They recently built a custom drum enclosure for their student ministry space and needed a set that ensured that the enclosure wasn’t the focal point of our stage. Their past four sets had been based on white cardboard/Coroplast, so with reclaimed wood sets being “all the rage,” they decided to built a reclaimed wood set of their own. Chess was actually a little nervous about this set build in terms of time and labor, but it came together significantly faster and easier than he expected. Day 1 was spent harvesting the wood (3-4 hours), day 2 was spent building the stage pieces (4-6 hours), and day 3 was spent building the top wall pieces (3-4 hours). A grand total of ~14 hours and a cost of $0, as they already had plenty of 2x4s laying around for framing.
They started by finding free pallets from a local warehouse on Craigslist. With two sawmills, they were able to cut apart 30 pallets in about 3-4 hours (they weren’t worried about pulling all the nails out). Then they assembled frames with plenty of 2×4 studs and just started securing the pallet wood to their frames using a framing nailer. Once the four stage pieces were built, they assembled the large wall pieces. Since these were 20 feet wide and their space doesn’t allow the use of a lift, they built the pieces in halves that fit like puzzle pieces. This way, they were able to hang one half at a time and not deal with the weight of a set piece that was 20 feet wide.
Once the wall pieces were mounted and the stage pieces were set, they had enough wood left over to cover the front of their stage as well to finish the look. Once they lit the set, Chess discovered an unexpected perk. Due to the positioning of our set pieces, he was able to really control the depth of their stage to create a number of different looks. He can choose to:
1. Use only our overhead stage wash lights to have an “infinitely deep” black background.
2. Light up only the wall pieces to create a deep stage.
3. Light up the wall pieces and the outside stage panels to create a wider stage.
4. Light up only the front set pieces to create a smaller, more intimate stage.
5. Light up the entire set.
Check out a more detailed write-up here.