Introduction: Pneumatic Rising Reaper

Hello everyone today we will be building a Pneumatic Rising Reaper. Here is a list of the tools & components needed.


Pneumatic Parts:

1 3/4” male x 1/2” female coupler reducer bushing

one 1” male x 3/4” female coupler reducer bushing

1/2 x 1-1/2, Piece-12 Washer

1/4” quick disconnect fitting

1/2” male to 3/4 inch female brass bushing

Five 1/4 NPT thread hose barb x male NPT connector

1/4” MNPT Brass Hex Nipple

1/4” female brass ball valve

1/4” female brass T

3/4” male to 1/2 female galvanized reducer bushing

1/4” hose barb coupler

Wright Products V170Bl Heavy Duty Pneumatic Closer

3/4”sprinkler valve

8.4v 1.5A AC adapter

1/2” Schedule 80 PVC Nipple (220-030)

12V 5A AC adapter

Schedule 40 1/2 PVC pipe

1/4” hose clamps

1/4” plastic tubing

Props & Wiring:

Extension cord

Two Leviton Plastic Socket Adapter 1 pk

GE Grounding Adapter Polarized

Four 16 gauge Wire Caps

4.5-Gallon Portable Horizontal Air Compressor

25' Air Hose 3/8" ID PVC

3’ tombstone

Animated chained reaper -

Motion sensor -


1-1/2”. x 14-Gauge x 36 in. Zinc-Plated Slotted Angle

Cheese cloth

Black spray paint (if cheese cloth isn’t already black)



Tape measure


Hack saw

Alligator Pliers


Vice Clamp

DEWALT 6” Magnetic Drive Guide


Flathead Screwdriver

5 inch Long Nose Pliers, Size: 5 in, Multicolor

Diagonal Cutters

Wire Strippers & Crimping Tools

Retractable Utility Knife

Jb Weld JB Original, Size: Adhesives: Epoxy, Silver

9/64” drill bit

10x3” exterior wood screw

Fifteen #8 x 1 5/8 exterior wood screw

Step 1: System Assembly

The most important part of this prop is the pneumatics. There needs to be a specific system for it to work so here is the instructions for the system.

1. Apply plumbing tape to the 1/2 scheduled 80 pvc nipple into the 3/4 male x 1/2 female coupler reducer bushing.

2. Screw the galvanized bushing onto the pvc nipple

3. Screw the 1/4 inch hose barb into the galvanized bushing.

4. Screw the 1/4 inch male to 3/4 inch female brass bushing into the 1 inch male x 3/4 inch female coupler reducer bushing.

5. Tighten both into the valve

6. Screw the 1/4 inch hose coupler into the brass bushing.

7. Screw both coupler reducer bushing onto the valve as shown in the picture.

8. Screw the brass hex Nipple into the ball valve.

9. Screw the 1/4 in T onto the hex Nipple.

10. Screw the Hose nozzles into both sides of the T

11. Screw a hose barb onto the top of the ball valve.

12. Check the picture above to check if complete.

13. Drill a hole in the side of the cylinder that doesn’t extend big enough to put a hose nozzle inside. Jb weld it once inserted.

Step 2: Building the Base

1. Find the board measurements written on the boards in the picture.

2. Lay the 34 inch board of the 40 inch board. The 34 inch should go off the edge of the 40 inch as shown in the picture.

3. Drill holes where you want to screw them together. them to Screw them together. them together until secure.

4. Drill a hole in the 13 inch big enough to fit the hose through. This will come important later

5. Drill holes into the wood and the plank where it stands up as shown in the picture. Screw them together.

6. Screw the 34 inch board under the tab of the other 34 inch you left off the 40 inch.

7. Place your headstone onto the front of the tab and draw a line on the 34 inch down the front.

8. In front of the line screw your 20 5/8 inch board to keep the headstone tight enough to be secure.

9. Get your 10.5 inch board and screw it onto where both 34 inches meet. Remember to only keep it close enough to secure the headstone.

10. Look at the picture to see the completed base. to see the completed base.

Step 3: Attaching Components to Base

Ok so now you need to mount your Pneumatic system to the base.

1. Use a hack saw to cut two 6” pieces of the gauze metal.

2. Pound the two pieces until it’s flat.

3. Bend one of the newly flattened gauze metal.

4. Drill into the metal and wood on both sides.

5. Change out your drill bit to the magnetic drive guide drill bit and screw one #8 x 1 5/8 on each side.

6. Place the cylinder in the newly attached mount.

7. Bend the 2nd pounded metal gauge around the valve.

8. Put your 9/64” drill bit back in.

9. Drill holes in the gauge and the wood.

10. Change your drill bit back out again and put your magnetic drive guide.

11. Run tubing through the hole in the wood.

12. Place a hose clamp on the tubing and tighten it after you slide the tubing onto the cylinder hose barb coupler.

13. Place headstone in between the 2 pieces of wood in front and mount the reaper to the cylinder.

Step 4: Electrical and Pneumatic Connections

Now we will wire the motion sensor.

1. Cut the female end of the extension cord off.

2. Get your Retractable Utility knife and cut the plastic cover. (Don’t damage the wires in the process).

3. Get your wire strippers and strip the hot and neutral wires the ground wire won’t be necessary depending on motion sensor.

4. Wrap the hot wire on the extension cord around the hot wire on the motion sensor. Then wrap the neutral wire on the extension cord around the neutral wire on the motion sensor. If needed wrap the ground wire from the extension cord around the ground wire on the motion sensor.

5. Screw wire caps onto the connected wires.

6. Screw both socket adapters into the light sockets on the motion sensor.

7. Most plugs that power the prop are three prong while the socket adapters are 2 prong. So if needed use a polarized grounding adapter.

To run air to the cylinder follow these steps.

1. Attach the PVC hose to the part of the hose where the arrow points forward.

2. Then attach the Other end of the PVC hose to the compressor.

3. Adjust the ball valve where it works best for you.

Step 5: Prop Operation

1. Plug the AC adapter connected to the sprinkler valve into the motion sensor.

2. Set the switch on the bottom of the sensor to the amount of time you want it to go off for (1 minute recommended.

3. To make sure the motion sensor works walk in front of it. (Only workers in dark or shady areas)

If you are using the same reaper prop as me here is how you activate the built in motion sensor.

1. Follow the button from the reaper prop back to the plug

2. Unplug the button from the wire

3. Flip the switch from off to on.

4. Activate the Valve and make sure the prop goes off when it rises.

Step 6: Cover Base (optional)

To hide the base and pneumatic system follow the instructions below.

Note: this is an optional step.

1. Get (size here) sheet of cheesecloth.

2. Spray paint the sheet black if not already (Optional).

3. Wrap just enough cheesecloth around the base to hide everything.

4. Tuck the cheese cloth underneath to keep it covered.

Step 7: Final Thoughts

I really enjoyed making this. I thought I’d share a tutorial because the internet lacks creative and practical animatronic tutorials.

Check out my social media to see more of my animatronics.

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