RE: diy dance floors (Full Version)

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a_arnold -> RE: diy dance floors (Dec. 21 2010 3:46:29)

quote:

How does the front look?

. . .

Expensive but probably worth it in the long run...


By front, I assume you mean top.

I don't have clamps with enough throat to reach the middle of the plywood, so I used titebond glue and screwed the pieces on with screws countersunk from the top. I initially planned on removing the screws after the glue set, but being countersunk, they weren't a trip hazard so it was easier to leave them there.

I thought about marine plywood, but decided that with the edge pieces to keep it from warping, half-inch CDX would be fine, and it has been. I put a couple of coats of urethane on the top to make it more durable. Our dancers use nails in their shoes and this has been through a year's worth of gigs without visible wear.

I think it is easier to just let it wear out and make a new one than to sink extra money into it. One thing I will do is put a strip of old carpet on the bottom of the 1x2" strips to make it lie flatter. We use it in venues where the floor is concrete or tile, and if the floor is a little uneven it can create a fulcrum that gives the platform a slight rock. Carpet evens that out. At the moment I am putting it on a piece of carpet, but strips glued on will make it less hassle to move around.

Also, after this one wears out, I am going to make ALL the edges with identical interlocking joints so an indefinite number of interchangeable 48x32 inch pieces can be fitted together to make the platform as big as needed. That way, several dancers can each keep several pieces at home for practice and bring it with them to make a really big floor (bigger than 4x8) when we need it for a gig. The only downside to that is the edge that isn't joined will look a bit rough with those finger joints sticking out. So I'll make a removable edge cap to make it look finished.



One assembled 4x8 piece is big enough for a Sevillanas pair or a single solo dancer.




at_leo_87 -> RE: diy dance floors (Dec. 21 2010 6:07:53)

tony, that is brilliant! thanks for taking the time to take pictures.

do you think with the foam padding i use, the floor will become unstable? or it might become slippery causing the floor to slide around?

another concern i have is that this will make the floor more lifted off the ground. in case a dancer drinks too much and gets too intense, she might fall off the edge to her oblivion...




a_arnold -> RE: diy dance floors (Dec. 21 2010 19:02:15)

quote:

do you think with the foam padding i use, the floor will become unstable? or it might become slippery causing the floor to slide around?


Depends on how thick the padding is. I use a piece of scrap wall-to-wall carpet and it works fine. I figure a floor won't be more than 1/4" out of true anyway.

quote:

another concern i have is that this will make the floor more lifted off the ground. in case a dancer drinks too much and gets too intense, she might fall off the edge to her oblivion...


On my platform, the dance surface is 1.25 inches off the floor. If the dancer is going to trip on the edge, I expect it will be because she forgot where the floor was rather than misjudging an extra 1/2 inch.

But we wouldn't want her to fall to her oblivion. She might break it.


[;)]




cathulu -> RE: diy dance floors (Dec. 22 2010 1:10:50)

Thanks! Some good ideas there...




mark indigo -> RE: diy dance floors (Dec. 22 2010 14:24:30)

quote:

They are rubber or elastic cords with a hook on each end. Normally they are used to tie stuff down to truck beds during transportation.


i know them - i can see from your pic - i didn't know they were called bungee cords.

at the moment we just have a 4x8 board of ply on the floor, which is ok but not portable. I got some of those rubber mats antony recommended to put underneath. A friend has recommended using batons like in tony's pic above, and was telling me various ways he used to fix the boards together.

also he showed me some birch ply which has more layers than normal ply. it is denser and stronger without being so thick, but is heavy. at the moment we are not desperate for a portable version, so all these ideas are just going in the pot for thinking about!




a_arnold -> RE: diy dance floors (Dec. 23 2010 2:49:25)

quote:

he showed me some birch ply which has more layers than normal ply. it is denser and stronger without being so thick, but is heavy.


And expensive. The 1/2" CDX plywood I used was $14 at lowes. I figured that whatever I used, it would be damaged badly by the nails in the shoes. I have been pleasantly surprised at how durable the CDX plywood has been with a couple of coats of urethane on it.

Honestly, it will get so much abuse, I don't think there is any reason to use expensive plywood.




at_leo_87 -> RE: diy dance floors (Dec. 23 2010 7:37:57)

i try to find good looking wood and take my time and sand these floors until they're smooth as butter. i dont know why i bother, they just get annihilated. [&:][:o]

i checked out a 1/4 inch thick dance floor i made today. it's scruffed up but it's still structurally solid like the day i made it. anyone thinking about making one just for home use, 1/4 inch thick wood may be good enough.




Doitsujin -> RE: diy dance floors (Dec. 23 2010 10:37:26)

quote:

diy dance floors


I don´t care... if there is a chair without armrests.[:-]




a_arnold -> RE: diy dance floors (Dec. 23 2010 17:33:05)

quote:

sand these floors until they're smooth as butter.


Smooth as butter might not be the best option for a dancer . . .




a_arnold -> RE: diy dance floors (Dec. 23 2010 17:35:50)

quote:

i try to find good looking wood and take my time and . . .


