Making Stick Phones

taylorjacobs

Member
Joined
Dec 19, 2006
We are doing a production of Thoroughly Modern Millie and we need to make 13 stick phones relatively cheap. I am not incharge of props, but I saw the prototype the prop master was making and it was hideous so I figure I would try to offer some suggestions. I was wondering if anyone has done this before, if so, how? I was thinking PVC, but if anyone has any better ideas bring em on.

Thanks
Taylor
 
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kingfisher1

Active Member
Joined
Jul 14, 2005
what exactli is a stick phone?
 

CHScrew

Active Member
Joined
Aug 16, 2005
Location
north of Pittsburgh, PA
We did a show two years ago where we needed those same type of phones. There was an antique shop in town and they donated them for show week. We just gave them an add in the program. When you make them, why not try to use candlesticks painted black?
 

cutlunch

Active Member
Joined
Jan 12, 2005
Location
Auckland, New Zealand
Is this for a school? Then I would suggest you talk to the Woodwork Shop teacher.

Most of the parts for the phones could be turned on a lathe it would take a while. But if you can find someone good on a lathe they could probably turn them out in a day. The main stem could be dowelling ( maybe broom handle).

There would need to be 3 main pieces turned.
1) base - could be fairly simple turning. Or it could be made up out of a couple different sized circles cut out of plywood.

2) Mouthpiece less cone. Would need end turned to take cone. Could possibly make it once again of a couple of different size discs'.

3) Earpeice ( Receiver ) would look best turned.

For the mouthpiece cone you could use cardboard folded into a cone. Or if you wanted something stronger have them cut out of a sheet of tin.

If the school has metal and/or woodwork clubs approach the advisors to see if they can help.
 

Van

CBMod
CB Mods
Premium Member
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Jul 27, 2006
Location
Portland, Or.
Your idea of pvc will work rather well. you can build the rest of the phone; ie base mouth piece etc. from lamp parts. put it all together just like a lamp. these come off pretty well in a proscenium situation, I had to build one once that blew "poison gas" for a show called "Something's Afoot"
 

reggie98

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Joined
Sep 11, 2006
Location
Edison, NJ, USA
You can buy a reproduction. All brass kits used to be about $50. Google "PhoneCo". They are in the midwest, I've done business with them. For a while, some Pacific Rim manufacturer was making working versions out of plastic.
 

norwintd

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Fight Leukemia
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Jan 1, 2007
Location
Irwin, PA
Im currently working on a design for one. I have most of it worked out but i havent assembled one yet, I found most of the stuff at a craft store, I am using a wooden base then a 1" dowel , then i found foam bells that look about the right shape for the mouthpieces. I can post pics once i get one made up.
 

cggorman

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Joined
Jan 8, 2009
Location
Van Wert, Ohio
Your idea of pvc will work rather well. you can build the rest of the phone; ie base mouth piece etc. from lamp parts. put it all together just like a lamp. these come off pretty well in a proscenium situation, I had to build one once that blew "poison gas" for a show called "Something's Afoot"
We just did "Something's Afoot" for our first show of this season. Second time we've done it. First time was in '93. All our stick phones were assembled from turned pine. One of the guys had a lathe at home and took care of it for us. Still have about 15 of them. One was a special that Van mentioned. Blew smoke. Drilled a hole thru the handle and mouthpiece, fed a long length of black silicone tubing thru, and attached a plastic condiment bottle on the backstage end. Load a small amount of chalkline dust in the mouthpiece cavity and have a stagehand stomp on cue. Voila! Instant death.
 

renegadeblack

Active Member
Joined
Oct 21, 2008
Location
New Haven Area, CT
When we did Millie we had only one "stick" phone and it was just used by Millie. We actually bought one. However, we had X number of carts with a seat that had a type writer on it. THAT was amazing! Did some truly awesome choreography with that.
 

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