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Undaunted Haunter
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1,627 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
We frequently talk about the motors we have salvaged from appliances to use in our props. Many of them I never would have thought about using before seeing it mentioned on a forum, like the Shiatsu massager for example. And i am sure many others feel the same way. I would like you to list as many items as you can that we have found good usable motors inside. Then when we are out thrift shopping or dumpster diving if we see these items we can nab them.

In your post you may want to mention what type of prop you have used that motor for, if you have used it. That way we will get a better idea of what it is capable of. Pictures and videos are great too. I know some have thousands of uses, like the reindeer motors. So just list one or two ideas that have been proven. If you have an idea but haven't tried it yet, be sure to specify that.

Please don't keep listing the same items. If someone has already listed something, once is enough.
 

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Shadow box dancer
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1,394 Posts
Refrigerators that have an ice maker have great motors in them. The motor can be found in the back of the ice bin attached to the shaft that twirls out the ice. They have their own gear reduction and everything and don't need an adapter like wiper motors. They have lots of torque and a slow rpm. Then only problem is that they have a thermo coupler. I was told that this problem can be solved by adding a heat snyc. I used mine for my Jail Grabber and it worked great. This year I will be using them in most of my larger props.

Appliances are good for more then just motors. I get small lights for my props out of the front panels of stoves and dishwashers. You can find valves and solenoids in washers and fridges that have water and ice in the door. I also reuse wire and plugs from appliances to wire my props.

Another good motor is a BBQ rotisserie motor. These can always be found on Craigslist for free. Sometimes you have to dispose of a BBQ(put it back on Craigslist after you scavenge the motor). I am using one for my flying crank ghost this year.

Also ceiling fans are a good idea. I have not used one yet but they generally have three speeds.

Plus don't forget about power tools. People use drills for a monster in a box and I have seen people use sanders under the seat in their electric chair.

Good luck scavenging. I think it might be my favorite part of Halloween!
 

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Banned
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535 Posts
Window units? now i dunno about window units but i know enough about the air handlers and compressors and they have large caps in them and hold a charge that can unload on you and kill you...Unless you know how to safely discharge the caps i wouldnt mess around in them. If the window units are the same with the caps. I would say dont mess with them.
 

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Typical Ghoul Next Door
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6,862 Posts
I have a oscilating fan motor that I was going to rig for a FCG, but I'm too much of a novice when it comes to motors and connections. I swear it would work tho if I knew what I was doing. It was about 5 rpm and lots of torque. :eek:

I'm going to repurpose it as a grave popper if I can figure THAT out, but the plans I'm going to use look pretty easy even for someone like me... :rolleyes: so I should be able to get the #@! thing to work.
 

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that dude ain't right
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615 Posts
I used a rotisserie motor for my FCG. I used a motor-cycle as my last main prop does that count?? If you are looking for just motors, try surplus center. Seems like they have random stuff.
 

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Undaunted Haunter
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1,627 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
LOL I don't think I will find a lot of motorcycles in the dumpster, but sounds cool.

The purpose of this thread is not to find stores in which to buy motors. It is to help people become more aware of where we can salvage motors. I have thrown away things in the past only to discover months later I threw away a perfectly good prop part, unknowingly, of course. But thanks for the tip.
 

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Registered
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776 Posts
Window units usually have a pretty good fan motor. But as has been said make sure you dont mess with it with out knowing what you are doing.
 

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You Rang?
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1,079 Posts
Microwave ovens, You can use the turn table motors they are a small gear motor usually 3-6 rpm, I used one to make the head on my organist move side to side, I also saw someone make a set of moving eyes using two of these motors, the thread is on here somewhere.

I also used the blower from an over the stove microwave and put one in each of my columns so you feel a breeze when you walk through.

As some one mentioned about the AC units there is a big capacitor in the microwave its by itself and easy to indentify usually a large oval shaped cylinder. so be careful of it. As a side not the sheet metal covering the microwave is useful too.
 

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Shadow box dancer
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1,394 Posts
Here's the link to the moving eye how to http://spookineering.com/motoreyes.html
I built several props using these motors and then went online to see if anyone else was using them. I didn't see any examples. Then last year I too came across the video you mentioned. It is one of the few times I have seen this motor used. I am wondering if the guy who came up with the two motor eyes is a member on halloweenforum. He came up with such an ingenious solution. Kudos man.
 
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