Friday, September 23, 2016

Halloween flying bat mobile

Halloween flying bat mobile

 If it is done right it's a pretty cool project. A light tug on the pull string and the bat will appear to be flying. It makes a really cool decoration and center of conversation . The entire project is held together by chords or heavy string and works something like a marionette. NOTE: it should not be hung over a crib and should be kept out of reach of small children as the chords and strings can become a choking hazard!
   First drill your preliminary holes and attach the wings to the body using your chosen cord or string. Making sure that the corridor string you choose is heavy enough to support the weight of the project. Start with a ring or loop at the top, add four strings of equal length. (Length is about 18 to 24 inches )  Run two strings on each side of the bat through slits cut in to the dowel and use a dowel to keep your strings separated. You should now have two strings on each side of the dowel for the wings. The most difficult thing about a project like this is finding the right balance points. Adjusting the weight in the pull cord is usually the easiest but in some cases you may have to move the cord holes that support the bat. The two outer holes can be moved closer to the body if the body is too heavy or move them slightly further out if the wings are too heavy. Before painting and finishing your project it is best to do a trial run with everything assembled temporarily. If it is done correctly it should be balanced as shown above in the small diagram. Holes drilled in the wrong place can be filled in with putty or glue and sawdust. Be sure and take notes of where the correct balance holes are if you intend to make more than one .The body can be sanded down to remove some weight or a thinner wood stock can be used. Basically the body should equal the weight of the two wings. Metal washers can be sandwiched In between two pull cord bats or a thicker one that is hollowed out if extra weight is needed for the body. The pull cord bat is actually optional and should be included with the total body weight if used.
    Once you have your project balanced you can then proceed to paint your project. Keep in mind to use an equal number of coats of paint for both the wings and the body so as not to throw your weights off.
    One of the nice things about this project as it uses a single color paint with only a few highlights as desired. Can use plastic animal eyes to make it more realistic or paint a couple of thumbtacks.

 NOTE: If you want to make a quick trial mobile, it can be made out of cardboard or poster board.

    In the poster board bat I had to move the holes for the wings out further to accommodate the width of the pencil length dowel. I used paperclips on the wings to adjust the balance. This way once I have the weight correctly adjusted I could simply insert the paperclips into the foam part of the wings Instead of using the small bat on the pull cord I used beads as a counterweight. That is so I can add or subtract however many beads I needed to. I also used beads on the underside of the wings to keep the embroidery thread from pulling through.
     The size and type of material will always cause you to make adjustments in the location of the holes, the weights in the wings, and the counterbalance on the belly (pull cord beads). This is why you completely assemble your project. Paint, eyeballs and anything else you add to the project also adds weight.
    Once you have made all your adjustments and have decided on all the materials that you're going to use, it is a good idea to make notes and adjustments to your pattern. That way any copies you build in the future will be simple and easy.


    As always it should be noted that this prototype design is the property of Nevada it is free to the public to use so long as it is not put into mass production. (Anything over 500) please also note that this post is copyrighted and Nevada crafter does not allow reprint, redistribution or republishing without permission from Nevada