Intro: The Electric Chair Pumpkin
I had this idea running through my mind for a few years now. I also wanted an excuse to incorporate a knife switch into a project. Since it is easy to associate a knife switch with Frankenstein and Frankenstein with Halloween, the Electric Chair Pumpkin was born.
Inside the pumpkin is a sound box. It is wired to the switch. When the switch is thrown, LEDs and sound effects play giving the appearance of him being electrocuted.
The project consists of:
1. Building the chair and attaching the knife switch
2. Putting together the pumpkin's body
3. Wiring the knife switch to the sound box
4. Carving the pumpkin
5. Putting on the finishing touches
Step 1: Building the Chair
I had scrap wood lying around the workshop to build a crude looking chair. I wanted it to look a little rough, so I selected the pieces that were beat up.
The legs were attached to the sides of the seat using wood glue. The same for the back and arm supports. Another piece of wood was attached to the side of the chair using L-brackets. The knife switch was then attached.
I named the chair "Sparky" after an electric chair that used to be at the Moundsville Penitentiary in Moundsville, WV.
Step 2: The Body
The body is supported by PVC. I wanted something that could handle the weight of the pumpkin without tipping over.
Inside the PVC, we'll be placing a sound box. The box has a speaker that will play sound effects when the knife switch is thrown.
To prevent the body from moving forward and back, I cut notches in the PVC. The shoulders of the body fit down in the notches. The body is nothing more than wire with some foam added. You can bend the wire to put the arms in any position you want.
Step 3: Wiring the Knife Switch
The sound box is where the magic happens. I took this out of another Halloween prop. Three bright LEDs will be used to light the inside of the pumpkin. The sound box will play different kinds of sound effects - including one that sounds like something is being electrocuted.
The white wires on the box were connected to the knife switch. They were not long enough so I did have to extend them, hence the black wires connected to the switch.
Step 4: Carving the Pumpkin
The next step was to carve and seal the pumpkin. I always spray my pumpkins with acrylic as it seems to add a couple extra weeks to the life.
Step 5: The Finishing Touches
To finish things up, I pulled the LEDs through the neck and duct taped them in place. These LEDs are bright! Nails were tapped into the top of the pumpkin and some extra wire wrapped around them. It serves no purpose other than giving the appearance that is where the electricity enters the pumpkin.