My most successful project to date. And I have learned that it is fun to have another hand! Not to mention that its great in costumes and gives a great deal more mileage than any other costume props I have made. In total I believe this project took less than 20 hours (once parts were assembled) and cost under $40 (the springs were expensive!).

I have now begun a more advanced version of the hand which will be larger, have more accurately scaled dimensions, better aesthetics, and, best of all, digit movement from side to side as well as both front and back. It may be quite some time before completion though. 

Before you start, let me note that I made a left hand because I am right handed and wanted the ability to retain dexterity for everyday tasks while I was wearing the hand.

Also, credit where it is due, I designed this hand after viewing the most superb hand built by Aternox over at DeviantArt, and it seems I am not the only one, as a quick poke around DA shows.

This project is becoming more common so look around the web for variants and different styles. Another of my favorites (besides Aternox's) is beautifully made by IAteSatan also over at DA.

EDIT: A short video of the hand in motion can be seen here. I apologize for the poor quality - when I have some time I will try to record and upload a higher quality video.

Step 1: Materials

Substitutions and modifications to the measurements are encouraged! Also all of these measurements are approximate in nature and suited to the hand I built, but your scale may be quite different.

- 3/4" thick x 5" x 5" board for palm
- 3/8" thick x 3" x 2' board for wrist
- 3/4" thick dowel - 2' long gives plenty of spare, but most are sold in longer lengths

- 5 keyrings
- 5 wires of 1 foot each*
- Small eyehooks (40 minimum)
- Springs with a collective length of 1' unstreched - keep in mind that you are pulling against these so get an appropriately low strength
- 14 small (<3/4" wide) hinges and their screws (often included) (hereafter referred to as "small screws")
- Flat top screws (25 minimum) of short (3/4" max) length (hereafter reffered to as "large screws")
- 6 Round top screws
- 6 Washers to fit onto round top screws

- 1 unloved glove
- Canvas or leather for wrist strap
- Buckle or fastener of your choice for wrist strap
- Thread and needle
- Decorative pieces as you like
- Wood stain of your choice or, if you want to preserve the color of the wood, linseed oil gives beautiful results

