Intro: HALLOWEEN INVITATION - OPERATION GAME BY SALTSPRESS 2014
The following PDF is the instructions for making a laser cut Halloween invitation or game for your friends or family. All the files are just demonstrations and please make sure you purchase the images from the listed vendors as this is not for sale but a personal project.
Step 1: Draw Out Your Idea
There's no real way of escaping this bit, your drawing skills may be lacking but it's this process that helps you filter out the ideas that won't work or parts that don't sit neatly together. This is also going to help you draw or illustrate your work in a design package.
Step 2: Illustrate
Ok, so use any design package but if you're going to laser this rather than use a burning tool then you'll need these to be vector (line) art. I used illustrator.
You're going to realise those sketches using your drawings, tracing photos, stock photo sites and in this case I purchased the face used from Etsy (Mon Bonbon shop). I then mixed these to find a layout that matched the dismantled operation game.
Step 3: Dismantling...Yes You're Going to Ruin an Operation Game
Remove the card front using tweezer or a flat head screw drive it should pop off as they are not usuall stuck to the plastic.
Next you'll need to remove the metal sheet and dremel out the buzzer and light mechanism on some models this was a separate unit but out of the ten I bought only two were that grey model. Make sure you keep the red plastic as they will stay as cups for the shapes later.
Step 4: Keep Dismantling
These are the two options I mentioned you need to carefully dremel these out or saw them out as the wires are in the way. Once you have removed them it's easy to solder them back on to the steel sheet that came with the kit.
Step 5: Transferring the Holes
Ok so at this point before you laser cut anything you'll need to make sure your design works so print it out on paper or card at the right dimensions and check the metal, plastic, buzzer (light and switch) units fit.
Step 6: Laser Time
For the next step I used a Denford laser and plywood in 3mm thick keep the wood thin as this will reduce the depth of the finished box. Use a mixture of etching and cutting to get this effect. I could write a book on the laser so if you can't do the lasering technique then you can screen print or paint the image on and cut out the holes using a drill bit and filing those holes down.
Step 7: Assembly
Now you need to sandwich it all together and use a strong glue or contact cement to glue all the elements together. Before you do this I'd use a dark furniture wax on the front to bring out the etching on the image if you've screened or painted your image on just skip this step.
At this point you can create your box. When I did this we chose the most difficult way to do this I'd advise looking at Diresta on You Tube to see how he does boxes on the table saw much more clever. But if not cut each side and butt joint them together the wood is too thin to miter unless your chop saw is lovely and fine.
Jimmy's video is here:
Step 8: Final Assembly
Before adding a back to the box make sure you've fed the velcro, tweezers and wire through the check outs and that all the switches move back and forth. I haven't put a pic here but also on the back have a panel that you can unscrew for the batteries.
I then added hinges using Tim Holtz range of distressed fittings you'll need machine screws and add glue to help keep the hinges in place. Dad and I had a right pain getting these on. I'd also add a clasp on the side as the velcros and wire tends to push the lid up.
Step 9: Final Product
That's it your done, now make 6 more and have a Halloween themed dinner party with gory food and a mad dressed room.