#1
OK, this may be a far stretch from the definition of "gear"... but I am building a stage! My dad has given me permission to build a small stage in the basement (don't ask me why... the irony is killing me too), with the criteria that I have to build a scale model out of wood first. I'll probably be heading over to Michael's or some other craft store to pick up balsa wood and some wood glue in a few days... Anyway, here's a few pictures of my basement before I do anything to it:
http://img25.imageshack.us/i/dsc00424mzp.jpg/
http://img8.imageshack.us/i/dsc00425oge.jpg/

The idea is that I build a stage 2-3' high from the corner you can see sticking out to the right in picture #2 straight across to the other wall, with the whole space behind their being the stage. The guitar is shown for comparison. And the wizard on the wall is purely for psychedelic... er... aesthetic purposes. Anyway, the beds and the cupboard in the corner would be moved elsewhere, obviously.

Now here comes the thing:
I want to make my stage sturdy enough to be able to jump on it without breaking on me. How should I build the inside of the stage? I have no idea about this yet...

Also, very important to me: acoustics. I love high-gain stuff, drone doom, metal in general, industrial stuff... and a big concern of mine is how sound waves will react to hitting a stage out of nowhere... I know practically nothing about making things noiseproof so I'll need help with this. The entire floor is carpeted with low carpet... I don't know how thick it would be, but the individual "hairs" are not sticking out, it's kinda like a buzzcut.

And also: Power. I have four electrical outlets right on/near where the stage would be, and two a bit farther away but still reachable with extension cords. How would I do this? Power strips? Or are there better solutions?

Anything else you would consider doing/discussing?
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#2
measure the distance from the floor to your ceiling fan. measure your height, subtract the two, try not to build a stage higher than the resulting distance.

building a stage is pretty easy. build a frame then put plywood on it. i'm sure google will tell you more than you ever would want to know about framing out a stage. if it doesnt then search for how to build a deck. it's pretty much the same idea except you'd be using plywood for the floor instead of a bunch of boards.

honestly though i'd go with soundproofing the area instead of building a stage but thats just me.
#3
OK, I've found a video tutorial describing entirely how to construct this thing. Just one thing I'm concerned about... the guy uses 4'x8' 1/2" thick plywood sheets for the top of the stage. Would that be able to hold a 200lbs guy jumping up and down on it?

Edit:
Quote by noisefarmer
measure the distance from the floor to your ceiling fan. measure your height, subtract the two, try not to build a stage higher than the resulting distance.

Do you realize the area where I'm building the stage will not be under a fan? Or is it just a rule of thumb to not build it higher than that?
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Last edited by asfastasdark at Aug 9, 2009,
#4
Quote by asfastasdark
OK, I've found a video tutorial describing entirely how to construct this thing. Just one thing I'm concerned about... the guy uses 4'x8' 1/2" thick plywood sheets for the top of the stage. Would that be able to hold a 200lbs guy jumping up and down on it?

Edit:
Do you realize the area where I'm building the stage will not be under a fan? Or is it just a rule of thumb to not build it higher than that?



It'll hold you. Plywood is especially good for that. I mean, almost all houses with basements have plywood floors!

As for the fan, I wouldn't want my head in line with the blades, personally. It wouldn't be a big deal if they were, but it may be something to take into account for the extra tall musician.

One thing you should consider is the size of a drum set. I assume you'll be playing with a drummer, and even a TINY set is pretty large. The footprint can be around 4'x6' if not larger. Shoving a drummer into a tiny space like that, surrounded by drywall and high gain amps... just sounds like bad acoustics to me. Stages are large for a reason, because musicians have a lot of STUFF. I could easily fill that space with a fairly small set up of a cab, head, pedal board, and a guitar stand plus room to move around!
#5
Quote by asfastasdark
I want to make my stage sturdy enough to be able to jump on it without breaking on me. How should I build the inside of the stage? I have no idea about this yet...


