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Discussion Starter #1
Work is about to get ugly for me so I need to start my decorative planning pretty quickly. I have limited storage room for any newer items so I am trying to make things as tiny as possible. As the title says, I am thinking about a foldable coffin. If I were to build one (not for actual human use, just strictly a prop) out of the thinnest plywood possible, would door hinges work? If I put them all on the inside, they would be flexible to a point until I added a base to stabilize it all. All that would be going in the coffin would be a prop so I'm not concerned about weight being an issue.

Assuming there are a ton of people on here who have built coffins ( I looked at over 15 pages of coffins and couldn't find anything similar), am I daft for thinking that this would work? And when it time to put away, all I would have to do is unscrew the hinges from the sides and I'll be looking at two flat pieces.

Please tell me it'll work. Or ruin my day and tell me why it won't.
 

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I haven't build a coffin before, but I build other props -- here's a brainstorm of ideas for you -- I hope this helps; I think hinges would have problems on thin plywood. For one thing, the screws don't have enough bite into the wood to hold very well and your prop could fail... so to fix that issue consider gluing reinforcing blocks of wood in the areas needed so you can put screws and/or hinges on that part, especially for the lid -- if you want the prop to animate or pose it partially opened.

An alternative to hinges maybe duct tape can be used to hold the sides, taped on the inside to act as a hinge, it may do the job -- just have to replace the tape once in a while .. at least your pieces would lay flat when stored away.

Now the part about connecting the bottom to the sides: not really possible without some reinforcing blocks and screwed in from the bottom (so you can take it apart and store it away) I'd put the blocks on the inside spaced up the thickness of the bottom so when the bottom goes on it is flush to the sides (hope that makes sense)

Best of luck, hope others can advise you that know how to build prop coffins.
 

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I think the hinges will work if you replace the screws with bolts and then have some sort of decorative piece on the outside. I am thinking you could use a piece of sheet metal (and drill holes at the right spots) to act like a very big washer and that would stabilize the hinge.
 

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I've seen coffins built with cardboard so I don't see why not but then I'm not a carpenter by any means. Have you thought about a very strong adhesive or epoxy for the hinges instead of drilling?

EDIT: Oh scrap that sorry I didn't the post properly. You need the hinges to come off. ><
 

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Discussion Starter #5
A better explanation

I guess I should have been more clear with my intentions. I plan on using 1/4 plywood for sides and using machine screws and nuts intead of wood screws to attach hinges. I want to screw a 1/2" wide block into each one of the sides near the bottom so I can slip the bottom in and out. I am probably only going to only go with a bottom door and I "plan" on either propping the coffin up against the bush or building something to prop the coffin at a 60 degree angle. I have to find somewhere to put
download.jpg
 

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Keep in mind that not collapsing it makes great storage. If you're going tp out your other props in boxes/totes, why not just use the coffin for storage?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I don't have the floor space for the coffin. I know that it makes a great storage spot (I used to have one that fit that category) but I have a change in life and don't have the space I used to have.
 

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Rather than make it collapsible, couldn't you just have it screwed together then take it apart each year. That's a bit more work but then you would just have the boards to store. It would be lighter to move as well.

This was the plan I followed, which I am sure is posted somewhere here, to do half a coffin as a ground breaker but I imagine all the parts could be easily disassembled.

9d4c6e7f3501170b2c26287664396a1a.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Bobby is the best! Bobby #1! Thank you so much for the specs! That will be so much easier with a blueprint. The reason I was thinking about the door hinges is it leaves me fewer things to unscrew every year. I could leave 2 pieces of the sides attached, leaving me with 4 pieces total (including a 1/2 top) with a depth of about 4-6".
 

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Hey Pablo. Even though it seems you have your solution, I had to post because I built a coffin several years ago exactly how you've described with door hinges. I used 1/2"x4" pine boards that were held together by steel mending plates, and to keep it collapsible for storage I used numerous door hinges screwed into the wood to hold all the sides together, including an opening cover to the coffin. The 1/2" board isn't much thicker, and makes it very sturdy. It was one of the first props I built about 15 years ago, and it is still a prop I used extensively now. By the way, I don't unscrew the hinges. I knock out the pin holding the hinges together. It takes me 2 or 3 minutes to put together and take apart. Just thought I'd let you know it can work, and works very well.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thank you Joker. Work has gotten me away from my planning and I just saw this post. I used to have a storage shed and used my coffin for storing. A divorce caused a loss of said shed and I lost a TON of stuff. And now my coffin will no longer have to fit me, just a decoration. And thank you for the tip about just pulling the hinge pins...beats the other method.
 
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