How to Put an Elevator in Your Garage, Part 2

For the roof, I used some more hardboard and got a couple of plastic frosted light panels from Home Depot. I used one 75 watt white light bulb (which I put on a plug-in manual dimmer I found) and also strung up some red Christmas lights above it. The white and red lights I could operate independently so that the elevator is brightly lit when they walk in, but the light soon flickers and goes out leaving them in darkness for a few seconds and then the red "emergency lighting" goes on casting everything in an erie red light. Lighting is everything in a haunted house and this simple effect is really unnerving.


OK, it's pretty hard to get a good picture of the inside of the elevator but I think you can see the important stuff from this angle. You can see the closed doors on the left, part of the light panel at the top, and to the right you see the speaker, ripped-out emergency phone (just a box with a few wires hanging out) and the frosted window in which light bands moved across to give a lame visual of motion (this being my biggest dissappointment. If I only had one more day to work on the brick panels...) I won't bother with the details on making the light bands. Basically, they were battery-operated mini fluorescent lights attached to a slow-spinning wheele.


This now brings us to the item that got the most screams that night... the twenty-pound weight. When it was time for the elevator to move, I dropped this guy on the roof of the elevator. I dropped it a whole 3 inches but that was enough to jerk everything with a bang. I made sure that the weight hit a 2x4 brace, not the hardboard, used two ropes incase one broke and knotted the ropes that so even if it wanted to, the weight could not crash through the roof and bean someone. It is always important to over-engineer for safety. Let me say that again... OVER engineer for safety. I made that sucker strong.

So that is my elevator simulator. Not everything I wanted it to be, but everyone loved it.


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