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Topic: Building a Guillotine
Message: Posted by: Matman (Nov 21, 2012 12:10PM)
Hello all,

I recently purchased the Osborne French Guillotine ePlans. They are not what I expected, I was looking for a more step-by-step method, maybe even a cutting list. Does anyone have experience building from Osborne plans? Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks,

Matt
Message: Posted by: jay leslie (Nov 21, 2012 02:01PM)
Many plans are made-up from line drawings and measurements, not just Osborne. You may change the height, if you want, by making the uprights longer or shorter and you may change how wide it is too. That's the beauty of making it yourself, the drawings are a starting point for you to springboard from.

Start with the frame and build inward. This model just requires a table saw, a jig saw and some sand paper. I would however get the metal cut from a water-jet company, as opposed to using a carbine blade or on your jig saw. But you should do that after the wood is machined so you have accurate measurements.

The problem with non CNC equipment is that every time you make another run the cuts are slightly different (ergo the measurements and fit) so the blade should come last.
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Nov 21, 2012 02:27PM)
The "Understanding Plans or Blueprints" sheet that comes with the Osborne plans explains the method of measurement and how to use it.

You will have to add and subtact figures to get some measurements. So you have to sit down and figure out the amount of material needed yourself.
Message: Posted by: JamesinLA (Nov 22, 2012 01:32PM)
Osborne's plans are in my opinion less than they should be. I'm an experienced builder and woodworker, and the plans have more than once been for me like going on a fishing expedition to figure out key parts of a given design. Thayer plans are very complete. The best plans and instructions anyone could possibly hope for would be Dennis Loomis' doll house dvd with plans.

Jim
Message: Posted by: ringmaster (Nov 22, 2012 08:48PM)
I'd like to see someone put out plans that are more like the project articals in the woodworking magazines.
Message: Posted by: Michael Baker (Nov 22, 2012 09:20PM)
[quote]
On 2012-11-22 21:48, ringmaster wrote:
I'd like to see someone put out plans that are more like the project articals in the woodworking magazines.
[/quote]

Definitely! They would be great for smaller stuff and for SOME illusions. The problem with a lot of illusions though, is that they MUST be sized to the person wearing them. That is really an advanced skill that many wannabe builders don't understand. Unless very experienced, it is usually best to stick with apparatus that can either be built exactly to plan or when moderate resizing doesn't compromise anything.

Regarding the Osborne plans, I've said this many times... they are great renderings of what the illusion can look like... but not much more. It is an example of when selling the sizzle instead of the steak is a shortcoming. Thayer/Owen plans are great. Some of them even have complete parts lists. The reprints in the Byron Wels book set are about as complete as you could ask for.

Abbott's Workshop Plans, inspite of them being very crude, are at least good, in that they give dimensions of parts, instead of just overall dimensions. This is a real plus to a new builder, because overall dimensions do not account for those variances where joints happen (stock thickness, type of joint, etc.).

I do believe however that anyone wanting to build from plans, learn how to draft their own. This way, they can at least read through a ready-made set of plans with an eye for errors, which sometimes do occur. But, it also allows them to easily make modifications to suit their specific needs. After a bit of experience, it is even possible to draft a set of plans, complete with cutting lists, etc., totally from the ground up. These don't need to be pristene, but it really helps give a feel for visualizing something in three dimensions, whereas just reading plans on paper alone can be a harder load of info to decode.
Message: Posted by: makeupguy (Nov 23, 2012 01:23AM)
The cutting lists on those old plans are wrong. The size of wood has changed over the years.. a 2 x4 used to be 2" x 4'... then it became 1 7/8 x 3 7/8. then it became 1 3/4 x 3 3/4... and now I think it's smaller than that. Plywood has changed as well.. mostly being measured in off sizes of 1/32 of an inch.. or even harder.. in millimeters.

So... adjusted for the new wood sizes, your props won't fit together.

I've found that I have no real issues building off of the Osborne plans.. I have to admit that the measurements as listed aren't always correct... but the drawings are normally right.. so second check your measurements with an architect's scale..

Measure everything 4 times.. and MOCK UP EVERYTHING DOWN TO THE TRIM AND THE LEGS... the 30-40 you'll spend on supplies on the mock up can save a hundred dollars on a sheet of plywood and expensive trim.
Message: Posted by: Michael Baker (Nov 23, 2012 09:25AM)
You can build from a sketch drawn on a napkin, but it takes someone who knows how this stuff has to fit together to make the mental conversions. Even playing it safe still means that the plans need to be redrawn. The measurements on the older plans will still work, so long as the parts are cut according to the plans. In most cases, the cutting lists are still good. The prop should be made according to the size given. Those are correct measurements. I can't say I've ever seen a plan call for a "2x4", even if the part was 2"x4" in size. Thicknesses of plywood stock could make a difference, depending on how it and other parts are incorporated.

