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One of the earliest things we did to the shop was to add ceiling tracks. The tracks are 1x3s attached to the ceiling by brackets, providing 3 in. of space between the top of the rail and the ceiling. The tracks have been used for lighting, a place to clamp things during projects, and for storage of such things as studio equipment, frames, and sheets of insulation.
The ceiling has also been used to store bicycles, signage, and scaffolding.
Lengths of chain suspend the scaffolding from the ceiling in areas where the loss of about a foot of height does not interfere with projects. The chains are cut to the same length so that the scaffolding is level when suspended.
Each length of wire used to fasten the two ends of a chain (from which the scaffolding hangs) is fastened to one end of the length of chain by means of a loop that opens only when pried apart. The other end of the wire is rolled, as shown in the following illustration, so that the open end of the chain cannot easily come free.
The loop in the hook turns a full circle to prevent the end of the chain from simply falling off, which is an important consideration not only while the scaffolding is hanging in place, but while it is being removed or replaced.
Each bracket holding a length of chain near the ceiling has three grabbers in it. The grabber on each end of the bracket secures the bracket to the ceiling joist. The middle grabber is only about 3/4 in. long, so that the point of the grabber protrudes slightly from the inner face of the bracket (the surface facing the ceiling). The resulting spike acts as a post over which a loop of chain is placed before the bracket is screwed into position. The post holds the loop in position so that the chain does not slip from the bracket whenever the scaffolding is hanged or removed.
This photograph shows the scaffolding, rolled-up signage, part of the diptych easel, and moveable lighting for which the ceiling is used.
At the top of this photo, the ceiling tracks have been used to store lengths of moulding too long for the