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Hey everyone, 

So I am already thinking about my Halloween display for next year. I am thinking about transforming my house by using plywood. Nothing will be mounted to the house. It will be just standing using 2x4 and sand bags. Just like theater flats. Just wondering if anyone has done this. What thickness plywood/type should I use? What reccomendations like dos/fonts?

Bryan

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1 hour ago, bryan.hurley5 said:

Hey everyone, 

So I am already thinking about my Halloween display for next year. I am thinking about transforming my house by using plywood. Nothing will be mounted to the house. It will be just standing using 2x4 and sand bags. Just like theater flats. Just wondering if anyone has done this. What thickness plywood/type should I use? What reccomendations like dos/fonts?

Bryan

First thin that comes to mind: Wind.  You will have a big sail. Or do you plan on lots of windows (Arrow slots)?

Why not a real Stage Flat (weatherized)? Lighter,easier to handle.

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Funny you would post this now - I was just about to ask an almost identical question - only difference is that I'm thinking of a Castle for the North Pole for Santa's Workshop...a Castle with snow drifts on either side and a couple of Polar Bears. I plan to put mine beside my house against a couple of 50' oak tree trunks that are about 15' apart - and easily visible from the street. A lot of my new house where this next year's display will be is secluded behind pine trees when viewed from the road.

I, too, wonder about the thickness of the plywood. 

Also - I'm thinking about making one of my Polar Bears as a single piece to mount on some sort of "hinge thingy" with a motor to make him "dance" back and forth slowly. Any thoughts on the mechanism to make him "dance" or "sway" would also be appreciated.

 

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As to the wind issue - it crossed my mind (perhaps briefly) to use peg board instead of plywood so that it would be full of hole for the wind to blow through. Thoughts on that??

 

Good idea to include arrow slits and windows that are not painted on so the wind can blow through them, too.

 

Edited by jamills706

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6 minutes ago, jamills706 said:

As to the wind issue - it crossed my mind (perhaps briefly) to use peg board instead of plywood so that it would be full of hole for the wind to blow through. Thoughts on that??

 

I think pegboard would be good for the wind issue but the holes may look ugly. I am planning on throwing spotlights on it so you may be able to see all the holes...has anyone used this before?

I am thinking about using 1/4 inch plywood. I think homedepot has some for $15 for a 4x8 sheet. I will need about 16 so trying to find ways to cut costs.

13 minutes ago, TheDucks said:

First thin that comes to mind: Wind.  You will have a big sail. Or do you plan on lots of windows (Arrow slots)?

Why not a real Stage Flat (weatherized)? Lighter,easier to handle.

I am going to have windows/doors. What do you mean by real stage flats, like canvas instead of plywood?

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Here is my 1st version of a preview for my 2018 display. I was thinking castle myself. In my case it will just be the shape of a castle using drilled PVC with a pixel poking through it. I was worried about wind also. Had too many things blow over in years past, this is my first year of everything staying upright all season, want to keep it that way.

castle.jpg

Edited by dougd

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Pegboard holes aren’t big enough to deflect wind. Also not thick enough. As soon as any moisture comes in contact, the wind will destroy it.

Just about the same with 1/4” plywood. Not gonna stand up long. It also will twist and warp from the sun, weather, etc. 

Minimum suggested 1/2” plywood. Besides sand bags, drive some rebar to anchor the sides to. If really tall, like a castle, use 1/8” guy wires secured midway and at the top. 

Good luck. 

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1 hour ago, Mega Arch said:

Pegboard holes aren’t big enough to deflect wind. Also not thick enough. As soon as any moisture comes in contact, the wind will destroy it.

Just about the same with 1/4” plywood. Not gonna stand up long. It also will twist and warp from the sun, weather, etc. 

Minimum suggested 1/2” plywood. Besides sand bags, drive some rebar to anchor the sides to. If really tall, like a castle, use 1/8” guy wires secured midway and at the top. 

Good luck. 

The is for the advice! I was thinking about 1/2 initially so I may do that then. I am going to anchor it like my mega tress just like you said. It will be 8 feet tall all around so it's going to have some weight. The wind and rain (hopefully not) is what's worrying me.

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good info bout the pegboard and 1/4" plywood ... mine, too, is going to be about 8' tall except for a couple towers right in the center which would go to about 12' tall - Also, going to light mine with RGB flood lights - but thought I'd put some pixels around the outlines, too.

I hadn't thought about the sand bags option - that is a good suggestion.

