“...an arbor spreader solution
that's inexpensive and easily
installed in a few minutes.”
The Solution to your
Spreader Plate Concerns
from GreyBeard Sol
For many years now, manufacturers of counterweight systems have been providing spreader plates on counterweight arbors in numbers that allow them to be placed at consistent 2’-0” intervals in the weight stack. In the event of a runaway arbor, the placement of these spreaders will serve to better control forces applied to the ¾” arbor rods and prevent weights from spilling off the arbor.
On new installs, the inclusion of additional spreader plates as the arbors are assembled at the factory is easily accomplished. However, in older, existing installations, the addition of factory-supplied spreaders is problematic. Typically, an arbor would need to be dismantled to allow installation of spreaders. This is a time-consuming task and one not recommended. Some years ago, faced with the prospect of dismantling some forty J.R. Clancy 15 Series, 8’ tall arbors to accomplish the installation of additional spreaders, an alternative to this time-consuming procedure was sought.
The ideal solution would be both inexpensive and easily installed in a few minutes by student labor, as well as properly fulfilling the function that factory-installed spreaders perform. After some experimentation and several prototypes later, the first version of what is now known as the Retrospreader™ was fully evolved. That device completed the patent process in May 2009 and was awarded U.S. Patent No. 7,534,173. The device is easily and quickly installed on any existing arbor to accommodate the desire for appropriately spaced plates without renovating the entire system. A Retrospreader™ plate can be installed in less than three minutes using only a screwdriver and nut driver. No system disassembly is required.
The Retrospreader™ serves one additional function as a line of demarcation between the pipe weight always on the arbor and the additional load weight placed on the arbor. Powder coated a deep red, it is evident to even novice stagehands that when one reaches the red plate, one stops removing weight. This feature is very useful even in new installations where risk of removing too much counterweight might occur. Each of your linesets needs a Retrospreader™!
Stephen E. Rees, Emeritus Technical Director and Chair
State University of New York at Fredonia