You HAVE to put a trampoline in it

Should be a cool project, can't wait to see it in progress!
#6
In case anyone's interested, this is the main video tutorial I'll be working from:
http://www.ehow.com/videos-on_2842_build-small-stage.html
The man looks like a safe, sane, druggy. Sounds like a plan.

I'll post some more detailed plans/ideas tomorrow. In the meantime, does anyone have suggestions? And keep in mind that I'm trying to conserve space as much as possible.

Edit:
Quote by ohspyro89

Shoving a drummer into a tiny space like that, surrounded by drywall and high gain amps... just sounds like bad acoustics to me.

OK, as I've said before, I do not know much about acoustics, but how would a high-gain amp interfere with a drum set? What I might do is build a "shield" (with foam and all that) around the back and side of the drum set, or at least where it would be, as to keep the sound from hitting the walls, would that help?
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Last edited by asfastasdark at Aug 9, 2009,
#7
well by some cheap timber and make some rectangular frames and put some cloth over it

put a couple on the walls it should help with some noise.

another topic

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#8
I don't know anything about building stages, but it should be a cool project.
The only thing I would be worried about is that it's quite a small room to have a stage in...
Wait.



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#9
OK, I'm making a 3D model in Google SketchUp right now. As of now, the dimensions will be 10' length by 7.5' width by 1.5' height.
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#10
OK, I've found a video tutorial describing entirely how to construct this thing. Just one thing I'm concerned about... the guy uses 4'x8' 1/2" thick plywood sheets for the top of the stage. Would that be able to hold a 200lbs guy jumping up and down on it?


it should be fine, especially if you build it right.

Do you realize the area where I'm building the stage will not be under a fan? Or is it just a rule of thumb to not build it higher than that?


all i saw was a pic you posted with a ceiling fan. i assumed you were gonna build it under the fan.


It'll hold you. Plywood is especially good for that. I mean, almost all houses with basements have plywood floors!


and usually those basements have concrete under the plywood. the plywood is just a subflooring

OK, as I've said before, I do not know much about acoustics, but how would a high-gain amp interfere with a drum set? What I might do is build a "shield" (with foam and all that) around the back and side of the drum set, or at least where it would be, as to keep the sound from hitting the walls, would that help?


not really. it'll make a difference but the sound will still get out. go over to the gearslutz forum, they have a studio construction subforum which will teach you more about acoustics than you'd ever want to know.
#11
OK, the model I was building ****ed up because I figured out I'd need 3x as much wood as I'd bought, which would cost me 40+ bucks for the model alone. So my dad allowed me to just build the stage after he saw the 3D model on my computer. Speaking of which, here are two screenshots of the model:



And the download link in case you wanted it (the file is a Google SketchUp file):
http://www.2shared.com/file/7114924/ad9bf1ff/stage.html
The link is near the bottom, just Ctrl+F "Save file". Anyway, this weekend I'll be heading over to Home Depot or some other place where I can get wood. Anyone see anything wrong with my model so far (except for the lack of screws and bolts, which I did not draw in)? It's all 2x4s, two 4x8' sheets, and a low border at the edge of the stage to prevent amps and stuff from rolling/sliding off.
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Last edited by asfastasdark at Aug 10, 2009,
#12
broken images.

EDIT: nevermind
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#13
doesn't look sturdy to me. After a while, the top planks will start to warp and crack. Those big squares need an X shaped reinforcement. X is the best to evenly absorb pressure. X's all around the edge too. Those legs look wimpy.
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#14
Asfastasdark... can I suggest that, if you're interested in having a rock-solid stage, that you not worry too much about the top sheet of plywood (honestly, the 1/2" MDF you mentioned should be just fine) and, instead, focus on reinforcing the frame? I'd take your middle crossmember and duplicate it on either side, halfway between the middle crossmember and the end ones.

edt: Also, I strongly suggest heeding Apak's advice re: X-bracing.
Last edited by Axelotl at Aug 10, 2009,
#16
Quote by apak
doesn't look sturdy to me. After a while, the top planks will start to warp and crack. Those big squares need an X shaped reinforcement. X is the best to evenly absorb pressure. X's all around the edge too. Those legs look wimpy.


