So if you're pressed for time or bandwidth, leave now.
Still here? Okay, here goes.
Even though it's totally redundant, here's my pictorial. I mean, I shot 'em, I may as well post 'em.
Here's the goal-- as if anyone here isn't sure what it looks like...
Ever since reading jackdoud's thread (http://www.gbfans.com/community/viewtop ... =7&t=28154) and one that he links to as well (http://www.gbfans.com/community/viewtop ... =7&t=20910), I'd had the Square D 9001 TR14 button in my eBay Saved Search for ages.
After ramcuda posted a thread about making the actual ringing Faraday bell, complete with the button (http://www.gbfans.com/community/viewtop ... =7&t=33495), I added a second listing in my Save Searches that wasn't quite as precise as the first... and within a week, I had a hit for a seller hawking four of them for $7.75 each, plus shipping.
If I hadn't been absolutely broke that day, I'd have bought all four. As it was, I did a Buy It Now and shared the link on my Facebook page so all my GB friends on there would get the news at the same time.
I was VERY happy to get the correct version with no guard or half-guard.
Comparing it to the movie frame, you can see the screw-off outer shaft will only go to this position because of the added height of the rubber ring, and that puts the wording 'towards camera', unlike the film.
So the rubber ring has to go, as well as the little pin that holds it in place.
With the button made accurate, it was time to make a base. I saw an auction for a chrome clothesline that was cheaper than all the rest, and just as I was heading out the door to work, placed a bid and won it.
Unfortunately, it was a chromed PLASTIC clothesline.
Even though it looked okay in this test-fit, it did not have anywhere near the solidity, the weight, the sheer 'heft' that I felt the industrial button on top deserved.
Luckily, ramcuda mentioned that he had an extra METAL clothesline, still in package!
That one arrived yesterday, and I spent a couple minutes fiddling with it trying to take the top off, then suddenly--
SPROING! The back came off and the mainspring went all kablooey on me.
You know you're obsessed with Ghostbusters when you've got this mess on your hands, and the only thing you can say is a monotone "We had part of a Slinky. But I straightened it."
I did manage to recoil the mainspring, which wasn't easy since the loose clothesline kept getting tangled with it. I then put the base back in the empty box since none of those parts are needed.
Next I could not figure out how to remove the adjustable clothesline lock from the center of the 'bell'.
I even emailed ramcuda to ask how he'd done it on his, but about fifteen minutes later I saw what needed to be done.
Now I had the two main parts needed for the prop!
As you can see below, the plastic version (left) and the metal version (right) seem identical in a photograph. But it's the weight and strength that I was wanting.
I therefore reassembled the plastic clothesline so it was once again functional. I'd been very careful to re-knot the cut line when I originally removed the plastic 'bell', so the retraction feature didn't suck it inside.
Now I just reversed those steps and the clothesline was good as new, except maybe an inch shorter.
Waste not, want not. It will go in our backyard to replace the clothesline we had when we first moved into this house. I love the smell of line-dried sheets and shirts.
So this morning I took some measurements of the four holes in the bottom 'feet' of the Square D button.
Then I made a template from some thin cardboard (cut out of a frozen pizza package)...
I didn't take a pic of the tape measure against the underside of the button, but the inch-wide marks correspond to the diameter of its central shaft.
The marks 1/8th of an inch to either side are the center line of the screw holes.
(Ignore the slight error of parallax in this photo.)
Rotate 90 degrees and mark again from the same centerpoint.
I used the awl at far right to punch holes through the cardboard, directly into the holes underneath the four 'feet' of the button.
I tested out some different sizes of screws that I had on hand from various other GB projects. These 6/32 screws matched the threads, and also let me see that the template lined up perfectly.
The U-shaped mark in ballpoint pen told me where the pinhole on the side of the button would line up.
There's a single screw-hole in the side of the metal clothesline bell, and I wanted it to be 'off-camera' when the prop was viewed from the correct movie angle. So I made sure to put the template inside the bell with the U-mark 135 degrees counterclockwise away from the screw-hole.
I lined up the centerline as seen from above...
...marked the four drilling locations with the template as a guide...
... and then I did several steps for which I never bothered to take photos. Sorry. I was in the zone!
I couldn't get the drill to bite into the metal, so I made 'pilot dents' using that awl and a hammer.
By the way, I had some scrap adhesive-backed red felt left over from an old school project for my kids, so I put a layer of this against my workbench so as not to dent or scratch the chrome while the button was upside down.
Next, I drilled and tapped the holes, and finally did a very careful sanding with my dremel to remove the burrs on the top. Oh, and also I had to pull a bunch of red felt out of the threads of my drill and tap, LOL.
Then the bell looked like this!
I screwed everything together:
And the very last step was to use some Goop to glue that outer metal shaft into the position seen in the movie.
Got it done in a couple of hours, once I had everything I needed.
I still think the 'bell' in the movie was more 'domed' and less 'rounded square' if that makes sense. So if anyone discovers, "oh wait, it wasn't a clothesline it was a... concierge bell from a hotel" or whatever... be sure to let me know.
Will it ever be made functional?
Perhaps! Time-- and my Saved Searches-- will tell.