Card board mock-ups can be helpful, but the same concerns could be said for thickness, etc. Always best to check, double check and triple check before cutting.

My favoritism for the old plans is that they show HOW the parts fit together in fine detail. That is critical information, especially to a newbie. This is something that woodworking magazines do, but newer magic plans rarely do.
Message: Posted by: jay leslie (Nov 23, 2012 03:19PM)
[quote]
On 2012-11-23 10:25, Michael Baker wrote:
You can build from a sketch drawn on a napkin, but it takes someone who knows how this stuff has to fit together to make the mental conversions.
[/quote]

Me thinks this is the part the OP is stuck at.
Message: Posted by: Magic Researcher (Nov 23, 2012 08:31PM)
I would like to think that anyone planning to build illusions would have and know how to use a thickness planer or sander to get wood to required dimensions as per the drawings. Trying to build apparatus using off the shelf boards would be very limiting.
MR
Message: Posted by: ringmaster (Nov 30, 2012 02:31PM)
I've built the Abbott's Giant Guillotine out of construction grade lumber using just a sabre saw and a Ryobi plunge roughter. There really arn't any critical dementions.
Message: Posted by: Magic Researcher (Nov 30, 2012 05:03PM)
Good for you. Show some pictures of it. Those old Abbott plans are no where as detailed nor professional as the old Thayer or updated Owen plans. Construction grade lumber would not do for them. BTW - it's "router".
MR
Message: Posted by: magic123 (Dec 26, 2012 07:49PM)
Where can I find info about building a Lester lake Gilletean
are Plans available .
Message: Posted by: AGMagic (Dec 26, 2012 10:21PM)
Google Lester Lake Guillotine plans.
Message: Posted by: makeupguy (Dec 28, 2012 10:45AM)
Actually. you should google Gilletean.

Lester Lake head chopping props are VERY hard to build... I know even seasoned prop makers that won't make them anymore becuase they're such a pain. they are certainly not a weekend garage project by a newbie.
Message: Posted by: john wills (Dec 28, 2012 03:58PM)
Makeupguy,
We can guide magic123 to the original guillotine, first
built during the French Revolution. This one is
very easy to built and he can tryout it in his garage.
As far as I know it never failed during performance!
Message: Posted by: Steven True (Jan 2, 2013 02:34AM)
Hey don't laugh I did google gilletean. It came up with magic123. Lol Sorry but I have seen this guys posts and he is defiantly a troll. He always asks about where he can get a cheap version of something. I would not want to be the assistant at his shows.

Steven
Message: Posted by: wizardpa (Jan 2, 2013 04:33PM)
I too feel like there is a lot to be desired with illusion plans. It seems to me in today's times, a good illusion builder could make some pretty good money off of selling plans, and then having a step by stem video of them building the illusion.
Another idea might even to sell an illusion kit with everything one needed to make an illusion. With the Lester Lake Guillotine I have, there are things like the inner blade that would be nice to have, plus other pieces of hardware, if I wanted to build one off of the one I have.
There are a lot of do it yourselfers that would like saving some money, while at the same time getting the satisfaction of building it themselves.
Message: Posted by: Dave Dorsett (Jan 10, 2013 12:39PM)
I'm with makeupguy on this one... just because you can do something, doesn't mean you should. There are a lot of points in a LL style that can go wrong. It's one thing if a load chamber doesn't drop, another altogether if the blade sticks in a chopper. I know our insurance agent in the old days hated us selling those and I certainly wouldn't sell a kit to someone of unknown mechanical ability!

Dave Dorsett
Douglas~Wayne Illusioneering
Message: Posted by: Steve_Mollett (Jan 13, 2013 05:09PM)
[quote]
On 2013-01-02 17:33, wizardpa wrote:
I too feel like there is a lot to be desired with illusion plans. It seems to me in today's times, a good illusion builder could make some pretty good money off of selling plans, and then having a step by stem video of them building the illusion.
Another idea might even to sell an illusion kit with everything one needed to make an illusion. With the Lester Lake Guillotine I have, there are things like the inner blade that would be nice to have, plus other pieces of hardware, if I wanted to build one off of the one I have.
There are a lot of do it yourselfers that would like saving some money, while at the same time getting the satisfaction of building it themselves.
[/quote]
Now THAT (KIT idea)is a brilliant notion!
Heads-up, dealers!
Message: Posted by: Father Photius (Jan 15, 2013 07:06PM)
I built a guillotine in High School metal shop. My only plans were out of a magic book that had a line drawing and no measurements, let alone a parts or cut list. But what I did was rely on something my Uncle Pete taught me. Apparently he and Uncle Harry were nortorious for taking bottoms out of hotel dresser drawers and using them to build a model. So he had taught me to use cheap thin pieces of wood or cardboard to build a model out of which could then be scaled or to simply build one of cardboard the size you want the final one to be, from the model you can take measurements. Allows for inexpensive adjustment and design changes.