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.


Sunday, October 17, 2010

I get light with a little help from my friends...

I just wanted to give a big shout-out to to new friend and fellow Burner Joe Cole.

Joe was kind enough to loan me a brilliant, professional grade light for the Reaper. Joe owns a Seattle based lighting company. Joe Cole Lights

Thanks Joe!

Reaper 3.0

Well, after 2 years of struggling with the second version of the Reaper I decided to re-redesign the basic structure. The big problem was the raising of the torso. It was just too heavy and cumbersome. My solution was to simply weld the top structure to the bottom and leave it up all year. The base structure could potentially be used for other holiday decorations (either with or without the skull).

Since it will be up all year I decided to re-make the top section and make it look less torso-like. After a bit of research I borrowed design elements from the Eiffel Tower and The Space Needle .
After a week-end of welding and painting I got it done. With help from my buddy Eli we got the new base standing in under 30 minutes.

The arms are now being held in place by rectangular piece that gets slid in vertically through the top leg hole things.

After the head and arms (the same ones from Reaper 2.0) were in place, it was just a matter of re-using the same robe as last year.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Back to simplicity

Well... some things work and some don't.

After two raisings, I have come to a determination: The method of raising the Reaper (illustrated below) works fine on paper, but does not work well in real life.

The biggest problem is that I can't get the pulley high enough to gain decent mechanical advantage when it's needed most. The result is that I need to raise the torso using direct muscle power. This is not good engineering.

There are quite a few ways to resolve this problem, I could rent a scissor-lift every year, I could build a crane on my roof, I could just leave the Reaper up all year round, ...or I could just eliminate the need to raise the torso.
The plan now is to simply weld the torso to the base, add some embellishments, and do strange and unusual things with it all year round.
Wish me luck.