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dr. loomis
01-03-2008, 08:12 PM
Hello all, I am getting ready to start building walls, and was hoping I could get some advice and/ or suggestions. To be quite honest, I'm pretty illirterate on the subject. I've done construction for years, but as far as the proper way to go about this, I'm turning to the pros, any help? Thanks!

icandrawem2
01-03-2008, 10:44 PM
Well that really depends on where these walls are going. In an outdoor setting, ideally you could use 2x4 frame that is 4'x8' and just lay a sheet of plywood on top. We use 1/2" OSB so the wall ends up being 4" thick. Once they are painted with at least 2 coats, they will last for more than a few years. Indoors I guess you could do the same thing, or maybe use a smaller frame if 2x4 is too bulky. You could also use a thinner sheet of plywood. This all needs to be treated with some sort of fire retardant whether it be in the paint or whatever, especially if you are indoors. I dont have alot of indoor haunt experience, but you should always check with your local municipality to make sure you are code compliant. Another note about the wall system, they can be braced diagonally on the top with 1x2 material and this will keep them from moving too much. I could go on but I hope this gets you started.

Nate Mitchell
Production Design
Kersey Valley Spookywoods
www.spookywoods.com (http://www.spookywoods.com)

dr. loomis
01-03-2008, 10:51 PM
Thanks a lot! That def. gets me started, but how about bracing on the bottom of the walls? I know I've heard different things, even interlocking walls? Any suggestions on that end? Thanks again, I really appreciate it!

Jim Warfield
01-03-2008, 10:54 PM
On outdoor walls I cut a piece of plastic pipe in half lengthwise and make a rain cap on the upper edge of the wall, screw it on, chaulk the screw heads.
Put cement bricks under the edges to keep the wall from actually touching the ground, these little methods will help keep the rot away longer, although carrying bricks in your back pockets will not keep that rot smell from forming in your pants.
You are welcome.

dr. loomis
01-03-2008, 11:03 PM
Thank you Jim. Any suggestions for indoor walls?

Jim Warfield
01-04-2008, 12:42 AM
"Indoor walls"?
Solid steel welded together then paint a stencil on them saying :

"Balsa Wood-Fragile, Please do not punch!"

Always screw the walls together, bury the screw heads, fill in the divits with Elmer's wood putty, smooth it down, check smoothness by running your bare hand over the surface.
You have to anticipate the walls that need to be stronger as those opposing a definate scare area. thinner, weaker walls can be often used in areas of straight-through travel . Reinforcement in the normal kick and punch zones can make a weak wall strong without having to spend more money on thicker plywood.
All of this wall talk also is very different with the type of crowd and the style of a show that you put on and what part of the country you are in.
My show style treats the customer with an amount of respect being very non-aggressive and the customers usually respond in kind, with drunks being the universal exception.
Pushing too many customers through, not having enough employees or security or over-charging for a poor show are all things that whether they be real or imagined by the customer makes for their excuse to vandalise and steal things, punch and kick walls.....

dr. loomis
01-04-2008, 12:57 AM
haha, I see. Well thank you very much for your help. I'm trying to figure out a good way to be able to re use them, as I will prop be taking them down and putting them in storage at the end of the year until next halloween. Know anything about interlocking walls?

shawnc
01-04-2008, 01:38 AM
Jim had a great suggestion on another thread - paint everything first. Besides being easier, you will get the paint in in the gaps where you wouldn't after assembly. This should really help make them last longer.

To brace them on the bottom, I have done some different things. Depending on the location and situation, I have used long (8 to 20 foot) boards and metal channel iron to hold a few together where I thought it needed it. There have been times when the attendees had to step up over or on something as part of the scare and I have run braces underneath to support both side walls.

But just attaching them together with nuts and bolts does make them pretty sturdy, especially once you add the top braces on. Make sure you drill all those holes at the exact same height on every panel so that they are interchangeable next year. You don't want to pull them out of storage and have to figure out which one goes next to which. That also limits changes in the floor plan.

That made me think of something. You are calling them walls, which may make it hard to find info on the net about them. Try a search on here for panels. That's what everyone calls them, with several in a row actually making up a wall.

Jim Warfield
01-04-2008, 08:38 AM
"Interlocken?" That's a music college some local girls went to. really . It is.

gadget-evilusions
01-04-2008, 10:28 AM
We have always used 4'x 8' walls, 1/2" thick plywood framed with 2" x 4"'s with another down the center. Our haunts are always square walled and we make sure that there isnt a run of more than 3 stand alone walls in a straight line. We run 3 2-1/2" drywall screws through the 2 x 4's of one wall into the next and then brace with 2 x 4's on top of the walls. You can see a picture here http://www.evilusions.com/gallery/displayimage.php?album=10&pos=0 . As long as your bracing is right and walls are shimed in low spots to keep the from wobblling, we don't have any problems. We have customers that have litteraly ran through the plywood of the walls, but the frames are usually in tact, so it's strong.

dr. loomis
01-04-2008, 12:04 PM
Thanks guys, I really appreciate all the suggestions and help. And those pics from the top view with the lights on, really give me a better idea of what everyone is saying. Thanks again everyone!

