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680 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
So several years ago my wife had the idea of having Fred Astair and Ginger Rogers in our display (both skeletons). Like most props I make it is my wifes idea that i make become reality. So here it is.



Stared out with an octagonal frame that is 47.5" from point to point. Bottom layer is 1x6 treated. Top layer is 1x4 with 2x3 uprights.



Put roller bearing on the top of the frame to allow the top to roll easily and support the outside of the platform.





The motor is a simple wiper motor being powered by a PC power supply. The worm gear reducer is a Bonfiglioli VF 49 that has a 14:1 gear ratio. These are $350 retail..... but I got mine from a saw they were taking apart at work and were just going to throw them in the trash. Lucky me! I connected them with an existing hub from the reducer with a nut welded to it to adapt the wiper motor. They aren't completely straight so I connected the motor to some angle with a rubber bushing to allow it to flex. The shaft for the platform is a piece of 1.25" round milled to 1" about 2/3 of the way to fit the reducer.


The top is 1/2" plywood cut to a 48" diameter round platform. I welded a piece of plate to a 1.25" ID round tube and bolted it to the center of the platform. I tapped a 3/8" threaded hole to allow for a 3/8" bolt to tighten to the drive shaft.


Then layed out my gearing for the top most platform that my skeletons will mount to. Drilled 3/4" holes that are spaced at a 36" diameter at every 15° to make 24 holes cut the center out at 34" diameter and attached it to the frame centered off the center shaft. then cut a notch at every hole to adapt the gear plate for the top platform.



The gear for the top most platform is 1/2" plywood. Drilled a 5/8" holes at a 12" diameter at 45° to accommidate 5/8 dowels and laminated a piece of 1/4 plywood on the bottom. This will allow the character platform to rotate 3 revolutions to each revolution of the main platform. Glued and screwed the dowels from the bottom. Drilled a 1/2" hole in the center and attached two angle brackets to bolt to a shaft.


The top platform is 24" diameter with a half inch shaft made the same way as the main platform.



Drilled a 3/4" hole 30" from the center of the main platform and placed a block with a 3/4" holes on the top and bottom of the platform for a 1/2" brass bushings put in the top and bottom. They are about 4 inches apart making the drive shaft straight and rigid. The bottom one i made a keeper plate to hold the bottom bushing in. The bottom picture also shows how I notched the gear plate.



With the main platform in place I slid the shaft in place from the character platform, slid the gear drive up from the bottom and set my distance. drilled a 1/4" hole through the shaft where the angle brackets were and bolted the gear drive into place.

This is where it is now. Have to finish the trim boards for the outside bottom frame, paint it all and then closer to setup day I will place the characters on it. Will post later what I did to mount the characters. And i will post a video of it soon once i get it uploaded to youtube.

680 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
I had to remake the character platform (elongated it to fit the characters) and got the skeletons set. Now it is just time to paint it all up and going to get the music set. Have to get another small amp to play the music automatic. Will probably load a lot of songs by Midnight Syndicate on to a flash drive like I did my lightning. Gonna love them dancing to some creepy Halloween music. Here is a video with the caraters on it.

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