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Thread: Designing modular wall system--opinions, suggestions?

  1. #11
    Member fearfeasog's Avatar
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    Can't wait--today I'm not only picking up the panel saw at the Home Despot, but I'll be going down to the plywood supplier to get a look at the materials, and get some ideas for other projects. I'll be checking out the melamine in a hard rock maple finish for the bases, MDO, and superply if they have it. I'm also interested in bendable sheet materials--MDF and veneer core are available, according to their website. Anyone who's in my area might check out this place:

    http://www.primeply.com/index.htm

    More later.

    ff

  2. #12
    Hi all,

    We have a temp wall system that we designed using CNC cut ribs of 3/4" ply and 3/8" MDO as the skin. Total thickness is only 6" or so. Not sure of exact weight but are liftable by two people. They bolt together top and bottom with Unistrut L's and have a male and female edge that slot into each other. We do fill and paint for each show so that is some extra labor on both ends to make them look clean. Each wall has large leveling feet sticking out and compression hardware at the top to fit most of our gallery ceilings (9'3"), though they can free stand in T and L formations. After leveling and attaching together, we cut base trim to fit the floor which varies a lot. A reveal between the base trim and the wall matches the perimeter walls and makes it look intentional. End caps are made as needed.
    Getting back to the CNC ribs: This is where you can reduce the weight by having a lot of the meat cut out of the interior. Ours have a series of ovals cut out. One could do this by hand, but it would be tedious. We had extra ribs cut and have made custom pieces as needed. They store on rolling carts that fit on the truck and are removed offsite in between use. They are not perfect and because of the leveling, can take some time to get right. But they work and are cheaper than a sheetrocker. I have no pictures handy because I am on vacation but I can get someone to snap a pic or two if that helps.

    In your design, I think if you want it freestanding at 8' high, your depth would want to be more like 16" for stability unless you are attaching to the floor. Definitely remove some material from the ribs. It is still strong but much lighter.

    Cheers,
    Steve

  3. #13
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    This is a great thread and love seeing everyone's vision for modular walls. I made 10, 10'x10'x3' movable walls for our two exhibition spaces. I fabricated frames using 2"x2" steel tubing, and rolling them around on 5" casters followed by traditional framing using 2x4's skinned with 3/8 ply then drywall. The gap at the bottom is filled with bamboo flooring that matches the floor and base board so it looks pretty seamless. Here's a quick link that our Media Relations person put together.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E3SrGzAsRBE

  4. #14
    Member fearfeasog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Briscoe View Post
    Hi all,

    We have a temp wall system that we designed using CNC cut ribs of 3/4" ply and 3/8" MDO as the skin. Total thickness is only 6" or so. Not sure of exact weight but are liftable by two people. They bolt together top and bottom with Unistrut L's and have a male and female edge that slot into each other. We do fill and paint for each show so that is some extra labor on both ends to make them look clean. Each wall has large leveling feet sticking out and compression hardware at the top to fit most of our gallery ceilings (9'3"), though they can free stand in T and L formations. After leveling and attaching together, we cut base trim to fit the floor which varies a lot. A reveal between the base trim and the wall matches the perimeter walls and makes it look intentional. End caps are made as needed.
    Getting back to the CNC ribs: This is where you can reduce the weight by having a lot of the meat cut out of the interior. Ours have a series of ovals cut out. One could do this by hand, but it would be tedious. We had extra ribs cut and have made custom pieces as needed. They store on rolling carts that fit on the truck and are removed offsite in between use. They are not perfect and because of the leveling, can take some time to get right. But they work and are cheaper than a sheetrocker. I have no pictures handy because I am on vacation but I can get someone to snap a pic or two if that helps.

    In your design, I think if you want it freestanding at 8' high, your depth would want to be more like 16" for stability unless you are attaching to the floor. Definitely remove some material from the ribs. It is still strong but much lighter.

    Cheers,
    Steve
    I absolutely thought of cutting some material out as you did with the CNC deal. I'd have to research where to have that done. Not an impossible feat though. Timing is the thing--I need to get these done quickly.

