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2040 Views 11 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  wifegonnakillme
So, I had an extra cylinder and half sheet of plywood and I thought I would start on an alligator of sorts...

I've wanted to do one of these for a while and really wanted to do one that turned its head as it rose, but I don't have time for that this year.

Anyway, the two attached videos give the basics of the mechanism. The hub that moves has within the mechanism rollers facing up to reduce friction at the end of the run when the "head" rises, and also down to manage the weight along the track. On the top, the plywood just rides on top of the fixed plywood shaft. I run my haunt at 90psi and this seem sufficient to run it at this point, I may put a wheel or roller in there too at some point to improve speed.

The mechanism in the two videos is still a little rough, needs some tightening to improve tracking - it's a trade off between perfect tracking (friction) and speed. All metal construction would vastly improve this (working with plywood that isn't warped would help too).

The plan at the moment is to have the front legs rise slightly off of the ground at the end of the run and to have the mouth wide open. Installed will be simple led eyes and a gnarly body of spray foam. The hinge point for the body, half way between the front and back legs, will not be natural for a 'gator, but I don't think for the TOTs that will matter much.

Will post more as it progresses...

Kerry :D


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Nice action there,how long is the stroke on that? You going to make your own Gator?Thought about what to use for sound yet?
Stroke is about 24". I got luck a few years ago on ebay, picked up 3 of these plus a few shorter ones for around 40$...

This is what I have at the moment for sound:
But I am looking for something with more bass - I have several old practice amps that are loud and full range and I want something with more depth...

You sure bought those right.
Thats a good sound,your right ,more bass.
I love the mechanism! Nice work.
That is a super cool movement. Love it! That motion is going to scare EVERYONE! lol
Didn't get as much time on it as I had hoped this weekend, but I got some of the body in place. Number 3 shows the body structure. There is a 1 and 1/4 inch abs pipe with a slot in in connected to the base over the cylinder. The body is connected to a 2" pipe that has had about a third of it cut out. Two bolts fit in the slot of the smaller tube and keep the body tracking pretty well. The rim of the body is flex copper tubing and the body is chicken wire covered in bubblewrap (I needed to keep things as light as possible).
In video #4 you can see that the front is obviously spray foam and I decided to track some of it back over the body for continuity. in the background you can hear the roar I chose, quite a bit more base than the first one - it's triggered via relay with the valve. I found a nice 40 amp guitar amp for $40 that I am using - the sound alone shout startle.
Last steps are quite a bit more paint detail, maybe some more foam here and there and to complete the red led eyes - happy to take opinions if these should be inside pingpong balls or just recessed and also whether or not I should add a red led in the mouth as well that will go on with the sound...

Wont have time for it this year, but next year I need to revisit the mechanism and get better rollers in there, or maybe just 4 wheels... the friction makes for a fairly slow launch, even at 90psi. I also have to find a larger compressor this year, my sidestack is already over taxed with the other half doz props...

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Ohhhhh, so cool!!

We need one of these. Okefenokee Swamp is here and out hometown school mascot is the gator! :)
I LOVE this prop!! :D It's so clever & functional...and scary!
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Been a little while, it's like my work doesn't know Halloween is coming - anyway, its done for this year. You will have to imagine it coming out from the bushes with smoke, but here are the videos...
Added LED eyes and a better sound track.

Also, I coated the outside with a rubberized drip stop, gives a slightly shinny sheen and also protects - Cheers!

This should have been inserted in the last note:
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