Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Make Prop Dynamite

You can make realistic looking prop dynamite in a couple of hours using hand tools with what you have lying around your house.
From start to finish, this project took me only a couple of hours. How fast your paint dries is the deciding factor on time.

Wood, paint, and wire are all the supplies needed.
  • Band saw or hand saw
  • Drill or a hammer and nail
  • Hot glue and glue gun
  • Respirator  - You should never breath paint fumes, even out doors.
  • Gloves - I don't like having to scrub paint off my hands. I often wear a paint suit to avoid dirt, paint, etc.
You need a wood dowel. I've used (8) 1.25" diameter dowels cut to 12" long and in this tutorial I used (7) 0.875" diameter dowels cut to 8" to maintain the scale. The larger the diameter, the more dowels it takes for a bundle.

Cut the dowels to length on a band saw or with a hand saw. I drilled a 1/16" hole in one end of each dowel. This is where I'll glue the wire eventually. If you don't have a drill a hammer and nail can work too. Hammer the nail partially into the dowel, then pull it back out.

Cut the dowels, drill a hole in one end, and then nail them to scrap wood for a paint stand.
Hammer nails into a scrap piece of wood, and gently push the dowels onto the nails. This will be a paint stand so that you can paint all sides of the dowels at one time.

The paint process is simple. Wear a respirator. Even if you're painting outside wear a respirator. I also wear gloves, because I don't want paint on my hands.

Raw unpainted  surface.
Start with your base finish, either painted wood or raw.

Two coats of the red base color.
Spray a base coat of red. Two quick coats are fine, holding the paint can 8" away.

A mist coat of white.
You can use a few different colors like browns, blacks, tans, and whites. I used black and white. You can wait for your base red to tack or you can start misting. I didn't wait.
Spray the white from 18" away. You may move closer, depending. You want just a light mist coat and you want it purposefully uneven. My white sprayed out in thick globs.

A mist coat of black.
Next I sprayed black, using the same method as the white. If you have other colors,  you could spray those now.

Additional layers of base red and black.
Since the white was too bright for my liking, I misted the base coat of red again to tone down the white. I then misted black again.

There isn't a method to this. Keep spraying colors until you're happy with the result. Spraying closer will be a thicker coat, spraying farther away will be a thinner coat.

Cut fuses from wire.
While the paint dries, it's time to cut the fuses. My fuses are a little short due to my length of wire. This is vinyl coated stranded picture hanging wire. You could use solid wire, but it's going to stick you. The stranded wire is much softer.

Hot glue the fuses into the hole.
With your hot glue gun, apply a dab of hot glue over each drilled hole, then insert the wire. Once the hot glue dries, pull on the wire to make sure the bond is sufficient. Do this with each dowel. If a fuse is loose, re-glue it.

Wrap each end in electrical tape.
Bundle the dowels together. One dowel will be the center, and the rest of the dowels will circle it. For my 0.875" bundle it was (7) dowels total. For the 1.25" bundle is was (8) dowels. The larger the dowels, the more required to make the bundle.
Tape around the top and bottom of the bundle with the electrical tape to secure them.

Hot glue the voids at the top and bottom of the bundle.
Add hot glue into the voids between the dowels on the top and bottom end. Then hot glue the ends of the fuses together. Depending on the length of the wire, you could create a long braid for the fuses and then hot glue them.

It's dynamite, baby!
You now have a bundle of prop dynamite. This took me two hours including letting the paint dry.
 If you want to make it high tech, use an old clock display or cell phone display as a 'timer.'
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