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Structure. Answered

Hey, how're you doing? I need some help.
My Halloween costume I'm making needs a structure that is either self stabilizing, or can roll. I know how to make it roll, but it would be amazing if it could stabilize. 
I'm going to be holding the structure with one hand, so I need one side heavier than the other, but I'm not sure what materials to use that are effective and cheap.
Please help! Thanks!
(PICTURES in order: Abigail Original picture, Abigail Issue #1 of comic series, Quick Sketch of the costume)

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canucksgirl (author)2012-10-11

I used your illustration to show a support structure option...

You'll need 4 swiveling caster wheels (lightweight versions are the cheapest). A round (or semi round) 1/2 inch plywood base, screws, glue, a bolt (or one large head screw) and some additional wood for the support pieces. If you have some broom handles, you could make supports out of them. You'll also need to borrow a drill (if you don't have one) as pre-drilling all screw holes will prevent the wood from splitting. A hand saw (or power saw) will allow you to cut your wood pieces to the right lengths.

With this option, you'd screw the casters (spaced evenly) to the bottom of the plywood base (so that it won't tip over). (If the caster wheels are rubber coated, they'll be less noisy to walk with). Then glue & screw the vertical support to the center-top of the plywood base. Glue & screw the horizontal "shoulder" support to the vertical support and glue & screw the "arm" (your handle) to the vertical support. Just make sure the handle-"arm" is long enough to be comfortable to walk with.

Then for the arm that holds the treat bag, you'll want to drill a hole (at the shoulder joint) and use a bolt (or a large head screw), and attach it with enough room that it can move when you want it to.

To make the arm move, you could use strong fishing line (attached to the hand). Then when you want the arm to move, you could do a little "fake point" at the door and say "hold out your bag" while you pull on the fishing line. It should work well, just test it several times to figure out the proper length and attach a loop to the end you hold onto.

The rest of it can be covered in foam (to reduce weight) and to give it shape. Just make sure the dress is long enough to hide the caster wheels, but not long enough that the dress gets caught in the wheels.

To get some FREE plywood and wood pieces, ask around... most stores that sell lumber have cutting areas and a box for smaller "scrap" pieces (and will give them to you if you ask). Same goes for construction projects... the pieces they cut from plywood to add a sink often get tossed in the trash and would be large enough for your project.

Good luck and let me know if anything was unclear.

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user

Okay, here is Abigail before dressing her and after dressing her. I think I did a pretty swell job! :)-

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user

Wow! Great job on Abigail.

I'm glad you found my suggestions helpful (and I really did appreciate the thank you, you sent by PM. I replied, so I hope you got it).

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user

I did get it! Thanks again!!!!

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user

Thank you very much! You don't know how much you've helped me! I'll get to work right away! Thanks again! :)-

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wrecklesst (author)2012-10-14

A chair that is on rollers like an office chair. Just unscrew the actual chair from the base and there is your rolling mechanism. You can put the chair back together when you are done. Saves a lot of build time and good stable base

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Kiteman (author)2012-10-10

Could you add a sketch of some sort, because I'm having a hard time picturing what you need?

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RoadkillJoe667 (author)Kiteman2012-10-10

Sure! 3 images are up for it.
Here's the one you'll probably want.
Thanks!!

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Kiteman (author)RoadkillJoe6672012-10-10

I'd consider filling the dress with balloons, and connecting your and hers arms with a strip of wood, strapped to your forearm inside your jacket.

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RoadkillJoe667 (author)Kiteman2012-10-10

Are balloons going to be stable if I'm trick or treating for 3 hours? or more? I also wanted to have her arm raise and lower so she can receive candy. I wanted to do that with my hand or arm. I was thinking of a pulley system, but not automated at all.

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Kiteman (author)RoadkillJoe6672012-10-10

Ah, not stable enough for moving parts...

(Returns to thinking board...)

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