Instructables
Picture of Werewolf Stilts, digitigrade legs.
The epic costume requires much preparation.

Inspired by the designs from supernatural themed movies these stilts are metal and plastic which makes for a safer and longer wearable appendage.

All of the computer generated templates and drawing files are located in the digi.rar file on the materials page.

I recommend that you download and read this entire instructable before beginning your project.

Build early so you can practice and get used to walking in these stilts. Play safe...

You can download the complete instructions in 2 parts in the materials section of this instructable.

I spent approximately $120 to build these. Expect the cost to be between $100 and $200 depending on your local materials availability.

The stilts shown weigh about 8 pounds each.

The stilts pictured were tested thoroughly bay a person weighing 200 pounds plus carrying an additional 30 pounds of weight.

NOTE!!!!  To make up for the lack of video I am offering a 1 year PRO membership to the first person that posts a video of stilts based on my design.!!!


 
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Step 1: Tools and Materials

Picture of Tools and Materials
Standing.jpg
Leaning.jpg
Running.jpg
IMG_1859.JPG
Basic tools needed:
 
            Power drill
            Measuring ruler that can go up to 24 inches
            Fabric tape measure
            Hand Hack Saw
            Center punch
            Drill bits: 1/4, 19/64, 5/16
            Marking Scribe
            Heat Gun (not a hair dryer)
            1 Lb hammer
            Flat Bastard file
 
 
Additional tools (optional):
           
            Drill press
            Jig Saw or Rotary Saw
            Bench Vise
            Sewing Machine (If you are making your own straps)
           
 
Materials Required
 
            6mm Sintra (6 square feet)
            3/8 X 1.25 inch Aluminum Bar Stock (12 feet)
            1/4 X 2 inch Aluminum Bar Stock (24 inches)
            1 X 2 inch aluminum Bar Stock(6.5 inches)
            1 X 2 Rectangular Steel Tube 1/16 inch wall thickness (4 feet)
            1/4 20 by 1 inch Grade 8 bolts (36)
            1/4 20 by 0.5 inch Grade 8 bolts (8)
            1/4 20 Tee-Nuts (40)
            1/4 Steel Fender washers(36)
            1/4 Standard Washers(36)
            1/4 Standard Nut(8)
            1/4 Nylon Fender Washers(12)
            1/4 by 1/4 Bolt bushing spacers(32)
            5/16  X 1.25 inch bolts(4)
            5/16  X 2.0 inch bolts(2)
            5/16  by 3.0 inch Grade 8 bolts(4)
            5/16  by 5.5 inch Grade 8 bolts(4)
            5/16  Steel Fender Washers(2)
            5/16  Standard Washers(16)
            5/16  Nylon Fender Washers(4)
 
            5/16  Nuts(20)
            3/16 aircraft cable (6 feet)
            3/16 cable sleeves(4)
            5/16  by 9 inch turnbuckle(2) Verify the load limit to be over your weight
            1.5 inch Velcro Strapping (12 straps 18 inches long)
            1.5 inch nylon webbing (7 feet)
            1.5 inch Velcro (6 feet)
            1.5 inch Tri-Ring (24)
            Red Loctite 271 Thread locker
 
Important Notes
 
If you are making your own straps then you will not need the pre-made Velcro strapping listed above. The pre-made straps are available at Home Depot but are weaker and considerably more expensive than making your own. I will cover how to make your own in a later section.
 
If you are unable to find the 1/4 by 1/4 Bolt bushing spacers then you will have to make your own from 5/16 inch steel or copper tubing. You will need a tubing cutter or hack saw for this. I will show the steps to make your own.
 
Sintra is available at plastics supply stores like Industrial Plastics & Paints. (ippnet.com) There are other plastics available like nylon and PVC but they are a great deal more difficult to work with. Sintra is foamed PVC which is light weight and has the strength required for this project. It is easy to cut and form.
 
The metals are available on-line from metalsupermarkets.com. If you go to the store be sure to check for pre-cut and scrap pieces which will be less expensive than the full lengths of bar stock.
 
