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Homework Help: Force problem -- a painter is standing on a scaffold supported by ropes

  1. Nov 5, 2014 #1
    This should be an easy problem but I heard my teacher ask it near the end of class as the bell rang and he said we would do this problem next class and what I heard was something like:

    A painter weighs 1300N and is standing on a scaffold supported by ropes that can support 1700 N of tension. How much does the Scaffold weigh?

    This is from memory so my apologies if something is worded wrong but this was essentially the question

    Not really any relevant equations

    I figured that the force of tension would be upwards and the force of gravity on the painter would be downwards but I feel like there is not enough information to determine the weight of the scaffold.. I think that the weight of the scaffold cannot exceed 400N or the ropes would break but I feel like the scaffold could weigh anything less.

    To help with the context of this problem today in class we learned about normal forces so I would assume that is involved with this problem but I am having difficulty seeing how to determine the exact weight of the scaffold. Thanks
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 5, 2014
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 5, 2014 #2


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    Gold Member

    Your analysis seems correct. I would guess that you did not hear the entire problem. As stated, the scaffold can have any weight <400N.
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