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Author Topic: Truss Bases  (Read 1066 times)

Joel T. Glaser

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Truss Bases
« on: December 01, 2019, 03:11:27 pm »

Hi all.

I'm looking to purchase some bases for my F34 style trussing. I see they come is several different sizes (12"x12" up to 30"x30").

Just wondering if anyone has any experience with various sizes and what might be recommended. I realize it probably depends on how they are used. I'm hoping to make one set work, as opposed to owning several different sizes.

Any input would be appreciated.

Joel
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Jeff Lelko

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Re: Truss Bases
« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2019, 05:08:57 pm »

Just wondering if anyone has any experience with various sizes and what might be recommended. I realize it probably depends on how they are used.

Hi Joel, yes, it all depends on how the setup in general is being used.  A 12x12 plate is generally only used a top plate, or as a baseplate when the trussing structure is self-standing (such as a cube).  When building totems, arches, goal posts, etc., I always use the largest baseplate that is practical for the application.  Theres no reason not to, and if there is any load of consequence going on top you need to add additional ballast to the base.  A base with outriggers can be used as well if needing to go very tall.  What kind of setup to you have in mind?
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Joel T. Glaser

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Re: Truss Bases
« Reply #2 on: December 01, 2019, 07:29:32 pm »

Thanks Jeff,

My thought at this time is buying some 12" ladder truss to use behind bands in small clubs where I don't have room for box truss. I'm thinking about 8' high and up to 16' - 20' wide. As I'm sure you've experienced, some rooms are just too small for crank up stands and big truss. I'd been to a show where the LD used this type of set up. Just researching something along those same lines. The one thing I failed to ask the LD was about the bases he was using.
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Jeff Lelko

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Re: Truss Bases
« Reply #3 on: December 01, 2019, 08:35:15 pm »

Yep, I know exactly the type of gigs you speak of.  If youre always going to be building an arch or setup as you describe, Global sells 1x4 steel baseplates that work well in this application.  They weigh about 50 pounds too, so on smaller setups you dont need additional ballast. 

My only word of caution would be using ladder truss for your vertical uprights.  Doing this can put a tremendous moment on the two bolts holding the truss spigots to each baseplate if the load isnt otherwise braced.  I cant speak as to how much would be a safe allowable load in this application, but Id consider at least the triangular truss for the uprights if not standard box.  Alternatively, the two unused spigots on the base could be made to hold a bracing beam that would make the ladder truss safe to use as you describe.  The lateral members can be ladder truss regardless so long as you stay within the safe working loads advertised by the manufacturer.

All of this said, youd still be 2ft from the back wall and 4ft at the edge of the baseplate.  If thats still too much you might want to look at making a baseplate that allows for the truss to mount at one edge of the plate with sufficient room/distance for adequate ballast to offset and keep things stable.  Hope this helps!
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Joel T. Glaser

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Re: Truss Bases
« Reply #4 on: December 01, 2019, 08:55:05 pm »

Very helpful. Thanks Jeff!

I do have a few 2 meter sections of f34 box that might work perfectly for the uprights. I could build on top of those. Not really going to take up much more space than the ladder truss.

I probably will keep the horizontal more in the 10' to 15' range. Because of the smaller stages and not wanting to over load it. Would likely be LED pars that I normally use in smaller spaces. Just thought it'd be nice to spread them across the back wall as opposed to hanging them in the corners on a tripod stand. If I use movers, they'd be my smaller ones and I could keep them close to the uprights.

Again, thank you for sharing your thoughts.
« Last Edit: December 01, 2019, 10:57:51 pm by Joel T. Glaser »
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Mark Cadwallader

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Re: Truss Bases
« Reply #5 on: December 01, 2019, 10:28:49 pm »

30" x 30" base plates and 12" x 12" top plates are what I primarily use and rent for totems. I have a pair of 16" base plates, too (used also for the base to the lectern), but they don't get used much.

Edit:  I'm late to the game. Jeff has sound advice.  The 1' x 4' bases are nice for that narrow setup, but not worth a darn for totems (in my view).
« Last Edit: December 01, 2019, 10:32:50 pm by Mark Cadwallader »
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Joel T. Glaser

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Re: Truss Bases
« Reply #6 on: December 02, 2019, 10:14:16 am »

........

Edit:  ......  The 1' x 4' bases are nice for that narrow setup, but not worth a darn for totems (in my view).

I agree. Thanks Mark!
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Mal Brown

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Re: Truss Bases
« Reply #7 on: December 02, 2019, 11:24:43 am »

I have a set of the 1' x 4' and a set of 2' x 2'.  The 1x4 are great for rear arch truss if there is space. for me that is generally never in bars... The 2' x 2' are what I use the majority of the time as the truss is 1' closer to the inevitable back wall.

I'm going to also picking up 15' of light duty ladder truss.   The stuff that strings between speaker stands.  Probably chauvet when I get around to it.
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Jeff Lelko

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Re: Truss Bases
« Reply #8 on: December 02, 2019, 11:34:41 am »

I agree. Thanks Mark!

