Halloween Forum banner

1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Somewhat Eccentric
Joined
·
2,278 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
This is the instructor's thread for the second project of 2016, The Spider Levitator. DaveintheGrave is the instructor and he will be posting the materials list and start date soon.. Please note this thread is for the instructor's use only. Please post all questions and comments in the student's thread found here.
 

·
Funeral Crasher
Joined
·
7,441 Posts
Just to give a head start to anyone interested in getting in on this build, it would be wise to go ahead and order the motor that you will need to power this prop.
I order mine from E-bay and they come from China. It usually takes them about two weeks to get to me (I'm in North Carolina).
I'll post some links below with some recommendations. It's up to you how fast (RPMs) a motor you buy. Obviously the faster the motor, the quicker your spider prop will move up and down.

This prop can also be built with a regular reindeer motor, but they run REALLY slow--about 3 RPM.
The motors below are either 5 to 6 RPM, 10 to 12 RPM, or 36 RPM. The spider lifter I use for Halloween has the 10 to 12 RPM motor in it.
I'm listing these three motors because I know from experience they will reverse themselves (like a reindeer motor), which is needed to make this prop operate correctly.

I have ordered motors from this seller dozens of times and never had a problem with them.

Sorry---A note from the seller says no items listed until after February 9th. Once they post all of their motors for sale again I will post the links.

Another main item needed for the build is a plastic pulley, roughly 4 to 5 inches in diameter. I used to buy these at Lowe's and they were called Clothesline Pulleys. But, my store seems to no longer stock them. Maybe you will be luckier than me and find one.
It can be ordered from Lowe's.com.
Here's a link to the one at Lowe's (the metal bracket is cut off before we will use it):
http://www.lowes.com/pd_349258-258-7085BK___

I'm also going to show how I sometimes make my own pulleys out of wood in a pinch.

Lastly, if you are throwing out and old lamp or appliance, cut off the AC power cord and save it for the build. The motor doesn't come with a power cord.

More to come......
 

·
Funeral Crasher
Joined
·
7,441 Posts
I also meant to mention in my thread that a member of this forum runs Spider Hill Prop Works and he sells one of these same synchronous motors. It's a bit more expensive than the Chinese motor, but it already has a crank and mounting plate attached to it. It's the 6 RPM motor.
This could be an alternative. His customer service is top-notch, too!

http://www.spiderhillpropworks.com/6-RPM-Synchronous-Gear-Motor-KIT_p_34.html
 

·
Funeral Crasher
Joined
·
7,441 Posts
UPDATE:

Diabolik has offered to give the group a discount on the above mentioned motor kit. I'm not sure how much a discount, but I thought I would mention it and see how much interest there is in doing that.
This is the 6 RPM motor, which is a bit slow for this prop. But, the motor could easily be swapped out for a faster one at a later date. (If the builder desires.)
The kit would also definitely make the build less complicated.
 

·
Funeral Crasher
Joined
·
7,441 Posts
Some people seem to be having trouble finding a decent/affordable pulley for this build. I think I may go ahead and post here how I sometimes build my own pulleys out of wood.
I also posted in the student's thread that for this same prop that I built for myself three years ago, instead of a pulley, I used the empty spool from a spool of fishing line. It has to be modified a bit for use, but anything similar to that should work.
It's even possible an empty tomato sauce or cat food can would work in place of a pulley.

I just posted a video of the prop in action in my first post on this thread.
 

·
Funeral Crasher
Joined
·
7,441 Posts
Here are links to these motors on E-bay:

The 5 to 6 RPM Motor: This motor doesn't turn really fast, but it can handle more weight than some of the faster ones.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Robust-Small-AC-Synchronous-Motor-TYC-50-110V-AC-5-6RPM-CW-CCW-Torque-4Kgf-cm-/151958586365?hash=item23617003fd:g:CVkAAOxyWmxSYeiq


The 10 to 12 RPM Motor: This is the one I currently use for my Spider Lifter.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/ROBUST-TYC-50-SYNCHRONOUS-MOTOR-AC110V-10-12RPM-4W-CW-CCW-Torque-1-5KG-STOCK-/161627364317?hash=item25a1bddbdd:g:JyEAAMXQDfdRwbVi

Here is also a link to Spider Hill Prop Works 6 RPM Motor Kit:

http://www.spiderhillpropworks.com/6-RPM-Synchronous-Gear-Motor-KIT_p_34.html
 

·
Funeral Crasher
Joined
·
7,441 Posts
Here is the parts list for the Spider Levitator. As an option, this prop can be built to lift two spiders, so I've included at the bottom of the list the optional parts you would need in order to do that.


