better for both film and live shows, thanks.
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Re: Scaffold set-up for wall replacement 18 Mar 2005 03:03 #28822

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There are books on acoustics at most larger libraries in which there are graphs giving the Constants of Absorbtion by frequency span for various materials. You might consult these for the most unbiased appraisal of what material to use. Of course, cost, availability, ease of installation, appearance and other factors will come into play in your decision.

Remember that no performance venue should be acoustically dead with too much sound absorbtion, and sound-absorbing mass between an auditorium and adjoining areas must be sufficient to absorb the greatest volume of sound to be expected, and again, tables in such books will help you calculate the mass needed to withstand sound pressure levels in terms of what material to use and how much of it.

Which absorbtive will sound better for what kind of show depends upon many, many factors. To be absolutely sure about this before construction/alteration would require an expensive design survey by an acoustical consultant/engineer. Of course, for an existing building you really only need to sit yourself in various areas of the auditorium and note the sound quality in each position.

Are you going to rely upon the spoken voice? If so, you may find most performers today require microphones and amplification (with speakers about the auditorium, of course) since few performers today know how to 'throw' their voices the way the pros of generations past had to. This means that you enter the dicey area of which equipment and how much of it to install. If you listen to the salesmen ("consultants") of the makers/sellers, it is like asking a fertilizer salesman how much fertilizer to use. In his eyes MORE is always better since he profits from your buying more.

I did not mention movie sound since the SMPTE standards speak to that, and today's film equipment usually provides more than enough volume for most any auditorium of less than a thousand seats. Of course, this is not speaking to Dolby or THX certifications for sound, but many here have noted that such is not always beneficial except to those selling sound equipment. Because of the great power of today's amplifiers, movie sound multi-track sound systems are more than audible if not always 'flat' in frequency response, so if you find that a single person speaking on your stage or platform can be well heard in most any area of the room, it stands to reason that you already have virtually ideal acoustics and may not need sound reinforcement. If your sit-and-listen tests reveal an echo, try to diagram what it is reflecting from and then soften or break up that reflecting surface as the diagrams in the acoustics books tell you.

If it is a position of too little volume, you will have to consider some sort of amplification. I wish there were one simple method that would fit all situations and cost you little or nothing, but the odds are against it.

Hint: if you have an older theatre, and are experiencing strange echoes, it is often because the decorative draperies were removed long ago, and such sound absorbers were considered by the designers in the total acoustic design of the auditorium, so replacing them with equally heavy draperies of similar proportions may be the best way to go from both acoustic and decor standpoints. Best Wishes.
Jim R. (new E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) member: www.HistoricTheatres.org
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Re: Scaffold set-up for wall replacement 18 Mar 2005 10:07 #28823

If you try to re-paint old acoustic panels, which have been already painted over, will the sound absorbtion be to little for an older theatre. Also, does damask fabrik help with sound absorbtion, because 15 percent of the wall area is framed out in that material.
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Re: Scaffold set-up for wall replacement 18 Mar 2005 13:13 #28824

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Painting over a fabric panel dramatically reduces its sound absorbing quality, but it slightly increases its sound blocking quality by increasing its weight slightly. If you want sound absorbtion, then replace any painted-over panels.

Damask is a handsome fabric for the walls and draperies, and its heavier weight does help it to absorb a greater range of frequencies at moderate amplitude, but it must be backed with some absorbtive material if it is to be an effective absorber on a wall. Draping the walls in such heavy fabric alone, will somewhat absorb sound as you can actually see happen when you see the fabric slightly move in response to lound volume levels. This is the sight of energy impacting mass and moving it, and as the mass moves it converts the acoustic energy to kinetic energy, though if the sound is loud enough (of high enough amplitude) to move anything, it is way TOO LOUD for the patrons' ears! So, you don't have to replace the damask; just vacuum it thoroughly, which will also increase its life span if done at least once a year. Do NOT use a rotary (motorized) brush head vacuum on it; such are fine for carpeting, but damaging to the looser and lighter fabric of drapery weight fabric. A smooth head on the end of the vacuum hose is less likely to snag the fibers, and the degree of suction should not be able to actually lift the fabric from its backing since that can easily cause a rip; so reduce the suction until you see the cleaner head barely lift the fabric. The point of removing dust is not acoustic, since the dust hardly matters to loud sound waves, but it is to prevent the particles from acting like knives and slowly cutting into the fibers over the years. Also, if you have wall lights mounted upon or near the damask, put an area of sheet metal around the fixture to keep the light off of the fabric, because strong light of any kind shortens its life, in addition to bleaching it.
Jim R. (new E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) member: www.HistoricTheatres.org
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Re: Scaffold set-up for wall replacement 18 Mar 2005 18:04 #28825

