View Full Version : Custom Walking Cane
09-02-2009, 07:58 AM
A few years ago I did a little custom walking cane project, where I customized one of those $10 wooden sticks with a skull at the top that you can get at pretty much all party and Halloween stores in October. I added some LED lights, and some styrofoam balls, and a flash pot into the top of the skull so it will shoot a fire ball with a trail of sparks 20 feet into the air. See pic here http://i227.photobucket.com/albums/dd278/jarrigo/Haunt%20Scene%20Directory/cane.jpg. Anyone else have any custom walking stick's or cane's that they made? I'd be curious to see what other people come up with and what cool things they do!
09-02-2009, 08:37 AM
I have the same style of cane, and prefer to leave it as-is. IMO, adding LEDs cheapens the look of the prop (creepy as-is) and adding a flash pot is just dangerous in a typical haunt setting, especially if the person loading the flash pot doesn't know exactly what he/she is doing. Our insurance doesn't allow for any type of open-flame effects, so every type of flash/light effect has to be purely electronic.
The above being said, if the LEDs are mounted in a way that they are set in deeply into the eye sockets and the effect is more subtle than inyourface, I could see the glowing eyes working pretty well w/ this type of cane.
I have a friend who has constructed his own version of the FISM Flash, which goes behind any type of gem stone and can be fitted into a costume, pendant, or cane. We've also played with mounting LEDs underneath a crystal ball in the top of a staff to varying degrees of success.
09-02-2009, 09:28 AM
Hey Chris, I normally agree with you about LED's, I hate the look they give off. The LED's I used are all dampened by hot glue, I put the LED in the back of the eye, then filled the entire eye socket with hot glue. This makes the entire eye socket light up in a pretty creepy way. Take a look at the photo is you havent.
As far as the flash pot, I am a licensed pyrotechnician. I have been trained in indoor and ourdoor pyro for stage productions and concerts. That being said, I am the only person who uses the cane, and I only use the pyro effect outside. I dont use it for my haunt, it is just my personal toy. I always make sure that the conditions are ideal and that the setting is safe before shooting the effect. Further more, I only use chemicals and materials that produce what is called a cold flame, so it dosnt produce smoke, and the sparks and flame go out almost immediatly after being ignited, it will not linger in the air, or land on things and light them on fire. I dont reccommend anyone doing this unless they have the proper knowledge on how to safely built the device, how to handle the chemicals, and how to safely operate pyrotechnic effects.
I am just looking to see what kinds of cane's or walking sticks other people have made, not with fire, just how they look.
09-02-2009, 10:35 AM
Pyro: Only appropriate in the hands of the qualified, so I applaud you for that! What one does for oneself or with the approval of the Powers that Be in a venue is a very different situation.
This is one of those knee-jerk reactions only for the reason that somebody may take the idea and go, "cool, I can make one of those" without having the knowledge or experience to either make or use such a prop. Steve Joseph is a friend, a licensed pyrotechnician, and I have absolutely no problem with what he did for House of Shock because IMO it was done the right way. Insurance/permit issues need to be addressed and respected by the performers/designers if there is any kind of "no open flame" part of the policy as we have.
Unfortunately, I worked with a magician (non-haunting venue) who had absolutely no respect for this kind of stuff, did what he wanted to do, and never learned from his mistake of filling an auditorium full of smoke and triggering fire alarms prior to a show for the volunteer fireman! Later, we lost a lucrative gig because he insisted on performing fire-eating in a venue when he was told specifically that he cound not do so. No thank you note and no invitation to return next year for any of us. I'm sure that you've met the kind who fall in love with an idea, know a basic principle, and don't think out the rest of the possibilities before they "go public" with their latest masterpiece ;)
LEDs: I've seen something very similar w/ silicone, and it does create an eerie effect when done properly. I could see this working very effectively if the control acts as a dimmer and the effect can fade in and out.
I'd have to find a photo, but some of our cast have used confetti launchers built into staves for presentation pieces in past years. More recently, the best-looking custom props we've used have been ungaffed.
09-02-2009, 10:36 AM
Can you tell from my posts that in addition to being Magic Director for the attraction I am also Safety/Compliance Officer?
09-02-2009, 10:47 AM
Safety is first. What kind of magic are you into? I am also a magician myself!
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