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Then place two pieces of scrap wood on top of the pop up’s prop base and hold them in place with two angle brackets screwed to the inside of the barrel base.



Step 8: Now, place the barrel on top of the second piece of plywood. Center the barrel on the plywood and from inside the barrel, mark a pencil line on the plywood around the hole in the barrel. You can also make the pencil line around the outside of the barrel. If you do this just remember to cut the hole ½" smaller than the pencil line.



Step 9: Using the saber saw or similar cutting tool cut out the circular opening in the base top.



Step 10: Set the barrel over the hole cut in the plywood base top. Center the barrel opening over the hole in the plywood and secure the barrel to the base top by using several of the self-tapping screws to screw through the inside lip of the barrel and into the plywood.

Step 11: Place the barrel and attached plywood base onto the base frame by carefully sliding it down over the pirate. Do not secure anything right now as you are going to see how the zombie pirate fits in the barrel. Once the barrel is over the pirate check to see if the top of the pirate’s head is even with the top of the barrel opening. Depending on the type of barrel you made or bought it probably will not be even with the top, it will be below the top of the barrel. If it is not even with the barrel top you need to be sure to get it as close to being even with the barrel top as possible. The reason for this is there will be a lid on the barrel. You do not want the head of the pirate to bang against the lid when it pops up as this could damage the prop. You want the pirate's head to simply push the lid open when it pops up so the lid needs to actually just touch the top of the pirate’s head when it is closed. Check the clearance between the pirate’s head and the top of the barrel by placing a straight piece of wood or ruler across the top of the barrel.



At this step the top of the pirate’s head will be about 1/4” below the top of the barrel. To make up this height difference cut a square piece of Masonite to fit inside the base. Now, the pirate’s head will be even with (or very close to) the top of the barrel opening.



Step 12: At this point you need to decide of you want to attach the lid to the barrel using a hinge or if you want to glue the lid to the top of the pirates head. I decided to hinge the lid to the barrel as I did not want to put any additional weight on top of the prop. To attach the hinge to the lid and the barrel use one ¼” x ¾” long bolt, washer, and nut and one of the ¼” eyebolts, washer and nut. You can use only two bolts to attach the hinge because the hinge hole closest to the pivot point is too close to the barrel lip and will interfere with the movement of the barrel lid if a bolt is placed here. The eyebolt will go in the hole furthest from the pivot point of the hinge.



Now you can paint the lid, hinge, and bolts brown to match the barrel. Once the paint is dry, place the lid on the barrel and using the holes in the hinge as a guide drill three ¼” holes through the barrel. Attach the hinge to the barrel using three ¼” x ¾” bolts, washers, and nuts. It may be necessary to bend the hinge a little to adjust it so the lid will fit flat on the barrel top.

Step 13: Place the barrel with the top base plate attached over the pirate again and check for clearance between the bottom of the lid and the top of the pirate’s head. With the lid closed the pirate’s head should just touch the lid or be very close and the lid should completely close onto the top of the barrel.

Step 14: Ok, now make the return mechanism for the barrel lid. You will be attaching two of the small bungee cords between the lid and the barrel. One end of the bungee cords will hook over the ¼” eyebolt in the lid and the other will hook over a ¼” eyebolt that will be installed on the back side of the barrel inline with and beneath the hinge. Measure approximately 11” below the top of the barrel. At this point drill a ¼” hole through the barrel and using a ¼” eyebolt, nut, and washer secure the eyebolt in the hole. Note: I used 10" bungee cords. If you use another size you will need to adjust the point where you drill the hole in the back of the barrel.



Now hook both bungee cords to the eyebolts. When installed the bungee cords should not be stretched when the lid is closed as you don’t want to put any more pressure on the top of the pirate's head than necessary but when the head pops up it will stretch the bungee cord and keep it from flopping all the way backward and will allow the lid to return to the closed position as the pirate retracts down into the barrel.



Step 15: At this point if the pirate was triggered, once it pops up the pressure of the bungee cord return pulling the lid against the pirate’s head will push the pirate head so far forward that the chin will catch on the barrel rim as it retracts. You don’t want this. To correct it you need to add a piece to the pop up tube to hold he prop back so it doesn’t lean forward from the pressure of the lid. Unhook the bungee cords and remove the barrel from the base so you will have room to work. Using a saw or other tool used to cut PVC pipe (I used a band saw) cut the 1” side of the ½’ x 1’ Tee in half lengthwise to form a saddle to fit over the prop’s pop up tube. Secure the saddle to the tub using two plastic ties. The saddle will fit on the prop just above the prop's base between two lugs on the pop up tube,



Step 16: To secure the prop to the barrel install a ½” piece of PVC pipe to the ½” fitting on the saddle you just made. Using a heat gun or hair dryer heat one end of the piece of ½” PVC pipe.



Once the PVC has softened flatten one end by pressing it between the jaws of a wood clamp.





Once this PVC has cooled drill a ¼” diameter hole in the flatten end then cut the piece of PVC pipe to a length of about 2 ½”.



Connect this piece of PVC pipe to the ½” fitting in the PVC saddle. You can secure it by either gluing it or use a self-taping screw to hold it in place.



Then using the same heating method flatten both ends of a piece of ½” X 4 1/4” PVC pipe and drill a ¼” hole in each flattened end. Secure this piece to the PVC pipe attached to the saddle with a ¼” X ¾” bolt, washer and nut.



If you wish you could make this piece to fit from the saddle to the barrel in one piece by cutting one piece of PVC pipe about 6 ¾” long, heating and flattening one end and drilling a ¼” hole in the flat end and inserting the round end in the 1/2" saddle fitting. I made mine in the two pieces to hinge to make it easier to remove and replace the barrel on the pop up prop.

Now drill one ¼” hole in each end of a metal angle brace.



To secure this metal angle brace to the barrel measure up the outside of the barrel for a distance of about 7”.



At this point drill a ¼” hole through the barrel. Using a ¼” x ¾” bolt, washer, and nut secure the angle bracket to the inside of the barrel at this point. This is what the finished assembly should look like bolted together and without the barrel.



Now carefully place the barrel back over the prop and using a ¼” x 1’ bolt and nut attach the free end of the PVC pipe that is attached to the saddle to this angle bracket. This will keep the prop straight and prevent it from leaning forward when the lid is pushing against its head. Note: to make this part easier trigger the prop and after it pops up but before it begins to retract turn the power switch to the prop off. The prop will remain extended but will retract when you turn the power switch back to the “ON” position again. Pull the material of the prop’s clothing up and over the head of the prop for better access during this step.



If you wish you could make this piece to fit from the saddle to the barrel in one piece by cutting one piece of PVC pipe about 6 ¾” long, heading and flattening one ends and drilling a ¼” hole in the flat end.) You will notice a small wooden block in the photo. Disregard this wooden block. I used it because I cut the PVC ½’ too short and I was too lazy to recut it and do it right.

Step 17: Secure the barrel to the wooden base top using 1 ¼” sheetrock screws



Step 18: Paint the barrel wooden base brown or a similar dark color and pant the heads of screws to match the barrel color.

Reach inside the wooden barrel base and turn the prop on. Trigger the prop. It should now pop up and retract without anything catching on the barrel.

If everything worked ok then you are finished and ready to use the reworked prop. For the trigger on my prop I used a driveway alert motion detector.

This tutorial may seem long and possibly complicated but it is really easy to do and will only take about a half day to complete including making the barrel.
 

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