Lunar Models
Time Machine
modifications

by

Ed Turner

The Chair: Part 2

Contact Ed Turner
The original chair used for the movie prop was in fact an antique barber chair. Like many barber chairs, it sat on a single-column platform that supported the chair and enabled it to raise up and down. In this manner, the four ornate legs of the chair never touched the ground. This was also the case when the barber chair was used on the Time Machine prop. The ornate legs of the chair did not actually sit on the wooden base - it was supported by a set of "inner legs" that were affixed underneathe the barber chair. When Bob Burns acquired the prop and the original chair was missing, he needed to build a new one. Not having enough detailed info on it, Bob and his friends made a good reproduction of the chair, but not exact. So this is how Lunar designed the chair for the model, using Bob's re-made chair as the example. Chris Perrotta's drawings show the support legs for the chair, so I decided to make a set to bring this model that much closer to the original prop.
Picture 1 shows the basic shape of the inner legs. I cut them out of one piece of a square wooden block that I picked up in a craft shop. I believe the blocks are generally used for making your own children's playing blocks. I used blocks that were 1-11/16" square, just less than 2" square. This size fit perfectly under the chair and elevated it just enough. After sanding and smoothing the edges, I drilled 3 pilot holes through the center to screw it to the underside of the chair.
Picture 2 shows the chair being lowered onto the new legs.
Picture 3 shows just how elevated these legs raise the chair.
Picture 4 displays the underside and how the inner legs were fastened to the chair using the same small doll house screws I used to secure the rest of the chair together. I also drilled 3 pilot holes up into the underside of the chair itself, to accommodate these screws, being careful not to drill all the way through the seat.In Pic 4, you are also able to see where I drilled holes up into the wooden legs from the bottom, so that the entire chair can later be screwed to the base from underneathe. This is another good reason for these legs: a means to fasten the chair to the base securely. Without these legs, the resin legs of the chair are too spindly to drill up into to accommodate the screws with a safe measure of security.
Picture 5 shows the raw resin cast of the head-rest and it's thickness. The head-rest was originally the foot-rest when it was a barber chair, and had a thin brass plate on it's underside. The resin casting of this head/foot-rest was made much too thick. I literally cut this off, ground it down so it was thinner, painted it gold, and applied it back to the head-rest after painting the head-rest the brown color of the chair. You can see the difference in it's thickness in Pictures 5a and 5b.
Pictures 5a and 5b also show where I ground off the molded florettes on either side of the head-rest, and replaced them with tiny brass florettes that were the perfect size that I found in a craft store. I simply cut a brass straight-pin to about a 1/4 of an inch in length, put a dab of super glue on the cut end, and inserted it through a hole in the brass florette and into a pre-drilled hole on either side of the head-rest. Picture 5c showes the front of the finished head-rest after flocking was applied. The flocking comes in a variety of colors and can be bought at most craft stores. I chose a deep burgundy-colored flocking because I thought it would add to the chair's antique look. The flocking comes in two parts: a bottle of fibers and the colored adhesive, which is like colored Elmer's Glue. You simply paint the adhesive onto the surface to be flocked, then you squeeze the fibers onto the wet adhesive. After setting, you dump the excess fibers back into the squeeze bottle. What is left is a surface coated in what looks very much like crushed velvet - perfect, I thought, for the look of this antique chair!
Picture 6 shows the arms and head-rest, complete with flocking and thin brass rods inserted into the head-rest, to be trimmed when it's ready to be attached to the back of the chair.
Picture 7 shows a detailed close-up of one of the arms for the chair, with flocking applied.
Picture 8 is a close-up of the tiny brass hinges I used to hinge the arms as they were in the movie. Again, these can be bought at a craft store and found in the doll house section. I pre-drilled pilot holes in the arms, and inserted two small brass brads, or nails. Just a touch of super glue on the points of these nails before inserting them, then pressed into place using a sewing thimble on my finger.

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The Time Machine Project 1998 Don Coleman
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