Picture of Blood-Spraying Evil Dead Chainsaw Arm!
2012-10-20 17.38.41.jpg

Thanks so much to everyone who voted for me in the contest, I was a second place winner!

Ah, Halloween is upon us again!  I am not as consistently awesome at costumery as my brother, but I have been known to build a thing or two or three, and generally overdo it this time of year.

My friend Felicia volunteers at a small theater in Bend, Oregon.  She acted in their production of Richard III, and mentioned to the director of their upcoming production of Evil Dead:  The Musical that she might just know someone who could build them a new chainsaw arm to replace the one Bruce Campbell signed the last time they ran the play.

For the uninitiated, Evil Dead:  The Musical is based on the movie Evil Dead 2:  Dead by Dawn, which was written and directed by Sam Raimi (of Spider-Man fame), and starring Bruce Campbell (of Army of Darkness, Bubba Hotep, and Brisco County Junior fame).  The movie is a masterpiece of the comedic horror subgenre, both hilarious and disturbing at times.  Crucially to this instructable, there is a scene where the main character, Ash, has to cut off his own hand with a chainsaw.  He later replaces his removed hand with that same chainsaw, wielding that and a sawed off shotgun to do battle with the demons he has unwittingly summoned up.

When Felicia asked if I'd be interested in building them a chainsaw arm prop, I leaped at the chance!  I'd put that Dalek I've been struggling with on indefinite hold and focus my energies on making the best darn chainsaw arm I could . . . and when they asked if I could, you know, maybe make it spray blood everywhere . . . well, let's just say I stopped chanting "Exterminate!  Exterminate!" and started chanting, "Swallow your soul!  Swallow your soul!"  After that, they even asked me to make them a Necronomicon . . . and how could I not!? 

Here's a video of me acting poorly and cutting off my hand:

Read on to learn all about how I built this thing from scratch, or jump ahead to read more about the play itself!


This is exactly what I've been looking for! Thank you ever so much for this instructable. I'm going to get to work tomorrow on making one of these for Halloween. Oh, does anyone know of anywhere I can find an instructable for the shotgun harness?

I, too, made a chain saw arm for out local production of Evil Dead,... I LOVE your altered 'tape measure' idea for the pull start! Very clever. Great Job and thanks for sharing
depotdevoid (author)  Abbysgreegree2 years ago
Awesome, thanks! I'd love to see a picture if you have one!
poofrabbit2 years ago
Congratulations on being a finalist in the Halloween contest!!! Can’t wait to see if you win! Good luck!
depotdevoid (author)  poofrabbit2 years ago
Thanks poofrabbit!
Wonderful; please accept my vote.
depotdevoid (author)  FriendOfHumanity2 years ago
Thank you!
Awesome! Love the movie! Your prop and description were sick! Thank you very much. Brought a smile to my face!
depotdevoid (author)  deanshadbolt2 years ago
Awesome, thanks Dean! I'd really appreciate a vote if you've got a minute!
ClareBS2 years ago
That is an amazingly well done instructable. Even so, I don't find chainsaw accidents amusing.
depotdevoid (author)  ClareBS2 years ago
Thanks Clare! I'm not one for chainsaw accidents either!
seamster2 years ago
Nice! This is my kind of project, and I enjoyed the write-up very much!

That 1/4" rubber that you used, what was it from? I've needed something just like that many times and never found anything quite what I was looking for.
depotdevoid (author)  seamster2 years ago
Thanks seamster!

That rubber was scrap I picked up from work. It's called "skirtboard rubber", and it's used extensively in the aggregate processing industry, like gravel pits and that sort of place. I suppose the real trick (if you don't work somewhere that cuts it) would be getting just a little bit of it--it's traditionally sold in 50' reels. It's very possible if you called around to bearing/power transmission businesses, or even managed to get a hold of the maintenance shop at a gravel pit, they could provide you with some cut ends.
Cool, thanks. I know a few folks who work for a sand and gravel company, so I'll have to ask them about it.
tduncan2 years ago
Hey! Now this is a good old fashioned instructable. Seems like every time I get on here it's just 3d printer stuff.

Anyway, keep the nightmare alive, brother!
depotdevoid (author)  tduncan2 years ago
I know what you mean, as awesome as 3D printers are there's no way I could afford one. This is an instructable for the Everyman!
dlindstrom2 years ago
WOW! Best instuctable ever! You really used your skills and imagination to adapt normal every day dollar store items into something truly unique and amazing. Way to think outside of the box (and inside of the chainsaw)!
depotdevoid (author)  dlindstrom2 years ago
That's high praise, thanks a lot!
mikeasaurus2 years ago
There's so much more detail that went into this than I thought! The prop looked good in that clip.
depotdevoid (author)  mikeasaurus2 years ago
It turned out to be a pretty complex prop, but everything just came together so smoothly!