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Dickens & Dave
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Here's a project I've been working on for a couple weeks as time permitted. It wasn't supposed to take that long, it was supposed to be a quick simple project, which I of course had to complicate.
For a long time, one of the items on my project list was a Head-In-Box figure - everyone who makes figures has to do one sooner or later. I sort of a came close once when I made my "Ventriloquist's Handbook" - that was a wooden book that opened up with a carved slotjaw face inside, but it wasn't really a "Head-In-Box figure", so I finally set out to build one.

The main plan for this project - to make this figure with just what I had on hand. I had a busted novelty vent head that had been snapped off just below the jaw to repair and use, and I had some extra pine boards, and assorted hardware, so away I went. Even down to the finish, I had some Oak stain on hand, so that was to be the color for the box, which I liked also because most HIBs I've seen were stained dark, so one way to be different from the rest.
I succeeded using only what I had on hand, including scavenging most of the brass hardware from a wooden trunk I'd built for a figure. That trunk proved to be too heavy to use, so I just use it for storage of figure parts now, so it wouldn't miss a handle, some corners, etc. I had a pair of small brass hinges, no brass screws, so had to make due with others.

Where I complicated it;
Most HIBs, that I've seen anyway, didn't have a 'standard' mouth control like a regular figure where you pull down on a lever to operate the jaw. Most have something else, like having the lever attached directly to the jaw where you have to push up on the lever to open the jaw, which is totally unnatural for a vent figure. So I had to have a separate lever and a pulley for the string, and to complicate it a bit more, I wanted the lever to be recessed when not in use.
Also, most HIBs I've seen, the head was stationary in the box. I wanted this one to have some side-to-side movement to offset not having moving eyes. The control for turning the head is also what holds the head in the box. If anything needs fixing in the future, taking off the top of the box and removing the control rod will permit removal of the head.

So anyway, it's done and I'm pleased with the way it came out for using odds and ends, so here are some pictures (I apologize for the poor quality of the pictures);

The front;

Image


The back showing the lever part way down and the control on the bottom for turning the head;

Image


And some assorted open box pictures;

Image


Image


Image


Image
http://dickensndave.bravehost.com/index.html



"Oh that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at rest."
Wanlu
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WOW!!!! Very nice! Smile
"The Old Path"
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Dickens & Dave
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Thank you Wanlu.
http://dickensndave.bravehost.com/index.html



"Oh that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at rest."
Bob Baker
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As one who did miserably in shop class in junior high school (as it was called them), I'm extremely impressed. Very fine work and clever engineering. Do you plan to perform with hiim/it?

Bob
Dickens & Dave
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Thank you Bob.

They don't call it shop class anymore?
As for performing with it, there's the irony of my building activities. The things I enjoy making the most are the vent novelties and small figures, but I only feel comfortable doing vent with a regular "full size" hard figure. So most of the things I make, I hardly even use. Often, I keep them around a while, using them rarely, and then end up selling them, which is okay too because I like the idea of having stuff I made "out there" either being used by others or in their own collections.
http://dickensndave.bravehost.com/index.html



"Oh that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at rest."
Servante
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Great job! What impresses me most is that you decided to kick things up a notch and make the head move! I don't believe I've EVER seen that.

-Philip
marshalldoll
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A very nice job indeed. As you said, if it is for sale, let me know!! I need an item made by you for the Ventriloquist Central Collection!!
Dan
http://www.ventriloquistcentral.com
Pasquale
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Looks Great!!!
Dickens & Dave
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Thank you Philip and Dan and Pasquale.

Philip - I already knew how I wanted to do the lever, but the turning head thing was actually a spur of the moment idea, but I didn't think I had seen it before either which made me want to do it even more.

