Saturday, August 27, 2005

Operation Gargoyle

He sure looks sad right now. But by Halloween the Gargoyle will be as good as new. Last year I noticed that the gargoyle was really listing to one side. When we took him down we noticed his right arm was essentially broken. After several seasons, this was to be expected. The problem was of my own making I had reinforced his wings with "Great Stuff" expandable foam. You can see the gargoyle's shoulder got the same treatment. Good idea for the shoulder. Bad idea for the wings. They because way too heavy. Add in the wet weight of a few October rains and the monster mud around the elbow gave way. I stripped the monster mud "skin" off the gargoyle's arm and you can now see the skeleton. Simple chicken wire shaped like a garyole's arm. You can see the real problem here. I didn't "fuse" the gargoyle's elbow with great stuff. So, when the weight of the wings got to be too much, the wire didn't hold. I'll fix that simply by spraying in a little foam and letting it dry before I re-mud the arm.

Not everyone fuses joints like I do with the foam. But I think the key to a long-lasting prop is giving it a good foundation. The foam is the strongest and innermost layer of support for the prop. And it helps ensure the prop is durable.

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