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jamills706

Plywood cutout movement by motor - help

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For my display in 2018 I am contemplating a plywood construction which I might consider have a couple "dancing" or "swaying" polar bears (outside of Sant's Workshop Castle.

I am wondering what one would use to motorize the cutout bear, hanging him on some sort of hinges thingy with a motor to make him shift left to right, back and forth, in front of the background (also made of plywood)???

I think ideally he might rotate on his waist (standing up like a human) so his head went left when his feet went right - pivoting at the waist. I could settle for either a fixed position for the feet or the head where the body swayed back and forth. I just want him to seem to be cheerfully dancing/swaying/hopping around while waiting for Santa to come out of his castle workshop.

 

Any suggestions or comments gladly accepted! Thanks!

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A windshield  wiper motor is a good call especially if your pieces have some weight to them but they are a little pricey along with a speed control. Close to $50. I use several of them in my Halloween display. A reindeer motor runs about $12. You could have two cutouts (top and bottom) one pin or screw at the top, one in the center with the top overlapping the bottom at the waist and a pin and slot at the bottom fr travel.The reindeer motor off to the side for a push pull action which moves the hips back and forth. The movement might be to slow for what you want. The windshield wiper motor would give you more of the happy dance you’re looking for. Sounds like a fun project. 

Edited by christmasocd

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I guess I wouldn't have thought that a wiper motor would be strong enough to move a nearly life-sized polar bear (by life-sized I mean "human life-sized" - about 6-foot tall and 3 feet wide)...made of 1/2" plywood (though I'm told something called MDO would be better than plywood - just bot familiar with that term).

By Reindeer motor, I assume you mean the motor from one of those light up reindeer that moves it's head back and forth???

I hadn't thought about the speed that much yet - but don't want him to look like he's having a seizure! LOL I had pictured him pivoting at the waist with the head swaying left as the set said right - kind of a rocking motion. This is based on the drawing I have completed thus far (on paper)...he's kind of standing on his left foot with his right foot kicked up and both hands in the air like he signaling a touchdown...so I think he'd look good just pivoting at the waist.

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9 minutes ago, jamills706 said:

I guess I wouldn't have thought that a wiper motor would be strong enough to move a nearly life-sized polar bear (by life-sized I mean "human life-sized" - about 6-foot tall and 3 feet wide)...made of 1/2" plywood (though I'm told something called MDO would be better than plywood - just bot familiar with that term).

By Reindeer motor, I assume you mean the motor from one of those light up reindeer that moves it's head back and forth???

I hadn't thought about the speed that much yet - but don't want him to look like he's having a seizure! LOL I had pictured him pivoting at the waist with the head swaying left as the set said right - kind of a rocking motion. This is based on the drawing I have completed thus far (on paper)...he's kind of standing on his left foot with his right foot kicked up and both hands in the air like he signaling a touchdown...so I think he'd look good just pivoting at the waist.

Balance the movable portion of the prop, before attaching the motor. Don't just try brute (motor) force.

You might need 2+ counter weights locations to achieve just a slight force at various points of travel

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I tried using reindeer motors to rotate some things this year...because of their small size and sometimes awkward positioning, I did not find them to be the best choice. Over the next few months I may try a wiper motor or some other options (we were trying to create an ice skating rink).

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Sounds like I'll be heading to the scrapyard after the weather breaks to see if I can find a couple of inexpensive wiper motors! Thanks!

Since those have to run at 12V like a car battery - do you just get some sort of 12V converter (like I would have gotten at Radio Shack if their stores were still around)?

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1 minute ago, jamills706 said:

Sounds like I'll be heading to the scrapyard after the weather breaks to see if I can find a couple of inexpensive wiper motors! Thanks!

Since those have to run at 12V like a car battery - do you just get some sort of 12V converter (like I would have gotten at Radio Shack if their stores were still around)?

Your LEDS use 12V?  Do you powere supplies have spare headroom (capacity)?

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Go to www.the winfieldcollection.com  they have motors with all the hard ware. I used one to make a waving Santa, works great , plus they have all kinds of  Christmas deco projects  _ this year I am making a row of moving candy canes--good luck

David

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