Yep, and I agree as well.  The 1x4s are useless for totems.  Size and wight aside the reason I like them for arches and whatnot is that they pack well with the rest of the trussing.  The 30x30 plates are generally the way to go for totems in the context of the discussion.  Seeing as Joel would only like to buy 1 model of plate, I can definitely concede that the 30x30 is more useful in a generic sense. 

The only caveat with the 30 plates is that when used with 12 box, you only really have an effective footprint increase of 9.  For totems and small setups thats usually okay, whereas for larger setups it makes me nervous.  The same 12 box on the 1x4 plate increases the footprint 18 in the front and back direction, which is generally adequate for most DJ/band arch and goalpost applications, indoors of course.  Just more food for thought!   
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Mark Cadwallader

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Re: Truss Bases
« Reply #9 on: December 02, 2019, 11:54:12 am »

FWIW, I have a bunch of 20 lbs/10 kg sandbags in dark green Cordura to provide ballast and stability as needed.  I always offer my rental clients sandbags (at no charge) so they can decide if they want the extra stability. 
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Scott Holtzman

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Re: Truss Bases
« Reply #10 on: December 02, 2019, 12:47:19 pm »

Yep, and I agree as well.  The 1x4s are useless for totems.  Size and wight aside the reason I like them for arches and whatnot is that they pack well with the rest of the trussing.  The 30x30 plates are generally the way to go for totems in the context of the discussion.  Seeing as Joel would only like to buy 1 model of plate, I can definitely concede that the 30x30 is more useful in a generic sense. 

The only caveat with the 30 plates is that when used with 12 box, you only really have an effective footprint increase of 9.  For totems and small setups thats usually okay, whereas for larger setups it makes me nervous.  The same 12 box on the 1x4 plate increases the footprint 18 in the front and back direction, which is generally adequate for most DJ/band arch and goalpost applications, indoors of course.  Just more food for thought!

We use only the 30" as noted provides space for ballast.  The aluminum plates are ok but we have some steel plates and they really are the way to go for stability.  I think they are 24x24.  If I had to carry them I may feel different but as Tim said that's why God made stagehands.
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Mark Cadwallader

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Re: Truss Bases
« Reply #11 on: December 02, 2019, 05:20:22 pm »

(snip)

The only caveat with the 30 plates is that when used with 12 box, you only really have an effective footprint increase of 9.  For totems and small setups thats usually okay, whereas for larger setups it makes me nervous.  The same 12 box on the 1x4 plate increases the footprint 18 in the front and back direction, which is generally adequate for most DJ/band arch and goalpost applications, indoors of course.  Just more food for thought!

If you want a wider footprint, use a Universal Junction Block (UJB) at the base of the uprights, and use truss segments as the outriggers/supports.  It isn't cheap to do, but it makes everything modular and multi-purpose.
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Jeff Lelko

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Re: Truss Bases
« Reply #12 on: December 02, 2019, 07:07:37 pm »

If you want a wider footprint, use a Universal Junction Block (UJB) at the base of the uprights, and use truss segments as the outriggers/supports.  It isn't cheap to do, but it makes everything modular and multi-purpose.

Absolutely, and the T-junctions can work for this too.  Im partial to the base with outriggers solution since its easier to level, but then you lose some of the repurposing capability too.  Lots of options here!
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Joel T. Glaser

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Re: Truss Bases
« Reply #13 on: December 02, 2019, 09:17:07 pm »

Some great ideas guys. Much appreciated. But out riggers and such defeat what I'm try to accomplish. Namely: finding a setup that I can use (safely) on a small stage where every square inch is a premium. I have large crank stands that are very stable, but also take up large chunks of real estate.

I'd been considering either the 24" or 30" square bases. But just this afternoon I ran across a 26" x 39" heavy aluminium base from Cedarlink. I'll need a bit of offset from the wall anyway, to have room to mount lights on the i-beam truss. Plus, this base has multiple holes, so I have the option of moving the conical couplers, if need be.

I've researched sand bag options and will put something together to act as ballast if (when) needed. Using a pair of my 2 meter box truss should give me the strength I need to hold it all up and adding the 18" 90 degree corners on top will hopefully give me the height I need.  Guess I can always get some short pieces of truss if I find I need it taller.

Thank you all for your thoughts on this. Really appreciate it! I'll try to post pictures when I get this all put together.
« Last Edit: December 02, 2019, 09:25:32 pm by Joel T. Glaser »
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Jeff Lelko

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Re: Truss Bases
« Reply #14 on: December 03, 2019, 04:32:44 am »

Awesome, glad to hear you found something that will work.  Regarding sandbags, I like to fill mine with pea gravel.  That way when one eventually pops a leak youre not cleaning up a sandy mess or chasing down ball bearings or shot thats rolling all over the place!  Happy that we could help!
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Dave Garoutte

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Re: Truss Bases
« Reply #15 on: December 03, 2019, 01:09:23 pm »

Awesome, glad to hear you found something that will work.  Regarding sandbags, I like to fill mine with pea gravel.  That way when one eventually pops a leak youre not cleaning up a sandy mess or chasing down ball bearings or shot thats rolling all over the place!  Happy that we could help!
Beat me to it.
Relatively in expensive empty bags are available on ebay.
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Re: Truss Bases
« Reply #15 on: December 03, 2019, 01:09:23 pm »


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