View Full Version : Dropping wall, fence, etc?

07-26-2008, 07:07 PM
Hey guys,

Does anyone know if there any any wriiten instructions on how to make the classic drop wall, or fence, or Jail cells, whatever? I've seen it many times, just want to make sure it's sturdy enough but easy for the actor to pull it back to reset. Any help would be great!

Thank you,

Dr Spooktakular
07-27-2008, 07:40 PM
Try this website it is the HOW-TO of HOW-TO's website out there, go down to the D's and you'll see instructions for the drop panel.


Kevin Dells
07-27-2008, 09:35 PM
Dark Angel it sounds to me as if maybe your talking about the falling wall where the whole wall moves?

It all depends on how far you want it to fall, obviously the further it goes the more it has to withstand and further as well for the actor to reset.

I say this because im in the midst of building a cage with a full falling front.

I have set the platform high at 7 feet six inches because im doing this over the haywagons. It needs to more than be clear of patrons when it falls and it is falling level with the wagon so a 90 degree drop.

(I can see eyes rolling) Yes we are building this entire structure very strurdy! We have gone way overboard on beefing this thing up and we will be running back up cables on it as well. It really is smaller then it sounds. The cage dooor is 40 inches wide by 8 feet tall.

Were running a heavy aircraft cable through slots in the frame to catch it, also backing it with flat stock metal for where it hits full open for durabilty and safety and clang when it drops.

A bigger wall they tend to just drop it a few inches forward such as a large sign or bill board.
All depends on what exactly your building.

And you can counterweight the bigger ones to help the actor out resetting it.

Jim Warfield
07-28-2008, 12:31 AM
...you aren't dropping this over the customers are you?
It's late, I don't comprehend ....

07-28-2008, 06:40 AM
Thank you. Kevin you are right that's what I am thinking of, the whole wall falling towards the guests. Where did you get your aircraft cable? I am only thinking of dropping it about 45 degrees down at them not all the way. Yours sounds very cool!


Kevin Dells
08-03-2008, 07:31 AM
Dark Angel,

We got a huge spool at the local salvage yard that appears to have never been used. The stuff is so thick im hoping our new wall will even drop! LOL It's very overkill but we don't want to injure our guests and yes we will also have back up lines attached in case the main line fails.

At a haunt i used to work at we had the falling wall but we had to stop using it because the framing was so weak we thought that was going to give way.
So when you build this effect it's very nessecary to make sure your framing is as adequate as the cable is.

P.S. Check this NIGHTLY for any problems!

Jim Warfield
08-03-2008, 07:50 AM
As Kevin is saying, normal building methods often are not good enough for the physical forces at work and wood should be replaced with steel whenever possible for long term durability and safety.
Wood screws should be replaced with good sized bolts or welded by someone who has more than just a cusory knowledge of welding.
The slamming, yanking and banging and sometimes over enthusiastic use by employees all take their toll and besides that, how many times do you want to build the same item or have the time to rebuild the same thing?
(Did anyone notice that I never even mentioned nailing anything ? Use other methods nails will pull and fail often times)

Kevin Dells
08-03-2008, 08:00 AM
Jim is very right in adding this as well ! Beef up your hardware!

Use large hardened steel bolts where you can as well as doubling your nuts (LOL wow that came out wrong!) as a locking nut system. Our cage front were dropping is only four feet wide but im still using four very heavy hinges to mount it and drywall screws are out of the question!

Im using five inch screws that are very thick to attach our hinges that i will have to bore out even more to even accept the large screws! Overkill is a must!

Jim Warfield
08-03-2008, 12:22 PM
1" steel rods slipped through steel pipe nipples, welded to 1/4 steel plates.
Such hinges are in use in numerous places here at The Ravens Grin Inn, usually not really that much of an over-kill situation since some of them are swinging VERY heavy secret passage doors.
If your door is nearly as heavy as a bank vault door you had better have bank vault-like hinges.
Yes I use real bricks and real rocks on my real doors, I probably just don't know any better.(But then this is a real haunted house with a real maniac living in it)
"What you see IS what you get", afterall the customer paid to see it!