Theatre Design & Technology - Spring 1978 - 27

w-o'ff-Technical Reports

________
Fre_d
M _.

A Two Level Counterweight Arbor
by Curtis Jay Senie
In a counterweight rigging system, improper location of the
loading gallery in relation to the raised counterweight arbor
will reduce the safety and efficiency of the system. Whether
caused by an incorrectly located gallery or a change to a
longer arbor, the results are the same. Either loads must be
dead hauled to permit arbor loading from the fly gallery or
stage floor, or counterweight must be passed off the loading
gallery to a crew member who has climbed down the T -bar
supports and is holding on for dear life while trying to manipulate forty pound counterweights. This limits one's choice of a
rigging crew to muscular "human fly" types and defeats the
relatively safe and simple operation characteristic of a counterweight rigging system.
To solve this problem, we at Temple University have developed the device shown. The objective was to locate a second
platform within the arbor that could easily be reached from
the loading gallery. Thus, for most loading situations, weights
would be placed on this second level. When an arbor must be
loaded at the stage floor or fly gallery, weights would be
placed under this second platform as well.

Weights being loaded onto secondary platform
from loading gallery with arbor fully raised.

The design requirements were:
1) No physical change or adaptation of the counterweight
arbor should be required.
2) Minimal change in the arbor length available for carrying
weights.
3) Quick installation with no disassembling of the arbor required.
4) All field connections to be bolted.
The device consists of two lengths of W' Schedule 40 steel
pipe which are spaced to lie just outside the %" diameter
arbor tie rods. The pipes are shop welded to 2" x 2" x W'
steel angles top and bottom. This assembly is bolted to two corresponding steel angles, locking the unit in place on the arbor.
Each pipe has sufficient cross sectional area to resist 4500
pounds of compressive loading. The limiting design factor is
the radius of gyration of the pipe which determines the maximum allowable unsupported length of the member as a column. ('12" pipe was choosen over 3/4 " or %" diameter rod
because of its greater radius of gyration.) The device may be
36" to 48" high, depending on the degree of conservatism
used in this calculation. If it is necessary to further extend the
secondary platform the W' pipe should be bolted or otherwise connected to the arbor rods. However, this should rarely

Curtis J. Senie, Head of the Design/Technical Program at Temple University, has worked professionally as a lighting designer,
theatre consultant, and in stage equipment manufacturing.



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Theatre Design & Technology - Spring 1978

Contents
Theatre Design & Technology - Spring 1978 - 1
Theatre Design & Technology - Spring 1978 - 2
Theatre Design & Technology - Spring 1978 - 3
Theatre Design & Technology - Spring 1978 - Contents
Theatre Design & Technology - Spring 1978 - 5
Theatre Design & Technology - Spring 1978 - 6
Theatre Design & Technology - Spring 1978 - 7
Theatre Design & Technology - Spring 1978 - 8
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Theatre Design & Technology - Spring 1978 - 40
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