Halloween Forum banner

My 3 axis skull...in progress

589574 Views 2217 Replies 203 Participants Last post by  HalloweenBob
I have a couple of pictures of my prototype. I will take a bunch of new pictures as I make the other three skulls, but this should give you an idea of what I am doing.

I am making a singing quartet based on (That means idea stolen from) Mike C's Graveyard Quartet. Ever since I saw his video I couldn't get it out of my head.

A neighbor of mine with a machine shop has helped me with the prototype, machining some of the parts I needed, and helping with the design.

I have been using the prototype to do some programming to make sure it all works with Brookshire's VSA software. So far, so good. I will post detailed pics of every step as I start making more skulls, but for now, here's a couple of basic shots with labels on them.

The Jaw servo was not mounted yet in this pic. It is in now. You can see the mounting screws and the linkage wire in the pic. The servo mounts standing up on end. I will add pictures of that later. The eyelid servo is mounted under the plexi-glass. That one is not hooked up yet, but when it is, it will be attached to one of the eyeballs...I am using wooden balls for eyes. It will move it up and down, not side to side. The purpose is to make it appear that it is blinking. I have large fake eyelases that will be attached to the eyeballs. When the eye is moved down, it appears to be closing as the top eyelid moves down with it. In the pic below, you can see the slot cut in the eye socket where the armature will go to move the eyeball. Don't worry, I will post pictures of that as well. I am using a 3/16 rod end as the gimbal which allows movement in all directions. When I build the next one, I will have clear shots of that as well.

Feel free to ask questions, and I will answer as best I can. I now have it hooked up to VSA and it is working very well. I am using the lightweight Pirate Skull and so I do not need springs, elastics or counterweights.
See less See more
  • Like
Reactions: 5
1 - 20 of 2218 Posts
Can you tell me if you purchased the small aluminum arm or made that yourself?
  • Like
Reactions: 1
Yeap, thanks that exactly what I needed to know.
  • Like
Reactions: 1
I want one of those drill presses for christmas. I was so ready to get started yesterday and must have called 20 machine shops and they were too busy, so I have to wait till Mon to get started. I must have looked at your pic, drawing and videos a million times, but believe I can do this. I really appreicate the time you are spending on the how to's. Thank you
  • Like
Reactions: 1
Thanks Hb, your timing is perfect. I got my rod back from the machine shop and cut my plexi, next on my list to do was the armatures. Yea!!! No guess work.
  • Like
Reactions: 1
...not letting your wife find out how much you spent - Priceless!

Or husband...hehehe
  • Like
Reactions: 1
HB, I'm building my skull with a threaded rod not tapered. Do you think it's necessary to use a spacer also on the underside of the rod end between the bolt holding it in place?
I think I do need a spacer. When I tighten the bolt underneath the rod end I don't get as much range of motion as when I loosen it up a bit. I think that the beveled spaced will make the difference.
Where do you get beveled spacers? I just got back from 2 hardware stores and looking at the McMaster-Carr Web and can't find any. And I thought McMasters had everything. Is this something that you had machined also? Or maybe called something different? I have some nylon spacers that if I can't find any might have to try shaving off to work. Thanks for your help!
I'm, sorry HB, you had already stated that the beveled spacer was custom machined. DUH!!! If I could learn to pay attention maybe I could finish this but I get way too excited when you do updates.
Wow, I think all your hard work really paid off. Those are just awesome!!!! What are you using for bodies? Buckies or a frame? I can't wait to see them all dressed up the the big night.
Dr M, I found a reducing coupler for my skull to a bucky body. I Found a 5/16" to 1/4", at McMaster-Carr, item #97088A190.
Kernelhappy, I would guess and this is only a guess that your rotation servo arm is to low on the rod. Have you tried raising it up some? I saw you had some room there. I can't explain technically why but somehow that just looks too low. I looked at mine and it's tightened up as close as it can get to the other servo arms. There's less strain on the rotation arm this way. I don't know if this makes since but give it a try. Your so close. Don't give up.
What about shortening the servo arm. Mine has no visable thread at all in between the arm linkages.
Just a thought but do you still have the plexi-glass template? If the cutout for the rotation is off even a little that could be your problem also. Even a 1/4" difference could make the difference. I'm so sorry your having this trouble and just wish I knew how to help you.
I love their looks, very classy!! Have you thought about making the cumberbuns? I would think that would be an easy thing to make and save you a few dollars too. You could iron in some pleats and either stitch it down or use some fabric glue. You might need to look at yours first but that should be a piece of cake after everything eles you did!
I would just go to the fabric store and see what you like best. Fold the fabric in your hands to see how it will look. I probably would go the the least expensive and easiest to sew if you should go that route. Sometime silky fabric is too slippery and difficult but you could always use fabric glue. I used it alot last year and love the stuff for quick fixes that I don't want to take to machine or needle and thread. I know Johann's has the satin fabric pretty inexpensive this time of year too.
So Bob, will you be adding led's to the eyes of your 3 skelly heads? I wanted to do that for mine and was wondering if this was another way other than just using the 9v battery type?
I just want to say thanks to you again for everything you do for this forum. This has been one of the best threads. I so can't wait to get all my skellies programed and running. I've decided to get the exorcist, so now I'm really excited with all the new possibilities.
1 - 20 of 2218 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.