ProSoundWeb Community

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  

Pages: [1]   Go Down

Author Topic: DIY parts for Lighting carts  (Read 831 times)

Randall Cook

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 81
    • CRYSTAL HEAR
DIY parts for Lighting carts
« on: August 14, 2019, 03:42:43 pm »

Iím looking for what/where to buy parts for building lighting carts.  I will use a wood base with casters, but I need to find piping, fittings/connectors, and mounting brackets.  Not sure if I should use 1 1/2 or 2 inch diameter piping.   Iíll be mounting a few LED pars and one mover on each cart.  They will stay mounted during transport also. 
« Last Edit: August 14, 2019, 03:44:56 pm by Randall Cook »
Logged

Mark Cadwallader

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1338
  • Helena, Montana USA
Re: DIY parts for Lighting carts
« Reply #1 on: August 15, 2019, 01:48:14 am »

I'm unclear whether you are building a cart to haul already hung and wired lighting (cross) bars, or just something that has fixed bars from which lights are hung only for transport, and then removed from in order to be hung on truss or crossbars for stands. The former is what I know of as a "meat rack". If you are taking indivual lights on and off their hanging positions, I suggest that it is faster, easier, and more space efficient to just use road cases for the lights. No need to attach and then remove the clamps from the pipe on the cart.  The lights will be better protected in a case, too.

Several folks here use a keyboard case to haul pre-rigged lighting cross bars with flat LED wash lights.  You might consider that, and only have to hang the movers at the show on the mostly rigged cross bars.

Standard meatracks are welded aluminum or steel square tubing. If you are DIY'ing something simpler, standard theater battens are 1.5" nominal i.d. steel pipe (1.9" o.d.), available at a plumbing shop or good hardware store. Standard threaded fittings are readily available from the same vendor.  Truss is made using tubing, not pipe, and is sized by its true o.d. 

Build your rack using the same sized pipe or tubing as you are hanging the lights from, whatever that is.

Logged
"Good tools are expensive, but cheap tools are damned expensive."

Jeff Lelko

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1521
  • Cape Canaveral, FL
Re: DIY parts for Lighting carts
« Reply #2 on: August 15, 2019, 03:31:35 pm »

Hi Randall, yes, putting together the pieces it sounds like youíre trying to build a meat rack as Mark described.  Please correct us if weíre mistaken in our interpretation. 

The simple and cheap versions are made with 2x4s and plywood.  The nicer versions are welded metal, though Iím partial to making them out of the product series called 80/20.  Itís a bit more expensive up front but doesnít require any welding and is very easy to reconfigure for accommodating equipment changes.  If you go that route Iíd skip the plywood base, as casters can be easily mounted straight to the 80/20 extrusions. 

I vote for the 1.90 or 2Ē OD of whatever you buy because itís compatible with the widest range of rigging accessories.  The Light Source is a good place to shop for such things, though as Mark is suggesting, buying local will be much cheaper as itís expensive to ship large pieces of tube/pipe.  Hope this helps! 
Logged

Mark Cadwallader

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1338
  • Helena, Montana USA
Re: DIY parts for Lighting carts
« Reply #3 on: August 17, 2019, 10:58:28 pm »

It occurs to me that maybe the OP was thinking of a cart upon which the lights would live, and the whole thing rolled on stage (up stage, I would think).  If that is the case, there are threaded flanges for 1.5" pipe (1.9" od) that could be bolted down to the cart, and ordinary 90* "ell" fittings, also threaded, so it makes a frame like a soccer or hockey goal.  At the theater, we use 10' lengths of 1.5" pipe, threaded into a coupler that has been welded to a 2'x3' steel plate, for dance boom lights. I've taken a tee fitting and attached 3' lengths to make a "T" for lights.

My only concern for a permanent cart-based lighting rig is that it would not be tall enough to get a decent lighting angle, or it won't be able to fit through doorways. 

Such a cart would make for a bulky truck or trailer pack.  But if you had plenty of floor space, why not?
Logged
"Good tools are expensive, but cheap tools are damned expensive."

Randall Cook

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 81
    • CRYSTAL HEAR
Re: DIY parts for Lighting carts
« Reply #4 on: August 19, 2019, 11:39:03 am »

It occurs to me that maybe the OP was thinking of a cart upon which the lights would live, and the whole thing rolled on stage (up stage, I would think).  If that is the case, there are threaded flanges for 1.5" pipe (1.9" od) that could be bolted down to the cart, and ordinary 90* "ell" fittings, also threaded, so it makes a frame like a soccer or hockey goal.  At the theater, we use 10' lengths of 1.5" pipe, threaded into a coupler that has been welded to a 2'x3' steel plate, for dance boom lights. I've taken a tee fitting and attached 3' lengths to make a "T" for lights.

My only concern for a permanent cart-based lighting rig is that it would not be tall enough to get a decent lighting angle, or it won't be able to fit through doorways. 

Such a cart would make for a bulky truck or trailer pack.  But if you had plenty of floor space, why not?

Yes, this is what I was thinking of.  Maybe having a ďtelescopingĒ pipe that could just slide up/down and held by clamps which would allow fitting under doorways, yet able to reach 8í-9í height. 
I was thinking of keeping the LED pars permanently attached and maybe one mover per cart. 
Do you think itís safe for the light fixtures to do something like this?
Logged

Jeff Lelko

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1521
  • Cape Canaveral, FL
Re: DIY parts for Lighting carts
« Reply #5 on: August 19, 2019, 09:09:47 pm »

Yes, this is what I was thinking of.  Maybe having a ďtelescopingĒ pipe that could just slide up/down and held by clamps which would allow fitting under doorways, yet able to reach 8í-9í height. 

Thanks for the clarification Randall.  I mean yes, it can be done - but maybe the question is whether or not itís the best idea.  Mark outlined how to do this DIY-style with parts from your local plumbing store, though Iím sure you could also cannibalize a crank-up light stand if you want extra height.  The other consideration isnít just height but also width.  Youíll need to be under 30Ē wide to fit through most standard doors, and thereís still the question of how to deal with stairs, curbs, and other obstacles in the travel path. 

Do you think itís safe for the light fixtures to do something like this?

Not really.  Aside from the bumps and knocks in transit, youíll also have the units exposed to weather during load-in and load-out.  And then there are the really unexpected scenarios such as when a fire extinguisher went off in my van two weeks ago.  All my gear was in proper cases - no damage.  Had things been exposed I doubt thatíd be the case. 

Honestly, youíre probably best off using a solution such as the pre-hung bars in cases (keyboard or otherwise) and just put them on a tripod or totem.  If done right the additional setup time is minimal and the added protection and versatility are substantial.  Good luck!
Logged

ProSoundWeb Community

Re: DIY parts for Lighting carts
¬ę Reply #5 on: August 19, 2019, 09:09:47 pm ¬Ľ


Pages: [1]   Go Up
 



Page created in 0.027 seconds with 23 queries.