    3/8" MDO. I have to call and see if they have that. Didn't occur to me that existed! Modular wall noob here...

    Pictures would be most appreciated. Take your time!

    No idea what I'm going to do for storage. They will have to stay in the galleries full-time.

    ff

  5. #15
    Member fearfeasog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by theRustyNail View Post
    This is a great thread and love seeing everyone's vision for modular walls. I made 10, 10'x10'x3' movable walls for our two exhibition spaces. I fabricated frames using 2"x2" steel tubing, and rolling them around on 5" casters followed by traditional framing using 2x4's skinned with 3/8 ply then drywall. The gap at the bottom is filled with bamboo flooring that matches the floor and base board so it looks pretty seamless. Here's a quick link that our Media Relations person put together.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E3SrGzAsRBE
    That's awesome. I love videos like that. And obviously the walls look great. How did you keep them from rolling around after they were in place? Locking casters, probably?


    Also, all preparators must dress the same. I have that exact uniform on today--camo shorts and t-shirt. No tats, though.

  6. #16
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    I have two static casters and two casters that swivel with locking swivel and brakes. Honestly these things are beasts and they can take a pretty hard hit and they wont move. However, once you start moving them you they are easily manipulated into place. Good luck on your project, I look forward to seeing the finished product. P.S. Camo and t-shirts; nothing else when fabricating.

  7. #17
    Site Administrator Paul Brewin's Avatar
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    Here's a link to a post on modular wall building that was cut/pasted from our listserve with a few more variations on this theme. In the archive thread I explain the system I came up with that we use and can supply some drawings or pictures when I'm back at work tomorrow if you want.

    A lot of good ideas in these posts, it's great to read! I've also used MDO for its light weight and paintability for previous wall builds, and have used a variety of cam locks and just plain ol' brackets to join walls together. It's all interesting because everyone develops something unique given what they can with what they can manage within budget, time to build and/or change between exhibitions, gallery space limitations, ability or inability to move and/or store walls, floor conditions, skill levels, modular needs, etc. You have plenty of enthusiasm which goes a long way for a daunting project like new walls. These probably won't be your first set of walls, there isn't a wall system that can't be improved somehow. Good luck!
    Paul Brewin - PACCIN Site Administrator

  8. #18
    Member fearfeasog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Brewin View Post
    Here's a link to a post on modular wall building that was cut/pasted from our listserve with a few more variations on this theme. In the archive thread I explain the system I came up with that we use and can supply some drawings or pictures when I'm back at work tomorrow if you want.

    A lot of good ideas in these posts, it's great to read! I've also used MDO for its light weight and paintability for previous wall builds, and have used a variety of cam locks and just plain ol' brackets to join walls together. It's all interesting because everyone develops something unique given what they can with what they can manage within budget, time to build and/or change between exhibitions, gallery space limitations, ability or inability to move and/or store walls, floor conditions, skill levels, modular needs, etc. You have plenty of enthusiasm which goes a long way for a daunting project like new walls. These probably won't be your first set of walls, there isn't a wall system that can't be improved somehow. Good luck!
    Thanks for the link, Paul. More great ideas there. I would love drawings of your design if it's not alot of trouble!

    This is going to be alot of work....

  9. #19
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    Yes, the tolerance is pretty tight for it to work well, but a quick router jig will get it done. You may want to insert them prior to skinning so that you can use machine screws and bolts to hold them in place, rather than wood screws, as I've had a couple catch as they were separating and stripped out a couple screws. With your system I'd think a pair at the top would pull things together, since your base will do the job at the bottom.

  10. #20
    Member fearfeasog's Avatar
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    Thought I'd start sharing a few quick process photos. I'm in the learning curve stage of the game--these images are of a mock-up I'm constructing. As you can see I used crap marterials, but they are the correct dimensions--3/8" ply faces, 3/4" ply guts, with about 50% of the guts cut out by hand. I tried one of those zip tools at first, finally opted for the circ saw/hand saw combo. not super neat, but neat enough once you get the hang of it.

    Our new panel saw.



    pieces parts.


    a panel!
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