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I've hit a wall guys...as I build my permanent haunt (FINALLY) I really have yet to come up with a decent, foolproof drop panel for my actors. Amazing how something so simple can throw a monkey in the wrench, but maybe Im just too close to see it. Any help/suggestions would be greatly appreciated...
 

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I am building one this year also, but I want the frame to stay in place, and just have the picture drop. I got two 1/2" aluminum channels, and a piece of 1/2" plywood (which is actually15/32"). The plywood fits perfectly in the channel, with enough play to slide easily. I am going to screw the channels to the framing, and attach a gate latch for the release mechanism. It should work great, and come down with a BANG!!!
 

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I am building one this year also, but I want the frame to stay in place, and just have the picture drop. I got two 1/2" aluminum channels, and a piece of 1/2" plywood (which is actually15/32"). The plywood fits perfectly in the channel, with enough play to slide easily. I am going to screw the channels to the framing, and attach a gate latch for the release mechanism. It should work great, and come down with a BANG!!!

Sounds interesting. Can you post some pics of the process. I'm looking for different ideas on these things.
Thanks
 

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Sure jdubbya....I'll put up some pics. Unfortunately, I have three projects going at once, and sometimes progress is slow.
 

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Guys
Post some pictures.
I am getting ready to build a drop down panel soon.
The one from the Monster List has the entire picture dropping.
Like you guys said, I want only the picture to drop and leave the frame in place.
I will probably use a 4x8 sheet of plywood. Mount the picture frame to the front. I thought of using just some 2x4's vertically in the back with a notch routed in the edge for the actual picture. Then a 2x4 below to stop the picture at the bottom. My question is how to make a decent fool proof release at the top. The one on Monster List uses a lever hooked over a handle mounted to the top inside edge of the picture. That doesn't look fool proof to me.
 

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my drop panel

Here are pics of my drop panel. Just a frame work and wood panel to slide up and down. I used a metal hook or nail placed in a hole in the top. The panel can be held by a person and looking out through the gap (dark on the backside and light on the panelside viewd) and watch for the appropriate time. WHAM drop the panel and the noise of it hitting the bottom scares them 100 %.
 

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Hauntcrazy, I will post pics tonight when I get home. I just finished the wall for the drop panel last night, and it works like a dream! It's Fast, and LOUD!!!
 

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Darkmaster
So you are just using a hook at the top.
I am just concerned that the actor inside will have trouble latching it back in the dark. Trying to come up with a way just to slide it up and have it lock in place with easy release to drop back down.
 

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That's exactly what I have come up with. It works exactly as you just described. I used a gate latch, with one part attached to the panel, and the other part to the wall framing. A rope is attached to the release mechanism, with a small bungee cord providing the tension to reset it. As I said before, it is fast, and LOUD, and works EVERY SINGLE TIME! I'll also try to post a video of it in action.
 

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O.K., here you go. I still have to put the finishing touches on this, but it is operational, and works like a champ! I'm working on uploading a video, adn I'd be happy to do a quick tutorial if anyone is interested. It's really pretty simple, and cheap to build.
 

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I'd love to see a tutorial on this. Looks very nice. Thanks!
 

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Nice job on drop panel. I like the use of the gate lock. I never thought of that.

I like this prop, because it works all the time.

Thanks and keep up the good work.:)
 

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Dr Dark
Nice job. I was going to use a full sheet of plywood. But your design is great.
I like the idea of just framing it out. Much cheaper too. I think the advantage of framing it is that you can make the wall longer without depending on sheets of plywood. I see you are using aluminum channel with the plywood sliding inside of it. What size of channel did you use and what thickness of plywood?

I am guessing that the gate lock is held in closed position with the bungie cord pulling down on it . And when you pull the string, the gate lock is opened. Correct?

This will be my project for this weekend.

Got any video of this?
Love to see it in action!!!
 

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Yes, it is 1/2" aluminum channel, and 1/2" plywood (actually 15/32"). The framing for the wall is 2 x 2, and yes, the gate latch is held closed by the bungee cord. All I do is pull the white rope, and BANG!!! Then all I have to do to reset it is slide it back up, and lock it into place. If you have any more questions, feel free to ask. Sorry I haven't gotten around to posting a vid of it, but I'm scrambling to get everything done on time. I'm sure you can relate!
 

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My quick drop panel project

Here are pics of my drop panel. I used hollow core doors that I had. I cut a 2' x 2' opening in one. Then cut a piece of plywood over the size of the opening, 36" x 30", I think. Then attached 2 ballbearing drawer slides to the panel and wall. This slides very fast.

This follows the idea of having the people vote on their favorite scare. When they approach the board to write, WHAM the panel drops and scares them.
 

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Oh that's absolutely EVIL! I LOVE IT!!!!!! Muuhuhahahahahahaha!!!!!!!
 
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