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Capt'n Pirate MacGyver
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been a big fan of the tombstone peeper prop ever since I saw them. They look to be an 'easy' project and one I wanted to try. My only problem is, I didn't want the sweeping motion but just an up and down.

Well, took me a few hours on Sunday to finally figure out the mechanics. Even though I had the idea down, building it was a whole different thing.

This is my first moving prop I managed to figure out by myself. I don't have the how-to put together because I haven't finished the prop, but here is a picture and a video link of the mechanics.



Sorry, it isn't the best quality since I had to use a cheap digital camera with the 'video' built in. Also, I couldn't figure out how to embed the video that I have uploaded onto my website (not on YouTube, Flicker or PhotoBucket).

http://joomla.asmarteru.biz/horton/images/stories/videos/peepmech.flv

It's almost 2 1/2 feet tall, about 10 inches wide and has a lift of about 10".

Off to work on it some more ... I'll update when I get further along. :)

YIPPEE for my FIRST animated prop! :D
 

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Congrats on your first animated prop. Looking forward to some more pics, good luck.
 

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Capt'n Pirate MacGyver
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Update

I've been busy working on the tree stump for the peeper.

OK ... for all you prop builders wanting to work with Great Stuff spray foam ... DON'T DO IT!!! Oh, I hated how this turned out using the GS foam ... horrible to work with and I advise against it.

I tried smearing it around ... didn't work, at first it just dissolves, then a little longer wait and it's sticky but isn't 'workable' and a little longer and it's too late.

Figured I'd use my hot knife ... doesn't melt, heat gun ... again, it doesn't melt ... so I used a hacksaw blade to trim it up. Tried to sand it ... nope, can't sand it either. Oh well ... I even used a heavy spray paint, doesn't melt with that either.

Anyway ... here is where it's at for now.



I have more painting to do and then add some moss. Next is the paper mache 'Peeper' head.
 

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Muddled Moderator
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IMU, do you have a video showing the mechanism for your peeper? It may help me with a problem I'm having on a prop I'm starting up.
 

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Spooky1 is so happy you posted this, IMU. He's trying to work out a snag with a grave grabber kind of thing, and this will be very helpful.

I think the stump looks great, even if the Great Stuff was a pain in the patootie for you.

Don't you love figuring something out all by yourself? It's so empowering:)
 

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Capt'n Pirate MacGyver
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
OK ... had a few questions come up on another post so I'm going to answer them here and not hi-jack their thread! ;)

Originally Posted by NoahFentz:
Okay...THAT was the motion I was looking for. PLEASE PLEASE explain. We tried many attempts but came up with the one in the video. Your set up looks easy. Is it that simple?
The main problem I had was with using 2 eye bolts. Every time the arm would rotate, it would bind up and not slide. It was trial and error until I had to abandon the eye hooks method only and tried something else. To get the motion to work, I used 1 eye bolt at the top and 2 guide pieces for the wooden dowel near the bottom.

There is very little side to side motion but I did leave a small gap between the guides and the wooden dowel. I am going to use a little wax to help with the sliding motion.

After making this one, I'd say the next one won't take me as long … so I believe Yes, it is that simple! :D

Originally Posted by Hpropman:
Nice Job! IMU what are the two white things on the board (PVC pipes)? Is the dowel sliding between them? I Suppose a draw slide would work also.
The 2 white things are quarter-round (used with baseboard trim along the floors?). I used what I had left from my scrap pile. Yes, the small wooden dowel slides between them. I don't see why a slide couldn't work, you just have to give it a try and see.

Hope this helps ... let me know if you need more info and/or pics. :)
 

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If you want a really smoth surface for moving props I recommend buying some of those cheap nylon chopping boards and turning them into washers or hoops or whatever.

This stuff is really good at acting as a self lubricating bearing.
 

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Thank You IMU. You probably went thru the trial and error that we went thru. The difference was that you were successful. We tried the 3 arm action but could not get it to do the complete motion. We also used 2 eye screws. Then again we were using pvc. I will try to use bar stock and a wooden dowel. Is there anyway you can get some close up pics of the 2 bars?

I might hold off until next year to try this but I too was thinking of using that same motion for a tree. I have 3 monster mud trees in my forest and was thinking of adding another. Thanks again for all your help.
 

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Capt'n Pirate MacGyver
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
NoahFentz said:
Is there anyway you can get some close up pics of the 2 bars?
Sure, I'll take a few when I get off of work later today. I can try and take a closeup vid of the motor action and the dowel too.

The 2 flat stock bars are 10" and 6" with 9" and 5" centers for the bolts. I used #10 & #20 bolts, screws and washers. I don't remember what size dowel rod I used but the eye hook just has to be a size that allows the dowel to slide without too much play.
 

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Capt'n Pirate MacGyver
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I used a ¼” Diameter #20 Machine Screw, 1/2” long for the motor attachment. If you don't manage to get it screwed into the shaft completely, just use a nut under the flat stock.

Hope that makes sense. I am going to take some closeup pics soon, just not at home at the moment (damn work, always getting in the way of building props!) :)
 

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Capt'n Pirate MacGyver
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thanks for the nice comments and good luck to all who attempt to make one. It is a fun little project once you get the movement down. :)
 
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