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Posted by dr5euss, on 2009-12-21 12:59:52

How to support the stage without affecting tie downs?

Hi Guys, What follows are some pictures of my 3' x 2' x 2' stage, which is made from 9mm MDF. As you can see, past all the embarrasing clutter, I have used some old offcuts of 2" x 1" to put some space between the base (drawers) and the stage itself so I can get in to access the magnetic tie downs. However, this means the 9mm MDF is unsupported across the front and the middle - everywhere except the back and two short sides. It's going to sag, isn't it, especially when I start animating? [IMG]http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f68/dr5euss/100_0839.jpg[/IMG] [IMG]http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f68/dr5euss/100_0841.jpg[/IMG] What do you chaps suggest? Thanks in advance. George

Posted by DaveHettmer, on 2009-12-21 14:38:26

1) Move the support you have clamped to the dresser to the back of the dresser and push the dresser against the wall to open up the space beneath the stage, then put legs that reach the floor on the front of the stage. The way it is now, between frames that sucker's gonna wobble like a drunken, sea-sick land-lubber. 2) You need some sort of a support across the front to deal with the sag you correctly predict you will have. You could do it with another 2x4, or maybe find some 1.5" angle iron at the hardware store. Or maybe angle aluminum. The point is to get a thin stiffener that will leave you room to reach under and animate. You could probably use a couple of lengths of angle aluminum across the center without hindering the magnet's effectiveness much. What's angle iron and angle aluminum, you ask? The the 4 pieces on the right: http://www.stopmotionanimation.com/dc/user_files/12353.jpg And yes, I used non-metric measurements. Don't quibble about units, just find something that's close.



Posted by Nick H, on 2009-12-21 15:14:11

I use 12mm chipboard, and I still support it around all 4 sides. Even in the front - it's not to hard to reach under the front support to get to the tiedown. So to start with you want a 4 sided wooden frame with all sides touching the MDF, like you would use to stretch a canvas on. Just having 2 pieces on the sides means it would definitely sag in the middle. For perforated steel sheet, I needed a lot more framing in the middle to keep it from flexing - I imagine this 9mm stuff is somewhere in between. I had a permanent outer frame, and a couple of removable pieces that went in the middle. They had a screw at each end that went through the outer frame, and if one was in the way of where the tiedowns needed to go for a particular shot, I moved it along a bit for that one. It was still a pain with the 19mm x 70mm pine I was using - wherever I put the support I seemed to want to put a tiedown right there. In one shot I had to move the piece of timber in the middle of the shot. Angle aluminium sounds like a good idea for the inner supports - just a thin edge touching the mdf floor.