• Radial Arm Saw

    A How-To by a HS Tech Student

    Tools Used:

    • a pair of goggles
    • a pair of ear plugs
    • common sense
  • Drill Press
    This is a Sears Drill Press.
  • SlidingCompound Power Miter Saw
    This saw is a 12" DeWalt chop saw that can do compound miters and can slide out to cut wood up to 12" wide. Sort of like a radial arm saw.
  • Table Saw 2
    The table saw is one of the largest power tools used in the scene shop. It is never to be used with out proper supervision and proper safety practices.
  • Band Saw
    The business part of the band saw. The blade and the guide wheels. The wheels keep the blade lined up. The blade moves downward… bb1.jpg
  • Hand Tools
    My list of tools needed by a techie. Yes, in the order of my preference. Don't forget something to hold it all in.
  • Safety Glasses
  • Gloves
  • Tape Measure (At least 16')
  • Adjustable Wrench (a.k.a. C-Wrench)
  • Pocket Knife (keep it sharp)
  • Phillip's Screw Driver (#2 w/4" shaft)
  • Flat Screw Driver (Med size w/4" shaft)
  • Hammer (16oz.)
  • Locking Pliers (a.k.a. Vice Grips)
  • Wire Strippers/cutters
  • Square (Combination/Carpenter's w/level)
  • Channel Lock Pliers
  • Short Handsaw
  • small hand drill
  • Chalk line
  • Escape Stairs
    Escape stairs. I recycled this set of escape stairs from another show. You'll notice the platform on the floor. The other set of stairs to the right were built for this height n15.jpg
  • Spiral Stairs
    For Once Upon a Mattress we built a set of spiral stairs. As with most things built for theater, the stairs were not built as one would build a set for a house.
    You can see the lighting boom on the floor.

  • Stairs 2
    This is from our discussion on building escape stairs.
  • Stairs 1

    I couldn't resist! sa1.jpg



  • Periaktoi
    A Periaktoi is an ancient device, often thought to be of Greek origin, that is still used for stage scene changes. It is usually a triangular unit with (3) equal sides. Each side can have a different scene painted on it. When using more then one* Periaktoi in a row, it can look like a solid wall. When all the units are rotated to the second or third side, it reveals another scene. One of the most well known shows to currently use Periaktoi is "A Chorus Line."

    *Periaktoi is actually a plural term.
  • Dutchman Flat
    As you can see, we have a terrible crack between these two flats. You can also see a piece of cloth hanging down. This is a piece of “Dutchman” that has been pulled away. Dutchman is applied to all the seams in a wall of flats to hide the seams. pp1.jpg
  • NY Sky Line

    The Sky Line of New York from the 1930's was the backing for our production, "Two Gentlemen." It had nine strings of Christmas lights attached to its back with almost all of those little light bulbs sticking through small holes. Each string had 100 bulbs. That's almost nine hundred!!!

    The Sky Line was made using 1/4" Luan ply & 1"x3" furring strips laid flat. First we "gridded" the designer's drawing onto the plywood. The designer's front elevation was drawn in 1" scale. So, for every inch on paper, we needed to increase the size to 1 foot on the plywood. Please refer to the page about griding and the one on scale if you need more info.
  • Mame
  • Flat Jig
    This group of students are building several 6’x12′ flats. We’ve moved 3 4×8 foot tables together to allow us to create a huge jig to make sure the flats are true and square. As you can see, the corners are clamped down. The various pieces […]
  • Curved Flats
    The Tower Tops for Once Upon A Mattress.

    Well, these aren't really flats per-se'. But the method is the same. You will need to make a curved inner structure and then cover that with strips of wood forming ribs. This all will get covered with whatever covering you wish to use.

  • Trees
    We have two trees being built. The 4×4 centers are legs for platforms. The legs will poke through the lid of the platform and the tree framing will hold chicken wire and paper mache. Each plywood half circle is cut to random sizes and placed at irregular distances from each other. tree2.jpg
  • Flats

    Flats come in various forms and sizes. A flat is a fake wall. If you look around you, you will see walls that are solid, usually made out of wood or plaster, and go from floor to ceiling. Some walls have holes in them. A door is a hole in the wall. So is a window.

    How to build a flat. Let me start at the beginning.

    What is a flat? It’s a fake wall. It can be any size you wish. Look at a wall in the room you are in now. What size is it? Most likely it’s between 8 and 10 feet tall and maybe 8 to 16 feet wide. Well, your flat could be this size or bigger. Here’s the catch. Once you’ve built this huge flat, will it fit through the door?
    Most flats are built in one of two different styles. Hard and Soft. Hard flats are covered with a thin plywood and soft flats are covered with cloth. We’ll talk about the actual materials later. The cloth flats are much lighter and easier to handle, however, they appear a bit less like hard walls then plywood covered flats. The hard flats tend to act like real walls. If you have a small theater and the audience sits close to the set, hard is the way to go.