Joining Flats

Joining Flats


J. Michael Gillette. Theatrical Design and Production, 4th edition. Mountain View, CA: Mayfield Publishing Company. 1999. Chapter 9: Scenic Production Techniques

1. What is meant by "batten and dutchman?"

When a wall area wider than six feet is required, it is necessary to assemble two or more flats. The units are held together by three or four 1x3 (or 1x4) battens nailed across the back of the flats. The "crack" between the units is covered by the dutchman which is "glued" to the face of the flats.

2. What is the "dutchman?" How is it applied?

The dutchman is a 6" wide strip of muslin which is "glued" (with paint) over the joint between adjacent flats. The process: (1) Paint the flat. (2) Paint the dutchman. While both are wet, (3) place the painted side of the dutchman against the freshly painted flat. (4) Apply a third coat of paint over both the flat and the unpainted side of the dutchman.

3. What is a a book flat?

A book flat, or two-fold, is two flats which are hinged (and dutchmaned) on the face. They can be folded together like a book for easy storage. Opened to a 90 degree angle, they can create a stable scenic unit for a multi-set show.

    A "three-fold?"

A three-fold is three flats which are hinged (and dutchmaned) on the face for easy storage. When opened, they create a mini-box set.

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Last updated: July 11 2005
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