Dan - I'll keep that in mind.
Head-in-a-box figures must be more popular than I thought, I already had someone else ask me if I was interested in selling it, which I'm not right now. I always keep stuff I make around a bit before I sell it, unless I make more than one at the same time like I did with the "Ventriloquist's Handbook" I mentioned in my first post, I made three of those, sold two and kept one. I think when I get home from work tonite, I'll try to take some pictures of that, it is, like I said, close to a head in a box, some might find it interesting.
http://dickensndave.bravehost.com/index.html



"Oh that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at rest."
manal
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Dave ,
It looks great! Great job!

Jim
Life is too important to take seriously.

james@jamesmanalli.com

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NZBloke
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Hey Dave... I would prefer blue Christmas paper when you wrap it to send it here to New Zealand. Thanks mate! Awesome!!!
Chatterbox41
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Awesome Dave! Looks good and the extra time you took definitely shows in the construction quality!

Gary
Dickens & Dave
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Thank you Jim, Ray and Gary.

Oh, and sorry Ray, I'm all out of blue paper, so I guess that means I can't send it. Smile
http://dickensndave.bravehost.com/index.html



"Oh that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at rest."
KeithS
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Dave,

I concur with what everyone else has already said. Very nice job. I am quite inept at building anything myself (I get nuts when my wife buys anything at Ikea). But you are clearly quite talented!
Dickens & Dave
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I took pics of my sort of almost first head-in-a-box thing yesterday, my "Ventriloquist's Handbook".
I made these in '96 according to the date on the book. I had come across these wooden books in a store somewhere, and always looking for things I could turn into vent novelties, I quickly saw their potential and bought the only three of these wood books that they had.
The books were not very large, 7.5" high x 5.5" wide x 2" deep, so definitely no room for a full head and standard controls. So I carved a flat faces to mount inside, with big features to add to the visibility.
For the mouth "control", it's kind of a gravity thing like I had done with a couple vent canes I made, partially due to space limitations and wanting to keep it simple. In the back of the book, there is a little panel that opens up to put a finger in. With the book tipped slightly back, the mouth falls open, and you just push the back of the jaw to close the mouth.
That's it, nothing too fancy, here's the front of the book;

Image


The back and you can see the closed access panel;

Image


Here's the book opened up. Those are glue marks on the inside of the front, at one time, on this one I kept for myself, I had a plastic pocket thing glued in there for holding business cards. I ended up not liking it in there and took it out, but never got around to doing anything about the glue marks (and looking at the one card I do have in there shows me how old this is, it has the NAAV logo which I stopped using when Clinton ended the NAAV);

Image


Here's a pic with the book tipped back and the mouth open;

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And a pic from the back when the book is opened, and the access panel is open;

Image
http://dickensndave.bravehost.com/index.html



"Oh that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at rest."
Dickens & Dave
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Quote:
On 2011-11-18 06:13, KeithS wrote:
Dave,

I concur with what everyone else has already said. Very nice job. I am quite inept at building anything myself (I get nuts when my wife buys anything at Ikea). But you are clearly quite talented!


Thank you Keith.
http://dickensndave.bravehost.com/index.html



"Oh that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at rest."
Steve at The Dummy Shoppe
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Dave,

Thanks for sharing this fun, cool project. Looks like you had a great time doing it. You can make book on that! Smile


Steve

http://www.thedummyshoppe.com/blog
Dickens & Dave
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Very punny Steve. Smile

Thanks, both projects were fun, actually, I enjoy most of my projects, even if they prove to be give me difficulties, it can be fun figuring out ways around them - and naturally, it's especially fun when it actually works out.
http://dickensndave.bravehost.com/index.html



"Oh that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at rest."
creativemac
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Can I check that book out of the library? Great job Dave.
Donald Woodford

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Dickens & Dave
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Hahaa, no, I'm afraid it was a self-published limited edition.

I realize, I like making things that can be the "Ventriloquist's-something". My Rudy figure I made years ago, I made a collapsible body for him and he fit nicely in a toolbox I bought and lined for him - and I called it my "Ventriloquist's Toolbox", and the tray that toolboxes have, I could use for business cards, etc.
http://dickensndave.bravehost.com/index.html



"Oh that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at rest."
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