Do you think if it was made in a couple (like three) overlapping sections, with a slight gap (front to rear gap so it appears all as one from the street) would help with wind resistance as the wind could blow between the sections? Or is that simply not going to be enough relief from the wind?

 

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5 hours ago, bryan.hurley5 said:

I am going to have windows/doors. What do you mean by real stage flats, like canvas instead of plywood?

Yep! Maybe a synthetic canvas like those banner signs.

Also note how they have flap holes for wind.

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Take it from me, i build Sheds and greenhouses that are built to stand up to the Oregon coast, use 1/2" MDO, also knows as sign board, we use this as a siding on some of our sheds. Very very resilient to the weather, and thanks to its smooth finish, accepts paint very well.

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The one that is going to use the oak trees can you run multiple horizontal 1/8" cables from tree to tree to support the plywood.

I also agree  with Jerry72 if you want it to last. plywoods will start to rot from the edges inward quickly.

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2 hours ago, Randy Martin said:

The one that is going to use the oak trees can you run multiple horizontal 1/8" cables from tree to tree to support the plywood.

I also agree  with Jerry72 if you want it to last. plywoods will start to rot from the edges inward quickly.

Yes - I can run cables - I was actually thinking of putting chain around the trees to hold up the plywood (which now I think Ill change and use the 1/2"MDO - heard of MDF not MDO, so will have to look for that).

I had thought I'd put together a 2X4 frame face with the sheets of wood and then be able to bolt those together to make a big panel.

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Wooooooooo - just did a quick search for the MDO having never heard of it before (or at least I don't think I have)......the first listing for it was at a local building supply store at $49.99 per 4X8 sheet compared to $18.89 for MDF and $18.45 for plywood sheeting.

That was a sick to my system!!!!!!! I think, am still calculating actual sizes from my drawing, I may need upwards of 10-12 sheets for this construction! That makes me not want to think about it any more at over $500 just for the wood without any 2X4s for supports, etc!

Does that seem like a reasonable price? Should I keep searching for other sources? I steer anything that I can do to "normal" plywood to make it survive the 6-weeks in the weather each year? It's not like it's going to be out in the weather all year long.....just curious!

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On December 27, 2017 at 1:09 PM, jamills706 said:

Funny you would post this now - I was just about to ask an almost identical question - only difference is that I'm thinking of a Castle for the North Pole for Santa's Workshop...a Castle with snow drifts on either side and a couple of Polar Bears. I plan to put mine beside my house against a couple of 50' oak tree trunks that are about 15' apart - and easily visible from the street. A lot of my new house where this next year's display will be is secluded behind pine trees when viewed from the road.

I, too, wonder about the thickness of the plywood. 

Also - I'm thinking about making one of my Polar Bears as a single piece to mount on some sort of "hinge thingy" with a motor to make him "dance" back and forth slowly. Any thoughts on the mechanism to make him "dance" or "sway" would also be appreciated.

 

Quote

You might want to look here for motors for your prop    WWW.halloweenfxprops.com   

 

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8 hours ago, jamills706 said:

Wooooooooo - just did a quick search for the MDO having never heard of it before (or at least I don't think I have)......the first listing for it was at a local building supply store at $49.99 per 4X8 sheet compared to $18.89 for MDF and $18.45 for plywood sheeting.

That was a sick to my system!!!!!!! I think, am still calculating actual sizes from my drawing, I may need upwards of 10-12 sheets for this construction! That makes me not want to think about it any more at over $500 just for the wood without any 2X4s for supports, etc!

Does that seem like a reasonable price? Should I keep searching for other sources? I steer anything that I can do to "normal" plywood to make it survive the 6-weeks in the weather each year? It's not like it's going to be out in the weather all year long.....just curious!

I get MDO for $25 a sheet here. Try and find a bargain yard, Do not use MDF, MDF is for indoor use only. Look for single side MDO

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22 hours ago, jerry72 said:

I get MDO for $25 a sheet here. Try and find a bargain yard, Do not use MDF, MDF is for indoor use only. Look for single side MDO

You get a 4x8 sheet for $25? Where do you live/shop?

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4 minutes ago, bryan.hurley5 said:

You get a 4x8 sheet for $25? Where do you live/shop?

Oregon, i get them from a bargain yard, they are one sided.

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9 minutes ago, jerry72 said:

Oregon, i get them from a bargain yard, they are one sided.

You are so lucky! Lol they are like $40 a sheet here in Florida (home depot)

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51 minutes ago, bryan.hurley5 said:

You are so lucky! Lol they are like $40 a sheet here in Florida (home depot)

Thats cause they are made here.

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