Introduction: Puppet Theater From Broken Monitor!


Welcome to my first Instructable!!!! I'm entering it into the Dead Computer Contest, so please vote for me!! :)

My goal for this project was to use as much found or discarded items in the build as I could, almost all the parts were salvaged from the dumpster at my work.

No animals were harmed in making this project, but some were very annoyed.

I'm not an expert on anything electronic but from what I am told the inside of the monitor may be dangerous. The tube has harmful vapors, and the electronics can still hold a charge for months after it is unplugged. Open the monitor at your own risk, and I am in no way responsible for any harm that may befall you. With that being said I hope you like my instructable. Constructive criticism and other ideas are welcome!!

Step 1: Tools and Supplies

So here is a basic list of tools and supplies that I used in this project.

Safety glasses
Rotary tool
Cutting bit
Sanding bit
Utility knife
Hot glue gun
Screw driver
Snips/Wire cutters
Straight edge
Tape measure
Sand paper

Monitor (obviously)
Cardboard or some sturdy substrate (I used corrugated plastic and some double ply poster board)
Craft foam
Masking tape
Paint (spray and liquid)
Paint brushes
Spray adhesive or glue stick
Metal rod or stick of some kind for puppets (I have no children so I don't know a child safe alternative, suggestions welcome!!!)

Other useful items:
Photo editing software
Computer paper  for printing out puppets

Step 2: Opening the Case

Let me start of by saying every CRT monitor is a little different, so I'm just showing you how to open the one I got. So if you have a Gateway 2000 crystal scan then just follow my instructions, if not then just use this as a basic outline on what to do. Just use a little logic.

Basically you want to remove all the screws that you can find on the outer casing(make sure you save those screws for the reassembly). I could not figure out how to pull the stand of without breaking it, so I just pulled and wiggled it till it slipped by.

Step 3: Take the Dog Out.

Because he been scratching at the door for like five minutes while you were taking the monitor apart!!

Step 4: Removing the Tube.

Once the front of the monitor is slid out, there is a lot of wires connecting the tube to the circuit board. Just take your snips and cut any wires that are connected to the board.  Once all the wires are cut there are 4 screws, one in each corner of the tube, this releases it from the front of the case. I put it on the floor and gently lifted the plastic away from the tube. Make sure you recycle this part (the tube), most area's have some kind of electronic recycling that will gladly take the tube.

Step 5: Removing the Curcuit Board

If you are electronically inclined there are some goodies on the circuit board for you, Such as a toroid bead and an LED, plus tons of resistors and other parts (that I have no clue what they due, maybe someone can enlighten me). So this part is just a matter of removing all the screws, and breaking off some hold down clips.

Step 6: Making the Stage.

The next step is to start laying out the stage. I used some corrugated plastic board I found in the garbage, but any sturdy type of substrate could be used.

First measure the circuit board tray, you want the front of the substrate to be a little bit wider than the opening of the front frame, and you want the back to be the width of the tray. Cut a rectangle of your substrate using the larger of the two measurements, then make a center mark and center the smaller measurement on the board. Use your ruler and a sharpie to make a diagonal line from back to front leaving about 3 inches of the front still squared. Then get your utility knife and cut the excess off.
Test to see how it fits and make any adjustment you may need.

Next measure the dimensions of the inside of the casing. Measure and cut using the same way as before. Once you cut one side, just trace it onto another piece of substrate and you have its twin.

After the first three pieces are cut, you will need to temporarily build the stage. Use masking tape to hold the sides up, then you can measure for the back plate. (If your measurements were correct on the other pieces you should end up with a nice easy rectangle)

(Temporarily) Mount the back piece and slide the whole thing back in the case, trim any spots that are too tight.

The last piece of substrate you will need to cut will be the pull out curtain, this will be inserted into a slot (that you will cut out) just behind the window. I just measured the width of the screen and added an inch, then I measured the inside of the frame from the stage piece to the top and added half an inch. after measuring I added a pull tab on the top, then cut the whole thing out with my utility knife.

Step 7: Cutting Out Puppeteer Hole and Curtain Slot

Now for the destruction!!!

First I measured the width of the front frame to draw a center line as a guide for my cut.

Next I measured a rectangle out for the puppeteers hole. To figure out the size I would need, I just took the width of the stage and added a quarter inch, then I measured the stage subtracting two inches from the front.

Next step is the cutting, I have no pictures of the actual cutting because I'm a dork, and I got so excited to use my rotary tool that I forgot to take pictures.
First I cut the slot for the curtain.
(This is when I realized that not only can I not draw a straight line, but I can not cut one either)
Then cut out the puppeteer hole.

Finally sand down all the edges. Later I noticed that when I put the curtain in its slot, the paint would get scratched off so I widened the opening and used craft foam to soften the slide.(See step 9)

Step 8: Painting and Stage Props.

Now it's time to do some painting and make the stage props.

I went for a forest scene, so I painted the stage brown, the sides black and the back I used spray glue to attach a picture of a forest. I then painted the curtain board a bright red. This would be a good time to paint the monitor case, if its not the color you want. I forgot to paint mine so I painted it after the final assembly, which was a big pain.

For the puppets, I printed out two instructable robots I liked. I then cut them out and glued them to some of the double ply poster board. I cut a metal rod into two equal pieces, then used my needle nose pliers to curl then ends to make nice handles.

Using the masking tape, attach the puppets to the end of the rods.

Lastly I printed out a picture of a tree, cut it in half and attached it to my double ply poster board. When you cut it out of the poster board leave about a half an inch of board on the side where you want to attach it to the wall. Lightly score  the poster board next to your image and bend back, this will be the part that you glue to the wall of the stage.

Step 9: Final Assembly

Finally its time to put it back together.

Start to put your stage pieces together just like you did in the mock up, but this time use your hot glue gun to join the seems (almost like caulking). My stage fit snug enough that I didn't have to glue it to the actual monitor case, if yours doesn't a little more glue never hurts. (unless you burn yourself like I did)

Next bend the strips of cardboard on the edges of your trees and run a line of glue across the length. Stick it to the side panel where ever you want, I staggered mine to create a little more depth to the stage.

Then reassemble the case. After everything was put back together, I found that the stage was a little bit to big, so I just took my utility knife and shaved the top of the stage panels till it fit nicely.

If you aren't good at cutting straight lines (like me) with a rotary tool, some of the edges may have come out with some burrs. These may scratch the paint of of your curtain board, or just plain hurt you so I wrapped them with some craft foam I had laying around. Just run 2 lines of glue on the foam and wrap them around the gap.


So make some popcorn and enjoy the show!!

Thank you for reading my instructable! I hope you enjoyed it. Please send pictures of yours and feel free to ask me any questions.


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