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Ship's Rail

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This railing was raised and lowered on cue. I have to say it was very cool to watch. rail7
rail8
 rail9

 Several "cases" were screwed to the edge of the stage. Inserted into each was the railing post. The railing itself is made up of seperate 2x3's screwed down to the top of the posts. The first attempt to attach the rails were too stiff. This proved problematic. So, we changed the fastener to a simple screw. 

Take a look at the photo on the right. You'll see a crew member pulling on the strings. For the show, the stagehand was behind the curtain.

We had to try a couple of different methods to pull the railing up.  rail1  rail2  rail3

We first tried using 1/8" AC Cable. This didn't work as we wished. (we also ran a little short.) So, we switched to black tie line. This proved to work very well. Tie line does stretch and we were able to adjust the lines as needed.

The outer pulleys are covered. Why? The tie line kept slipping off. The plywood locked the tie line in place.

These pulleys are screwed into the floor with 1 1/2" drywall screws. Using these small pulleys allowed us to direct the tie line in any diredtion needed  rail4  rail5  rail6
 Take a close look at the middle photo. You'll see that the tie line changes direction. First passing through the horizontal pulleys, then down over the vertical one.
The tie line travels down the post casing and runs under the large pulley at the base of each post.  rail10  rail11  rail13
 The case is larger then the posts to allow the tie line to travel. Small spacers are placed to guide the post up & down in a straight line.
An access panel was cut at the bottom of each case. This allowed for quick re-threading of the tie line as needed.  rail12  rail14  rail15
 We had to maintain constant tension on the line. If not, the line would fall off anyone of the pulleys. That was a pain!
This use of rope and pulleys is not limited to railings! How many things could you do, by remote control, with tie line? 

Off the top of my head, some ideas: move stage pieces without being seen, open or close windows &/or curtains during quick blackouts, and more.