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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Halloween street sign how to.
What you will need:
12' piece of abs black pipe 1 1/4",two 45 Degree elbows, one 90 degree elbow
Scrap plywood 1/2" preferred 2' by 2' should be enough
Gorilla glue
A heavy base to mount it to.
Flat black spray paint
Hole saw 1 1/4"
1 1/4 u brackets
Optional, spray glue and toilet paper. (No I wasn’t sniffing glue when I thought of this)

Cut the pipe into 4 sections, one 4' piece and three 1' pieces. The 1' pieces will be your bend.
Connect the 4' piece to your base and test fit the rest of your pieces like in the picture.
45 degrees at the top and bottom of the bends and 90 degree in the middle


If you’re happy with the height then take it all apart and cut a hole towards the bottom of the 4' section for the cord to come out. Like this.
If you want it a little taller substitute the 4' piece for the 5' piece that was leftover.
Run your power cord up through the pipe as you assemble (it’s much easier this way).I used gorilla glue and small screws to secure everything. Do not glue or screw you last 1' section you will need this separate.
Get your plywood and cut a base for your pumpkin to sit on. The size of the base should be large enough so the pumpkin will not teeter. Use your hole saw to make a hole in the middle of your pumpkin base. Lay your base on some newspaper and stand the pipe in the hole. Use a liberal amount of gorilla glue.


After the glue is set you can attach it to the rest of the sign.
This next step is optional but cool if you know people will be looking at this close up
Take you spay glue and squirt a few areas where you think rust would form. Use my sign for reference. Let the glue get really tacky then take a wad of toilet paper and scuff the area until there is paper left behind.
Take the sign outside and break out the black spray paint. Concentrate your first coats on the lettering on the pipe and the paper areas. Your second and third coats should cover the pumpkin base and the rest of the pipe. Attach your pumpkin to the base with gorilla glue and test your light. Just to see if it’s bright enough.

While that sets you can work on your street signs. I roughly measured my height and width. Precision is not key. The rougher looking the better. But if you want measurements then...( 4.5" high and 12.5" wide). I painted the base color first then I used a projector to apply my font.


After that is dry you can attach them to your pipe with the u brackets as shown. You will notice that the bracket won’t reach the sign. I just bent it a little and let the screws do the rest. I like this better as it provides a nice tight fit.

Time to detail. Remember those areas with the toilet paper those provide the texture for the rust.
If you have a rust color on your pallet the you’re good to go if not the just mix a pumpkin orange with a few drops of brown until you get the shade you like.
Dip just the tip of a stiff small brush in the rust and lightly dab the areas so it will look like rust coming through the paint. I then used a 1" stiff brush slightly dampened and applied a little silver paint to the brush. I then began "dry brushing the entire pole to give it some high lights. Repeat this processes until you are happy. The rust and silver can be applied to the signs for added effect if you wish.

I took the sign outside one more time to "age" the signs. Lightly, dust the signs with some black spray paint.
The leafs were bought at the dollar store to give the pole some color.
You could also use Spanish moss to hang off the corner sections.
Well that’s it. This was my first "how to ever" so be gentle with me If you feel I failed to explain something. If there are any questions, just post them here, I'll answer as soon as I see them.
 

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Human Candy Shovel
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Oh, that's pretty nice. I run a charity haunted trail through some woods, and signs like that would be perfect to mark which trails people should turn onto.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Oh, that's pretty nice. I run a charity haunted trail through some woods, and signs like that would be perfect to mark which trails people should turn onto.
I took a look at your site and figured that a few battery operated tea lights should do the trick instead of trying to find a power source.
 

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Human Candy Shovel
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I took a look at your site and figured that a few battery operated tea lights should do the trick instead of trying to find a power source.
Power sources aren't a problem. Last year, our power sources included mains power from a shed on the property, a 12v battery/inverter power kit, and 9 portable generators. And IIRC, we had 3 power kits and a generator we didn't use that night.

