This project involves a tombstone that rocks back and forth operated by a small gear motor. This project is easy to do and very reliable.
1. One piece of wood that is 5 X 1 and 5 ft long
2. A piece of aluminum bar that is 1 X 1/8 and 17 inches long
3. Two cans of Great Stuff (foam in a can) and a can of green spray paint
4. A tombstone, the kind that is made of cardboard covered in plastic (see pictures below to see what grave looks like)
5. Disco ball motor that is around 4 RPM or a suitable motor close to that (it should have a hole in the shaft though)
6. Two bolts that are 1 1/2 inches long 1/4 inch diameter One bolt that is 1 inch long and 1/4 diameter Three locking nuts that fit the bolts A bunch of washers that fit the bolts Nails for nailing the wood together
To start this project you will need to nail the two pieces of wood together to from an L shape. This L shape will be the platform to hold the grave up while it’s moving. Next you want to drill a hole on L shape piece. This will hold the stake in place. You want the hole to be 6 inches from the end of the wood and 3 inches from the top.
Once the hole is drilled you can put in the small bolt with a nut and tighten it up against the wood. The stake that came with the grave needs to be cut with a saw so that when it moves it will not hit the ground. Drill two holes from the cut end. The first hole one inch from the cut end and second hole two inches from the cut end.Make sure that these holes are centered on the stake.
Take the other screw and put it into the bottom hole of the stake in a way so when you attach the stake to the wood the head faces the wood and then tighten a nut on the screw. The bolt that you attached earlier to the wood you will want to add a couple of washers to. This will help give a spacer between the wood and the grave. Next ,attach the stake to the bolt attached to the wood. Use the second hole on the stake to do this. Add another washer and screw on the locking nut. Make sure when putting on the locking nut not to tighten it up against the stake leave a little gap so that the stake can move freely.
Take a scrap piece of ¾ inch ply wood and a hole saw and cut a 1 ½ inch diameter hole. The round scrap piece after cutting the hole is what you want to use to attach to the disco ball motor. Enlarge the hole if need ed to fit on to the shaft of the motor. Take the round piece and drill a 1/8 inch hole all the way through on the edge of the wood. Make sure before you drill the hole that the hole will line up with the hole in the shaft of the motor. This hole is so you can lock the piece of wood to the shaft on the motor. Drill another hole on the face of the piece of round wood close to the edge. This hole will be used to attach to a bar that will be attached to the grave. Put a screw into this hole and use a nut to tighten it down. Attach the round piece of wood to the shaft of the motor. Use a nail as the locking pin to keep the round piece of wood from falling off the shaft.
Take the piece of aluminum bar and you want to bend it so that it will form the shape of what it looks like in the picture. To bend the aluminum bar you can put it into a vice and use some force to bend it. Next you want to drill two holes on either end of the aluminum bar about a ½ inch in on both ends. The hole that will be attaching to the stake bolt should be off center while the hole for the motor bolt will be on center. Take a look at the first picture in this project to see where the hole is to attach the stake. Now attach the bar to the screw on the stake and to the screw on the round piece of wood. By doing this it will give you the proper distance to screw the motor into the wood. Mark the holes on the disco ball motor . Take off the bar and attach the motor. Put the bar back on loosely and put two locking nuts on the screws to keep the bar from falling off. Turn on the motor and see how the stake moves. You can also slip the grave over the stake to get a better idea. If the grave rocks back and forth without hitting the ground you’re all set to go. Add some washers around the bar to give a gap on both ends and then go ahead and tighten the locking nuts but leave the assembly a little loose so the bar can move freely. If the grave is hitting the ground because it is rocking too much you need to go back to the round piece of wood on the motor an drill a new hole that is closer to the shaft of the motor. This will give you a shorter rocking distance. To drill a new hole unscrew the motor from the L shaped wood and drill a new hole leaving the round piece of wood on the shaft of the motor. Put the screw into the new hole and attach the motor to the L shape wood piece and try again to see if the rocking of the grave looks good.
To finish off this project you want to use the two cans of foam to fill up the front of the L shape piece. After the foam has dried you want to spray paint the foam green. This effect will give the look like there is a mound of grass in front of the grave and will hide the mechanics behind the grave.
Another picture of the back of the moving tombstone.