double door problem


Hi all,
I have to build a stage set in the next couple of weeks and the director wants a set of double doors which open into thhe stage. At various points in the play the doors are opened closed and walked through, so I need to make them work as if they were real. I have made and hung lots of doors but never a double door that needs to be used. The only 'luxuries' I have in this is that it only has to look good from one side ( the side the doors swing towards) and it only has to last four weeks. Can anyone help me with the type of catches that would be used? Or any other construction tips?
Mekon
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Stagecraft isn't house building, so you need some valid ideas from experts. Head for your library, check out a number of books on set building, etc. and scan through them, making a notebook of the how-to directions you find. If realism is important, sketch a set of real doors at a Pella store or similar, then scale up those dimensions to your stage doors. In the theater everything is a little larger than life. and some groups will standardize on easy dimensions for regular doors at typically 3' x 7' in a 4' x 12' flat. You probably won't use glass in your doors, but muntins can be glued in and nice sight lines milled in to them with a router not even bothering to make square corners. Door thickness in stage flats is usually by means of 3/4" stock glued and nailed to 1 1/2" wherever sight lines make it necessary. Glue, nails, gussets and braces are the stock in trade of the set builder. The activity is more fun than building houses because you get to see the results so quickly. The people who do the stage painting are often amazing at taking your product and giving it a life of it's own. Schedule a visit to a local school theater department if you can to look at old sets for ideas. Above all, keep it light, keep it sturdy. Have fun.
Joe
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wrote:

I don't know how (for stage use) you would usually build the doors but I suspect that some kind of ball catch at the top would hold them closed. You could then just pull them open and would not have the need for a T-astricle or even working knobs.
Here's a link to a ball catch. You should be able to get something similar at a hardware store.
(Amazon.com product link shortened)54916110/ref=sr_1_2/104-3202151-7442305?ie=UTF8&s=hi
Mike O.
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Mekon wrote:

Ball catches are usual. However, if the door sags, warps or otherwise moves the alignment of the catch will change and the door can become next to impossible to open...hang them securely and someone should check them before each performance. The catch tension can be adjusted by screwing the ball retainer up or down.
An alternate - maybe better for your purpose - would be magnetic catches.
--

dadiOH
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Thanks all,
I'll post pics when it is done.
Mekon
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