Frankenstein Machine Build

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george bonilla

New Member
Hello friends, I am building a prop machine for a show called "Frankenstories". I want the machine to be very reminiscent of the original lab equipment in Frankenstein. I have already collected several machines for old dials and switches. Th one thing (so far) that baffles me is the large insulators used? I believe they are called Pantograph Insulators. the large white or colored beehive stacked pieces on many of the machines? The few I have located are very expensive. I read that the actual builder Kenneth Strickfaden used turned wooden insulators on many of them? Any ideas as to what I should use or who might have any? I am not a carpenter and I will check local electric supply. But large items like that have long been out of use. Any thoughts? Thanks in advance.
 

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SentencedToBurn

Active Member
Hello friends, I am building a prop machine for a show called "Frankenstories". I want the machine to be very reminiscent of the original lab equipment in Frankenstein. I have already collected several machines for old dials and switches. Th one thing (so far) that baffles me is the large insulators used? I believe they are called Pantograph Insulators. the large white or colored beehive stacked pieces on many of the machines? The few I have located are very expensive. I read that the actual builder Kenneth Strickfaden used turned wooden insulators on many of them? Any ideas as to what I should use or who might have any? I am not a carpenter and I will check local electric supply. But large items like that have long been out of use. Any thoughts? Thanks in advance.
Hey do you mean the one on the far left or the one to the right of that, or both? https://miro.medium.com/max/700/1*wiyp56s3W6ObXKylPYXjSw.jpeg

For the big thick ones if you don't have access to a lathe (which would be super easy) you could go down the route of using a stack of plastic bowls, a threaded rod, use nuts to space the bowls correctly, etc. If you apply some light sandblast to the bowls and get some decent epoxy based primer you should be able to paint them without any peeling etc.

For the thin ones i'd probably also use plastic cuttlery, maybe if you can find large plastic plates and repeat same steps as above. Just trying to think of the cheapest way to get the same look.
 

Markus

Well-Known Member
Hey do you mean the one on the far left or the one to the right of that, or both? https://miro.medium.com/max/700/1*wiyp56s3W6ObXKylPYXjSw.jpeg

For the big thick ones if you don't have access to a lathe (which would be super easy) you could go down the route of using a stack of plastic bowls, a threaded rod, use nuts to space the bowls correctly, etc. If you apply some light sandblast to the bowls and get some decent epoxy based primer you should be able to paint them without any peeling etc.

For the thin ones i'd probably also use plastic cuttlery, maybe if you can find large plastic plates and repeat same steps as above. Just trying to think of the cheapest way to get the same look.
Great recommendations - I absolutely love your approach!
 

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