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This is an instructable for making a replica of the batarang seen in the game “Batman: Arkham Asylum.” I wanted a batarang that unfolded with an action similar that that in the game. Not counting the cost of the tools, which I had already, and the paint (ditto), the entire project cost me about $17 and took perhaps 10 hours.
 
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Step 1: Tools and Shopping List

I decided to make this prototype batarang out of Plexiglass, because a) it is easy to work b) it has no grain and doesn’t splinter or chip c) it is transparent, which helps with aligning the pieces d) it takes a metallic paint better than wood, and, finally, e) I didn’t have access to a metal-cutting bandsaw. Needless to say, you won’t be knocking any thugs unconscious with this one. You probably won’t be throwing it anywhere, either, unless you want to see your hard work shatter into bits.


Shopping list:

.093”x11”x14” Lexan (or Plexiglass) sheet
Furniture joint connector nut, ¼”-20 thread
¼” x 3/8 flathead machine screw
four neodymium disc magnets .47” x .11” (12mm x 3mm)

Tools required:

Coping saw
Straight and curved files
Power drill
Various drill bits, including a ½” spade woodborer
“Liquid Nails” clear silicone adhesive
Cyanoacrylate superglue
Two part epoxy resin
Sandpaper


Step 2: Cutting the Plexiglass to Shape

Picture of Cutting the Plexiglass to Shape
BatarangTemplate.jpg

The Lexan sheet was too thin, so the first thing I did was cut it in half across the long axis and glue both pieces together, resulting in a sheet 11” x 7” x 0.186” thick. A word on the glue: I used three types of glue in the project, Liquid Nails silicone adhesive, two part epoxy resin, and cyanoacrylate superglue. There’s a lot of prying stress put on the various pieces of the batarang while it is being filed into shape, and the Liquid Nails quits after a while. This doesn’t matter, as I had to pull it apart several times to correct mistakes. When everything was ready to be finally glued, I used cyanoacrylate which is notoriously unforgiving of mistakes. For gluing these two sheets together, the superglue is preferable.

I found an image of the batarang on the internet, and printed it out as a template at the size I wanted. Because I was going to have a hinged batarang, I only used one wing as the template for both halves, which helps with symmetry. It also helps that friendly Instructables user, InfiniTTTy, then drew up my template as a nifty .png file, which you can find at the bottom of this page. I then cut out the three pieces of the ‘rang with a coping saw. If you are going to do the cutting with a bandsaw, make sure you have good dust extraction – unlike sawdust, plexiglass dust can get hot enough to catch fire.

I call the three pieces ‘the fixed wing,’ the ‘pivoting wing,’ and ‘the back piece.’ The fixed wing and the back piece will join together to make the 'back assembly,' the half of the batarang you hold in your hand. This is a right-handed batarang, but you can easily reverse the pieces for a left-handed one. The fixed wing is just the pivoting wing with the circular axis removed, and the back piece is just the center of the batarang with a bit of overlap where the magnets will be placed.

Step 3: Shaping the Wings

Picture of Shaping the Wings
three pieces-1.jpg

The next step, after smoothing off the rough edges with a file to make them prettier and easier to handle, is to make the three pieces true to each other. The easiest way to do this is to make the backing piece as perfect and symmetrical as possible, decide which way up it will face, and base the other two wings off that. Mark the center of the back piece with a dot.

First off, try and align the pivoting wing with the backpiece, and correct the pivoting wing where it needs it, using a file. Once the places where they overlap matched up, mark the pivoting wing with a dot that overlaps the back piece dot. Hold the pivoting wing in place with a small clamp or clothespin and shape the fixed wing until all three pieces fit together neatly.

Step 4: Beveling the Wing Edges

Picture of Beveling the Wing Edges
Now it is time to bevel the chisel edge of the wing blades. Mark a line that runs parallel to the edge of the wing, then, using a flat file, form the blade. Because you are using two sheets of plexiglass glued together, it’s easy to mark your progress by the center join (but because you are not making an actual working blade, you don’t need to file all the way down to the center of the wing thickness). Spend some time on this: a good consistent bevel is important to the final look of the batarang, although paint will help if you can’t manage it.

When this is done you can glue the back piece to the fixed wing to form the back assembly, the half of the batarang you hold in your hand (assuming you are right handed). When the glue dries, do a final filing and sanding of the places they overlap to make them completely true.

Step 5: Making the Axle

Picture of Making the Axle
recess-1.jpg

Now make the axle of the batarang. Tape the two wings together in the final position, and drill a pilot hole though the center. Separate the wings again, and drill a hole in the pivoting wing just large enough to accept the machine screw fairly tightly (15/64” was right for me). Then through the fixed wing assembly drill a hole large enough to accept the furniture joint connector (3/8” was perfect). The connector needs to pivot smoothly but not be loose.

I then countersunk the machine screw hole in the pivoting wing, and, using the large 3/8” bit, recessed the other side of the hole to accept a small portion of the furniture connector. This was because the furniture connector was a little too long and I didn’t want the wing to be loose when folded up. I could also have ground down the connector a bit but this seemed easier, and it worked fine.

Step 6: Placing the Magnets

Picture of Placing the Magnets
Now to place the magnets that will hold the batarang in place when it is opened. Tape the batarang together in its final position, and drill a pilot hold through the part where the backing piece and the pivoting wing overlap. Exact placement of this hole is not critical, just make sure it's not too close to any of the edges. Then widen this hole with the ½” woodborer bit. I used a ½” because my magnets were just a tiny bit smaller than that, but if you use different magnets from me, adapt the hole to fit. Using tape to separate the holes in the wings (so you don’t glue the wings together), glue the magnets in place. I used two per wing. Make sure you align the North/South correctly so that the wing will not repel itself! The magnets won’t take a lot of stress, so I used two part epoxy resin for this job, which also filled the gap around the magnets.

