What's all this, then?

Each Halloween season, when the Greenwood Reaper inhabits my yard, people ask me “How did you make it?” and “What is it made from?”.

Since I’m making a bigger and better reaper I figured I’d make this blog to answer those questions. This is also a way for interested parties to ask questions and see the progress of the project.

The only regular time I spend building is on the week-ends, so it’s likely posts will appear early in the week.

The posts appear with the newest on top, so if you're new to the sight scroll to the bottom to read the beginning.


Wednesday, September 3, 2008

The Chest Plate

When I made the first reaper I wanted to make sure that the end-product didn’t look like a tent with a skull on it, so I added a an aesthetic rib-cage (a chest plate) to the front.  This was something that I had been thinking about for a while but didn’t have any real plans for.  I ended up spending an hour or so drywall-screwing and duct taping together some PVC pipe and sheet metal.  The end result was passable, and I liked the effect, but it was not my best work.

The new chest plate needed to be light-weight and durable so I went with fiberglass over foam.  To get the correct, scale shape I used my life-sized plastic skeleton and a ruler and made a drawing on my shop floor (scaled up, of course) using sidewalk chalk.  I then covered the drawing with plastic wrap and duplicated the shape in expanding foam.

Once the foam was cured I pulled off the plastic wrap and carved off the non-rib-cage-looking bits.  Since the foam ribs were so thin and would not keep the intended shape I needed to hold them in shape while the fiberglass was applied.  I used a piece of galvanized sheet metal bowed across a trashcan.  I duct-taped down the ribs (I should have used masking tape) and started the fiberglass.  Having learned my lesson last time I opted to do the work in the open air of the driveway rather than inside the shop. 

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