PROJECT in 2000: Main Entrance (for maze)

This is the main entrance for our maze.  There are plenty of how-to's for this.  The main aspect about this project is storage and mobility.


Adendum: This was an email to me sent from Nick Collins about making less of a mess with the styrofoam:

"When you sand all that pebble styrofoam, you are right! It sucks to clean up!  I have found by working in scenic shops that the pebbled sweep up a lot easier and don't "float" around so much if you have a small spray bottle or insecticide sprayer of water that you lightly mist the pebbles with.  I don't know how or why, but the water gets rid of the static electricity that keeps the little pebbles from going everywhere."

This is the main layout of the Main Entrance Frame

From a 8'x 4' Piece of plywood we cut 1 foot off the top leaving us with a 1'x'4'.
Lengthwise we cut down the center leaving us with two 7'x 2' peices.
For mobility reasons we cut those in half width wise leaving us with four 3½' x 2' pieces
All of these pieces will have 2"x 1" wood attached to them for ridgedness and will be joined by hinges.
The 2" x 1"'s were cut accordingly to the width that the hinges were going to be attatched to.
Be sure to glue the wood together.
Once we drilled the screws into the wood they were sticking out the other side. We knew we were going to be handling this structure a lot so we used a Dremel with a round cutter to get rid of the tips. A smarter thing to do would be to buy shorter screws. :)
Here are the hinges applied. Though, we knew we were going to be pulling the pins in and out so for the other sets we moved the hinges to the edges of the wood.
My old co-worker is an artist and he molded this Bad-Boy together using paper maché
This guy is going to go on the top of the entrance.
He's added another layer of paper here giving it much more definition.
I attached a 2" thick piece of styrofoam sheet to the wood using 3M's Super 77 Spray Adhesive. That stuff is so wonderful. Once attatched, I drew lines onto the foam how I wanted the spacing of the stones. Paul and Jeff started sanding away while I attached the rest of the foam to the other pieces of wood.
You can really see the foam taking shape.
Sanding foam is REALLY REALLY messy. Thank god when I decided to make my garage a building area I bought a shop vac. When there were too many foam particles on and around our work we vacuumed.
Plan to be vacuuming every 5-10 minutes.
Here's the sides put together. As you can see, I'm still vacuuming. Man, that's messy!
The full thing put together.
And here's the finished skull with the red LED lights put in.
This can of grey paint has lasted us 4 years. The top was painted shut. We had to maul the cover to get it open. This will be the last use of this paint can. We'll miss you.
We hired professional painters to put the grey onto the stones. Okay, we didn't pay them and they aren't professional.
With a little bit of texture these stones look pretty good. (See below for touch up work many years later)
We asked the painters to show us some of their trade secrets. This texture sponge is one of them.
In this picture, you can see the entrance folded up with the shop-vac on top of it. It really becomes small.
Update for 2004!

Since we had the paint out for the tombstones, we touched up the main entrance. Wow, what a difference. Applying the techniques we learned from doing the tombstones, we used darker paint in the "grout" area and then drybrushed the highlights on. Detailed descriptions of these techniques are in the tombstones section.