Mechanical: Grave Digger Skeleton
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
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    Default Grave Digger Skeleton

    Grave Digger Skeleton
    Been working on this aff and on for a couple of months now and finally got around to ordering a wiper motor and finishing it last week. I've never built one of these or worked with wiper motors before so I made a couple of mistakes in construction that caused me to have to disassemble the prop completely and rebuild the internal workings before it would run smoothly. A couple of Haunters Hangout members and Halloween Forum members gave me some pointers on what to try to get it running more smoothly. My first mistake was a combo using a plastic base and putting padding around the motor. I underestimated the torque a wiper motor has and it was both flexing the plastic it was attached to a little and rocking in the mount because of the padding I used to keep the clamp from damaging the motor. The block of wood I mounted the skeleton to was also rocking on the plastic base, but the root cause of this was still the motor. The second issue was that in my efforts to keep the mechanism as hidden as possible I mounted the drive arm too low on the shovel. This was causing a bit of binding, erratic movement, and too much travel. The shovel would move forwards normally, come back to midway fine, then gain a little speed past that point, hit the skelly in the shoulder then hesitate a spit second before moving forwards again. You could hear the changes in strain it was putting on the motor as it cycled too. I took the whole drive and mount apart, added a wood plank under the motor and mounting rod, removed the cushioning I put under the motor and clamp and moved the drive arm attachment to the top edge of the shovel's blade. I did keep the plastic base underneath it all because I don't want the wood it come into contact with the damp ground and rot in a few seasons of use. After putting it all back together my movement is now MUCH better. We are still deciding on the final leg pose (foot on or off the shovel).

    Video from before the rebuild...



    And after...



    And inside...



    Once I finish up this guy I'll be thinking about making a one arm grave grabber and a dropping spider next.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
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    VA
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    Grave Digger Skeleton
    Here you can see the 5v 3a power supply I was asking about in my other post. Even though the motor specs called for 5v 5a minimum, the 3a motor did work with no heat build up in either the motor or power supply. Let it run for about 2 hours to be sure.


  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
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    Along the mighty Mohawk
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    Very nice. Like the dirt pile hiding the mechanism. My vote is for foot on shovel.

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  6. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
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    ...just north of a dirt nap, in the State of Denial
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    Great job! I really like the movement, very gravedigger-esque, not row row row your boat.
    Elongation of the limbs can be a problem without the proper equipment.
    http://www.pinterest.com/octoberpunkin/

  7. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by punkineater View Post
    Great job! I really like the movement, very gravedigger-esque, not row row row your boat.
    Thanks, I did a lot of small adjustment to the spine, head, and arms to try and get a more natural pose instead of the stiff upright pose the skelly was originally in.

  8. #6
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    Jun 2008
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    Winter Haven Fl.
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    I kind of liked the original action myself. It made it look like the ground was hard to dig and the skeleton had to use some effort..............But still a nice job!!
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  9. #7
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    Sep 2011
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    Quote Originally Posted by bfjou812 View Post
    I kind of liked the original action myself. It made it look like the ground was hard to dig and the skeleton had to use some effort..............But still a nice job!!
    It was just too shakey. The video really does not do justice to how shakey it was. Put a lot of strain on the motor too as you can tell by the reduction in noise between the two videos.

  10. #8
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    Nov 2008
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    San Diego CA
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    Love it!
    Really nice work
    "I love you in droves......like a murder of crows"

  11. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
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    Concord, NC
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    Great movement! I love this prop.

    And I like the way you hid the motor mechanism. Very ingenious.

    Nice job!
    Stamp out the Christmas Creep !

  12. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Detroit
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    54

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    Very nicely done.
    Personally I like the foot on the shovel look.
    One small suggestion, try pulling the right foot on the shovel to see if it looks more natural since you have the right hand as the lower hand on the shovel handle.
    I went round and round on this setup on my static gravedigger prop and that set-up ended up looking the best to me.

 

 
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