*A note on the wire - This part is under stress, will likely break, and will need to be replaced. I have tried single strand copper, braided picture wire, and discarded nickel plated guitar string. Of these the guitar string has worked by far the best. I have not yet had to replace any of the guitar string. Single strand copper went very fast. Picture wire had a moderate lifespan. String, especially nylon string (low friction), may be another good choice but I have not tested it as It did not fit the aesthetic I was aiming for as well.
<p>Awesome project, just finished mine ;) for the wires, I used steel cable, 1 mm thick. It can't be twisted to lock it in place but I found that I could use some thin copper wire and solder to get the job done.</p>
<p>This looks great! Good luck with it and thanks for posting the photos here!</p>
And is it possible to put a mold or plastic on the hand over all of it?
<p>You could put a mold over the pieces but it would have to be comprised of multiple pieces or else the fingers will be unable to articulate. Think of how medieval gauntlets overlap - it'll probably be something like that</p><p> Also, the eyehooks protrude pretty far from the fingers in my design - you want to find a lower profile way to rout the wires or the mold will be very wide for its length and make the hand look excessively fat and stubby.</p>
Is it possible to make the arm shorter for costume purposes?i still need it to move the fingers and such
<p>Certainly you could make it shorter - there's nothing that changes the mechanism because of the length. However, having the forearm brace (the cloth that you strap on) far away from the glove means that pulling the fingers is easier because the arm is held in place more rigidly.</p>
How hard would it be to make a whole arm????
<p>You may have some trouble effectively articulating the elbow and fingers both, and there's also a question of where on your body you would mount the upper arm of the mechanical arm.</p><p>If you do it though, let me know - I'll be interested to see how you dealt with both.</p>
<p>How big should the springs be? 1 inch or 1 cm?</p>
<p>I recommend that the springs have about 1 foot of collective length - you'll have to cut them to size and bend the last coil in order to fit them to the hand, so there's no specific dimension, but each will likely end up in the ballpark of 3/4 of an inch unstretched.</p>
Couldn't fine any 3/4 ones, so I bought 1 inch ones, you think that'll be good? Also, I'm planning to move the thumb more to where it would be on a human hand, should that cause problems?
<p>It probably won't cause major problems, but you'll probably want to think about how you're routing the wire to that finger: the more the wire bends at any one point, the quicker it will wear. Try to avoid bends completely if possible, or if you can't, try to route the wire through a few eyehooks so that no one bend is as drastic.</p>
How well does the thumb move<br>
<p>do you know how to post instructables</p>
<p>I think the best wire to use for this application is piano wire. You can get it in lots of different sizes and even the thinnest is going to be stronger than you could break using it like this. Pretty reasonable cost too. </p>
<p>Piano Wire = Music Wire = Steel Guitar String<br>But some are coated with a winding of very thin wire (to increase the mas w/o adding a lot more tension).<br>Dental floss might work - it's very tough to break (makes excellent kite string)</p>
How difficult would it be to scale this up to control a mechanical hand larger than your own?
Quite simple within a limited scale I would imagine - the pull-rings on the glove for mine were quite close to the base of my fingers and could still pull the mechanical fingers all the way in. If you moved the pull-rings farther out along your hand, you should be able to get a great deal more distance out of it. If you want to go bigger than that, you may need a mechanical system like a lever or simple pulley (and if you're building a hand big enough to need that, it may even fit).
<p>I will use your plan for the costume but alter it with the number of fingers to three if people ask I'll tell'm &quot;there's a man named manick yoj and he is the person I give the credit to</p>
<p>i made this myself, i based it off of your idea but not completly, i made each individual finger from a plank of wood and i also made the thumb apposable like our actual thumbs, im very happy with how it turned out but i plan on improving it. Thank You for the idea!</p>
This is awesome, I've wanted to do one for a long time,I haven't looked much and you may have addressed this already, but a cheap alternative to expensive springs is to get them from clicking pens, they may not work as well but they're essentially free, just a thought. But again, awesome instructable, loved it!
i did it!!!!! it is awesome!!! thanks mate, it is really cool
<p>just what we need for our odyssey of the mind skit. the best - Islands High School going to world 2014</p>
A great instructable! well done! I have made one of these myself with a slightly different design: - I suggest you move the thumb to a more sideways position, like a humans, study your own! - You could also connect the thumb string to the first finger string, as it is hard to manoeuvre your thumb to pull the string. - Plus, instead of the 'expensive' springs you could use elastic, as its much cheaper and loads easier to assemble!
this would make an awesome buttscratcher
looks like part of the handyman from bioshock infinite
Good to see I'm not the only one who immediately thought that
this looks like something from the handyman on bioshock infinite
Great work! <br>One thing I'd suggest is to re-route the wiring for the thumb to the other side (near the heel of the palm) and rehinge the joint so that it can function better as a thumb.
That was my first thought as well; by angling it over and down to the base of the palm beneath the pinky, then wrapping it to the back of the 'arm' stick, it could both articulate more like a real thumb, and be activated by a more natural (inward, not downward) thumb action.
This is true - I am working on making a more sophisticated opposable thumb on my current model but its still mostly in ideas/sketches. <br> <br>If I rearranged the hinging of the thumb I could run the wire as you have described however, there is a great deal of friction on severe wire angles (as i found from an original wiring layout), so tilting the wire back from near the pinky to the glove would be very hard to activate.
What kind of gloves are they? That style of glove looks really good but i can't seem to find them anywhere.
Epic ible. together with another ible on giant costume making, planning to make giant robot costume with working heads up display!
Hi! <br>If you do not mind, we have translated this manual in the Russian language and posted on its website. <br>A reference to the original course set <br>Thank you, gorgeous work! <br>http://arcanum-shop.ru/blog/mehanicheskaya-ruka <br>http://arcanum-shop.ru/blog/mehanicheskaya-ruka-instruktsiya-1 <br>http://arcanum-shop.ru/blog/mehanicheskaya-ruka-instruktsiya-2 <br>http://arcanum-shop.ru/blog/mehanicheskaya-ruka-instruktsiya-3
Haha, that is fine, though surprising. Thank you for the translation!
Cool looks a lot like my pneumatic hand I did for last years science fair <br>using copper pipe http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M6DINbBOg74 <br>
Man, that looks like some kind of medieval torture device haha <br>That is so awesome yet super freaky looking. <br> <br>Maybe a great slenderman costume piece? Yay? Nay?
how much did this cost to make <br>
I already had the wood. The remaining componentry cost me about $50. The sprockets I got for free from a bike shop (they'd been discolored by the parts washer).
Can you make a list of the tools needed?
This is very very cool. <br> At one time I had in mind making a long handled grabber with individual fingers like this. I planned to make the finger pivots in the middle of the joint instead of the inside as you have done. that would allow me to run the wires inside the fingers and therefore not interfere with it's actual use of grabbing stuff way down deep in the dumpster
If you cut holes at the wrist you could make it so you can have two right hands! <br> <br>nice 'ible <br>pfarmkid
hmmmmmmm just say &quot;nice................&quot;
This is just awesome,this hand would be perfect if you wanted to make a &quot;Handyman&quot; costume (Bioshock infinite)
I am really looking forward to that game. Never played bioshock 2, but I did love the first and I am pumped for infinite. I've considered a costume of that bent. Lots and lots of work certainly, but it would be very fun to build.

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