The All My Sons set looks simple enough, but upon closer inspection one notices that the main platform has a compound rake. The rake is 4 degrees back to front and 1 degree left to right, which created a slew of design and production challenges. This was my solo project for most of the build. It was for more complicated than I had expected, but the challenge was rewarding.

  Due to the blade limitations of our table saw, I had to meticulously rip all of the truss sections for the main platform with the vertical band saw. I built a custom jig that mounted to the bandsaw and made this process much easier. During the process we encountered an unforseen problem posed by the the platform's extension into the orchestra pit and an 11" drop below stage level. After some consultation we were able to get the trusses in the orchestra pit to line up with stage level trusses seamlessly.

  The building of window and door frames provided a much needed break from the tedium of compound angles. The upper and lower sash peices were all put together using a Kreg jig, and the grills were half-lapped for friction fit. Flying these pieces involved some serious communication between folks on the grid 70 ft above the stage and a handy crew below.

  The top platform was level to the stage. So, this meant the steps had to be designed to gradually decrease in angle to ease the actors' transition from the raked platform to the level deck. The carriages for the stairs were therefore also cut at a compound angles. I welded braces from the carriages to the deck to give the stairs a floating effect.

  Prev   1/16   Next


Justin Roberts 2012