This project involves a tombstone that opens and closes operated by a small gear motor. This project is easy to do and very reliable. The plans below are for building the moving base only. You supply the tombstone of your choice. Please read through all instructions before purchasing any parts.
1. 2 x 4 ft. piece of 1/2 thick birch wood or plywood (Home Depot)
2. 6 ft. long 1 x 2 (Home Depot)
3. 1 foot of 3/8 threaded bar (Home Depot)
4. 4 nuts that fit the threaded bar (Home Depot)
5. 5 inches of 1/8” thick 1” wide Aluminum bar (Home Depot)
6. Gear motor Mcmaster Carr part # 6142K56
7. 5/16” shaft arbor for gear motor Mcmaster Carr part # 43555A22
8. 2.25” diameter wood wheel 3/8 thick for gear motor. (Home Depot)
9. 1 1/4” bolt 1.5” long with locking nut. (Home Depot)
10. 1 1/4” bolt 1” long with locking nut and two washers. (Home Depot)
11. Standard household bulb socket with green CFL or LED lamp. (Home Depot)
12. 1” L bracket (Home Depot)
13. Power cord for operating the gear motor and lamp. (Home Depot)
14. 1” box of screws to fasten the whole project together. (Home Depot)
15. 1” pair of hinges (Home Depot)
To start off the project a wooden box needs to be constructed as the base that the tombstone will sit on top of. Picture to the right shows the overall dimensions of the box to build. When you add the lid it will make the box a 1/2” taller.
Below are pictures of the constructed box. I used the 1 x 2 around the inside base to help support the sides and add strength to the box.
I used a Dremel tool to notch out the spots for the two hinges. The hinges need to be flush with the top in order to have a nice looking seal all around the box. Each hinge is 1” in from the outside of the box.
Picture on the right shows the hinges attached to the lid and the box.
The 2.25” wood disc was made using a hole saw and 1/4” hole was drill near the edge to attach the 1/4” bolt where the lid opener will attached to. The wood disk was tighten down to the shaft arbor and then tighten to the shaft on the gear motor. Picture on the right gives a good view of the competed look.
Location of the gear motor in the box is 7” from the hinged side of the box. The motor is as close to the back of the box without the fan on the motor touching the 1 x 2 wood. The motor is then screwed down to the bottom of the box with a few screws. You will notice I have a large metal bar attached to the gear motor that is not cut to length yet. In the next picture you will see the finish results with the bar attached to the lid.
Using the 5” long aluminum bar attached to the lid using the 1” L bracket. The 1/4” holes on the Aluminum bracket for the two bolts are a 1/2” in from each end and centered. The hole on the L bracket where the 1/4 bolt is attached will have to be drilled out to a 1/4 size to fit the bolt. The other hole on the bracket can be attached directly to the lid with a wood screw.
Other view on the right of how the gear motor is attached to the lid.
Attaching a green light to the inside will give an eerie effect when the lid opens and closes at night. I’m using a simple green CFL bulb that you can buy at Home Depot. The socket for the bulb is wired to the power cord and a wood screw attaches it to the inside of the box. Power cord goes out the back of the box with a hole drilled for it. I ended up putting some black spray paint on the bulb to dim it as it was to bright and showed the motor when the lid was opening an closing. You may have to do this too in order to get the effect that you desirer. I also painted the Aluminum bar to mike it harder to see when the lid opens and closes.
This part is where to locate the two rods where a foam tombstone can be attached to the lid. The rods are 5” in from each side and centered. I drilled holes in the bottom of one of my tombstones to slip right on the rods. The rods are attached to the lid using a nut on each side of the lid. I also started to paint the the box with all black as the base coat and added gray paint as the second coat. Picture to the right shows the black coat of paint.
This part is optional. Adding some creepy fabric to the inside of the lid will give it more of an old look like spider webs and will be illuminated by the green light.
Picture on the right shows the finished tombstone mixed in with two other tombstones.
The Haunted Driveway
Dedicated to Home Haunters