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Thread: Haunt Wall Panel Question

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  1. Default Haunt Wall Panel Question 
    #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Austin, TX; Jackson, MS
    Posts
    19
    Hello All,
    I am a first year theme park owner out of Texas. It is now time for us to look at panel construction, and I need your help. The haunt will be modular, so it will need to be built and taken down within a couple of weeks. For most panels, we decided to use OSB, simply because it is cheap. That said, here are my questions:

    Question 1 - I see some ppl using 2X3s instead of 2X4s for panel frames. I went to home depot, and they do not sell 2X3s. I know a 2X4 cost about $1.74/each here. How much cheaper is a 2X3 and where can I buy them?

    Question 2 - I am still debating whether we should use all single panels or a mixture of single/double. We save a significant amount of money using double panels, but I worry about standing strength (we do plan on bracing from the top). I have read that ppl utilize Simpson Strong Ties to connect adjacent double panels, is this the best way to do it, and what (depot) part number do you use? How many per panel?

    Question 3 - In the case of both single and double panels 90 degree turns, which bracket do you use (home depot part number)? How many per corner?

    Question 4 - In my R&D I see some ppl laying the 2X4s flat on the OSB so that the panel width is 1.5" instead of 3.5". I would think this would make the panels weaker, as there is less surface area for the floor to grab, which do you prefer? (I do understand the motivation for this is more storage space, which isn't a problem for us).

    Thanks in advance guys!
    -Corey

    Nightmare on 19th Street
     

  2. Default  
    #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Lexington, Ky.
    Posts
    2,960
    Question 2. You will most likely end up using a mixture of both double and single sided walls. You would ONLY use double sided if a patron is to walk past both sides of the panel. But panels like your barrier/external panels... they should be single sided. Also, any area where you have a "backstage" area, should be single sided since a customer would only see one side.

    Question 4. I have learned through my theater classes and scenic design class that by laying ANY framing board flat, it will increase the structural strength of the wall. Why? Because more of the frame is connected to OSB... more area connected, better strength. I would suggest using 2x4's and laying them flat. This will also make a thinner wall and save on storage space.

    Have you seen the interlocking walls?

    Good luck. -Tyler
     

  3. Default  
    #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Longview, Texas
    Posts
    1,351
    Question 2: Exactly what Tyler said. Only use double sided panels for an area where patrons walk on both sides. By doing this, it will probably save you a lot of money- from not building all double sided panels.

    Question 3: I dont know the part #, and I cant get to a reciept right now, but you would really only need 2 brackets- one for top and one for bottom. I dont think they make a bracket that would mount in to the center of this 90 degree bend.
    Brad Bowen
    Owner/Operator of the Ultimate Fear Haunted House in Shreveport, LA
    www.ultimatefear.net
     

  4. Default  
    #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    louisiana
    Posts
    363
    question 4
    personally i disagree with the thiner wall theory.turning the 2x4s allow you to screw panel to panel.im not doubting it would be stronger,but it would take alot to break half inch plywood runnin into it.
     

  5. Default  
    #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Eastlake, Ohio
    Posts
    836
    Actually, laying a two by four flat weakens the wall strength. Sure it is thinner, but think in terms of this, lay a two by four between two bricks, stand on the 3-1/2" wide side and it will probably touch the ground, now stand it up and it will hardly bend. It also allows more contact area between your walls, especially if you connect them the way we do which is just butting two walls up against each other and running 3 2-1/2" screws in the 3-1/2" side of the two by four of one wall in to the next wall. We also brace across the tops of our walls heavily. We have very destructive customers because of where we are located, so I never build with anything less than 4 two by fours per wall with 1/2" sheet of plywood on at least one side depending on where it goes. We have some walls with 3/4" plywood and built out of 5-6 two by fours where the customers are most likely to run into them. More than a few times we have had 1000 pounds of customers try to run through the walls instead down the hall way. I can post pictures if nessecary. Our haunt consists of approximately 1300 of these wall panels, some of which have lasted for upwards of 15 years.
    Brian Warner
    Owner of Evilusions www.EVILUSIONS.com
    Technical Director of Forsaken Haunted House www.Forsakenhaunt.com
    Mechanical Designer (animatronics) at Gore Galore www.Gore-Galore.com
     