Spider Levitator Parts List

(1) 1 X 4” Wood Board, 18 inches long.

Extra 1 X 4" Board, about 5 inches.

(1) A/C Synchronous Motor – 6 to 12 RPM (Must have ability to reverse itself, like a reindeer motor.)

(1) Plastic Pulley (4 to 5 inches in diameter) or similar.

(1) AC Power Cord (Two prong).

(1) Flat Aluminum stock, about 4 inches long.

(1) Metric machine screw, size M4 - .70 X 6. (Available at Lowe’s, in the specialty screw drawers.)

(1) #8 Lock Washer

(1) Small Eye Hook (Screw-in type, 5/16”.)

(2) #6 X 3/4" Wood Screws

(2) #6 X 1/2" Machine Screws

(2) #6 Lock Washers

(2) #6 Nuts

(1) Spool of Thin, White String (or similar, like fishing string.)

Scrap Wood

(1) Fake Spider (Lightweight)

OPTIONAL: (2) Large “L” Brackets.


OPTIONAL EXTRA PARTS FOR MAKING DOUBLE SPIDER LEVITATOR

(1) Pulley (similar size as original pulley)

(1) Eye Hook

(2) #6 X 1/2" Machine Screws

(2) #6 Lock Washers

(2) #6 Nuts

(1) Another Spider (Lightweight)
 

·
Funeral Crasher
Joined
·
7,441 Posts
HOW TO MAKE YOUR OWN PULLEY

I thought I would start the Spider Levitator Tutorial with a short lesson on how I make my own pulleys when I either can't find one, or just want to save money by building my own. (I'm cheap!)

Small Wooden Pulley:

I start this one by using a wood plug that was leftover after drilling a 2 inch hole with hole cutter. If the wood plug is kind of rough on the sides, it would be wise to sand it a bit or use a dremel tool to smooth it out first.



Drill the center hole of the wood plug with a 5/16" drill bit. (This will make the hole big enough for the head of the M-4 mounting screw to fit through.) Cut a short piece of Flat Aluminum Stock, about 1-3/4" inches long. Lay the aluminum piece on top of the wood plug over the center hole and mark it. Drill a 5/32" hole there. Then measure in about 1/4" from each end of the aluminum piece and drill a 9/64" hole (at each end). These will be for two #6 wood screws that will secure the aluminum piece to the pulley.



Take some thin plywood and use a compass to draw a 3 inch diameter circle. Use a coping saw to cut out the wooden circle. Repeat these steps for another wood circle. These will be the sides of the pulley.
Drill a 5/16" hole in the center of the two wooden circles you just cut out. Center one of the wood circles on top of the 2" wood plug, making sure the holes in their centers are aligned. Place the aluminum piece on top of the 3" wood circle, centering its middle hole over the hole in the wood circle. (If it will help, go ahead and drill a pilot hole, then use a #6 screw to hold the 3" circle and the wood plug together before doing the next step.) Hold it all in place and use the drill with a small diameter drill bit to make pilot holes all the way through the wood circle and the plug. Then use two #6 X 3/4" wood screws through the aluminum piece, the wood circle and the wood plug to secure it all together as one unit.



Turn it over and lay the second plywood circle over the wood plug. Center it over the hole in the plug and mark spots to drill two holes to secure the plywood piece to the wood plug. Make sure the holes will go through the wood plug (not outside of it) before drilling. After that, use two of the #6 X 3/4" screws to attach the plywood circle and the plug together.



This completes the pulley. Now, to attach it to the motor.

