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ive decided  to  design a animation table that has more functionality then the standard perforated sheets what are some things you guys would want in a table i want to get as much functionality into this table as possible so i need lots of ideas here.

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I've come to think that it's not a table as much as free space that's important. The lighter and less obscure the set the better. So to me a firm floor that you can drill in and a roof with rigging possibilities is much more essential. To be able to access the puppets you'll need to be able to move around the set as freely as possible. So the more you can mount from above the better. I find it really nice to have some smal shelves under the set to put the smaller tools for animating at hand. And working space near by but away from the set, for the different readjustments the props and puppets have to undergo. And a workshop for the messy stuff.

But my tiny little studio is filled with these above mentioned working places and that's why I focus on making space to move around. I'll upload some pictures of my setup soon

It has to have some means of making sure it does not wobble. I have bought a set of these, and need only two for a table. They can be screwed onto the face of the legs.

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/124775259340?_trkparms=ispr%3D1&hash...

I use 12mm (1/2") particle board for my set floor or ground, and drill tie-down holes where I need them.  I have a couple of different sizes that I re-use, so the top is seperate from the frame with legs.  I use the old theatrical folding rostrum design, which is 4 sides joined at the corners by hinges, so when not in use they can fold flat for storage.  For some big sets I use 2 of these rostrums.  I can also screw a piece of timber along the top rail, to extend the size, so a top which is bigger than the rostrum has some support and does not sag.  A spare tripod or light stand can also be used for extra support if the top extends too far beyond the rostrum.  (One of the 600 x 1200mm ones can be seen unfolding in the Tiedowns video at my Stopmonick Youtube channel.  I also have one 1200 x 1800mm but it doesn't get used as often.)   The drawback of this design is that folded-up it is as long as a long side plus a short side.  That makes my big 1800 (6 ft) x 1200mm (4 ft) rostrum a big thing to store, as it occupies 3 metres of space, but it ok for the smaller ones.  I saw a behind-the-scenes photo from Metropolis 1926 showing a different design, with each end able to fold inwards in the middle, so the total length folded was the same as the length when opened up for use.  But that is fiddlier to make and needs 4 more hinges. 

Each corner has two legs hinged together at right angles, so 19mm x 70mm pine is sturdy enough.  The 600 x 1200 size does not need that crossbar in the middle.

 

If you are always going to have just the one animation table, permanently in place, a solid non-folding table is good.  If you want a higher working height, making an additional stage that gets clamped on top of a normal dining table or desk could be a good option.  It does not need anywhere near as much timber as a free standing animation table with long legs, or the hinges to fold up.

Mine is not a perfect animation table, but so far it works. I use lots of clamps. But I am dreaming of making something more sophisticated, maybe in the near future. I liked what I read in the comment sections, the Levelling Height Adjustable Machine Furniture Feet Lock Nut. Never seen those before, not that type of nuts. I may double check if my hardware store has them, most likely not. It looks very industrial. But I am curious to see if I can get those, or make a system similar to what these nuts can do. 

I also have some folding sawhorse stands that were designed for woodworking. Some of them are a bit wobbly, but the (cheap) Stanley plastic folding stands are pretty good. They also have a low shelf on which I place a sandbag or weight. I think sandbags are incredibly useful to hold things down.

IKEA do some wooden trestle stands that are adjustable in height. These are also very handy.

Overhead I sometimes mount a slider rail on its side so I can have a rig from above that can be moved around. As I have a wooden frame supporting my lighting rails I can just screw or clamp somevertical pieces onto which I attach the rail.



Hans Jacob Wagner said:

I've come to think that it's not a table as much as free space that's important. The lighter and less obscure the set the better. So to me a firm floor that you can drill in and a roof with rigging possibilities is much more essential. To be able to access the puppets you'll need to be able to move around the set as freely as possible. So the more you can mount from above the better. I find it really nice to have some smal shelves under the set to put the smaller tools for animating at hand. And working space near by but away from the set, for the different readjustments the props and puppets have to undergo. And a workshop for the messy stuff.

But my tiny little studio is filled with these above mentioned working places and that's why I focus on making space to move around. I'll upload some pictures of my setup soon

im not sure it can get any better then nicks table with folding hinges.

http://https://images.app.goo.gl/MnrUmqDLSFpbPXg76

Here's a link to what all of the professional studios seem to use.  The shape is very simple to build but very sturdy and has windows to put your hands through to access the tie downs and other things under the table.

Interesting, those Laika set tables with the ply cut-out windows seem to be supported on metal legs or scaffolding.  

A similar system with ply, and scaffolding underneath, at Aardman.

To me it looks like some altered water pipe fittings where they instead of treading the tube has screws treaded in in the joints to fixate the pipes. Clever and a lot cheaper that normal scaffolding clamps. The pipes must be of a smaller dimension than the normal water pipe as they wouldn't fit in the joints unless treaded. And that would be really cumbersome and for closed squares impossible to assemble. But that's a really neat rigging trick there.

Or maybe they drilled out the thread in the fittings.

That looks like they've used 'key clamps' these are the different types of fittings used for tube structures such as handrailings, etc. So the scaffold/metal pipes are a thinner type than regular scaffolding. We've used this for a scaffold structure to create different animating units in a bigger space, hanging curtains between and easy to attach more poles for lighting rigs, etc.
There are many different types of corner pieces, so some of them require precisely cutting and assembling in the right order... (they have a big 'grub screw' kind of thing that holds the pipes in place) others are open on each side so it's easier to change things around, but means that one pole is on top of the other.

Could be a good idea to use them for table structures as well.. Although I've found it useful with wooden and more square tables to be able to clamp and screw things to it more easily.

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