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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I built a bottomless pit several years ago based on some of the tutorials on MonsterList. But I never liked how incredibly heavy it was or the fact that when I picked it up the bottom would fall off. It eventually decayed and needed replaced so this is my modified version.

These are the basic steps I used to make it. I am not giving detailed instructions. This is pretty easy to figure out. Mine was based on a 24 X 24 inch piece of glass which I already had.

First I cut out four walls all the same size, each one a little over 24" wide to accommodate my glass. Then I added 1x2s to the bottom of all four, and the sides of 2 of them. I left a gap at the bottom for the glass to slide into.



Then I cut styrofoam that would fit into each panel. At this point you can assemble 3 walls. Leave the fourth off for now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I drew out where I wanted my lights to go, sprayed some great stuff on it to make it look more rocky, or fungusy, and then used a dremel to make a track for the lights to sit in.


 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
I took a blowtorch and melted the styrofoam enough to get rid of that smooth cardboard look. It is hard to tell any difference in the pics other than it is now brown, but in person you can see the depth of the burns. Then I painted it all red. I will add more colors when I am done.



Then I put some Great Stuff foam in some areas of the light track and laid the lights into the track. As I pushed them down some of the foam oozed out around the edge filling in some of the gaps and helping to hold the lights in place. Then I went back and added some more Great Stuff foam in a few areas to break up the solid line of lights.



More to come next Tues. I am waiting for another set of lights.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
You are welcome Joisey, and I don't see a like button on any threads. I thought there use to be one.
 

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(slight detour from the topic)

Zombie has been making some adjustments to see if he can resolve the glitchy issues we've been having here lately. The Like button may have been temporarily disabled.

(we now return to the thread:))

Bottomless pits are such a cool effect. Looking forward to seeing how this turns out, JW!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
I finally got my lights and some time to work on this.

After you have installed all your lights go back and cover them with a thin coating of great stuff. I discovered this will give it a much nicer and more subtle effect when they are turned on.


Finish painting your foam. Let me give you a really important painting tip. As you can see from my finished effect photo, no one can see what color you paint the inside. As you can almost see, I wasted a LOT of time putting a nice paint job on mine. Just go ahead and paint the inside red or brown. Since I used orange rope lights I put a light coat of orange spray paint on the foam covering my lights so the color would be enhanced.

Next, slide the mirror piece into the bottom slot on your box. Then you can put your fourth wall on. Have fun with this step. It is not that easy. Be patient and if you can get help, do. I don't have pics of this step as I could not put the glass in, cuss, throw stuff, AND take pics all at the same time.

After your wall is screwed in place I suggest laying your box on it's side and taking an air compressor and blowing any junk out of it. Any trash inside can ruin the effect.

Add some Great stuff to the outside if you want. Then paint it when it is dry.


After you are done with that you can set your top mirror in place. It should just set right on top of the foam and corner supports as you can see in the pic above. I used a regular piece of mirror for the bottom. But for the top piece I used plexiglass with one way mirror tint installed. Given a choice, I would recommend plexiglass for both pieces for two reasons. 1) Glass or mirror is VERY heavy and 2) they are very breakable. The mirrored film works great.
 

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I agree ... this is truly excellent. Got a few questions ...

1) where do you get this mirror film? an auto supply store? how hard is it to apply?

2) is this something sturdy enough that you could tilt on its side?

3) about how much time should you allow to build this prop? an entire weekend? with help, it looks like maybe a day. it would be awesome to have enough time to include this prop in my haunt this year
 

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I'd think you could tilt it as long as it is stable enough to support itself, I'd need it tilted also. Wonder if I could use a heavy-duty round garbage can on a 45 degree angle...

Is the mirror only on the bottom piece of plexi or both top and bottom pieces? It seems like the top couldn't be mirrored or you couldn't see through it. I am probably just not thinking but what purpose does the top plexi serve? I get the mirror on bottom reflects and looks bottomless. Actually I don't get that either, it seems like the foam would have to angle in where the square at the bottom is substantially smaller than the top or you would see your reflection looking in. I love the way you made this but it just hit me that I don't get it.

I'd think you would need a couple days for the Great Stuff to cure waldiddy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Hey everyone, thank you so much for the encouragement and compliments. It really makes me feel great.

Waldiddy:
1) I got my mirror film at Home Depot for $25 a roll. I change my film each year to make sure there are no scratches or lines for a nice clean effect. A roll lasts through 3-4 changes. It is not hard to apply. Follow the directions exactly as on the product and it will be easy enough. Use the spray recommended, liberally. The mirror film is only applied to one side of the plexiglass or glass. You could use this on the bottom as well, as long as you have the mirror side facing up. I used a real mirror because I happened to have one.

2) Yes, it is sturdy enough to tilt on it's side. That is how mine will be displayed. Here is a picture of one I built in 2006. It is tilted on it's side and rests in a pile of hay. You can tilt it sharper if you want.


3) It took me about 2 days to build this. The Great Stuff foam actually dries pretty firm in a couple hours, you can touch it or paint it even sooner.

Daphne: The mirror on the top is a one way mirror. You can see through one side but not the other. These are often mistakenly called 2 way mirrors which would indicate that you could see through both sides. That is called glass :). The one way mirror is installed with the mirrored side facing down. The regular mirror in the bottom of the pit is installed facing up. When it is dark outside and the light is on in the pit it allows you to see through the top one way mirror down into the pit. The bottom mirror reflects everything it sees back into itself, including the one way mirror. That is kind of a confusing explanation, huh? Sorry I am not better at explaining things. Hope this helps.

Thanks again for the nice comments and questions.
 
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