Pipe & Drape

(Video transcript) Hi. Paul Donovan here from AVTechnician.ca Thanks for watching my channel. This is the channel where we're giving tips and tricks to AV technicians and those who would like to be an AV Technician.

Today I'm going to talk about Pipe & Drape. No I'm not referring to bagpipes and all that stuff. What I'm referring to is AV services where we will place a wall of drape behind the stage as a backdrop for making the staging look nicer. There are two significant types of drapes. There's the thin, more translucent, very light material, often called Banjo drapery. That is often used in trade shows and things like that.

I'm going to talk more about the heavier velour type drapery because this is the one takes more effort to do, and I don't use the banjo very often, I don't do up trade show setups.

First we're going to talk about the pipes. The pipes that I use are the pipes are the used for supporting the drape. The drape is quite heavy so this pipe has to be quite strong and supportive. The first thing at the bottom is a base plate. Some companies have different ways of how their base plates are. I've seen people that have baseplates and are almost 4 feet across, but are a thinner metal. They just depend on the width of the plate. Most of the plates I work with are about 18 inches by 18 inches. They have a metal piece that is screwed into the bottom where the actual pipe will come on to. So think of it as the insert. Some companies will take that support off every time they pack it up. The company that I work for we keep them attached We generally also put that support piece on the corner. Other tend to put it in the middle. Also there is a highly recommended technic that you should also place on that baseplate, which is really heavy already. You should place some sandbags on it so that it doesn't tip over.

Then there's the upright pieces. These upright pieces are usually composed of three parts. The outer tube, then there's the middle tube, and then the top tube. It's all works together with a device that clamps on it. All you do is place it in the support on the baseplate. Put that up yet, because unless you are really super tall you're going to have a problem with reaching it. At this point most are 6 1/2 to 7 feet high so you can still reach the top.

You need two uprights, and a cross piece that goes across to the uprights. The end of the cross piece has a little hook in it that goes into the top of the upright pipe. One cross piece and two uprights. The cross piece also has an extensionabiity where they can extend. They have little knobs that pops out in preset locations. But it can also not have to fit the preset locations. So that's the pipe.

So here I am already 3 minutes in and I haven't even talked about the drape.

Most of the AV drape that is used is the heavier velour drape. The new modern ones are a lighter material which is really great because it also has built-in fire proofing in case they catch fire. The older drapes were really heavy. Everytime they got washed or web then you had to re-fireproof them. We hated them.

The newer ones also .... Let's talk about them. They're 3 foot wide panels. They're anywhere's from 12, 14, 16 and I've even heard about 18 and 20 foot pieces. Wow, that would be really unusual. Most of the ones I work with are 12 and 16 foot. At the top is a hemmed pocket where you can push the pipes through, and on the ends of each of the pieces of the drape is a little part of the pocket that is exposed and has bits of velcro. When you push the pipe through the pocket and you hook on to the top of the upright you'll find that these little pocket areas are able to wind over and close over and make the black drape smooth.

Most of the time if you set the cross piece at its normal setting, normal 2 stop setting, you're going to need at least 4 panels, and if you've got them to spare maybe even five panels, to comfortably fill that. Once you've loaded the drape on to that pipe you want to shiffel that around and make the little pockets or pleates all nice and equal. This really is important thing to do to make the pleat nice and neat because this helps the drape hang when it's hanging on the ground, and helps keep it going. Helps keep it smooth. It actually looks better. I have seen guys set where they don't equalize out the pleats, and the thing just looks terrible. Then you have to bring it down.

Once you've got the drape put on, four panels in each section, sometimes 5. Then you want to the go the uprights and go across slowly and raise each one about 2 feet to the next one raise about 2 feet, gradually raising up 2 feet at a time. Start with the top thinner one, go up until you go up about 4 or 5 feet then work with the middle one. Then by that time you should be hitting the ceiling of the ballroom and that should be good. It all depends on if you are working with 12 foot or 16 foot how far you will go up

It's always good to send someone to back of the room to eye ball it. To see that it's all hanging nice and straight. I hope you understood what I was talking about.

This is Paul Donovan from avtechnician.ca Please check out our website at www.avtechnician.ca. Subscribe to this channel to keep up with what's happening in the world of AV technicians. Thank you for watching.

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