April 22, 2021
In this section we will go over our products in more detail than on our product page starting with Steeldeck 7.5. We will try and answer some of the most asked questions and give you tips on how to use these systems.
Well what is there to say about Steeldeck that has not already been said.
This truly is one of the most versatile systems on the market. Steeldeck is used in many sectors: hire companies, set companies, film and theatre (it has been used for Jimmy Jib and Techocrane platforms over seats in West End theatres), exhibitions, schools, the military, festivals and events to name but a few.
This was one of the first modular staging products we produced. After redesigning the original design we managed to achieve 7.5 Kn loading and yes as with all our products we have the structural calculations to prove it. This unit comes in imperial and metric and has numerous accessories from the standard handrails and treads to the more specialist multi-couplers and bolt-on corner posts.
Steeldeck can be used for flat or raked stages; it can also be used to take a rake of a stage if needed for, say a dance troop.
We offer a service where we can cut and mark your legs so you can create a raked stage or a flat stage on a rake.
Feel free to phone or email us for more details of this service.
Firstly we will start with stages although a lot of the procedures are the same for the different uses.
It is worth mentioning that Steeldeck 7.5 does not need bracing if used under 1500mm DFH (deck finishing height) although the Institute of Structural Engineers Temporary Structures edition 4 recommends bracing at 1200mm and above DFH.
Also while setting up Steeldeck 7.5 a minimum of two people should always be used to handle the decks.
Stand the Steeldeck on its long edge as close to its finish position as possible and make sure the corner post bolts are retracted enough to allow the leg all the way into the corner post. Place the legs into the corner post closest to the floor first. This is for two reasons: first it makes the deck more stable in this position and secondly you don’t bump your head on the top leg if this is placed first. Make sure the leg is inserted all the way into the corner post and then tighten the bolt.
When tightening the bolt do not over tighten the bolt: it is there to hold the leg in place and does not need to be over tight. Over tightening of the corner post bolt can lead to the bolt breaking or the leg getting stuck in the deck. We recommend using an impact driver for this with one of our reversible 17 mm/19 mm sockets. We also recommend using steel legs rather than aluminum.
Once the legs have been secured it is time to right the deck onto its legs. There should always be a minimum of two people. Check there is enough room to manoeuvre the deck. Standing either end of the deck place the side of your foot by the bottom leg then stand the Steeldeck up.Place the Steeldeck in position. We would recommend working from the middle of the stage out and from the back of the stage forward. Once you have two Steeldeck next to each other, place the connecting bolts in place to hold the two decks together.We recommend only tightening these bolts finger tight until either the whole stage is built or you have a couple of rows in place. You use either M10 60 mm bolts or our purpose designed deck bolts.With the first row of Steeldeck make sure you measure the distance between the back of the deck and the wall regularly to ensure the stage is square to the wall. You can also do this by laying out a string line before you start the decks.
When it comes to dismantling the stage follow the instructions in reverse.
Transportation and storage.
With Steeldeck 7.5 we recommend using castors to move the decks around. Of course this is not always possible with width restriction in venues, in which case we would suggest using our double and single chariots. As always with manual handling, we would try and keep this to a minimum with these aids.When stacking decks for storage or movement, place the first Steeldeck either on its wheels or stacked flat on the floor (on bites if forklifts are to be used) with the wood on top. Place the next deck wood to wood, at this point you can place the legs you are going to use to build your stage onto the upturned deck.Now place a stacking leg (that is a leg around 250mm) long into opposite diagonal corners. These legs do not need tightening but should be left loose in the corner post.
Now stack the next Steeldeck corner post to corner post. Repeat until the stack is complete.
If stacking on castors we recommend the decks are secured by a ratchet strap before moving.
For larger amounts of Steeldeck you could purchase either one of our Ambidecks which are designed to be fork lifted around with lifting bars built in, or one of our Steeldecks with forklift pockets. Decks should never be stacked corner post to wood for any length of time, as this damages the wood surface.
Steeldeck 7.5 is ideal for modular tiering systems for both chairs and bench seating. It can also be used for choir tiers and orchestra risers.
- You need to mark out the area the modular tiering is going in with a string line or tape marks.You need to build the tiering from the bottom row upwards.
- For the first row place a stubby leg into each corner post. This is a leg that only the plastic bung shows below the corner post. This minimises the damage on the venue floor.
- As before, bolt the decks together. If you have enough people available we would suggest you bolt the decks together while they are still standing on their edge.
- For the next row insert the stubby leg into the side of the deck that will sit on top of the previous row. Then place the longer leg into the side that will sit on the floor then manoeuvre into place.
- If you are using the Steeldecks to build a larger rise on the tiers, then replace the stubby leg with the required height leg. You will also have to fit kickboards or hard fascia on each tier to stop chair legs from falling through the gap.
