How can I make a hydraulic Halloween prop?
I wanted something to jump out at people or out of a coffin by using a hydraulic system. If you have any ideas on how I could build something like this, that would be great!
It would be easier to make the prop with a pneumatic (air-powered) system. This way, you don’t need to worry about making a closed system or about bleeding the system. You either need a pump and some kind of storage for the compressed air, or a bottle of compressed gas.
A lot of things can be used to make a pump and storage bottle, for a small prop, something like a car pump and a large coke bottle, or for bigger things, a motorized compressor and a larger tank.
Alternatively, you could use a bottle of compressed gas like CO2 or helium. Depending how big the prop is, you could use something like a BB gun cartridge, a small bottle of helium that you can get in a kit with balloons, or a bigger bottle like the ones used in pubs. If you do this, you’ll also need a regulator as the bottles run a very high pressure, and you also need to be sure that you’re not running the piston at too high pressure. Get someone who knows what they’re doing to help you.
Finally, you need a piston, a controlling valve, and all the pipework and fittings. When plumbing it all up, the valve will just send air from the supply of compressed air to one of the two inputs on the piston. Make sure that air can vent from the unused input on the piston, otherwise nothing will happen.
Transworld 2009: Professional Halloween Prop Show