Step 7: Finishing Up

Picture of Finishing Up
ready to paint-1.jpg
main image of batarang.jpg
above 1.jpg
above 2.jpg
closed.jpg

You can now assemble the batarang. I glued a little plastic widget over the machine screw head to cover it. You can still take the batarang apart by unscrewing the furniture connector from the rear. This is why you want to machine screw to be fairly tightly in place.

When this is done, you are almost finished! All it needs is any final shaping and filing, a bit of sanding of the edges, and you are ready to paint. I used a satin black spray paint specifically for plastic, and bronze model paint for the wing bevels.

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Wojtuma2 years ago
I really like what you have made and it gave me a huge inspiration to make my own but to make it more 'batsy' I have added bat-ears (I know that in game it was different). Also I made it a bit smaller, beacuse I couldn't get plexi so I made it out of CD and bristol paper. Thanks!
Batarang.jpg

Wow great batarang im thinking of making mine out of CD as well cause im trying to make one out of household items :)

Wow this tutorial is very helpful. Im gonna try to make them out of some CDs i dont need anymore. Most of the posts with pics of the ppls batarangs have inspired me. Thanks for the tutorial!

bdimitrov1 year ago
bdimitrov1 year ago
pacentum1 year ago

Hello, I cannot find the template on this page, I don't suppose you could send it to me? Please PM me back. Thanks.

spookylean (author)  pacentum1 year ago

The template should be visible on step 2. I'm sorry I don't have the original file anymore.

Hmm. Well, that's a pain. I can't see it on the step. I don't suppose anyone else has the template who could send it to me? Thanks.
SpicyPandaCreations made it!1 year ago

made it out of wood, a smaller magnet, and a screw. Thanks for the tutorial. i was able to make them relatively easily as a result.

IMG_3583.JPG
triumphman2 years ago
I am working on a "real" steel one now. The only hold up is the center nut and bolt. It must have some friction or a locking position. I am testing various hardware options right now. Will post a prototype as soon as I am done. Thanks for the idea!
great ible my friend but may i ask for a link to a website you may know for cheap lexan? see i am from australia and im finding it hard to track some down
spookylean (author)  curious youth3 years ago
Funnily enough, I am Australian too. But I live in the USA, and I bought my sheets of plastic product at Home Depot. That chain spread to Oz, didn't it? I would try there.
He said" I'm an Australian, making a movie in Australia, called Australia " Hugh Jackman.
ok then i shall look around. hopefully i can find some thanks :)
it really bugs me that alot of my creating and modding work is halted because i need to track down products that are so easily accessible in the us
spookylean (author)  curious youth3 years ago
I know, exactly. But I'm sure I bought perspex in Australia about 10 years ago, and not online... wish I could remember where.
triumphman2 years ago
I like the folding concept. I just made a Real Steel Instructable version before seeing yours! Now I will try your folding type. Looks cool ! Thanks for the idea!
So cool! I plan on trying to make some over the summer.
Dzucky2 years ago
I finished a while ago but never got around to uploading some pics so...
DSC00304.JPGDSC00305.JPGDSC00306.JPG
pegasos2 years ago
it is amazing. I have one question what are the sizes?
spookylean (author)  pegasos2 years ago
See comments below for more details.
tnx!!!
Dzucky2 years ago
i cannot seem to be able to cut the sheet without some real rough edges. im using lexan not plexiglass and im cutting with a coping saw with a fine blade i really need some help.
spookylean (author)  Dzucky2 years ago
Sorry you're having trouble! I haven't used lexan so i don't know if it's harder to cut, but I know when I did it the edges were very rough too and I spent a lot of time cleaning them up with a fine file.
thanks. I've gotten past that now and i was wondering if there were other names for the connector nut. i don't think its called that where I'm from. (South Africa)
spookylean (author)  Dzucky2 years ago
I have heard furniture connectors are also called chicago screws, screw posts, or (and no, I'm not kidding) sex bolts. Don't know what you'd call them in SA though...
spookylean (author)  spookylean2 years ago
Also see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sex_bolt
anikjoshi3 years ago
Can you please make me 1, I tried and failed :-) :-)
elfere3 years ago
hi there's a chance you can send me your vector template please ? thanks :)
cprich223 years ago
Do you have any rough dimensions for it? such as the height and length of the blades?, i printed out your template and made a card version and i found it so be a little on the small size, a rough idea on how big yours is would make it alot easyer to scale the drawing up. thanks
spookylean (author)  cprich223 years ago
I'm traveling right now - can i get back to you on this in a couple of weeks?
sure, im in no particular hurry
spookylean (author)  cprich223 years ago
Okay, the base (tip to tip, widest point) is 10" (255mm). The individual blades from top tip to base tip are 4.75" (120mm). I think I made it a little small too. Unfortunately I don't have my original plans any more. Hope this helps!
made a cardboard prototype for my battle ready version, i found that if you place two smaller magnets towards the tips of the blades, when they meet they lock it closed so it dosent swing open unwantedly, a side effect is that if you flick it open with your fingers it moves with the speed as if its sprung loaded. could be somthiing for you MK2
spookylean (author)  cprich223 years ago
Great idea!
patman013 years ago
can you make me one? i don't have the skills for any of this :)
optimus_893 years ago
hi can anyone tell me how to download the pdf?
EGT19844 years ago
What did you use for the "cap" that hides the screw?
spookylean (author)  EGT19844 years ago
I think it was the plastic pourer from a soy sauce bottle.
This is pretty cool! And better yet, it translates into instructions for making almost any retractable throwing-blade type thing (ninja stars, batarangs, etc etc) for a costume :D
One could even make a Bird-a-rang (Robin's version) if they wanted to.
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