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Technical Design Solutions for Theatre by Don Harvey, Ben Sammler

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Jim Larkin

A Shop-Built Circle Guide for Torch-Cutting

Cutting sizable holes in plywood may be easy, but cutting them in plate steel is certainly not. And while this is not a common problem in the entertainment industry, there are times when we need to cut circles in steel. For example, we may need to allow access to caster locks through a hole in a steel caster plate, or to make steel mounting plates for zero-throw casters. The oxyacetylene torch is the only appropriate tool for such purposes, but using it to freehand regular, accurately sized holes is a skill few scene shop carpenters have. The compass-like torch guide described here can help.

I learned about this tool from Frederick W. (“Call me Fred”) McAllaster, who loaned it to me to ...

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