- We would suggest you overlap the decks by 300mm, this will give you enough room for people to pass by once a chair is placed on the tier. If you are using the tiers themselves to sit on like a bench then you could overlap by 500mm so as to give you more room to fit in more tiers within the space available.
- Bolt the deck together and place a Stage Solutions tiering bracket on each end of each Steeldeck to hold the deck in place. These are very simple to fit the bracket clips onto the bottom rail of the Steeldeck and then bolt through the bolt holes on the lower deck.
- Repeat this operation until the tier is complete. You can use a 8ft x 3ft Steeldeck on the last row so all the tiers are uniform size.
- Now you need to attach the handrails to the sides and rear off the structure. Once again kickboards should be attached to any handrail on tiers above 1500mm to stop objects being kicked off from the tiering onto people below.
- The last step is to add a leg tie to the tiers for extra safety to ensure the tiers cannot move. This is also the time to place any bracing that may be needed if the tiers go over 1500mm in height.
To dismantle, follow these instructions in reverse.
Set-up on uneven ground
Steeldeck comes into its own when used outside to build stages, tiering, camera platforms, disabled platforms, FOH areas and VIP viewing platforms to name a few uses. When building stages on uneven ground you need to be able to level the stage. We achieve this using a number of different sized screw jacks and multi-couplers.
- When building stages on the uneven ground, start the build of the stage from the highest point of the ground. If this is at the front of the stage start there, if it’s at the back start there and even if it’s in the middle start there and work your way along.
- Once you have established the high point you are going to have to work out the average height of the stage.This is easier the smaller the stage is. We would suggest the use of a laser level for larger stages.
- Put your first deck in place once you have marked out the area where the stage is going. Place a screw jack into each leg plus a ply packer spreader plate under the screw jack and then level the Steeldeck using a spirit level side to side, then back to front by turning the screw jack up or down.
- Once the deck is leveled, attach the multi-couplers to each leg. Each multi-coupler can support three additional decks and make it easier to level the whole platform.
- Next leg up your next Steeldeck remembering not to place a leg in the corner post that will be supported by the multi-coupler
- Manoeuvre the Steeldeck into place remembering to place the screw jack and a ply spreader plate in place and then bolt the decks together.
- Once again only finger tight until you have finished the whole stage or a row of decks. Level the deck once again side to side and back to front.
- Carry on repeating these procedures until the stage is completely built.
- Now attach any handrails that may be needed depending on the height of the stage.
To dismantle, follow these procedures in reverse order.
It is very important that you follow the way the decks were set up as the previous deck supports the next one so they have to come out in reverse order.
As with all our products we can supply you with a full range of stage accessories from handrails and kick-board to DDA compliant ramps and treads. We even supply magnetic drapes and hard fascias to finish your stage off.
Handrails: we can supply you with two types of handrail. Public access and our standard handrail both are easily fitted to the Steeldeck using our back-plate system.
Treads/Stage steps: we can supply a number of different types of treads
Modular Treads are perfect for hire companies as they comprise of 1ft and 2ft or 500mm and 1m modules which can be added together to make a set of treads to any height with an integrated handrail.
Freestanding Tread comes set at the height you order and has a bolt on handrails.
– Box treads are used on stages or tiers that are under 600mm/2ft high.
Bespoke treads may be supplied to any width and height. We can also supply you with curved treads and even a spiral staircase.
- Multicouplers: if you have read the uneven ground instructions then you will be aware of how useful multicouplers are. They can also be used for tiering and multilevel stages.
- Bolt on Corner post: a corner post that can be moved along the truss for when you are building over seats and can’t quite get that leg in.
Well this subject always gets people going so we are not going into brands or the advantage of this tool over that tool. We are just going to give you the basics.
Podgers are by far the most useful tool you can have while building modular stage systems.
If you are doing straight leg stages on an even floor then the 17mm-19mm podger is the most useful: 17mm for the bolts and 19mm for the corner posts.
Also the spike at the end of the tool helps align the bolt holes on the decks.
If however you are building stages on uneven ground then a 19mm -21mm podger is the most useful: 19mm for the corner post and 21mm for the multi-couplers and scaff fitting.
- Impact Driver: we would recommend using an impact driver rather than an impact wrench as the torque is lower and you really don’t need the power of a wrench for the vast majority of stage builds.
- 17mm/19mm reversible socket is a must have if you are using an impact driver for staging. No more hunting in your pockets or walking back to the last time you used the socket to pick it up, just release and turn and you are doing the next bolt up.
- A Boat Level is a must when building over uneven ground.
These are all available from us, just email for a price.
We hope you have enjoyed this article and have found some of the information useful. If there is anything we have not covered and you would like to know more about, then please do get in contact with us, we like to help.
Tel: 01634 831719