View Full Version : Moving Floor Logistics

12-03-2008, 07:33 PM

I am planning on creating a moving floor platform in one of our cabins next year. Our tour groups are guided, and the group of about 10 people would get on the floor platform, (10 feet long, 3 feet wide, with railings) I then want it to, when prompted by the person running the scene, move slowly, and carefully, 5-10 feet to the side, as if they are being pulled into the scene. It would be on a system of wheels on the bottom.

Has anyone done this or know logistics of it?

I am thinking of using either pneumatics, or an electric motor and a track system.

If i was to use compressed air, how would I make this work (general idea)?

Any thoughts would be great.

12-03-2008, 08:25 PM
well if you want to use compressed air its going to be very costly.
you can either use just large cylinders, or telescoping cylinder and i dont think they even come 10 feet long honestly. or you could set up a cable pulley system and use an air motor if you want to use compressed air.
or how bout this idea ive heard from someone before. have the platform tip or drop on the side the room is on so they almost go running off it into the next room.

Jim Warfield
12-03-2008, 08:58 PM
If you think that you have to tip the floor to influence people I suggest tipping the floor only Very minimally, like an inch or an inch and half because just this much movement will almost make some people fall down in my opinion as it happens unannouced.
Hydralic cyninders don't have to be ten foot long to move something ten feet.
Think "Teeter-Toter" now move the fulcrum almost all the way toward one end, put the piston on the short end and the amount of travel is multiplied greatly whereas it's travel distance is measured on the long end.

Before you build the moving floor, think of all the things that can go wrong...like someone falling down and getting a finger caught next to the moving floor and the non-moving wall.
Real human fingers were lost between two such items when a room was supposed to rotate.

12-03-2008, 09:35 PM
I gotta 2nd Jim's advice (wow, that's scary) on this. First check your local code. Most likely this will be classified as an amusement park ride. You wouldn' think so but you'd be suprised. So in addition to your normal visit from the fire marshall you also get the pleasure of meeting the ride inspector. You might want to consider a stationary bridge with railings and have the scene move towards the bridge. Better to move the room then the people.

12-03-2008, 09:58 PM
I built an elevator simulator that moves in this fasion. It rides over an angle iron track on grooved steel wheels. I used a motor drive the first year, but switched to an air cylinder this year. The air cylinder was much better and safer.

It's true that this might be considered an amusement ride. My elevator had to be inspected and permited as an amusement device. it's certainly not a deal breaker.

If you really want to build it. I am sure it could be done safely and reliably. I would contact whoever governs amusement rides in your area and get their input from the start. They can tell you what safety features will need to be included such as railings with toe kicks, emergency kill switch, etc.
People falling off and extremeties getting caught in pinch points would be the biggest concerns.

Jim Warfield
12-03-2008, 10:49 PM
Those darn toilet seats have had my number in that area, I'm just standing there.....(I'm 5ft. 9 1/2" tall, no wee person. My wee hurts from those piching seats though!)
"It's wet."
"It's deep too!"--"Slingblade"

12-04-2008, 08:32 AM
Pneumatics are the way to go for this I'd think. I'd look into a cable cylinder. The kind you would want has a pulley on either end and the cable comes out both ends of the cylinder. It has a luttle carrige on it that can be attached to the floor. Build the floor to ride on a track that only allows it to move in and out like you want and attach the cylinder underneath. Easy...not so cheap but not terribly expensive...and effective. But, as always, safety is important. I would advise putting a couple kill switches in various locations around the cabin for safety. Good luck.

12-04-2008, 01:00 PM
Of course, speak to your insurance agent before getting too far into it. The underwriter of my current policy specifically excludes ANY form of moving floor...

12-04-2008, 01:53 PM
ok thanks everyone. I guess I will have to look into it more before actually building it.

12-04-2008, 11:09 PM
I've always believed in the KISS theory. No need to reinvent the wheel.

How about a forklift mechanism laid flat on the floor?

12-05-2008, 01:55 AM
There are several ways to accomplish this ...

You can actually use chaines to hang something off the ground even if its only 2 inches off the ground and move it around even by hand if you want to. This is VERY easy and we did this at the Darkness for YEARS with our elevators.

You attach chains to the bottom of the whatever and then you have a base around the whatever that the chains are attached to and it holds it off the ground by an inch or two or whatever. It works!

At the Darkness this year we did something A LOT MORE complicated and if you saw the Modern Marvels show you got to see how we did that. Did you get a chance to view that video?


12-05-2008, 04:12 PM
Hey Larry- the chain ideas do work fabulously- since our haunt is between cabins and outdoors, we actually chained a floor section of a bridge to 4 trees, so it moved a little in its place.

Kpolley- I think I will go with your plan. I found what you described, pictured below. However, as I have absolutely no experience in pneumatics, how do you go about powering this with the compressed air? Besides the compressor, and the cylinder, are there any other components I would need? I could get one of these cylinders on ebay for about $100, which is pretty good. Please let me know.


12-07-2008, 10:01 AM
i guess air flow would be important too, unless I want my customers all falling to the ground...

Jim Warfield
12-07-2008, 10:32 AM
YES! Make the customers all fall on the ground, this makes the tall ones short and easy to dominate them, jiggles some spare change out of the pockets along with car keys which can be held for ransom later.
Now you are talking "business" and "Profit!"
Under-floor grating with a ductwork scoop system brings all the items quckly and easily to a centralised pick up point.
Paint the inside of the ductwork flat black so as they are putting flashlights to work seeking their items they won't as easily realise you already are sorting through their stuff.

If you are hanging a floor by chains or cables be sure and install some blocking to limit the amount of travel to insure against some over zealous employee getting carried away with the amount of movement and sending someone's chin to the floor.
Most customers frown upon actual physical abuse to them, other people? Naw! That's FUNNY!
(But "Other People" are still people too.)

12-07-2008, 11:06 AM
yeah, the second pneumatic system will be used to create vaccuum to pull the items to the centralized collection area!

Boy, why doesn't Larry think of these ideas. Always leaves it up to Jim and his brilliance.

Jim Warfield
12-07-2008, 12:14 PM
One summer I was doing some concrete work here I actually did use water to mix the concrete with that I previously collected in a rainbarrel rather than turn on a faucet and have to pay for that water.
I'm old enough to remember when everything we have to buy today used to cost ALOT less than it does now.
My first real job (in a factory) paid $1.95 per/hour, my apartment rent was $65 a month, I drove a $50.00 car. If the car sat over Sunday then Monday I had to put transmission fluid in it and pump up one tire. If we went for a Sunday drive, then the car would be all right monday morning. I never figured out how this worked?
The car was a 1954 Ford Sunliner, it had a plexiglass roof over the front seat, quite a park-out car in it's "Day"!

12-12-2008, 02:46 PM
You can use airbags to move the floor up and down, really easy, and a linear actuator with a couple of limit switches to move it side to side. Simple, but not exactly cheap.

Jim Warfield
12-14-2008, 11:58 PM
Before the Civil War a man patented using bags of air -inflated to lift sunken boats up , believe it or not the guy was Abe Lincoln!
Could I make something like this up?