Front End Assembly:
The main structure is a hose clamp with 2 #8 screws threaded from the inside out, one facing up and one down. A top and bottom door hinge on each screw is held tight with washers, locking washers, and nuts. Two half football cake pans were cut with a dremel. We cut a 3/4” slot through the back of each pan so that the PVC could slide through the back and the font could close evenly. We drilled the back of each pan to match the hinge holes, then more screws again.
The actuator was hacked from an old broken CD player (really old, no DVD). I never did this before, but it was a risk that payed off. I used a hacksaw to cutaway just the bits I needed: PCB and motor, gearbox, front latch and tray switch. The tray was cut to about a one inch width to get the strip that has gear teeth. Held on with a hose clamp and a cable tie.
The off name, cheep, 25+ year old flash was begging for a hacking. I only needed access to the on off switch and test fire button. I worked around this by replacing the batteries with alligator clips and wires to send it power only when the staff was on. My multimeter found the battery springs that were ground and hot. A hot shoe adapter was spliced to fire it. Two cable ties hold an old door latch jam then that is hose clamped to the pipe.
One of the Fails I had at the beginning was thinking I had enough time and patience to fabricate the front end with a wire frame, aluminum, and JB Weld (bad idea).
Back End Assembly:
Running out of money, time and ideas, I salvaged a juice bottle from recycling. I cut out the bottom for easy access, then mounted the ignitor. The original plan to have four AA's mounted in the back, but that got moved and cable tied to the front end.
Spray painted matte black on the inside, “forged metal” texture paint everywhere else. Rubber bands (blue) keep enough tension to keep closed, but not so much so that it binds the CD player motor.
With that strip of CD tray attached, and electric tape to hide the ugly: