View Full Version : Paper Moon Photo-booth (and a bit of milling out slots in steel brackets...)

15-03-2017, 02:00 AM
A friend of mine's getting married later on this year and his fiancé fancies one of those vintage Paper Moon style photo-booths - something along these lines:


He asked me if I could cut the crescent moon shape and build the frame for him - he's an excellent illustrator and will take care of the artwork. Clearly this is a job way too big for my mini-mill, but I'm not that far from Trafford FabLab, who provide free open access to an 8'x4' ShopBot on Fridays and Saturdays. Here's my original plan/visualisation for how I thought this could work:



A couple of minor changes later (extra brace and extended ski's for added protection against tipping forward) the following is what I've managed to come up with using studwork timber from Wickes (about £20) and an 8'x4'x12mm sheet of birch ply (around £38).

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Nothing clever here, but a couple of details worth pointing out. Due to its size I had to cut the crescent in two parts - this presents the problem of making sure the two pieces fit together nicely for painting and reassembly. If you look closely at the half-built front view, you can see that I've bevelled the top edge of the bottom crescent to its full depth - the upper crescent was cut from behind and similarly bevelled along its bottom edge (with a bit of an offset). The close-up pic of the U-channel and the angle brackets should give you an idea of what I'm hoping to do:

The upper crescent will mount with a bit of an allowance for positioning - once it's on and the bolts are half-tight I can use the screws between the angle brackets to pull the pieces together before securing the pieces flush with the U-channel (which also need one slot each for adjustment) and nipping up the mounting bolts. That's the theory, anyway..!

The larger steel mounting brackets weren't slotted, so I thought I'd have a go at milling my own - heh, as it happens it turned out alright..! Here's a vid:


The fixturing isn't my finest hour and the cuts are very conservative:

5mm 2-flute carbide end-mill (normally for alu)
5mm/sec feed
0.7mm DOC
25% step-over

But hey, it cuts steel - of course, WD40 and plenty of air is a must - things heat up very quickly...

Some pics of the finish (the 'burr' you see on the vid simply wiped off..!)

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...and the tool lived to cut another day...


Total cost of this is around £80 for materials and hardware (coach screws, brackets, bolts, washers, epoxy putty to repair areas of tear-out). There'll be a little more spent on paint and dressing, but considering these things can come in at four or five hundred quid to rent then it's not a bad price. He plans on selling it on after the wedding so should get his money back - plus a bit extra, I'd have thought.

I'll post an update below once it's painted.


15-03-2017, 10:39 AM
Great work Wal