Introduction: Pole Grenade Prop
My favorite movie this year has been Mad Max Fury Road. For those who love Steampunk, costuming and prop building, there is a lot of material in this movie. I needed an entry for Obtainium Cup's Contraptor Rally. A yearly event put by the people at Obtainium Works in Vallejo, California. To enter, one must build a human powered vehicle and drive a course with obstacles such as flying monkeys, zombies, and answer riddles. My vehicle is a re-creation of the Doof Wagon, complete with speakers playing the sound track from the movie, spikes and Pole Grenades with pennants.
Step 1: Prepare the "Grenade"
When watching the movie, some of the grenades on top of the poles look very much like spray paint cans. Start off with an empty spray can. Take the can outside and push the button till there's no more pressure in the can. Flip it upside down and using a nail or sharp tool, pierce the can's bottom in the center. Point away from your face in case a small amount of pressure is still in the can. Clean off the label off the can.
Step 2: Drilling the Can
To attach the can to the pole, you will need to bore a 1/4 inch hole through the top and bottom of the can. It can get a little messy with the residual paint in the can. This will eventually dry up inside and not become a problem. Run a lenght of 1/4 inch threaded rod through the can. Leave about 3/4 inch excess on each end and use nuts to attach the can to the rod.
Step 3: Grenade Attachment
For the pole, we will be using a 5 foot length of 1/2 schedule 40 PVC pipe. Get a PVC 1/2 inch glue-in pipe cap when buying the pipe. Along with PVC cement. Take the cap and tap a 1/4-20 inch hole in the top. Twist this over the bottom portion of the treaded rod and attach 1/4 inch nuts at the top and bottom to secure the can. Tapping, helps to keep it from loosing. You could also put a drop of Lock-Tite on the nuts. Wide washers can also be placed between the cap and the can to help stiffen the assembly.
Step 4: Attach the Pole
Use PVC cement to glue the grenade assembly to the 1/2 PVC pipe. At this time, you can spray paint the pole with flat black paint.
Step 5: Decorate the Pole
I took strips of muslin and painted them with a water-based black stain such as Minwax Classic Black Water Based Stain. Use a brush, paint it on and squeeze out the excess the best you can. Let them dry and use them to wrap the pole. Looks very much like grip tape. I tried at first to dye the muslin with black Rit Dye and that failed. Adding some spray-on glue to the pole will help to keep it from unraveling.
Step 6: Add Streamers
You can add pieces of leather to the assembly. I found a laced belt at the thrift store and unraveled the leather for the strips. Other leather scraps, rope or string can be added too.
Step 7: Close Up of Bindings
The wet leather will bind the strips to the pole as they dry.
Step 8: Final Touches
Attach something on the top to simulate a detonator. I had some spent fuses that looked very effective as a detonator. You should also distress the can a bit and spray them with a little of the flat black paint. Let them sit outside and rust will help too.
Step 9: Add a Pennant
Some of the pole grenades in the movie had pennants attached. You can cut out some fabric and tie them to the pole. My wife sewed two pieces of light polyester fabric together and turned them inside out to make a pennant.
Step 10: My Application and Parts List
The Doof Wagon was a success at the Contraptor's Rally. I had a lot of fun building the props and being a War Boy.
One 5 foot length of 1/2 inch schedule PVC pipe.
Some plain cotton muslin fabric. 1 yard is enough for one pole.
8-1/2 inch length of 1/2-20 threaded rod.
Leather strips (or unravel a braided belt from thrift store).
Flat Black paint, Black water-based Minwax stain.
Spray glue, PVC cement.
1/4 inch drill bit, #10 bit for tap, 1/4-20 tap.
Drill Motor, Hack saw to cut pipe.