Engineering problem for child's penguin costume

My granddaughter is making a penguin costume for a school event. She asked me if I knew how to make the beak so she could open and close it like a real penguin. She is thinking of having a string that she can pull from inside the body of the costume.
The headpiece is a cylinder made of black construction paper with eyeholes and a top. The beak is a piece of orange construction paper folded over. The back piece is glued to the face. The front piece is free to open and close.
I'm thinking of gluing some popsicle sticks to the inside of the beak to give it some rigidity, but I can't think of a way to make a lever that could be activated by a string.
The best that I have been able to come up with is some sort of weak angle spring that would force it open with a string to close it. That would leave it open most of the tome, which is not ideal. But I;m not even sure where to find the right type of spring.
This is a creative group. Any ideas?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
God, here's hoping we don't get a 2 page dissertation from micky! I don't think you could work with anything made from construction paper, sorry!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Sat, 17 Jan 2015 16:08:34 -0800 (PST), bob_villa

(a) It's construction paper reinforced with popsicle sticks! ;-)
(b) It doesn't have to work flawlessly and it only has to work for half an hour or so.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Perhaps the normal position should be closed. A weak spring or similar could close it. Then have a silver or white thread (nearly invisible) from the bottom of the beak to inside the costume. Pull on the thread to open the beak. Retract to let it close. It might work for a while.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I wouldn't use a spring. I would create two areas of rigidity...
a) along the lower beak b) from the back of the top beak downward, more or less perpendicular to a)
where the two meet would become the pivot point and a) should continue backward from that point for a ways; i.e, put the pivot point more or less in the middle.
Tie a string to each end of a) and she can see-saw the beak open and closed. If she is careful :)
--

dadiOH
____________________________
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Where do I find the spring? I'm thinking about one of those tiny springs that work by twisting, rather than stretching. What are they called?

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Sunday, January 18, 2015 at 6:20:05 AM UTC-6, Jennifer Murphy wrote:

A torsion spring?
http://i1181.photobucket.com/albums/x430/BenDarrenBach/imagesqtbnANd9GcQIzvZyrYTrn5H4zjjlU_zps32e5b5cf.jpg
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Jennifer,
I'd not worry about hinges or springs, your jaw should work. Make the penguin head in two parts. One should cover the head, support the upper beak, and cover the neck. The other part should be the lower beak. The lower beak will need some popsicle sticks running onto the lower jaw of the actor. I'd use some medical bandages like "cling" to tie the lower beak to the lower jaw and neck. Twine will work but may be uncomfortable. When you move your jaw the beak will move. Once the lower beak is on put the upper part on. Use a couple of safety pins to close the front of the neck covering. Check that the upper and lower beaks are aligned.
Dave M.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

On second thought how qbout a weak rubberband holding the beak together. Its easier to find and attach to cardboard reinforced with sticks.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Sun, 18 Jan 2015 05:24:27 -0800 (PST), bob_villa

Yes, that's the name I was looking for. Thanks.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Sat, 17 Jan 2015 15:34:46 -0800, Jennifer Murphy

Thanks to everyone for the suggestions. She and I have come up with two possibilities:
1. She drew a fish that she will glue inside the beak, so no moving parts needed.
2. I cut a piece from a cardboard box on both sides of a fold. It works like a weak torsion spring. I'll run a thread through the bottom than she can pull on to close it.
We'll probaby make both versions and then decide.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Sat, 17 Jan 2015 15:34:46 -0800, Jennifer Murphy

Big Bird told me that people tend to move the jaws of puppets the wrong way, opening them when they should close them and vice versa.
Your gd should practice in front of a mirror or maybe you can attach t he control string to her lower jaw, maybe like the ribbon on a bonnet, so that she can move her jaw and the jaw of the penguin will move in the same direction.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Sun, 18 Jan 2015 19:05:59 -0800, Jennifer Murphy

If the string isn't needed to raise the jaw up and down, maybe it can pull the fish in, from halfway out to a few inches inside of penguin's lips.
Maybe get a reall fish at the fish market and coat it with a half-dozen coats of polyurethane. Dip, let dry for 10 minutes, and dip again**. If you do that the day of the performance, it won't spoil until midnight. (but don't plan on eating it even before then.)
**To use the rest of the gallon, stir the polyurethane. Test. I'm sure a little fish juice won't hurt it.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Sun, 18 Jan 2015 04:20:20 -0800, Jennifer Murphy

In my 8 oz. margarine container marked Springs. Soon I may have to separate pull-back, push-back, and twist into 3 8-oz containers. Sadly, they don't sell margarine in this kind of container anymore, but I have some spares.

I call them twist springs. But those have to be firmly attached at each end. It could be a problem to do that.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Maybe do it the night before so it has time to dry.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

This is hilarious. I'm tempted to do it just for the shock value. Sadly, the event isn't for 2 weeks and we are only here for a week. I don't think there is any chance I could talk her dad into doing this. But thanks for the comic relief.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.