  6. Default access panel? 
    #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Salt Lake City, Utah
    Posts
    82
    I am just curious if you built a two sided panel that would act as a double sided wall why not just use one of the plywood sheets as an access panel to get into the framing that screws the framing of the wall into the framing of the exterior wall behind it? Then replace the other plywood sheet with set screws so you could eliminate the need for simpson ties?

    Wow that's hard to explain. Hope I didn't lose everyone on that.

    Also, Corey mentioned OSB sheets. What do you all think about using basic OSB to save costs?

    Ryan
     

  7. Default Re: access panel? 
    #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Eastlake, Ohio
    Posts
    836
    That is exactly what we do with our double sided walls. Once we have the single sided walls up, we go through and put up the other side of the double sided wall where nessecary. Then we just remove that panel when doing tear down at the end of the season.

    I personally don't like using osb because the texture of it is much harder to hide with paint than normal plywood. It would save costs to use it in your black dark hallways though.
    Brian Warner
    Owner of Evilusions www.EVILUSIONS.com
    Technical Director of Forsaken Haunted House www.Forsakenhaunt.com
    Mechanical Designer (animatronics) at Gore Galore www.Gore-Galore.com
     

  8. Default  
    #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    616
    Well being that no one answerd #1 I will take this one 2x3 can be found at Lowes for $1.44. If you found 2x4 that is $1.47 it might not be a bad idea using it in place of 2x3. 2x4 will be stronger.

    Brian
     

  9. Default  
    #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Austin, TX; Jackson, MS
    Posts
    19
    Ok, so I can see the party is divided a bit on laying the 2X4s flat. I know that most of you screw the panels on the 2X4 frame, but we were thinking about using a pneumatic staple gun, since it is fast. Is this totally taboo. I know it is permanent this way ... but it would probably cut panel building time nearly in half (we hire day-laborers to build, so time is important).

    Ryan, I see your point about using one of the panels as an access (instead of Stong Ties). This is a good idea. Of course, I only use double panels where ppl see both sides. I should mention though, one of our attractions uses about 450 panels, about half of which are double sided, so that is quite a few panels to remove to pull apart.

    Tylor, I am not sure what you mean by interlocking walls, other than with a coffin lock, so I guess not. When I mentioned strength, I actually should have said stability. Strength is not too much of a concern, since we will be using 5 2X4s per panel. Stability, however, has me a bit worried. A 1.5" base just doesn't seem to grab to floor (friction-wise) like a full 3.5" would. Just a speculation though.

    Thx for letting me know the # of brackets you use Brad.

    As for OSB, I noticed Dream Reapers used OSB during our lights-on tour at Transworld this year, and the three other hauntes I have had lighted tours through have used OSB. I know it is hard to paint, so we plan on using a lot of wallpaper. I was a little afraid of the texture coming through, but after my last lights on tour of the HOUSE OF TORMENT in Austin, TX, during which I really focused on his use of OSB, I found noone could tell. In fact, IMO if someone notices your house is build with OSB because they are focusing on wall texture, then your doing something wrong .... unless they are freaks like me!
     

  10. Default  
    #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Las Vegas
    Posts
    901
    OK , I've used stapled panels, in time they come apart. If you do need to disassemble a panel it becomes a nightmare and not a GOOD nightmare!

    Another case against lying the 2x4's flat, connecting the frame itself together. You either have to countersink though the entire width of the 2x4 or the frame is only attached to plywood alone. You loose a lot of strenght if the frame is not connected. Granted it will work, but the question is for how long???

    Stage flats use frames with the stock layed flat and then keystones on all corners. It works but they do not have thousands of screaming teenagers slamming into them.
    R&J Productions
    Las Vegas, NV
    www.LasVegasHaunts.com
     

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