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Jack in the box


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Dear all,


I'm in the early stages of planning to propose to my girlfriend and need to source a Jack in the Box. The plan is to lay a 10m trail of slow burning powder in a plastic gutterpipe which she lights leading to behind the box. On cue I need to pull a trigger connected by fishing line to the box to release the mechanism and out pops the jack which will hold the ring box. As a finishing touch at the same time the box lid is opened I'll set off elctronically a prostage 2, 12 second gerb also located behind the box.


On the pyro front I'm fine as I do it as part of my job - my two questions are first of all, where can I get a Jack box, and secondly, how do I make the trigger mechanism work?


Can anyone help?


Many thanks,



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Not sure where you'll find the Jack in the Box (try charity shops for old wooden ones or search around Toys R Us or similar?) but as for the trigger mechanism you want a solenoid as a catch so that when you trigger it it pulls the bar back and the Jack springs out. If you can find an old ding/dong type doorbell (the type with two chime bars in it) then all the mechanism you need is built into that, complete with a push switch and battery holders. Just a case of building it into your box. Otherwise you can buy solenoids new from CPC / RS / Maplin (for the super rich!) or similar.


Would also suggest against the fishing line unless the box is very well secured. Noone wants a ring from a burning childrens toy that has just been pulled onto a pyro! :)


Best say yes after all that effort! Good luck!

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+1 for the solenoid rather than fishing line as it gives you flexibility of where it's controlled from as well, as a fishing line would have to pulled in the correct direction to work.

Basically have the lid and 'jack' under tension from a spring so that it 'wants' to be in it's extended position, then a hinged lid is held down by the solenoid.

Press the button, the solenoid whizzes back into it's housing and releases the lid which then is pushed up by the sprung 'jack'.

Sounds easy doesn't it?

Bet it's really fiddly though.

Good luck :)

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