Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Haunted Trunk!

Finally started a prop that I have wanted to make for some time now!!

Here is a video in action! I still need a motion detector, sound, and maybe some lights, but that will come later!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

German Work Horse!

Pretty much all my hobbies overlap in one way or another in terms of methods I learn, or can apply towards something else which is pretty cool. I owe a great portion of my wedding props and what I was able to build in part to some amazing tutorials that were Halloween related on Halloween Forum and applied the same concepts to simple Alice in Wonderland inspired decorations! Another common thing that all my projects have in common is my car. I own a 1957 Volkswagen bug that has been my work horse! Often neglected, but it keeps on going. I was very passionate about vehicles when I was slightly younger and more carefree with my money, but after awhile it was a never ending pit of money on different vehicles I owned and the directions I wanted to take them. The VW was my second Volkswagen I owned and I spent around $10,000 upgrading the suspension, disc brakes, transmission, engine, and wiring harness, so basically I had a new car that looked like crap! While I never got around to fixing the body work, I basically drove my car year round for about six years. I didn't treat it as well as I should have and now the tranny grinds because the synchros are out because I was trying to race people left and right because I put a mild performance engine in it! That was almost eleven years ago and while the car has its problems for the most part I have kept it running. One reason is because this is how I collect my materials! From 4X8 sheets of plywood, lumber, parts, etc this damn car has done it all. When I had to purchase furniture for my new home I took it home on the rear decklid rack, I've transported my coffee table coffin, Alice in Wonderland photo shoot wall, and anything else I have made in this damn little car!

Recently I stopped driving my now daily driver my 2011 Harley Road King and I have started to fix up the VW ever so slowly. I love old cars. You can work on them and much like a Halloween project if you are willing to read a tutorial there isn't a thing you can't do on your own. Your own willing is the only thing that will hold you back! I've always thought of running my own business and having the VW be some what of a calling card and always wanted attention pulled to it. I've also loved lowered cars and after owning a '66 Cadillac that layed on the frame in thanks to air suspension, I've been hooked. I've had a front end on my VW that has an airbag that will allow the vehicle to raise and lower by having air supplied to the air bag. Best of both worlds, but very similar to my house where I have a million started ideas that have been waiting completion, I hardly finish anything once I start and instead of doing said idea it becomes a dream to look forward to instead of completing it! Bad habit! Recently, since I have been driving the VW a lot less air naturally comes out of the air bag and the vehicle rides incredibly low to the ground and will start collecting reflectors in the road. I needed this problem fixed, so I was going to put the vehicle back up to stock height and forget about my original ideas. Once I started pricing out a new front end, stock spindles, and new brakes because the dropped spindles and disc brake kit I have won't work with anything else, I was well over $2,000 in parts which would take me forever to save. So I did what I have been lagging on for so long! I bought a compressor, tank and solenoids. The cool thing about this is I can inflate the air bag in the car from the compressor and tank in the vehicle and adjust the ride height without having to inflate the bag manually and hope it maintains enough pressure until I check it again! This also means I have access to pneumatic props right from my car!! Nice!! I purchased a kit from fright props YEARS ago that was a trunk lid opener that ran of a pneumatic cylinder and I was so excited to purchase the prop I failed to realize that since I didn't have a compressor at home the only place I could see my prop in action would be at my Grandparents. So like a lot of projects I have the supplies buried away in my coffin supply cabinet and I forget about them!

Now I can use that kit to make somewhat of a Monster in a Box that will sit on the rear decklid rack of my car. Now I can combine two things I love. My Volkswagen and my obsession for making stuff I think is cool. I have a million ideas in my head on making a vintage looking trunk with vintage inspired custom stickers from places of lore from horror novels, or films. Imagine walking behind my car and seeing a normal looking luggage piece and having them lid slam up and down, making noise, possibly having fog come out.. the ideas are endless. Money and time will all come into play, but this will be the next thing I turn into a reality! I am also going to try and drive my VW for a month straight just to see how reliable I can depend on it now.

This was my Alice in Wonderland inspired photo wall. While the engineering of this piece let it fold in half once it was together it was six feet tall and eight feet wide!! Easily fit on my roof rack.

My full size coffin coffee table!!

This convertible has a different type of rack than I do, but the concept is basically the same. If I want to have fog, lights, sound, etc I probably will have to make somewhat of a weatherproof box and make sure there are different compartments for each component and make sure it has some holes to get some fresh air in there, so it doesn't get too hot. Can't wait to get started! 

