I'm slowly getting this assembled, but I thought I'd do a "start to finish" post that I will come back and update as I progress on the build.
This is my take on a FCG crypt. I wanted something that was big and more realistic than some of the phone booth-sized crypt designs out there, and I also wanted it to be lightweight, easy for a beginner, and most of all... collapse flat for storage.
If this goes well, I will post plans and an exploded view of the crypt. I've been designing this for a while, and I have plenty of illustrations that should make this easier to follow along with.
I want to say up front also: I am not a perfectionist. I enjoy making things and can appreciate a well made project, but I will NEVER have the patience to do stuff where things are perfectly level, mitered at 30˚ angles, etc. I was trained in some of my prop building in a college theater department, and learned the motto "as long as it looks good in the third act from the back of a galloping horse" and took it to heart. (in other words, it's going to have other things going on around it, the lighting will be dim, and the audience will be taking in the whole picture, not eyeballing my slightly crooked corner join )
Fully assembled size will be 5 wide x 6 high foot walls (making a 5 foot square) with the roof measuring 1 foot at the peak, for a total height of 7 feet. Door opening is 3 feet x 6 feet.
This design will probably not work in an area that gets strong winds, as it will be pretty light and the foam might be damaged. I plan on weighting it down and using rebar or something to anchor it in my yard, but the wind isn't a big problem for me, so keep this in mind if you decide to build something similar!
6 sheets 8x4 foot Foamcore (1/2 inch thick - that's all that is available in my area. I am using a mix of blue and pink. Strangely I found the pink slightly easier to work with, but there should not be a difference )
1" x 2" x 8 foot lengths of wood. I forget how many, but each wall needs 4, the front needs 6, and the FCG is going to need two to mount, and you'll have plenty of short lengths to play with.
foam adhesive (liquid nails or generic, doesn't matter - used in a caulk gun)
duct tape (the real stuff that STICKS)
straight edge (for measuring and cutting)
Black and white paint
There is probably some stuff I'm either forgetting or will need further down the road, in which case I will mention it when I get to it.
Front assembly. The opening is 3 x 6 feet, so the foamcore just needed to be skinned over the assembled frame on either side (1 foot x 6 foot lengths). I have braced it at the doorway with 1 x 2s as well.
The other three walls are just basic square frames, screwed together at the corners with no bracing, since adding the foamcore will provide a certain amount of bracing in itself. I attached the foam to the wood with regular nails, driven in until they were just barely compressing the foam. I didn't want them sunk below the surface, and they are really to provide a basic hold on the foam until I could glue everything together.
In the closeup image, you can see that I had to splice another section of foam to cover the entire side. So you end up cutting one 4 foot x 6 foot piece, and finish the wall with a 1 foot x 6 foot piece. I duct taped them on the inside, and caulked the exterior of the seams with adhesive. If you look closely, you can see the adhesive also run around all of the interior sides where the foam meets the wood.
As you can see, each wall section is independent of the others, and can be stored flat against a wall. I plan to paint them obviously, but there is going to be some tricky stuff involving the seams of the corners. I hope to figure that out pretty soon.
My wonderful hubby helped me screw the walls together - one person to hold the walls together and one to do the drilling. There are three screws to each corner, for a total of 12 screws total holding this thing together. It's actually pretty darn sturdy, and will be easily disassembled when it comes time to store it. So that at least worked the way I wanted!
This isn't the best angle, but it's out of the way so hubby could park in the garage. I plan on adding more pics this weekend.
Shot from inside the crypt. You can see two of the screws in the wood that hold the walls together. You also should be able to see the adhesive again.
It is really important to get a good join with the adhesive - it not only makes sure your foam isn't going anywhere, but acts as a seal to prevent light leakage. I want the black light to be hidden and the ghost to glow mysteriously, not have little cracks and gaps where light is leaking out.
This is my first big challenge. See the wood there? The foam from the side wall (blue) is meeting up with the wood from the front. There is about a 2.5 inch gap between the blue foam side to the real corner (where the pink is) so there is a slight step down from the foam to the wood. I plan on either cutting strips of foam to tack on there (2.5 inches x 6 feet - I'll use scraps) or else just painting it up and seeing what it looks like after it's painted - it may look like it was meant to do that.
and finally... my roof
This really needs to be thought out well as far as the roof - want it flush or a little overhang? I debated this for several days, and finally decided I wanted a little overhang so I could use some scrap to create molding strips. I cut THREE triangles (after measuring at least three times to make sure of the size). The third triangle is in the center acting as a support strut (where the bricks are in the pic). The roof is ALL FOAM. Also, it must not overhang the walls on any side - Try to get it as close to flush with the walls as possible (I plan on a 6 inch molding strip all the way around, covering the wall/roof join - the roof will snug into this like a foam cooler). Once I cut out the triangles and the two roof panels, I used nails to pop into the roof and spear the triangles.
Then I got the adhesive out again, and ran it along the roof/triangle seams (including the top peak) and used a damp paper towel to smooth the adhesive into the gaps, and then set brick on top to weight down the roof so the surface was in good contact as it dried. After it dries, I will flip it up, and caulk the interiors with the adhesive. I also dipped the nails in adhesive as they were popped through the foam to make them stay in.
I should be working on this much more this weekend when I get my hubby to help, so more progress pics to come!