Jake the Peg Halloween prop

I'm looking to create a hinged leg to use in a "Jake the Peg" Halloween costume prop. If you've never heard of Jake the Peg, here's a link  to the famous Rolph Harris skit.

I know he's using a false hand on the right side (his right) so that he can control the extra leg, but I'm unsure on how to create the hinged effect. (It's the bending of the leg that makes it so realistic!)
I was thinking of using something like a bike handlebar end with a handbrake lever to pull a cable that would draw the leg up, but how would I get it to spring back to the straight position? (And when it's in that position, it would need to support some weight like a cane)
What should the leg be made of?
There has got to be a better way to do this. The illusion is fantastic, but there are no articles anywhere on how it is done.
Thanks for any help anyone may have.

sort by: active | newest | oldest
blackfin57 years ago
Haha this video is hilarious. I don't think I could memorize the entire routine and it looks hard to coordinate the third leg, but it would make an awesome Halloween costume. It seems pretty simple to put together too. The leg doesn't look hinged, but I would want to have both hands free if that's possible.
JimsShip (author) 7 years ago
Here's the link to the video I meant to post.: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJleJbn9G6Y The leg is definately hinged and I think it makes the illusion so much more realistic than just having a straight prop. C'mon guys, I've seen the stuff you create here and I know your clever minds can figure out a way to help me do this!
But the instant replay shows a straight leg. Infrared and visual imaging shows that the pivot point is higher than the real leg. I think he has to move the handheld point across his torso to the left and bring it back to get enough momentum to swing the peg leg over to cross the real leg. I think if you practice enough you will be able to "pull it off".
JimsShip (author)  caitlinsdad7 years ago
I guess your right. (infrared imaging?!) Just goes to show what talent the guy has. Thanks everyone!
Kiteman7 years ago
I remember the original Rolf Harris version - the extra leg wasn't hinged. All he did was wear an overcoat that came below the knee, as in the video Caitlinsdad posted. I'd just make the leg inside the extra trouser a bit fatter.
caitlinsdad7 years ago
Your link is broken, here's one that someone did:

If you look an original Rolf performance, I think the bend of the leg is more of an illusion created by the movement of the baggy and long robe covering the loose pants leg.  It doesn't seem to really bend at a joint and he may hold the "stilt leg" a little lower when he moves it.  The outer right leg is the prop. Good luck.