True, I see that too now. But instead of X's (from top left corner of a square section to the bottom right, and top right to bottom left, for example), couldn't I just do +'s, so every beam is either parallel or perpendicular with another? The reason I'd like that better is because I wouldn't have to cut the ends of a 2x4 into a triangle-shape. Does that make sense?

Edit: Or better yet would be for me to just stick one beam through the center of each square, essentially cutting the weight the squares would have to support in half. Would that work?

Edit #2: You also said,
Quote by apak
X's all around the edge too. Those legs look wimpy.


Would that be necessary? To be honest I think there are enough legs and leg reinforcements to support the pressure.
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Last edited by asfastasdark at Aug 10, 2009,
#17
For extra strength put triangular trusses across the stage and between the legs.
#18
I have built raised platforms for the stage, and you need at least 2x4 joists every 2 feet to prevent falling through. I learned that one the hard way.
#20
Quote by asfastasdark
True, I see that too now. But instead of X's (from top left corner of a square section to the bottom right, and top right to bottom left, for example), couldn't I just do +'s, so every beam is either parallel or perpendicular with another? The reason I'd like that better is because I wouldn't have to cut the ends of a 2x4 into a triangle-shape. Does that make sense?

well the idea with the X is that you are sending the weight to the corners where you already have the most support. a + is going to send it to the middle of each section, where you dont have a support. now you dont have to cut a triangle to the end of each 2x4, you would only have to cut one edge so it fits along 1 side. ill do a mock up in paint in a second. then you want to have a solid joint where the boards meet, something where you cut a U channel into each board and have them overlap is very strong. ive built a work table using those methods and the thing was very strong, i would have had no problem walking on it if i had to.

EDIT: heres the things im talking about, hopefully it makes sense.
#22
Wouldn't +'s have about the same effect as X's though? I've calculated that the + strategy would have about 70% of the area of the X's, but should this really have a big difference? Honestly I think the boards would hold fine.

Also, how would a X send the weight to the corners while a + would send it to the middle? Aren't they essentially the same shape, just rotated 45 degrees within its section? I could see how a + would direct the weight to the sides, but the center...

Quote by Schism1985
Just out of curiosity, how did you do those 3-D models? Is it like special software or something or just mad photoshop skills?

It's a program called Google SketchUp (by Google, obviously). It's a real easy-to-work-with 3D modeling program; for example, to draw a cube, you just draw a square on the floor and "pull" it up with a tool.
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#23
well if you look at where the + hits the edges of the square, there are no supports going to ground. if you make an x, then the 4 ends hit places where there is a direct support to the ground. its just stronger. plus, triangles are a much stronger shape than squares. the way the stresses are distributed makes things much more stable. i would do an x brace and another support to the ground where the x intersects in the middle. thats what seems like it would be strongest to me.
#24
+1 to the x's with an extra leg at the middle of the x..

although, that really doesnt look like enough room for a stage..
a drum kit'll probably take up almost half of the space, if I'm looking at it the right way..
that doesnt leave much room for amps/people

my band used to practice in a room about the size of that area, and it was CRAMPED..
I mean, we all fit and could move a little, but ..barely


Are you building a stage because you're planning on playing a set or two at house parties, or just for extra awesome-ness at band practice?

if it's for actually performing, I'd suggest building the stage further out into the rest of the room (mspaint image in a second)

edit:

here's what I mean by that extra bit of stage


of course, I have no idea how big the rest of your room is, and the stage extention would be more work and money, but IMO, for a live show, it'd be a big plus.

you could always have that extra triangle removable, or able to slide under the main stage, to conserve space or something, too
Last edited by james4 at Aug 12, 2009,
#25
No, it's just for fun, not for shows or anything. Anyway, I'll have to think about the X's.
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