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Master of my own Universe
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Hi group,

First of all, for those of you not sure what the project is, we will be building a ground breaker coffin, along the lines of this one



The intention is to build this with fence paneling, this should help keep the cost down

I have taken some rough measurements of mine and estimate that it will take 5 x 6ft lengths.

You will also need some 1/4" plywood for the base, and a couple of lengths of 1" x 2".

Sorry about being vague on this - I will be building a new one for this project and should have the complete material list by next weekend, but I wanted to give an idea of what will be needed.

On mine I have used plastic chain with 1" links - approx 2 yards should suffice. Basically it's black plastic chain, sponge painted with brown oxide acrylic paint to give a rust look. To complete the look, I have made a padlock from a scrap piece of foam - instructions for this can be found here:

http://www.halloweenforum.com/tutorials-step-step/75834-small-prop-how-rusty-padlocks.html

In respect of the tools required for the build, a circular saw would be definitely be an advantage. Apart from this just regular tools (Hammer, screwdriver, measuring tape, hand saw) will be needed.

I hope to make this as easy as possible to follow, and will provide a complete guide to cutting the material as we go along.

If you have any questions, please post them in the students thread for this project
 

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Master of my own Universe
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975 Posts
A quick update ...

I have purchased what I think will be the required materials, and have started the build that I am photographing for the tutorial. FYI, I have about 2/3rds built so far and only spent 3 hours on it to date, so this should be able to be built in a day.

This evening I plan on completing the build, at which point I can then give you all a list of the materials and tools required, but I will say that a circular saw is a must.
 

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Master of my own Universe
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975 Posts
Project build : Tools and Materials

Good Morning

Here is the materials and tools list that I used for the coffin build

Materials :

1 inch x 6 inch x 5 ft fence panels - qty 6 (Lowes $1.47 each)
2 ft x 4 ft plywood 1/4 inch - qty 1
1 inch x 3 inch x 4 ft lumber - qty 1 (Lowes - 8ft length
1 inch x2 inch x 4 ft lumber - qty 1 (Lowes - 8ft length)
No 8 x 1.25 inch countersunk wood screws - qty 40
No 8 x 2 inch countersunk wood screws - qty 16
1 inch oval nails or panel pins
Wood Glue

Tools used:

Circular saw with adjustable foot plate
Straight Edge
Clamps
Hammer
Screwdriver/Drill
Measuring Tape
Hand saw

Note : all of the panels for the coffin (not the coffin lid) need to be cut across at angles - hence the adjustable circular saw. The Straight edge was used for the cuts, clamped in place as a guide for the saw, to ensure a straight cut.

Optional extras: for the "chained coffin" look,

6 ft black plastic chain, 1 inch links
Red or Brown Oxide colored acrylic paint
Rusty Padlock (see separate how to for this - http://www.halloweenforum.com/tutorials-step-step/75834-small-prop-how-rusty-padlocks.html )

FYI here is a pic of the coffin built for the tutorial :D



I know that the project build is meant to start on May 1st, but I hope to start posting the how to next weekend, if thats OK with everyone.
 

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Master of my own Universe
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975 Posts
The tutorial/instructions will be posted in 6 different parts, as there will be reference photos for each section, and this will make the posting a little less intensive

Hopefully you will be able to follow my instructions, but I will check the student's thread at least once every day to answer any queries or questions that you might have.
 

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Master of my own Universe
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Ground breaker coffin - Part 1 - Coffin Lid

Ground Breaker Coffin

Coffin Lid

The lid is made from 4 fence boards, secured with 1 inch x 2 inch timber.

1. First, lay 4 boards side by side.

2. Cut 2 lengths of 1 inch x 2 inch timber, 22 inches long.



3. Place one length under the four boards, 10 inches from the top edge.



4. Screw the boards to this, 2 screws per board using 1.5 inch countersunk wood screws.

5. Position the second length under the four boards, 20 inches from the first length. Again, screw the boards to the strip repeating step 4.



6. Measure and cut 39 inches from the top edge. The short lengths of boards will be used for the top of the coffin, so set these aside



7. Next, turn over the assembled panel and mark the edges of the boards at the following points:
Top edge - 4.5 inches either side,
Left edge - 15 inches from top edge
Right edge - 15 inches from top edge then 5 inches in and 4 inches up from bottom edge
Bottom edge – 7 inches from left hand side



8. Draw lines as follows
Left edge - 4.5 inch mark on top left to 15 inch left hand side mark, then 15 inch left hand mark to 7 inch mark at bottom
Right edge – 4.5 inch mark on top right to 15 inch right hand side mark, then 15 inch right hand mark to mark 5 inches in and 4 inches up from bottom
Bottom edge – 7 inch mark to the mark 4 inches up and 5 inches in from right side.

9. Cut out the coffin lid shape along the lines drawn









This completes the coffin lid assembly
 

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Master of my own Universe
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Ground breaker coffin - Part 2 - Coffin base

Ground Breaker Coffin

Coffin Base Panels

The bottom panels are made from the ¼ inch plywood

1. Measure, mark and draw a line 22 inches from the left hand side.

2. Measure and mark the top edge 4.5 inches on either side of the 22 inch section

3. Mark the left and right hand side, 15 inches from the top and draw a line across at these points

4. measuring from the 15 inch line, measure down 25.5 inches and draw line across at this point. This will be the bottom edge.