Place a #8 Lock Washer onto the M-4 screw. Using a flathead screwdriver, push the screw all the way through the pulley until it pokes through the center hole of the aluminum plate. While holding the motor shaft with a pair of pliers, tighten the M-4 screw tightly into the motor shaft.

When finished it will look like this:



Now, this is just one example, but you can make your pulley bigger if you want to. The bigger the pulley, the faster the spider will move. This can help compensate for a motor that's too slow.
Or, just the opposite--a small pulley can make the spider move slower to compensate for a motor that's too fast.


OTHER OPTIONS:

Here is another example of a homemade pulley.
I had some old blank DVDs that had gone bad, so I just cut a circle of wood in a smaller diameter than the DVDs. I then used the DVDs as the sides of the pulley.
It is basically put together in the same fashion as the pulley above that I made using the wood plug. The main difference was using four one inch long machine screws, flat washers, lock washers and nuts to secure it all together. I would recommend putting some glue or adhesive of some sort on both sides of the wood piece before the final assembly.











And there are many things that can be made useful as a pulley with a little bit of modification: an old wheel, empty spool of string or even a tin can.
For my Spider Levitator, I used the empty spool from some fishing line as my pulley. And it lifts two spiders.




 

·
Funeral Crasher
Joined
·
7,441 Posts
TUTORIAL


Motor Assembly:



Cut a 4 inch piece of flat aluminum stock. This will become the motor bracket. Lay the piece on top of the motor, right under the motor shaft, and center it. Hold the bracket in place as you turn the motor over to the backside and mark the two upper motor mounting holes on the back side of the aluminum bracket.
Remove the piece and measure in about ¼” on each side of the bracket and mark for two more holes. (These will be used to mount the motor assembly to the wood board.)
Use a 9/64” drill bit to make four holes in the bracket where you marked it. Place the bracket back on top of the motor and, from the back side of the motor, insert two #6-32 X ½” machine screws into the two mounting holes and through the bracket.
Use two #6 lock washers and nuts to secure the bracket onto the motor.



PULLEY
Read and follow my pulley tutorial above if you want to try and make your own pulley for the Spider Levitator.
I used a plastic, 4-inch pulley on mine.



There are two ways to mount your pulley to the motor shaft and I’ll go over both ways. You’ll need to inspect the design of your pulley to figure out which method will work best for you.


Screw Method: Using a metric sized (M-4) screw to mount the pulley on the end of the motor shaft.
(NOTE: If you made your own pulley using my tutorial, your pulley should already have this part on it.)

Cut a short piece of flat aluminum stock, about 2 inches long. Drill a 5/32” hole in the center of it. Near each end of the piece, drill a 9/64” hole.
Center the piece on the back side of your pulley, lining up the center holes. Then, using the aluminum piece as a guide, drill two pilot holes in the back of your pulley.




Use a 5/16” drill bit to enlarge the center hole in your pulley. This is so the M-4 screw will fit through the pulley for mounting.
Depending on the kind of material your pulley is made of, you can use either #6 wood screws or #6 machine screws, lock washers and nuts to mount the aluminum piece to the rear side of your pulley.
Once that is finished, place a #8 lock washer over the M-4 screw and insert it through the pulley and into the center hole. Use a flathead screwdriver to tighten the screw into the motor shaft.




Pin Method: Using a cotter pin or some clothes hanger wire through the back of the pulley and through the motor shaft to mount it.
I first had to make the center hole in my pulley bigger, to fit over the motor shaft. Use a 9/32” drill bit (or a similar size) and drill out the center hole. It should now slide easily over the motor shaft.

Notice that the motor shaft has some holes in the side of it. If the pulley you are using has a large enough “nipple” on the back side to allow a small hole to be drilled through it, this method should work fine. Slide your pulley onto the motor shaft and “eyeball” roughly where you need to drill a hole that will line up with the hole in the motor shaft. Use a 1/8” drill bit to make a hole in the rear nipple of the pulley at the designated spot.







Slide your pulley back onto the motor shaft and use a screw, cotter pin or some thick wire through the pulley and motor shaft to hold it in place.
Even if the pulley ends up having a bit of play or “slop” in it after it is mounted, it should still operate properly.






More to come...........
 

