door closing by itself

mcrockett

Member
I need an open door to close by itself as if by a ghost. It will be a free-standing door and frame. No walls. Audience will be able to see through doorway and all around it. Door will open towards audience. Wondering if there is some simple mechanism that can be used to pull the door shut without being seen.
 

DuckJordan

Well-Known Member
I can think of an RC solution, small solenoid attached to a small battery with an RC controlled switch. Although that would mean the budget would be close to $100 for a decent setup.
 

Van

CBMod
CB Mods
Premium Member
If the door is hung so that it naturally falls open, you could rig a solenoid inside the door jamb to release the striker.
 

FatherMurphy

Active Member
If the door starts open, and stays open until the ghost closes it, you could just use regular self-closing spring loaded hinges and create a trigger to release it from the open position. A steel plate and an electromagnet come to mind (similar to fire alarm hold-opens), or a solenoid or cable operated pin in the floor, or even just a tieline to offstage.
 

mcrockett

Member
I should have said that actors would be going in and out, opening the door before leaving it open to eventually close by itself. I guess the fishing line may be the thing to try?
 

erichart

Member
We just had this effect in a show earlier this year. The scenery supervisor used the fishing line method, and it worked perfectly.
 
I have done it before with a show deck that I ran a pipe through the deck out of site, I then welded a gear to the end of the pipe and ran bike chain to an off stage gear and added a little handle, worked like a charm.
 

chausman

Chase
Fight Leukemia
I have done it before with a show deck that I ran a pipe through the deck out of site, I then welded a gear to the end of the pipe and ran bike chain to an off stage gear and added a little handle, worked like a charm.

This actually seems like something that would work really well. The actors can use the door like normal until the gag, then just hold the handle open. (unless you can't hide the pipe. Then, its like, "hey! I wonder what that door is gonna do later?")
 

chausman

Chase
Fight Leukemia
Pipe goes under the show deck.

I know. The problem is if you tried to do that in a space where you can't cut into the deck. Or you don't have any space below. Of course at that point you know and will find another alternative.
 
We built up platforming, that is how we had room to do what we needed
 

gafftaper

Senior Team
Senior Team
Fight Leukemia
Last year for Peter Pan we needed the windows to magically close after Peter flew in the room. Some heavy fishing line is all you need. Looked perfect every time.
 

chausman

Chase
Fight Leukemia
Last year for Peter Pan we needed the windows to magically close after Peter flew in the room. Some heavy fishing line is all you need. Looked perfect every time.
And held the fishing line on with gafftape!

Just ve sure that everyone backstage knows that there is something that they can't walk past there, or else it can seriously ruin the gag. Or possibly hurt someone if they were to be running around. (but that NEVER happens :rolleyes:)
 

LXPlot

Active Member
I'm gonna go and say to use the heavy dutiest line you can get your hands on, fishing line is the devil.
 

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