5. Measure and mark the bottom edge 6 inches on either side of the 22 inch section.



6. draw lines at the following points;

Left side – 4.5 inch mark down to edge at 15 inch line then from edge of 15 inch line to 6 inch mark on bottom edge

Repeat for right hand side.









7. cut along the lines on bottom edge, both sides then at the 15 inch line to give 2 panels for the coffin bottom
 

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Master of my own Universe
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975 Posts
Ground breaker coffin - Part 3 - Lower Side panels

Ground Breaker Coffin

Side panels - Lower Side panels


The side panels are made from the remaining 2 fence panels and the off cut from the coffin lid

Majority of the cuts will be made at various angles. Please read the instructions carefully before and during the cutting.

1. Cut 4 lengths of the 1 inch x 3 inch timber each 11 inches long (assuming the width of two boards is 11 inches or more)



2. Take the two full fence panels and secure them side by side.

3. Adjust the saw foot plate to an angle of 15 degrees, then cut across the left hand end 1 inch from end at a 15 degree angle.

4. Turn the boards over.

5. measure 23.25 inches from the cut end and secure one of the 1 x 3 strips, using 1.5 inch countersunk wood screws, 2 screws to a board and on the left hand of the strip only.



6. Turn the boards back over

7. Measure then cut 24 inches from inside edge on left side. Keep the off cut of the 1 x 3 strip.




8. Draw a line from corner to corner of the panel then cut along line.






9. Screw the 1 x 3 off cut onto the end of the loose pieces lining the angle of the strip with the angle of the panels. Make sure that the second panel mirrors the first panel. Remove the excess of the strip so that the edges of the strip are in line with the panels.







10. Drill pilot holes in the 1 x 3 strips on each panel as shown

 

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Master of my own Universe
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975 Posts
Ground breaker coffin - Part 4 - Upper Side panels

Ground Breaker Coffin

Side panels - Upper Side panels


1. Take the 2 longest panels and screw a 1x 3 strip at 16.5 inches from the left hand edge, using 4 countersunk screws 1.5 inch long, and securing on left hand of strip only.



2. Turn boards over

3. Adjust the saw foot plate to an angle of 20 degrees.

4. Mark the fence panels 17.75 inches from left hand side then cut across at the mark at an angle of 20 degrees

5. Take the 1 x 3 off cut and secure to the loose panels for the second section, in line with angle and mirroring the first section.



First side panel

1. Take the first section with cut end to the left hand side and the 1 x 3 strip uppermost.

2. Measure 12 inches from the inside edge of the strip then secure a second 1 x 3 strip at the 12 inch mark using 4 1.5 inch screws and securing the left hand side only.



3. Turn the boards over

4. Measure 15.5 inches from cut edge.

5. Adjust the saw foot plate to an angle of 37 degrees.

6. Cut at 15.5 inch line



Second Side Panel

1. Take the second section with cut end to the left hand side and the 1 x 3 strip underneath.

2. Measure 15.5 inches from cut edge.

3. Cut at 15.5 inch line at an angle of 37 degrees.

4. Turn boards over and attach 1 x 3 off cut to right hand side in line with angle.





Finally drill pilot holes through the 1 x 3 strips
 

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Master of my own Universe
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975 Posts
Ground breaker coffin - Part 5 - Top panel

Ground Breaker Coffin

Top panel


1. Take two pieces of the panels remaining from the coffin lid build lining up the left hand ends

2. Screw a 1 x 3 strip on the left side of the two panels – using 4 1.5 inch screws on right hand side only

3. Turn boards over and rotate 180 degrees so 1 x 3 strip is on the right hand & underside.

4. Cut 1 inch from right hand side at angle of 37 degrees.

5. Rotate boards 180 degrees so cut/angle end is on left hand side

6. Measure and mark 13 inches from left hand side

7. Cut at 13 inch line at angle of 37 degrees.

8. Turn boards over

9. Attach 1 x 3 off cut to right hand side in line with angle.



Finally drill pilot holes through the 1 x 3 strips
 

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Master of my own Universe
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975 Posts
Ground breaker coffin - Part 6 - Assembly

Ground Breaker Coffin

Assembly

1. Take the two lower panels and the long base piece.

2. Attach each side to the base, using 1 inch panel pins. Ensure that you attach the base to the long edge of each panel, the 1x 3 strip is on the inside and the top of each panel is flush with the top of the base panel



3. Take the 2 upper side panels and the short base piece.

4. Attach each side to the base, using 1 inch panel pins. Ensure that the 1x 3 strips are on the inside and the top of each panel is flush with the top of the base panel.







5 Attach the top panel to the top of the top section using 1 inch panel pins. Use the panel pins to secure the edges of the side and top to each other.



6. For added strength, using the 2 inch countersunk screws, screw through the pilot holes drilled in the 1 x 3 strips, into the 1x 3 strips of the adjoining panel.



7. Take top and bottom sections, and screw both parts together using the pre drilled holes and 2 inch screws.







To complete the coffin lay the coffin lid against the coffin base. Glue and/or pin if required.



Notes : for more added strength, apply glue to the pieces before nailing & screwing the parts together.
 

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Master of my own Universe
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975 Posts
Alternate coffin lid

After you have built your groundbreaker coffin, you will have a pile of offcuts, that can be used to make an alternate lid.

I have not put this as an how-to, but here are a couple of pics showing the make up of the lid and the finished item.



 
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