Manual Rigging

Head Blocks

A head block is a stationary sheave directly above the arbor or pin rail that redirects a lift line from the loft blocks down to the counterweight arbor. The head blocks are available in single purchase, compound and reverse operation. Mounting types include upright and underhung.


Upright head blocks are mounted on one or two I-beams. They feature fully enclosed sheaves and base angles that are turned in and notched to easily pass lift lines.


Underhung head blocks are mounted on the bottom of one or two I-beams. They feature fully enclosed sheaves and base angles with welded and bolt-on clips for attachment. Strategically positioned spacers ensure the cables remain in their respective sheave grooves.

Loft Blocks

The loft block directs the lift line from the batten to the head block. Available in single line or multi-line configurations. We offer a variety of mounting types:


Loft blocks are mounted to well openings on the grid system.


Loft blocks are mounted to the bottom of the beam. Auxiliary sag pickups or idler sheaves can be added to properly support the other cables during horizontal travel.

Pivot Blocks

Pivot blocks are designed with a pivot rod or a hinge type device that allows the sheave to reposition the cable.

Custom Loft Blocks

Custom blocks can be engineered to fit your needs.

Mule Blocks

A mule block is a supplementary piece of equipment placed between the head and loft blocks. If the equipment or item being supported needs to turn, the mule block changes the direction of the line as desired while easily supporting the extra weight caused by that action.

Counterweight Arbors

An arbor holds weights to counterbalance the load of a batten, scenery and lights.

Box Arbors

The Tiffin Box Arbor features an enclosed carriage where the counterweight ballast is stacked in departments, eliminating the need for spreader plates.

Single Purchase Arbors

Single purchase arbors are designed with two steel rod members and connected to the arbor stop and bottom with nuts and lock nuts for security. An arbor backbone ensures rigidity. The cable and purchase lines attach to the top member.

Double Purchase Arbors

Double purchase arbors, also known as “compound arbors,” are designed similarly to single purchase arbors, but include cable and rope sheaves at the top and a rope sheave on the bottom to provide a two-to-one operation. For every foot of arbor travel, the pipe batten moves two feet. That requires twice the counterweight ballast as pipe batten weights.

Arbor Guide Systems

Wire Guide

J-bar Guide

Roller Guide Shoes

The all-new Tiffin Roller Guide Shoes were designed to reduce friction at the J-bar guide system by using rolling sheaves instead of fiber shoes. That makes the set operation smoother, easier and quieter during production. Adjustable mounting allows for easy retrofitting to existing systems.

J-Bar Wall / Guide System

The J-Bar Wall guides the counterweight arbor and keeps it straight as it travels vertically.

Floor Blocks

Floor blocks are designed to remove slack from a purchase line, prevent the line from twisting as it travels and prevent rubbing against wire ropes, structural framing and adjoining equipment.

Tension Floor Blocks

Sliding Tension Floor Blocks

Locking Rail

Locking rail assemblies are located at the stage or fly floor level and are used for mounting rope locks. They’re built to withstand 300 pounds per linear foot. Each set includes an index card strip and cardholders for easy identification. Locking rail assemblies are available for single wire guide sets, as well as single and double purchase sets with rigid T-bar guides. Rear illuminated index strips are available by request.

Tiffin Heavy-Duty Locking Rail

The Tiffin Heavy-Duty Locking Rail is designed to house the Tiffin Hand Lever Rope Lock or the Tiffin Restrictor Rope Lock. Made from three-inch bent steel, the heavy-duty standards are designed to be positioned on five-foot centers. A conventional index card strip is placed on the front and includes two ½” x 2” x 2” angles running continuously, accommodating the Tiffin Hand Lever or Tiffin Restrictor Rope Locks. A heavy-duty ½” x 6” x 4” positive lower arbor stop transfers the energy of an out-of-balance run-away situation into the floor.

Standard Locking Rail

The standard locking rail allows the mounting of smaller cast-iron rope locks on the front angle and index card strip. The Tiffin Restrictor Rope Lock is available for this configuration.

Pass-Through Locking Rail

The pass-through locking rail is designed similarly to the standard locking rail but allows mounting at the edge of an elevated fly floor or at the floor level if it has a rigging pit. Both locations allow the arbor to pass through or past the locking rail in its travels. 

Rear Illuminated LED Index Strip

The rear illuminated LED index strip highlights the locking rail with a soft glow to allow rail operators to differentiate between sets. The strip is dimmable, has a 50,000-hour lifetime and can be labeled with a dry erase marker. Plus, installation is easy for existing locking rails.

Types available: high-efficiency LEDs, 24-volt DC

Rope Locks

The Hand Lever

The hand lever rope lock’s all-steel body is engineered for strength and durability. Plus, its unique design increases rope lifespans. Six-inch long pairs of shoes are applied evenly with a double eccentric cam method that allows gripping of the operating line. The handle moves 3.5 degrees past center, allowing a positive lock that eliminates the need for a locking ring. The hand lever rope lock can hold 1,000 pounds out-of-balance and an arbor or batten 250 pounds out-of-balance in three feet after free-falling up to eight feet. It also features a lock to prevent unauthorized personnel from using the equipment.

The Restrictor

With its all-steel construction and 4.5-inch shoes, the Restrictor is the strongest rope lock on the market. The unique handle and cam design enable the Restrictor to remain closed in an out-of-balance situation without the need for an oval ring. There are two options available for use with standard locking rails and TSS locking rails.

Cast-Iron Rope Lock with 9” Handle

Cast-iron rope locks attach to the locking rail and use an adjustable cam to squeeze the operating line. The handle is available in a cast six-inch standard or nine-inch steel. Both handles come with a vinyl-coated rope locking ring. The rope lock is designed to hold up to 90 pounds out-of-balance.

Index Light

Index lights are positioned above the locking rail, pin rail or fly floor. These dimmable lights provide adequate lighting during stage setup and illuminate the locking rail during a performance. They last up to 50,000 hours and can be run from a control station or by a light console. Plus, we’ve engineered installation components for maximum flexibility.

Pin Rail

A pin rail is designed with holes to accept belaying pins. It’s used in tying off rope and sandbag rigging lines and transfers the unbalanced loads to the building structure.