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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Wooden Armatures

I know most of you use PVC armatures to build your props, but I thought I would post my wooden ones for an alternative choice.

I originally built them before I was on any of these forums and knew about anything else. I had a bunch of wood around so I built them, and as they have evolved a bit over the years I have found that they have a few advantages over the PVC models. Depending on how you assemble your guys, that might be of interest to some folks.

They are sturdy, but fold up flat and quite compact for storage. The big plus is that you can whack any fastener you want into them. I use chicken wire for bodies and can staple it on very quickly. You can also add screws, nails etc. anywhere you like.

There are some variations in my collection but they generally now consist of 2x3 stock for the spine , shoulder, and hip pieces (this one is 2x2 but I found them a bit weak) and 2x2 stock for the limbs. I cut the pieces to length using the calculator here:

Zombietronix - Prop Building Calculators


The spine/shoulder/hip assembly is glued and screwed together and must be very strong as everything else is attached to this.

The shoulder and hip joints are made of angle iron, and the double angle assembly allows great range of motion. The elbow, knee joints can be done a variety of ways, depending on the range of motion required.

Here's a few pics:

Folded for storage

View attachment 3404


Setup to use

View attachment 3405


Hip/Shoulder joint


View attachment 3406


Another possible elbow/knee for greater motion


View attachment 3407



Cheers
Don
 

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Master of my own Universe
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Now this idea I like !! I will certainly work on replacing a couple of my PVC armatures for next year using this method.
I do need something a little more sturdy but with free moving arms for one of my witches and this looks like the ideal solution.
Be warned though ... be prepared for questions when I start !
 

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Wow! I love it. I am going to have to make a couple of these. Do you have any close up pictures of the hip joints?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Wow! I love it. I am going to have to make a couple of these. Do you have any close up pictures of the hip joints?


Hip joints are the same as the shoulder joints. Some of my props have one angle for the hips since it's sturdier, but it doesn't allow nearly as many possible postures.

Cheers
Don
 

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Hey Frosty, thanks for posting this, I've been doing wooden armitures for a long time now, but I've been too embarassed to post pics of them, because the PVC ones looked so nice and neat, maybe when I get home tonight, I'll take some pics of the joints and post them so you all can take a look.:D
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Ya, wood seems a bit under utilized.

It's available everywhere and most people have the tools to work it. The thing that many people don't know or forget about wooden props is that you should always glue any joints as well as use mechanical fasteners like nails, screws, etc. Without glue the joints tend to wobble and loosen up almost immediately.
I like polyurethane glues like "Gorilla Glue" . They are extremely strong and, best of all, will foam up and fill in any imperfect joints to make them very solid. On props like this, where the joint isn't visible, the ugliness of it doesn't matter as long as it holds well.

Don
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I made the brackets out of angle iron stock.

I have access to materials and metalworking tools so personally it's not a problem, but certainly not everyone is going to be able to work this stuff. I'm sure that there is something commercially available that could be easily used instead. Probably some sort of framing/decking bracket from Home Depot etc. Someone might have an idea, hopefully they'll share.


There's lots of stress on the brackets so they have to be pretty strong and rigid or the armature is going to wobble or perhaps bend. Not cool!

Don
 

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Wow! Very cool. Folds up nice for storage, and won't be affected by heat or cold. Simple and brilliant = simply brilliant!:D
 

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These are great. Ive been making wooden armitures for years and I like these. only I'd wrap them with Dacron(padding used in couches) so there soft, and no sharp edges to cut you or the kids.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
These are great. Ive been making wooden armitures for years and I like these. only I'd wrap them with Dacron(padding used in couches) so there soft, and no sharp edges to cut you or the kids.

Ya, good point, especially with chicken wire. After setting them all up for Halloween my hands look like I dipped them into a cage full of rabid weasels!

They get multiple layers of padding, clothing etc. so nothing pokes through.

Don
 

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I made the brackets out of angle iron stock.

I have access to materials and metalworking tools so personally it's not a problem, but certainly not everyone is going to be able to work this stuff. I'm sure that there is something commercially available that could be easily used instead. Probably some sort of framing/decking bracket from Home Depot etc. Someone might have an idea, hopefully they'll share.


There's lots of stress on the brackets so they have to be pretty strong and rigid or the armature is going to wobble or perhaps bend. Not cool!

Don
What I have done in the past when I needed an angle bracket is bought some angel iron and cut off a piece to the size I needed then drill the holes that I needed.
 
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