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Old 02-11-2010, 02:43 PM   #1
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Help with specialty hardware for puppet theater construction

Hi All,

I'm building a custom puppet theater for a customer.

There is a center frame, built out of 5/4"X6 pine, 3 1/2' tall by 7' long.
On top of this will rest a 4' X 7' X 3/8" piece of plywood ON EDGE.
THe weight of it will be supported by the 5/4 frame, so that's not an issue.
However, I need a way to keep it semi rigidly in place to prevent it from falling forward or backward.
It needs to come apart easily for transport, and install very easily for the puppeteer.

I'm thinking some sort of long "surface bolt," basically some sort of metal rod that can be slipped throw sleeves or retainers of some sort which would be permanenetly screwed to both the plywood and the 5/4".

It seems most of these hardware items, even the specialty things, are no more than 24" long and are quite expensive - around $50 per bolt.

Basically something as simple as a lift-off hinge kind of idea, but I don't actually need any range of motion, and my thinking it it needs to extend much longer than a regular hinge, or any little disturbance to the plywood would just tear it out of the pine.

You guys have any ideas? Should I just fabricate something out of wood?


edit: there are also two 3/8" plywood side panels that will be on lift-off hinges. when the theater is upright, these panels will be at about a 30-45 degree angle and help keep the whole assembly upright.
there will also be some sort of diagonal bracing from behind.

however, the basic problem if keeping this nearly full sheet of plywood supported on edge up there, remains a challenge...


Last edited by wombosi; 02-11-2010 at 02:47 PM.
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Old 02-11-2010, 08:27 PM   #2
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Do you have any pics or a diagram?
Mike Hawkins


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Old 02-12-2010, 04:40 AM   #3
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You might post this on the woodworking forum too. There is a link on this site somewhere.
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Old 02-12-2010, 04:57 AM   #4
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Does the plywood need to be in the same vertical plane as the frame?
If not, maybe an overlap/half lap style joint cut with a dado blade to lock the plywood to the 'wing walls' ?
Short of cutting off a body part, the worst that can happen in woodworking is manufacturing really nice looking kindling. --- Quoted from lenaitch
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