Lighting Grid Work Continues - Grid Travels From Floor To Ceiling in 2 Minutes!

January 20, 2012 - For the past two weeks we have been working on the lighting grid in the studio. This is a precision job with lots of moving parts (literally). Adam and Cliff began by fabricating the individual trusses they built in late December. Metal elbows and tees were welded in place. 3 inch heavy duty utility straps were affixed to turnbuckles connected to metal bars running across ceiling joists in the attic. These joists were engineered to take the weight of the grid (right now about 1000 lbs).

Electric wires were installed to power a boat lift motor. After some adjustments were made, Adam threw the switch and the grid moved off the ground - it was pretty exciting to see this monster move from the floor to the ceiling in less than 2 minutes! Now that the unit was working properly, it was time to come up with a way to make it safer.

Adam came up with an idea to fabricate 4 metal "feet" that would be mounted directly to the rafters. When the grid is lifted to the ceiling, the feet swing out of the way. The grid is raised slightly above the feet, then the feet move a few inches into place and the grid lowered onto the feet. The weight of the grid is taken off the straps, and the metal feet support it. Simple but brilliant. Safe and easy to use.

To automate it, Adam tied wire rope cables to each of the legs, and joined them together with an adjustable turnbuckle. A short cable was used to connect the 4 cables to the parking break of a 69 Camero. When you pull down on the parking break handle, the wire rope tightens and the 4 legs pull away just enough to allow the grid to move up and down. Once the grid is in place, you simply release the parking break and the 4 legs are pulled into place with bungee cords. This may sound like a Rube Goldberg contraption, but it works great.

This week we also leased out unit #4, which is comprised of containers 9 & 10 to Inspectioneering Journal magazine. Tyler - who handles the editorial work on the magazine, and Nick - who does the web page and layout - will be moving in on February 1st. We left the grid work and turned our attention to finishing several small things that need to be done before the guys can move in. Welcome Nick and Tyler to the epic Creative Co-Op. We will add an AC unit to the offices next week.

The only work remaining on the grid is to add electric circuits around the perimeter, and set the lights which we will do next week. We will also find some time to put a profile edge on the summer kitchen and get that part of the project done.


Category: Container Building,