A very wise person once told me that doing a thing well can, sometimes, be a waste of time.




a_arnold -> RE: diy dance floors (Dec. 23 2010 17:37:15)

quote:

1/4 inch thick wood may be good enough.


Interesting. What kind of support is under it? Doesn't it flex? Or does it have that rubber mat under it? And how do you hold the pieces together?




at_leo_87 -> RE: diy dance floors (Dec. 23 2010 18:12:30)

hey tony,
i sand them smooth but the polyurethane coating i put on makes it "grippy" again.
under the 1/4 inch thick dance floor, i used that 12mm thick rubber foam mat you can see on the first page. the two pieces are held together by velcro.

she uses the dance floor on carpet, which adds even more to the shock absorbing value.[8|] it doesn't flex! or in any noticeable way. but this particular dancer has pretty light footwork.

i'm wondering if the 12mm rubber mat will be too much for a dance floor with your interlocking design? i want to use it for ergonomics but i'm afraid it'll make the dance floor too high off the ground or unstable.




mark indigo -> RE: diy dance floors (Dec. 23 2010 21:51:38)

quote:

very wise person once told me that doing a thing well can, sometimes, be a waste of time.


if it's really worth doing, it's worth doing badly....




val -> RE: diy dance floors (Dec. 24 2010 1:57:15)

Hi Anthony

At home we have polished hardwood blocks laid on concrete throughout the ground floor and I lay a sheet of dance vinyl over an area to protect it. I decided one reason I don't practise enough is because the floors are too hard.

Your posts have inspired me. I've totally cleared out a room and have layed a floating floor on top. Finished it just a few days ago.

Base - large sheets of 12mm rough ply, with expanded rubber sponge blocks (self adhesive backing) laid at approx 30cm intervals on the side in contact with the floor. For 140 blocks 50mm x 50mm x 20mm it cost me about £50 including VAT and delivery from an industrial supplier in North London. Anyone want to know where to get them from PM for contact details.

It took me a while to find someone who could supply what I wanted. Apparently the grade normally recommended for this purpose is EV50. It's slightly softer than the stuff I used, but would have cost a whole lot more because I would have needed to buy the remains of the large sheet it was cut from. The guy did send me a sample of each and what I've got is fine.

Top - 6mm hardwood ply (cabinet quality) laid in the opposite direction to the base and screwed to the base at about 25cm intervals (countersunk screws, but not filled because I want to keep the screws accessible).

Polished the top layer with Osmo Oil so it can be mopped over, then loose laid my vinyl over the top.

It's nearly 4cm high and because of the system-built construction of my 60s house I had a problem with the door. It opens inwards - the door frames are steel and the door can't be reversed. My husband very kindly agreed to allow me to chop the bottom off the door. The things we do for art!

I need to make some sort of ramp otherwise there's going to be a nasty accident soon - every member of the family has tripped on the new step.

The floor is really great. Not portable, but I now have a decent home studio and no excuses. There is nothing screwed to the original floor, which is fully protected by the rubber pads and we've put the bottom of the door away safely. Anytime I give up dancing for good, or move house, we can lift the floor, glue the door back together and leave everything as we found it.




at_leo_87 -> RE: diy dance floors (Dec. 24 2010 4:56:56)

hey val,
that sounds great! very crafty! that must have been a simple job compared to all the remodeling you did.

do you have a picture of what those rubber blocks look like?

ergonomics are so important! i was sore and tired after trying to learn that sevillanas!

guitar is so much easier. [:)]

maybe you can add these so people won't trip. [:D]


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a_arnold -> RE: diy dance floors (Dec. 24 2010 14:03:49)

quote:

under the 1/4 inch thick dance floor, i used that 12mm thick rubber foam mat you can see on the first page. the two pieces are held together by velcro.


Is the velcro enough to keep the two edges flush with each other so there isn't a trip hazard?

I like your use of the interlocking dance floor. I wonder if there is a way to use the interlocking feature to hold the pieces together and flush.

Why did you cut the 4x8 plywood lengthwise into 2x8 pieces (rather than shorter pieces that would fit in a car)? Maybe portability was less of an issue than the ability to store it?




a_arnold -> RE: diy dance floors (Dec. 24 2010 14:23:21)

quote:

if it's really worth doing, it's worth doing badly....


[:D]




at_leo_87 -> RE: diy dance floors (Dec. 24 2010 17:11:08)

quote:


Is the velcro enough to keep the two edges flush with each other so there isn't a trip hazard?


the adhesive backing wore out eventually after heavy use and i had to staple it to the floor. it worked fine unless the wood got warped, that's why i want to try your idea for the heavy duty one we drag to various gigs.

quote:


Why did you cut the 4x8 plywood lengthwise into 2x8 pieces (rather than shorter pieces that would fit in a car)? Maybe portability was less of an issue than the ability to store it?


thin, long strips are easier to carry than two 4x4 boards. plus, the 2x8 pieces fit more easily into my small suv when my amp and other equipment are in there as well.

but with your design, i'll be able to cut them into even smaller pieces.




at_leo_87 -> RE: diy dance floors (Dec. 30 2010 4:46:17)

here's how the updated dance floor is looking. all the wood are different colors because they're from different sources bought from different times. i gave up trying to make it look pretty. these things get destroyed in 15 minutes.

im still considering adding some foam padding to the bottom.



