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In my line of work as a propsmaster, from time to time I meet a very special challenge. In autumn 2015 it was the nose for Pinocchio.

As probably most of you now, it's the story of a little wooden puppet becoming a real boy, and while still in his wooden stage, his nose is growing longer and longer, when he's telling a lie. A lot of theatres do this part of the play in a way that the actor has an extra nose he puts on in this moment, or he pulls the point of his nose to make it longer or they just do nothing at all... Our director wanted to have the nose growing and shrinking visibly on stage without anyone touching it...

It was very clear, that neither the makeup department, nor the props department could do this all alone, so we joined forces. I agreed to do the technical part and makeup did the design part.

Over the time of about two months, I built various prototypes and two final noses, because when doing double shows, it's nice to have second (dry) mask to put on for the second show of the day.

Above you see the very first of these prototypes, the rehearsal mask and the (almost) final mask.


I'll enter this instructable in the "Make it move" and the "Bike" contest. The first is quite obvious, the second maybe not. But head over to step two and you'll see, why it's bike related...! (it was rejected here. Maybe bicycle related is a bit stretched too far...) As always, feel free to vote for me of you like this instructable.

Step 1: Materials and Tools

I used a lot of tools in the process. The most important were a dremel and 2-component glue. To give you an idea of the tools I worked with I made a panoramic shot of my workbench in about mid-project (it tended to look worse to the end of the project).

To get to the key elements of the nose took me a lot of googling around, lots of emails and phonecalls with other prop and makeup departments. All this leaded to the basic idea to build a kind of telescope and a mechanism to push it out and pull it back in. With that basic idea in mind I set out to spend some quality time in my favourite DIY supplies shop, as well as in various toy and bicycles shops. I came back to the workshop with various sets of tubes in different sizes and materials, a bicycle pump and some break cables, a pirates toy telescope and a light sabre...

After toying around a bit with all the different materials I focused on the bike pump and the bike break cable...

This is brilliant! Can you provide more details regarding the push pull mechanism? Especially the diameters of the pipes/tubes that were used. We are struggling to find something remotely close to the diameter of the brake cable housing. <br>Thanks.
<p>The outer metal tube has a outside diameter of 10mm, inside it's 7,5mm, the brass tube is 6mm on the outside and 4 mm on the inside (on the brake cable housing you have to remove the plastic coating to fit it inside the brass tube). The plastic tube inbetween was 8mm on the outside (I had to grind it down a bit) an 6mm on the inside.</p><p>I hope, this helps a bit. If you finished it, it would be nice to see a picture of it here in the comments. For which theatre are you building the nose?</p>
Thanks so much for the information. I am actually making us for a grade school production of Shrek Jr in Cincinnati,Oh. The school puts on an amazing production for 4th through 8th graders. Do to the size of the actors, I need to make some size adjustments but I am fairly confident it will work. <br>I'll share pictures once I get it together.
<p>What kind of bike pump is it and could you send me a link</p>
<p>It's a mini telescopic pump. I bought it locally. It's very similar to the one in this link:</p><p>https://www.fahrradgigant.de/fahrradzubehoer/ideale-mini-teleskop-pumpe-240mm.html?gclid=CjwKEAiAq8bEBRDuuOuyspf5oyMSJAAcsEyWOrzkHoQa6ksVbWEV-cLFq4qqzsc9dUGL-KwHmnifqxoCN0Lw_wcB</p>
<p>This is the Shizz!</p>
<p>A very cool design. I would have never thought to use a bike pump this way.</p>
<p>Great job!</p>

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Bio: I'm a swiss guy, living in germany and working as head of the props department in a small opera house. On the job and ... More »
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