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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
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    Default Universal Joint for Stalk-around Costume

    Like many others I'm making an oversized stalk-around type costume built on a backpack/PVC frame with one of the giant foam skulls as a head that will move when I move my head via an attached helmet. I came up with what I think is a unique solution for the universal joint needed at the neck to allow the skull to move freely.

    Following posts on various forums I was looking into using a swivel tripod head or a swivel speaker mount but both of those would cost more money than I wanted to spend. I had a brainstorm one night and remembered our Swiffer floor sweeper had a universal joint at the end of the handle to allow it to move freely around furniture when cleaning the floor. I grabbed it out of the closet and had a look. With some modification it would work perfect. First step was to sneak it past my wife and out to the garage. Actually we also had a knock-off version from the dollar store that was similar so I used that. Then I sawed off the ends using my chop saw so it would better fit the skull and glued the modified Swiffer to a scrap of 1" foam. I then used an xacto knife to cut out a circle in the bottom of the skull with enough clearance for the universal joint to move freely. The scrap of foam was cut to fit and glued into the bottom of the skull. I'll use an old cut-off wooden broom handle and a T-Joint to connect it to the PVC frame.

    http://www.swiffer.com/products/swiffer-sweeper

    Here's some in-progress photos...




  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Tower of Orthanc, Isengard, Middle-Earth
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    1,746
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    An ingenious solution. Look forward to seeing more.
    'A mind of metal and wheels . . .'

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Concord, NC
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    Yea, I noticed a long time ago that universal joint on the Swiffers.
    I said, I know there's a good use for that SOMEWHERE in prop building.
    Great idea for the stalkaround!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
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    Ontario, Canada
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    Default

    Just added some in-progress photos.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
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    Just wondering if you ever finished this! Am looking for inspiration and details!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
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    Ontario, Canada
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    Quote Originally Posted by madmangt View Post
    Just wondering if you ever finished this! Am looking for inspiration and details!
    Sadly I never got going on it again this year - I put it off to next year's projects. I did use the giant skull with antlers on my scarecrow to substitute for the usual pumpkinhead so I could wear that as a quick costume. It looked pretty cool but I'm looking forward to having the completed stalkaround for 2013. I did buy some giant plastic hands from Party City that I plan on using with the stalkaround and have experimented with using a heat gun to carefully soften the plastic so I can pose the fingers in a more realistic position. So far one down and one to go.

    Here's a picture of the stalkaround skull as used on my scarecrow...


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Winston Salem, NC
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    68
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    Looks great! I can't wait to see the finished version! Regarding the hands... I have been working on an idea to make the hands move, on my stalk-around... I just bought some material that I think will work great, and I wil post pics soon.
    Some people are like slinkies. Not good for much, but they bring a smile to your face when you push them down the stairs.

 

 

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