Jim Warfield
01-05-2008, 01:03 AM
"Gadget", Fess up now, that was really OSB not actual plywood that a customer ran right through now wasn't it?
I hate OSB.
If all the walls were OSB in a maze, unpainted and the roof leaked on them, the OSB would swell up and make for a very tight maze! hahahah!
OSB is so bad.."How bad is it Jim?"
"That all self-respecting termites refused to be buried in it when they pass away."
"What is the name of the employee in the lumber factory running the OSB making machine."
"Chip". If he had been a Navy man he would be Chip Ahoy and OSB only has to be as strong as a chip ahoy cookie to get out of the factory and on the road ro YOU!
OSB has a serious drinking problem, don't believe me? try this, lay a sheet flat, pour 5 gallons of latex paint in the middle of the sheet, wait 20 minutes. See? it is GONE! just a slight, transparent stain where you dumped the paint.
Sign this sheet up for membership in Paint-Suckers Anonymous!

gadget-evilusions
01-05-2008, 11:17 AM
No Jim, definetly plywood, it was old, some of our walls are 19 years old, and the group that went through it would probably blow out the tires on my truck if they sat in it.

I hate osb also. Every time you cut it you get splinters in your face, everytime you paint it the paint dissapears into an osb parrallel dimension, and it looks like crap.

icandrawem2
01-05-2008, 10:50 PM
Well, if you want smooth surfaces or youre using it outdoors, then no OSB is probably not the best choice, though very economical at around $6 a sheet, here in NC anyways. But if youre gonna cover the 4x8 flats with another material, say corrugated metal or lap siding or burlap or whatever, then OSB works well as a strong underlayment.

Oh, and Jim...youre too funny:lol:

Jim Warfield
01-06-2008, 12:09 AM
I am not referring to plywood that has been out in the weather but, I have found old plywood, possibly from the 1930's? to 1950's? to be really well-glued stuff and exceedingly strong. I have had some furniture made out of it and have salvaged some from ripping down old structures.

Sometimes when a new product emerges upon the scene it is designed and made very well...then someone called the "Value Enginner" comes on to cheapen it until it fails, then it is taken one notch back towards it's design beginning then it is a product not as solid as it once was or could be but the company makes more profit and almost everybody is "Happy".

The 1967 Camero was found to have stronger front fenders than expected because of the double contour shape, so the 1968 Camero had thinner fenders even though they looked identicle, thanks to the value engineer?

Nightmaretony
01-06-2008, 09:57 PM
Since all my land is quite irregular (and no, laxitives won't help out), there is no really level land, so the plan is to use dirt paths and for walls I am planting concete foundations with a 4 by 4 treated column and then 12 foot beams, then the walls are screwed onto those. Since they are outside, Jim's top cap idea will be a must, of course.

First test was on the graveyard wall, which was a resounding sucess....
http://www.nightmarepark.com/public/Pictures/Nightmare%20Park/Graveyard%20fending%20from%20north%20road.JPG

This has the advantage of easier construction on irregular terrain and the panels are just the sheets alone, no backing needed. Just small joiner plates on the top and bottom will do the trick.

(and yes, I HAVE been stealing rides from the local amusement parks...why do you ask? :)

gregsalyers
01-06-2008, 10:17 PM
How do you guys do your corners.....

mindtumor
01-07-2008, 10:36 AM
We have always used 4'x 8' walls, 1/2" thick plywood framed with 2" x 4"'s with another down the center. Our haunts are always square walled and we make sure that there isnt a run of more than 3 stand alone walls in a straight line. We run 3 2-1/2" drywall screws through the 2 x 4's of one wall into the next and then brace with 2 x 4's on top of the walls. You can see a picture here http://www.evilusions.com/gallery/displayimage.php?album=10&pos=0 . As long as your bracing is right and walls are shimed in low spots to keep the from wobblling, we don't have any problems. We have customers that have litteraly ran through the plywood of the walls, but the frames are usually in tact, so it's strong.

This is the same method I used and I have to say it is quite strong as long as everything is top braced. Some times the walls wobble on the bottom a little so I just drive a sinker in the bottom. It doesn't drive through the concrete but the point of the nail digs in just enough to prevent the wall from wobbling.

Jim Warfield
01-07-2008, 06:03 PM
I use scraps of sheet metal , bend the edges smooth by bending them all the way under, then punching holes with a Rockford punch (squeeze, pop! You are done no broken drill bits, no electricity)
I then put screws through all of these little 1/8 inch holes I popped using self-tapping almost flat, pan head screws that have a phillips slot, this all becomes very strong pretty quickly.
Bend the sheet metal scraps 90 degrees and you have your corner pieces inside or outside or even both of the corners (in and out)
You can do a real tight bend over a workbench edge just clamp the metal to the bench by clamping a solid straight-edged board or piece of angle iron to hold it down, if you don't have access to a sheet metal brake.
A 2 pound hammer makes pounding it easy, lift the hammer, left it fall a few times, you're done.
With larger scraps you can even make walls that snake around some, not exactly straight, MORE FUN!