View Full Version : Ship steering wheel?

10-20-2005, 09:36 PM

I'm planning on making an April costume from Guilty Gear to go with my friend's May costume. The costume itself is very easy, but I'm at a loss on how to do make her giant ship steering wheel.
I'm not too knowledgeable about large props, so any suggestions would help! Thank you!!!

10-21-2005, 03:16 PM
Well, you could make this out of wood or craft foam actually. If you want it to be light, choose craft foam. If you want a bit more authentic look, go with wood. Once you decide and post what you want to make it out of, I'm sure someone will post some tutorial for you (unless I post before them, :P).

10-21-2005, 03:37 PM
Celebrimbor Generic Answer #1:

There are four factors in building props:

-What have I worked with in the past (knowledge / experience)
-What do I presently have the means to work with (tools / materials)
-How good do I want it to look
-How much money do I have to spend

If you answer those four questions for yourself, generally you have an answer. There is no univerally best material out there. The best material is often what you know how and have the means to work with. In my case that would be wood. In some people's cases, that's fiberglass. And sometimes, that's paper mache (which actually IS the universal worse material).

Please don't ask for tips when you don't have a plan on which we can comment. Because invariably that just lengthens out the thread and the point gets lost. If you're going to ask for help, go to the trouble of creating a plan (whatever you'd do without our help), and post it for us first, rather then asking an open ended question.

It wastes time parroting back these same speeches for every inquiry.

Why do I say this?

Because it seems like time people ask for advice in this way, the ultimate answer comes up being something like... "Layered Cardboard? BRILLIANT!" or "Styrofoam? OF COURSE!". That gets old. So it helps a lot if you express right off the bat what's in and not in the picture, because I'm not going to spend an hour or two making a layered schematic that won't be used.

10-24-2005, 10:25 PM
I don't know why someone would waste the time making a lengthy reply stating why its a waste of their time to make a helpful reply.

I thought about your ship wheel problem today at work, and came up with an idea that I think would be light, durable, and probably look pretty good. I don't know how much money you want to spend, or what kind of materials you can work with - but if it came down to it, I wouldn't mind making it for you if you paid for the materials (I live near you).

My idea is to make the wheel out of pink insulation foam and wood. I'd cut two wood rings out of 1/4" plywood to be the sides of the wheel (between 3'-4' outside diameter, depending on your height so it would be scale to the picture), and from a sheet of 1" foam, I'd cut one ring to be sandwiched between the wood layers. After gluing the three layers together, I'd glue a strip of synthetic trim (a plastic wood-substitute that is very flexible) around the outside and inside faces of the ring, over the exposed foam (I'd actually have made the foam ring a little smaller than the wood ones so that the trim strip would fit into a groove between the wood). For the bar across the center I'd use a wooden dowel, and for the wheel's handles.. I'd probably look for some kind of pre-made handles, or failing that, just cut up more wooden dowels to be the handles. Then I'd sand the whole thing a bit, stain it, varnish it, add some brass bolts to help secure the layers and central bar, and add some athletic tape on the bar...

1 sheet 1/4" plywood or equivalent
1/2 sheet 1" pink foam
4' x 1" dowel rod
6, 2" brass bolts and round head nuts
20'-24' length of 1" wide synthetic trim strip
ultimate glue
8 handles

As I said, this is just what I'd do. If you think you want to do it this way and have any questions, feel free to PM me. And if you wanted me to make it for you, I would, if you paid for the materials (they are all at Home Depot, not sure of the cost). I even just thought up a neat way to make it break down into two pieces, if it had to do that.. hmm.. props are fun ^_^ .

10-29-2005, 02:42 AM
Let look at what your "four factors" are likely to be:

-What have I worked with in the past (knowledge / experience) NO BIG PROPS
-What do I presently have the means to work with (tools / materials) NOTHING
-How good do I want it to look PERFECT
-How much money do I have to spend NEXT TO NOTHING

If those were not your factors, you would probably not be posting the question. That's normal. Twenty-five years of working in information technology has taught me that geniuses have little patience for mere mortals like us. So we ask for help, and enjoy helping others. Forty years of working with cardboard makes it my favoite material. So I recommend...(fanfare) ...Layered Cardboard. It's cheap and light. I like big boxes from the big office supply chain stores. I suggest you start with a wood 1x2 furring strip for the long handle. Make it as long as the distance from your shoulders to the ground. This provides a proper proportion. A cheap saw will suffice for the cut, and some home centers will make cuts for you. You'll need patterns, just as with the costume. Subtract three palm widths from the length of the handle and that will be the outer diameter of the circle. Two inches less and you have the inner diameter. Make a compass from a yardstick. Tape a nail to one end and tape a pen at the measurement for your diameter. Draw your circles on kraft paper, butcher paper, whatever you can tape together. Use your handle as a straight-edge and bisect the circle. Use a phone book to provide a right angle and bisect again. Divide each of the resulting right angles in half and you have the placement points for the long handle and the remaining short handles. I used this technique to reproduce the ship's wheel vignette from "Pirates of the Carribean" for a Halloween decoration. You can use this master pattern to cut out arcs from foam, cardboard, MDF,OSB, granite, whatever you choose. This way you do not need a giant sheet of material to make the wheel. Overlap arcs for strength and stability. Hot melt glue or construction adhesive should work. You will find the flat sides of the furring strip handle fit well when glued against the outer layers of the wheel. Above all, have fun.

10-31-2005, 03:30 PM
Maybe you can find one. A place like a flea market might have one, but the only problem with getting a wall decor wheel or even a real one is the weight of it, otherwise you might have to drag it, and I don't think you want to do that. But big props are fun. Just thought I'd suggest that.