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Cosplay Stilts

I am building a pair of low cost stilts for use in costumes/cosplay, trying to emulate drywall stilts in function.

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I am trying to build a pair of stilts that will work in a manner like Marshalltown's Skywalker 2.0 drywall stilts. I will be using wood, metal conduit, pipe, reclaimed strap material, and generally found items. The goal is to creat the stillts with a very low cost.

For this project, I think I will update the Project page as a set of build instructions since this project can potentially be reproduced exactly.

  • Update 9/7/2016

    Shawn Gorman09/07/2016 at 12:02 0 comments

    I have been working on this project, but the final product was a bit shaky. I am working out the kinks before posting any new info as I want the instructions to reflect the changes I make.

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  • 1
    Step 1
    1. Start by finding an old pair of shoes. I'm using a pair of cheap athletic shoes I found at goodwill, but you can use any shoe you have. These are for the bottom of the stilt, not to wear so don't worry. Cut the material away from the shoe so that you have just the sole left.

    Push some paper into the sole and trace the edges to make a pattern and cut it out. I used some heavy weight newsprint that I had available, but it can be any paper that is thin enough to be pushed into the soles to make the pattern without tearing. You'll also noticed the line across the pattern. I just tried to find the point of the sole where it would naturally bend and marked that.

  • 2
    Step 2

    2. Use the pattern to mark out 2 "feet" on a piece of plywood. I used some 11/16" I had leftover from another project which is roughly 3/4".

    I wouldn't go much thinner on the feet as they will be supporting a lot of weight. Make sure to transfer the toe line to the feet on the plywood. Cut them out.

    Here I'm verifying the fit in the sole. Next you will cut the feet across the toe line. It's a good idea to mark right and left on both halves of each foot. After cutting the toes off. each side will need to be cut at an angle where they meet. I used 15 degrees on each side for a total of 30 degrees.

  • 3
    Step 3

    3. At this step I am deviating from the Marshalltown design for simplicity sake. I am going to have a fixed leg, rather than a pivoting one, because I'm going to use 1" PVC Pipe. You could still do the pivoting ankle design if you used pipe or something stronger than PVC. I just don't think the PVC could handle the stress at such an odd angle.

    Layer 2 pieces of 3/4" Plywood and screwed them together about 1-1/4" from one end so that when you drill through both everything will line up. The measurements don't matter too much so long as you have enough material on each side of the pipe so that it doesn't break out. It also needs to fit within the feet without overhanging the edges. The pieces I'm using are 2-1/8" x 5".

    1" PVC has an outer diameter of 1-5/16". drill a 1-5/16" hole centered and 2-1/4" from the end opposite where you screwed the plywood together. I did not have the appropriate size hole saw so I used a 1" Forstner bit to hog out the center, marked the diameter of the hole using a scrap piece of PVC, and cut the rest out using a bandsaw.

    I used a clamp to make sure the 2 pieces of plywood didn't shift while I was drilling. If you were able to drill the hole without using a bandsaw you would need to cut a slot on the side without the screw in it. This is so it can be screwed from the side to clamp the PVC in the hole.

    Drill some pilot holes for some screws in the side of the plywood, across the slot you cut. You should use screws that have no threads at the top portion of the screw near the head. This is called the shank. drill through the first portion of the plywood with out passing through the slot you cut, using a drill bit that is the same diameter as your screw's shank. This will allow the top of the screw to move freely through the plywood with the only resistance being at the head. Put a piece of PVC in the hole and clamp it in using screws to test the fit.

    As you can see, my hole has some gaps since I had to use a bandsaw to cut it out. I sanded the inside to make it fit better which made it a little looser. I widened the slot a little to add more clamping pressure. I could still slide the PVC out with some effort. I coated the inside of the hole with wood glue to add some more grip, which was better, but I could still twist the PVC with some effort. I may use some construction adhesive when I finally mount the PVC in the bracket.

    You may also want to cut the corners off so they are not so pointy. Once you are happy with the fit, unscrew all of the screws and glue the 2 parts together. You can use the first screw help hold the parts together while the glue sets. Also, add some clamps for a strong bond.

    You will need to make 2 of these, one for each foot.

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