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at_leo_87 -> RE: diy dance floors (Dec. 30 2010 4:47:18)

here it is broken down.



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val -> RE: diy dance floors (Dec. 30 2010 11:54:30)

quote:

do you have a picture of what those rubber blocks look like?

Hi Anthony
Your "large floor" looks great. Here's mine, which could be better finished - edged at the walls etc, but I don't want to damage existing woodwork.

I've included pics of the rubber blocks I used. The guy I bought them from will cut to any size, any thickness. They also have a very powerful self-adhesive face which saves messing about with glue.

I read somewhere that it's best to spread out blocks rather than use a solid sheet of foam - in fact, the professional produced floors seem to be done that way (look at the Harlequin Liberty spec)



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a_arnold -> RE: diy dance floors (Dec. 30 2010 16:49:35)

quote:

here it is broken down.


Brilliant!

3 questions:

(1) are the pieces interchangeable?
(2) it looks like the "tongues" that stick out on the edge will interlock to keep the edges flush. Is that right? So you don't always have to use all the pieces? But then if you use only part of the floor (say, at a gig with limited space) then the unused "tongues" stick out on the edge?
(3) what keeps the pieces from drifting apart during use? I used bungee cords, but you may have a different solution.

I really like the idea!




at_leo_87 -> RE: diy dance floors (Dec. 30 2010 20:47:51)

val, that looks great! if it wasn't raised, i would just think that's your normal floor.
i'll keep your advice to use spread out blocks in mind for my next project.

tony,
1, the pieces are interchangeable. either of the middle pieces (width or length) can be taken out)
2, the tongues keep the edges flush. if you remove only the inner pieces, no tongues will stick out
3, i also used bungees! though in the picture, i didn't attach them using bungees yet.

this is a picture i took before i attached the bungees. if i take out either the B or C pieces, there will be no tongues sticking out. so i can make the board, 6x8, 4x8, 6x6, 4x4.



i'm testing the board tomorrow for a new year's gig. i think there's even space to stick a microphone underneath!

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Doitsujin -> RE: diy dance floors (Dec. 30 2010 21:06:51)

Leo, why do you put so much effort into this dance floor? I thought you play the guitar?.....




Ron.M -> RE: diy dance floors (Dec. 30 2010 21:18:03)

quote:

Leo, why do you put so much effort into this dance floor? I thought you play the guitar?.....


Probably because it's a difficult problem to solve, he has an inquisitive mind, plus a practical ability and it will help his colleagues in his Dance Company.

Probably the same reason you mess around with microscopes and test tubes and stuff, even though you play guitar.

Yeah?

cheers,

Ron




Doitsujin -> RE: diy dance floors (Dec. 30 2010 22:55:11)

quote:

Yeah?


Yes Ron you are right..... women and technics.... Better leo cares about the floor....[8D]




Chiste de Gales -> RE: diy dance floors (Dec. 30 2010 23:10:36)

Leo- Do you have a sound recording you can post of dancing on this floor?




at_leo_87 -> RE: diy dance floors (Dec. 31 2010 2:50:27)

hey doit,
i do it because i want us to have good shows. if the dancer looks and sounds bad, then the group looks bad. if the group looks bad, i look bad. [&:]

but it does take up valuable practice time and is bad for the hands and nails. [:o]

chiste, i just finished it. haven't even really put it through a full test yet. but i had my girlfriend work around on it and it was pretty loud, even on carpet flooring.




a_arnold -> RE: diy dance floors (Dec. 31 2010 4:01:38)

quote:

i do it because i want us to have good shows.


Exactly. Here's a good example of why one might need a floor like this:

Last month our group (Corazon Flamenco) did a gig at a hall we have played before. The last time we performed there, it had great lighting, a huge wooden stage, a great sound system, technical assistance, and a huge audience. This time they told us proudly that the facility was "even better" with lots of improvements and the crowd was even bigger. When we got there the morning of the gig for a dress rehearsal (6 dancers, palmeros, cajon, singer, 2 guitarists), we discovered that the "big improvement" was a brand new rubber soundproof floor on the stage! It ruined the performance. I could barely hear the dancers' feet, and in the long dresses, could barely see them.

We didn't bring our floor with us because we were so sure the (previously) excellent stage was still wood. A wood floor overlay like this would have saved the day.

Also, it is risky to dance on a concrete floor (shinsplints), and many many (most) restaurants have tile or concrete floors.

Of course, if you give up accompaniment to perform strictly solo, you don't have these worries.




at_leo_87 -> RE: diy dance floors (Jan. 3 2011 16:59:11)

quote:

Of course, if you give up accompaniment to perform strictly solo, you don't have these worries.


or just have someone else do the work. [:D]




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