Illusionist Locket


Well-Known Member
It's almost a year ago I first tried to make this. I built the whole thing up out of layers of 1.5mm plywood. It wasn't looking half bad, but using split wooden dowels for the tiny pivot points proved too fragile and I knew I needed a better solution.


The design is basically unchanged but now I have 3D printed my locket design as four solid pieces.



Compared to the film it's not a bad copy, but I've changed the design to suit my needs, the top cover is thinner than the rest of the body, obviously I'm doing it in plastic (soon metal) rather than wood, and this will house two halves of a picture, not a whole one.



The design works by using a split hinge so the cover will open by pivoting about the point of the heart.



Hopefully the pictures make it fairly clear. The small holes you can see are for some tiny neodymium magnets to make sure it all aligns properly, although atm is is just held together by friction and doing fairly well.

I still need to polish the whole thing up, then I plan on casting it in pewter. I'll post final pictures when I get that done. (Hopefully before Christmas)
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looks great so far mad man, I built one of these out of wood last December as a Christmas present, but ended up scaleing up the dimensions a tad to make it a little more manageable. Would mind me asking what scale you re building it on?
Dimensions are 40x20x7mm pin is 1.6mm magnets are 1mm dia.
This is the same size I attempted my wooden one at, which may be why it failed.
When I get my CNC router up and running, I might modify the design and try milling one out of maple or something.
Amuses me to no end to see the replica accomplish something the actual prop couldn't do... the fact you never saw an uncut run through of the locket opening (and one shot showing different grain patterns on the "front") left me convinced that they had two separate hero props.

Excellent work, can't wait to see it painted up.

And yes, it was an excellent film. :)
I've been waiting for various bits and pieces to come in and yesterday I finally got around to doing a test mould with the heat resistant silicone.



I'm pretty happy with it, only one bubble, I'll just have to be careful about that area when I do the final ones.

For the first test casts I'm just doing a one piece mould. Without really knowing what I was doing I just went ahead and tried a cast.



I know those images are a bit off putting but it's actually not a bad cast.
There is a lot of pitting though, and the metal didn't flow into the smallest point.
I need to get a thermometer so I know I'm casting at the right temperature, and I want to try preheating the mould. Hopefully this will fix my issues.



Here it is after a quick polish, I'm very happy with this as a first cast. Hopefully with a bit of tweaking I can cast some much cleaner ones and do a test fit.

This is my first time metal casting so I welcome any criticism or helpful tips.
My thermometer came today so I did some more testing. Turns out I was greatly underestimating my small camping stove. It was melting the pewter and taking it above its maximum operating temperature within seconds.


So keeping a more careful eye on the temp I was able to get a better cast with no pitting. However I am still unable to get the metal to flow into the small areas reliably.

I've set up a two part mould with the smallest point at the bottom, hoping that gravity will help push the metal into that detail. I also used some carving wax to add a tiny bit of bulk to the smaller areas, which will be filed off after casting (can't show this yet as mould is curing)

It'll be a couple more days before both halves are cured and I can do another cast.
I would be very interested in this when you get it all together. Will you be including a cutting template for the photo when it's done?
It would make it much easier to get the photo in :lol. Seriously if you get together let me know. I know my mother enjoys that movie, and since my father has gone I think one of those lockets with a photo of her grandkids would cheer her up greatly.
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