View Full Version : Help! Horizontal Prop Slider Mechanism

Michael Inks
08-21-2012, 09:32 PM
Hey gang. We're looking for some sort of mechanism that can slide a chair and actor forward at a pretty good rate for a distance of about 3 feet. We could fabricate something but our build schedule doesn't allow for it. Anybody have a lead one somebody who makes such a thing? Fright Props has some great mechanisms, but we're a little heavy for the things they make. (300# or so) Any thoughts?

Allen H
08-21-2012, 10:22 PM
What type of chair, or does it matter?

08-21-2012, 10:38 PM
You are probably looking for a "rodless" actuator or air slide or linear track as they are sometimes called.

Take a look at some of these models... just for examples:


The plate slides along a track instead of extending a piston like in a normal air cylinder. You should be able to find one for your correct load and length. However with this type of mechanism, safety should be a concern if your sliding an actual person...

08-22-2012, 08:30 AM
I'm going to step in and speak for Mike for a sec,

Alan, The chair we have is a large throne >5ft square (Think oversized chair photo op at your local county fair). We could go smaller, but we want the big regal throne. The scene is for a major character. As always, very interested in thoughts you may have.

Bill, thanks for the link to that site. If we can't find a prefab, that could do the trick. However, at this point in our build, we're looking for "plug and play" No fabrication other than perhaps using wood to widen a platform to bolt the chair legs to the slide.

We're just wanting to have the chair and actor move forward toward the guests (min 2', max 5'). Could be done @ slight angle using gravity, (picture C channel track, wheels on chair, wench to reset... or a "H" shaped c-channel track teeter totter w/pneumatic cylinder), or could be done with pneumatic shoving horizontally forward (probably a bit more controlled/safer).

I've seen countless "slider mechs" in haunts moving fake trains, cars, monsters, etc... I just am not finding anything for purchase that can handle more than 100lbs

Thanks for your Replies!

Michael Inks
08-22-2012, 08:34 AM
Andy had to step in because I'm just 'the story guy.' I'm not allowed to touch power tools.

08-22-2012, 01:25 PM
I do make something very much what you are looking for. http://www.evilusions.com/store/pneumatic-mechanisms/slideacorpse-detail

I will be honest, it's not cheap, but it's built like a tank. It will handle over 1000lbs of downward load. Unfortunately, I can not make any before this season. Our haunt opens in 3 weeks.

A few people on this board have this set up inside of larger props that I have built.

Allen H
08-22-2012, 11:33 PM
At this stage I would build a 2x4 frame on the floor so the throne has stopping points. Really secure the one up front as it protects the patrons.
add many smooth moving casters to the throne platform and have an actor push it forward. then he can pull or push it back in place before the next group.
After the push out he could get a scare by coming out from behind the throne also.
It is a simple solution and rather non-eloquent but it will get the job done and even paying that actor will be cheaper than buying/shipping/ installing a mechanism this season.
Another option along the same vein is to use the roller tracks they use to move heavy loads.
Google roller track to find examples- I always buy mine from metal recyclers, they always seem to have them on hand.
I find it is often costly to ignore the simplest solution.
Allen H

Jim Warfield
08-23-2012, 05:19 AM
Elevate one end this allows gravity to do half of the work. Just decide if you want gavity to do the scare or do the reset?
Angle it too mich, you will increase the physical work to go the other direction,or put the fulcrum in the middle and tip it forward or back to scare and reset.
If you use wood for most of the surfaces the rollers slide on/over, cover the wood with sheet metal to make everything last longer, work smoother. Bend the metal over the edge and screw it on this bent edge to keep the screw heads from catching on the rollers.
You can also buy new rubber-wheeled castors that have brackets with the screw holes already in the bracket. These will have weight limits posted on them, makes it handy to begin to figure out how many of them you will need... and taller wheels always will turn slower, easier, quieter.

08-24-2012, 01:43 PM
Brent at DCProps does awesome custom mechanisms at a very decent price... he's got stock mechs you may be able to use, or you can have him customize for you.