Sunday, August 1, 2010

Leer Ghost Rebuild

Okay, I lied. It's almost August, and I need to get busy building things for this Halloween, so I decided to put the Ghost Reader plans on the back shelf for now since it involved a lot of new things that might not work. I am finally rebuilding my Leer Ghost. This was my favorite last year, at least one TOTer never made it to the front door under this thing and instead when screaming across the front yard. I loved the idea, but the movements were limited and I was not happy with the straight lines and visible dowels.

The plan is to use what I learned from the wallbreaker, and this time make the mechanism less complicated, more reliable, able to handle heavier ghost parts, and easier to reproduce. I also want it to look much better, more like a ghost and less like moving sticks. It always starts with sketching out the basic movements
First step is to rebuild the mechanism. It will use the trusty vent motor, and I will try to round off the measurements and use only 3/8" dowels.
Since I have the jigs for making the wallbreaker parts, I will use blocks with the same dimensions as the wallbreaker. The leer ghost will have a single axis around which the head (neck) and arms (shoulders) will rotate.  The leer ghost will use 5 1-1/2" by 1-1/2" by 1" blocks with a 3/8" hole in the center and in one side.  Thats a lot simpler than the wallbreaker.  There will also be 2 blocks (same size) that will have the 3/8" in the center, and 3/8" holes in opposing sides at  20 degree offset.
The leer ghost will have upper and lower arms that move independently, and the head will swing down to leer at TOTers standing underneath it.
Once all the parts attached, the leer ghost is painted flat black and is attached so it is in the corrcct position and the spiderwire is added. In the leer ghost, each line only goes through a single eyebolt, and the result is the motor works a lot less so I should be able to have heavier limbs and other ghostly attachments than I did with the wallbreaker.  I ran it for several hours today, no problem.

I am reusing the head from the original leer ghost, and I am borrowing the hands from the wallbreaker.  I will be making new hands for the leer ghost, that will be covered in the next entry, along with building the forms to cover the mechanism (and hide the dowels)
The final result works quite well as can be seen in the video below.  I also try to show how the various movements work.


  1. You sir are brilliant...gorgeous original idea and work!
    I tip my undertaker's top hat to you.

  2. Thanks! I am looking forward to seeing how this one turns out.