  • outaframe
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IF you're asking about repainting perforated Celotex type accoustical panels (like ceiling tiles,) as long as you keep the paint out of the perforations, you won't change their sound absorbing ability, so long as the paint is not a hard glossy type... Damask alone is not a particularly good sound absorber, but IF applied over unfaced fiberglass building insulation, it allows the sound waves to pass through to the (2"-4") fiberglass which is an excellent sound absorber... Treated burlap is even better to cover fiberglass than Damask because it allows the sound waves to pass through even easier... IF you're talking about painting fabric of any kind, it won't work well, and WILL partially defeat the sound absorbing qualities of the unpainted fabric...
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Re: Scaffold set-up for wall replacement 19 Mar 2005 06:20 #28826

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If any painting of a fabric or other combustible is planned, make sure that you know your local fire regulations as to what paints can be used and any fireproofing regulations. Intumescent paint is sometimes sufficient, but it is best for all to be certain.
Jim R. (new E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) member: www.HistoricTheatres.org
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Re: Scaffold set-up for wall replacement 19 Mar 2005 19:48 #28827

If I decise to replace 2 walls with a fabric drapery, each wall being approx 2500 square feet, how much should I figure on spending. Are there any good companies that are recommended ?
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Re: Scaffold set-up for wall replacement 20 Mar 2005 11:32 #28828

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When I typed in the search term ‘theatre drapery’ in Google, I got 57,000 hits, so you have a few choices to make! I cannot speak to any one of them as being among the best, but the two below have been in business for decades and can probably make anything you like.

Dazian, a fabric house since 1842 http://www.dazian.com/cgi-bin/page.pl?action=end_uses&cat_id=45&group_id=146

E.I. Weiss, a drapery fabricator since 1975 http://www.iweiss.com/

Whoever you choose, be sure to see photos of larger jobs that they have completed and get the names and addresses of jobs that you want to contact directly to ask about the product, service and longevity of the products they bought. Also, be sure to ask for samples of the fabrics that interest you in their FLAME PROOFED state; fabrics can look quite different after flame proofing! Then you must hang large samples of the fabrics of interest on the walls where they will appear under the lighting in which they will appear and evaluate it for yourself; note that a pile fabric will appear a lot darker higher on the wall than down lower, for example. If you want them to hang or rig the fabric, be sure to ask about the contract to do that, as a separate price from the products you buy. If you want a draped treatment as opposed to simply some fabric stretched over panels, then make up a sketch of what you are thinking of, or show them photos of drapery treatments that you like. If your walls are high and you want floor to ceiling draperies, then it is good to investigate rigging them so that they can be lowered for occasional vacuuming which greatly prolongs their life and good looks (those things we can‘t get at easily, usually don‘t get tended to; it‘s human nature). Rigging can be hidden in the attic or via pockets in the wall, and can be motorized or not as you prefer. It is always better if you have got some idea in advance of exactly what you want. Best Wishes. Jim P.S. Have your blueprints handy if it is to be a large job in an old building to avoid unpleasant surprises!
Jim R. (new E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) member: www.HistoricTheatres.org
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Re: Scaffold set-up for wall replacement 21 Mar 2005 01:58 #28829

  • rodeojack
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Those 1 square foot perforated accoustic panels were common fixtures in several of the radio stations I worked at as an engineer/announcer. Smoking in the control room was (unfortunately) also common back then, which eventually turned the panels brown regardless of their original color.

The owner of one station decided to paint the walls of the main control room... which was covered with those panels. He used a common interior latex, and it totally screwed up the accoustics of the room. The high compression levels used in AM broadcasting, along with that coat of paint made the room unacceptably live.

The owner (grudgingly) re-tiled the walls within a week or so.
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Re: Scaffold set-up for wall replacement 21 Mar 2005 12:54 #28830

  • outaframe
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Hmmmmmmmmm... Well, I'm not disputing 'ya Jack, but the manufacturer CLAIMED they could be repainted with flat latex, IF the paint was kept out of the perforations... I have done so, and never had any problems, but they are NOT all that effective, even when new... Someting less than 15% at best, as I recall... Better than nothing, but NOT ideal...
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