·
Funeral Crasher
Joined
·
7,441 Posts
Mounting Platform

Cut a piece of 1 X 4” wood at 18 inches long. (Doesn’t have to be exact.)
Find the center of the board and use a hole saw on your drill to make a 2 -1/8th inch hole. This is where the motor will be mounted.
If you don’t have a hole saw, I would recommend just sawing a 2-1/8th inch square section out of the top of the board to make a spot for the motor. The motor bracket itself should help to make the wood piece sturdier after it is screwed in place.
Lay your motor assembly on top of the board, into the 2-1/8th inch hole you just drilled. You will notice that the heads of the two bracket screws are preventing the unit from lying flat on the board. Mark those areas and use a large drill bit to remove some of the wood at those two areas and make room for the screw heads. (See Picture)




Once you have the unit satisfactorily lying flat, drill two pilot holes into the wood, through the mounting hole on each end of the motor bracket.
Use two #6 X ¾” wood screws in these holes to mount the motor assembly tightly to the board.






Turn over the mounting board to get access to the two wires coming out of the motor. Use a soldering iron to attach one wire of your power cord to each wire of the motor. It doesn’t matter which wire goes where. Make sure to cover your solder connections with some heat shrink or electrical tape.
If you don’t want to solder the wires, you could use two small wire nuts instead.
Measure in about an inch from the right edge of the mounting board and mark. This is where the eye hook will be screwed in. It would be preferable to have the center of the eye hook level with the middle of the pulley after it is screwed in. You may have to add a small piece of wood on top of the mounting board if you need to raise up your eye hook to make it even.



Final Assembly

Use a 1/8” inch drill bit to make a hole straight through the “channel” in your pulley. (Where the string winds up.) Then make another hole in one of the spokes of the pulley. This is where the string will be tied off.




Determine the height at which your spider levitator will be mounted and how low you want the spider to drop. Cut a long piece of the white string at the same length, adding about 18 inches of string. (This extra length is what will run through the eye hook and be tied to the pulley.)
Feed one end of your string through the eye hook. Then feed it through the hole in the channel of your pulley. Tie the string off in the hole drilled in the spoke of the pulley.





At the other end of the string, measure up about 6 inches and tie on a large washer or a small piece of scrap wood. Just be sure whatever you use is larger than the hole in your eye hook. This is what will cause the motor to stop, and then reverse rotation.

Take your two large “L” brackets and mount them on the rear of the mounting board, flush with the top of the board. This will allow you to mount the whole assembly to a horizontal tree limb. You can substitute two pieces of scrap wood on the back of your board in place of the L-brackets. Use whatever works best for you. Even a couple of U-bolts would work.
As an option, you could mount the spider mechanism on the ground (or a lower part of the tree) and just run your string through an eye hook screwed into a horizontal branch of the tree.
For my spider, I used a large, lightweight green one I found at Target. I picked green because I wanted it to stand out and be noticed really well against the drab tree color. But, you can use any kind of spider you want, as long as it is not so heavy as to cause the motor to keep reversing and never lift the spider up.
Tie your spider to the end of the string and you are ready to go. Plug it in to power and watch your spider go up and down, over and over. I recommend adding some fake spider webbing around the area of your spider levitator to add more realism to the scene. I really don’t like the “cotton candy” type spider webbing from the bag. It will look good for a few days, but then end up becoming a trap for dead leaves, totally ruining the look. This past year I used one of those pre-tied, white rope style spider webs and was MUCH happier with that. I found it at Walgreen’s.
That’s it! This completes the Spider Levitator.

EXTRAS
GHOST: This same mechanism can be used to lift a lightweight ghost up and down. I made one using an actual reindeer motor and a cloth ghost I bought from Walgreen’s Drugs. (The reindeer motor itself seems to have more lifting power than the spider motor, but it is much slower. 3 RPM, I think.)


More pictures to come..........
 

·
Funeral Crasher
Joined
·
7,441 Posts
The tutorial itself is all there, but I will add a few more pictures. If any part of it isn't clear, feel free to post a question on the Student's Thread. The only thing I was going to add was how to make it lift two different spiders by adding another pulley to it. I should have that posted soon.
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top