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Discussion Starter #1
Hey all...I need some ideas.

I just ran the first test of my monster in a box. It's a full-size toe pincher made out of redwood fencing, so it has some weight. I couldn't find an electric motor locally for a reasonable price, so I substituted a $15 drill from the pawn shop. The drill is mounted to the floor, and has a disk sander with a length of pipe connected, which then is connected to the lid.

And, boy howdy, does it make some noise. The problem is that I bought a single-speed drill, and the default setting is so fast, that my coffin is tearing itself apart! I re-screwed the lid and applied liberal amounts of Gorilla Glue, but it's still shaky. I can do some additional strengthening, but I'm afraid it won't last long, even if only set intermittently on a motion detector.

YouTube - Monster in a Box First Test

Any ideas? Is there any way to decrease the speed on a single speed drill? Any other creative solutions you can suggest? I considered a fan motor, but I was afraid it wouldn't have enough chutzpa to open the lid, which probably weighs 30 pounds or so.
 

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go to Lowes and buy a plug in dimmer. They make them for lamps, etc. It will limit the juice going to the the drill and will slow it down for you.
 

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I have an old drill sitting in the garage. I need to use it for something cool like this. And yes, the dimmer is a good idea!
 

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YES, A DIMMER WILL WORK FOR YOU, I KNOW FIRST HAND BECAUSE I HAVE DONE THIS SAME THING WITH A JIG SAW. MY ADVICE TO YOU THOUGH IS TO USE A DIMMER WITH ADEQUATE WATTAGE. I'M NOT AN ELECTRICIAN AND CAN'T REMEMBER WHAT SIZE I USED, BUT THE FIRST DIMMER I USED BURNT OUT. ANOTHER OPTION THAT MIGHT WORK IS TO USE A ZIP TIE ON THE TRIGGER ONLY COMPRESSING IT SLIGHTLY TO EASE UP ON THE SPEED. YOU MIGHT GET TECH SUPPORT FROM THIS LINK.
Lutron Electronics, Inc.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks, Myra, I'll keep an eye on the wattage. Kind of a neophyte, but I guess I just need to find one with a number that is no less than the wattage listed on the drill?

It is a single speed drill, so unfortunately, it's full on or full off. Would have saved me a lot lf headache if I had spent five more dollars on a variable speed drill at the pawn shop. Oi.
 

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Zombie Hunter
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I noticed when I tried to use an old drill for my MIB that when you turn the speed too far down and the drill shuts down just as it is lifting the lid the drill wont start again without a little help.My lid may have been slightly heavier then yours but something to be aware of.I switched to a wiper motor on mine.
 

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Blaberus craniifer
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I had originally tried my first attempt with a monster in the box using a variable speed drill like you're doing. On high like you've pointed out is is violent and tears apart everything. When I tried slowing it down, it became inconstant and the drill would struggle to open the lid, then on the down side pick up speed from the weight of the lid. Eventually it just stripped the gears in the motor. :(

I ended up switching to a wiper motor running off 12 volts at low speed which seemed to be a decent enough speed to open/close the lid. It will be going on its 4th year with this wiper motor and it is still working perfectly. :)
 

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I agree with The Pod. You want a wiper motor. They cost about $15, and you can get a cheap power supply. Also, you could easily make an irregularly shaped cam out of of a piece of wood rather than using the pipe you are using. That will control how much the lid is opening each time and also to make it look more natural rather than mechanical.
 

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Yes , you definately need a wiper motor and on the end , you need to use a cam wheel , so its not rhythmatic like the drill motor is/was . that way , with a cam wheel ( that has different lobe heights on it ) , it will lift/close more realistically.
 

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Typical Ghoul Next Door
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I gotta say that I know nothing about modding this type of prop, but I clicked on it because the title of the post made me giggle. :D

I like how violent the action is - and it would scare the bejebus out of me! ;)
 

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One 4" travel spring return pneumatic cylinder, 1 needle valve (to adjust speed), and 1 3/2 valve should work nicely, and can be driven "randomly" instead of a steady cam action. That's how we make this prop here. Add some light and smoke and you are good to go.

Bill.
 

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what about trimming the pipe (so it opens less) and putting a block of foam on top of it to reduce the impact it makes when hitting the lid? I like the speed at which the drill opens and closes the lid, i wouldn't suggest slowing it down at all.
 

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If you stick with a single speed drill, my vote is to take off the pipe and replace with a cam. The cam should not have a huge diameter, maybe only 3". Easiest to cut from plywood using a jigsaw, to give some irregular shapes. The mount the drill up higher to make contact.

But this will get you a 'vibrating' lid. Not a 'shaking' slow type movement.

Another option is to replace the pipe, with a 'strap'. Something loose. This will run at speed, and make a lot of noise, but of course will not raise the lid. Could sound like scratching though.

I tried several times to use a drill...they are generally not geared right for this type of work, variable speed or not.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
OK, the dimmer route is not working, although I (gulp) did go the cheap route and get a wall switch dimmer for $8 instead of the plug-in type described above designed for power tools...I found documentation somewhere on the interwebs that said that would work, but, it's not turning on at all using a single pole dimmer spliced onto the drill power cord. I'm assuming the wave fluctuation generated from the dimmer does not grok with the drill's little drilly brain.

Re: the wiper motor...so, did you just get one off of a junked car, I assume? And get some kind of 120VAC to 12VDC converter, like a wall wart?
 

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I noticed when I tried to use an old drill for my MIB that when you turn the speed too far down and the drill shuts down just as it is lifting the lid the drill wont start again without a little help.My lid may have been slightly heavier then yours but something to be aware of.I switched to a wiper motor on mine.
Yeah same here. When I slowed the juice to the drill it struggled and had a hard time lifting the lid. I moved to a wiper motor as well. This was the set up before changing to the wiper motor

YouTube - Monster in a box inside
 
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