Modifying a 5 foot Lowe's poseable skeleton for cycling

Written 2022-10-23


So, you have a spare tandem bicycle but no one to ride halloween with you? Simply add a skeleton!


Skelly is a five-foot poseable skeleton from Lowe's. However, their joints are designed to be poseable, and make a loud clicking noise when adjusted - not ideal for continuous operation, and would probably wear out quickly. Here's the joint mechanism:


There are a few different variations on this theme throughout their body, but they all share a spring-loaded toothed gear(or gears) sprung into a fixed gear that takes a fair amount of torque to snap into the next position. This creates a number of positions where the joint is stable. Ends of the joint are held into the next bone either by 4 plastic posts(top of this joint), or by a plastic stick-out(bottom of this joint). Here's an assembled view screwdriver replacing bolt):


Here's the hip(a one-sided leg to hip joint):


Here's the ankle(lower leg reaches over both sides of ankle joint):


Disassembly notes: Each joint is held with a phillips machine screw and nut. Since the joints are spring loaded, don't do it over a skeleton-colored carpet. Try to hold or at least cover the joint assembly as you remove it. For example, this spring-loaded ankle:


Modification notes: We only need to flatten the gear-teeth to achieve smooth motion. I used a box cutter. Some of the pieces are easy enough to cut on directly. Others you may find easier to bolt half the joint on to one end to hold it still while cutting. The plastic is fairly strong, and it took me several passes to achieve my desired results. The gears don't need fully flattened, but they should be mostly parallel to each other, and at least 2/3 of thickness of the teeth should be removed.

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