I'm a big fan of the battery and inverter power kit. $20 for a 400 watt inverter, $30 for a smaller car battery and you're good to go. I can set up 4 or 5 of these power kits for the price of one low end portable gas-powered generator with none of the noise. There is a maintenance cost of about $40 for a decent charger, but that's a one-time up front capital investment fee. :D

Anyway, that reminds me I need to dig out my box of tealights and sort them. Most currently manufactured tealights use LEDs with built in flickering technologies. But older ones included a small circuit of cheap electronic components to cause the flickering, which lets me get rid of the crappy weak amber and red LEDs and replace them with superbright white ones. And I only seem to be able to find the older ones around Christmas time with crappy red or green LEDs.
 

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Human Candy Shovel
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Changes I'm making:

First, I live in the US, so 12 foot lengths of ABS pipe are not available. Nor is 1 1/4 inch diameter ABS pipe. The closest I can get is 1 1/2 inch diameter ABS pipe in 10 foot lengths.

So I'm cutting 2 1-foot lengths, 1 1.5-foot length and cutting down the remaining 6.5 feet to whatever length I select on a whim. I'm not making these to any sort of standard height. Odd differences help enhance the Halloween theme more than uniformity will.

Because I'm using these in a wooded setting with limited access to electricity, I will be using battery operated lighting of my own design, which allows me to build a more sturdy pumpkin base. I'm using a disc of plywood and a 1-foot length of 1 1/2 inch diameter wooden dowel. The dowel is attached to the plywood by a large screw in predrilled pilot holes, and a 1 inch screw is also drilled through the ABS pipe into the dowel about 8 inches down, forming a secure base at the top of the signpost. The pumpkin is then attached to the base by screws as well.

I will in the future replace the resin jack-o-lanterns with paper mache pumpkins of my own design, which will be two-faced design to better mark the corners of my haunted trail

My lighting consists of a 2AA battery pack wired to 4 red and 2 yellow flickering LEDs wired in parallel. A 2 inch diameter hole is drilled in the bottom of each pumpkin for access. This lighting is designed to provide the illusion of a fire burning inside the pumpkin instead of a candle. I'll probably go back an modify the pumpkin base to integrate the lighting into it with the battery pack and switch mounted on the underside of the base and the LEDs on the top side, where the hole in the bottom of the pumpkin will expose them to the inside of the pumpkin.

The upper upright section of the signpost is made of a 1.5 foot length instead of 1 foot, as I feel a 1 foot length makes the upper section appear a bit cramped. This also allows me space to mount different or extra signs to mark the start and end of the trail as well.

As for the street signs, I hit up a local pallet manufacturer for some broken planks from pallets they repair. This provided me with lumber with a naturally broken pointy end to provide directionality, so the signposts will point folks in the direction they need to go. Also, finally! A part for the prop that was free! :D

For the signs, I didn't use any sort of brackets. Instead, I used aluminum pipe strapping, which comes in strips or rolls with a hole punched every inch or so. You just cut it to the length you need and screw it into the boards. I'm also contemplating the use of skeletal forearms pointing the way to enhance the pointy signs.

For the bottom base, I mounted a 1 1/2 inch ABS pipe cap to a 1.5 foot square panel of plywood with a screw, then built a temporary 6 inch deep box around the plywood panel. I places a 5 inch section of 1 1/2 inch ABS pipe and a matching pipe coupler into the pipe cap attached to the plywood and then filled the box with concrete. Once dried, I removed the temporary box and could attach the signpost to the concrete block using the pipe coupler. In the off season, the signposts can be removed and and placed in the rafters, while the concrete bases can be stacked in a corner.

I've got two more of these to make. #2 will use 3 60-degree elbows and #3 will use 4 90-degree elbows. Again, a lack of uniformity enhances the concept. I also plan to use some of the scrap pipe to experiment with heat guns, to see if the ABS pipe will retain curvature the same way PVC does. I'll post pics of my own from the build of #2.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Figured I would give this a bump seeing as we only have a month to go.
 
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