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Wood gears and 20,000 Leagues under the Sea

I've been watching 20,000 leagues like a fiend and I decided I wanted to do something Jules Verne inspired.. Decided to cut out some wood gears out of wood. A lot harder than it looks! The last one I made is the top center cog in the third image and it is closer than all the rest to being symmetrical. This was a fun day in the garage. No projects to work on and just messing around trying out different techniques. I even made two bracket looking things seen in the last images for the hell of it. I love curves and circles. Not sure what I am going to do with all these, but at the end of the night I decided to use a leftover center from the Skyrim shields and do a loose interpretation of a Ouija board in 20,000 leagues under the sea style. I kinda missed the boat, but I think I am going to cut out a trim ring to put over the circle and turn the whole thing into a porthole type piece and engrave A - Z and numbers on it, so it looks closer to a Ouija Board! 

Dovahkiin! Completed Skyrim Shields..

Finished up my Skyrim inspired shields! Need to add a leather arm brace to the back and seal them, but they will be off to their new homes shortly!

Both completed shields next to my Gibbet cage! 

Shield blanks after staining/painting the outer trim ring.


Glued up shield ready to be painted!

Didn't drive the VW and honestly a lot more fitting to bring shields back on an iron horse! Between my beard that was going on nine months and the shields on the back I definitely felt like a Viking.

Shields were painted with acrylics and the black of the wold was done with a black paint marker! I can never get clean lines with a brush!!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Skyrim Shield

Haven't been working on much of late, but I did start a quick shield project. I've been playing a fair bit of Skyrim and watching a few Viking/Historical time pieces and I figured what a better thing to make with wood than a shield. A quick glance around the web and I found a fantastic Skyrim shield by VolpinProps and I pretty much followed his tutorial save for sculpting in clay. I figured it would be easier for me to make the whole thing out of wood. After determining the best course of action on how to cut out multiple circles between a table saw, band saw, or router I chose the router. Interesting enough a table saw and band saw will cut perfect circles too (quick search on youtube will prove this), but it would have been harder to make the metal trim ring that gives depth to the shield!

Here is how I did it!

Cut everything out into 2x2 sections size doesn't matter just cut them out to the overall size of the shield you want. Mine will be slightly smaller than 24 inches. 

I then glued a two inch by two inch square to the center of the boards with a hole in it. This is used to anchor the router and homemade jig to use as a track to arc a perfect circle!

The jig just has to mount the router base to a fixed arm with a pin/nail in the end that will drop into the glued square with hole in it on your shield piece! Nothing fancy here!
Router in action! Remember the size of the circle will be twice the length of the jig! Cut shallow cuts over and over until the circle is cut out!!

Backside of a jig! It is not as interesting as the back side of water, but that is an article for another day! I used a metal dowel I had laying around, but a nail, or wooden dowel would have worked just as well!

Here is a completed circle!

The trim rings were made the same way as the inner circles, but once the outside diameter was cut I moved the jig and shortened the stroke and repeated the process to cut the inner diameter out and it left me with a nice trim ring! Fear not the excess circle that was cut out can be used to make Ouija Boards, signs, or smaller shields for little minions!

Here they are! I used 1/2 inch plywood for the material, so they are in total one and a half inches thick! Trim ring on the front, full circle for the shield in the center and one more trim ring in the back!

I then took the router and carved planks in the shield face. I have not glued down the trim rings in place yet and I recommend not doing that until after the next few steps and possibly until after painting! I traced the trim ring onto the shield face, so I didn't carve the decorations down past the inner dimension of the trim piece.

Free handed some wood grain designs onto the shield! Just used a pencil and went crazy.

Voila! Time to stain and paint. I will update the process once that is completed! Time to enjoy some mead and dream of Valhalla!

Friday, February 7, 2014

Haunted Mansion Bench

Made a bench to accompany the craft table I made! I found a tutorial on Lowes on how to make a bench from plumbing material. Definitely not inexpensive! I also purchased some Haunted Mansion fabric to upholster the bench with! I deviated from the plans a bit and purchased 1" fittings because my store did not have enough smaller ones. I ended up having to go to Home Depot to pick up more pieces.. I don't remember, but they did package them differently.. I believe Lowes has them each with a sticker and Home Depot has each piece in a bag. Not a huge difference until you go to paint the pieces!! The stickers did not come off easily. I recommend purchasing them in the plastic bags if your store has them that way and save a ton of time! I also used two 1/2 thick pieces of pine for the seat!