Bolts and fasteners are available in specialty stores like calfast.com
 
Nylon webbing, Velcro and Tri-Ring are available from paccana.com or hudson4supplies.com
 
Big Box stores like Home Depot may have the materials listed here but the prices will be quite a bit higher than the specialty stores.
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Cole-Slaw2 years ago
HERE IT IS! THE VIDEO YOU'VE ALL BEEN WAITING FOR!!

i made the stilts based almost exactly off these instructions (only i bought them)  I made them for almost no money between the tools and materials i have, and scrap from work (sintra and some metal)
That is amazing. You all make me wish I had this type of talent. When I try to do metal work it just falls apart in my hands. I tried to make stilts like this and ended up crying and going back to clunky frikkin wood
Fantastic work, but it kinda looks like trying to walk while drunk. =D Kidding, I know it's difficult to walk in them.
Yeah, i've gotten better and ill have a few more videos in the future, but this was my 2nd time on them. My first time was only a few steps before the "crimp" gave out. broke down and bought the correct tool for 20 bucks.
Random_Canadian (author)  Cole-Slaw2 years ago
excellent work!
oh, and i originally tried making the steel bars about 6" longer to give me more height, DONT DO IT! it puts your center of gravity way off its almost impossible to get up into position with that, and if you get up, you wont be for long. the length in the tutorial is probably the longest your going to want to go.
guardup3 months ago

FYI: 4' x 8' Sintra sheets for $60 at regionalsupply.com

Zatyru4 months ago

Hi, first off all let me thank you for this magnifient instruction.

But I also have some questions to you.

1. I live in Germany and i want to buy such Sintra plates but only found some for 400 dollar and more +shipping costs. Please can aomeone give me a link to a Sintra store in the EU?

2.I also found American stores for metall like this (you know its too expensive). And again please can someone give me a link to such a store in the EU, too?

I thank you for the Information...if there will be some...and wish you a nice day.

epressman6175 months ago

First off, let me thank you for posting such detailed, high quality instructions for us all. This is the first posting I've seen that makes me feel I can successfully build the quality level I want.

I do have a question, though. I want to make legs for a warg costume. The photos and videos of your stilts only show bipedal movement, and I'm wondering if this design will work on all fours as well. I know I'll need at least a short arm stilt as well, but assuming I have that, will these work ok?

Are there any modifications you'd recommend for walking on all fours?

Thanks!

Elijah

pigge8888 months ago
How long can you stand in these before it starts to hurt?
lotus9599 months ago
Random_Canadian, this design and the accompanying instructions are remarkably detailed, complete, and well-documented. Bravo and thank you very much.

I am about to build a set of these, and I have a couple of questions:

(1) With my size and gear, I will be at ~280 lbs. Would it be advisable for me to "beef up" the design in one or more ways? If so, what modifications should I consider? Should I use thicker and/or wider and/or higher-grade aluminum stock? Would there be any concerns around the joints that I might handle with the appropriate changes?

(2) Should I have any concerns in using PVC foam board that is not Sintra brand? Calsak Plastics sells 6mm PVC foam boards in a 4'x8' sheet, but it is NOT Sintra. The helpful gentleman on the phone advised that PVC foam boards of various makes should have very similar characteristics independent of the manufacturer -- cutting, forming, performance, etc. For the purposes of building these stilts, does that sound right?

Thanks to RC and/or anyone else who might have insights on these questions.

- LA
ChinaDang1 year ago
What do you mean by "learning to walk again?" Walking with or without the stilts? Oh and I wanted to verify that the aluminum bars used are all flat right? Really new to this kind of stuff so the help would be very much appreciated, please bear with me.
ChinaDang1 year ago
What do you mean by "learning to walk again?" Walking again with or without the stilts? Oh and I wanted to know what kind of aluminum bars you used because on the site there are square, flat, round and hexagon. Does the grade matter?
kyle.marsh1 year ago
A friend and I are each building a pair of these and I have some questions about the hardware that I'm hoping you can clear up for me.

First, the parts list specifies 36 1/4" by 1" bolts and 8 1/4" by .5" bolts, all Grade 8. I only see 28 places for 1/4" bolts in the drawings and another 4 for the toe caps; am I coming up short, or do the instructions specify more bolts than are needed.

Second, all the 1/4" bolts are specified to be grade 8...I'm having the devil of a time finding grade 8 bolts that size (I've only found them through McMaster-Carr so far) and I'm not sure why most of those need to be so strong, anyway...the bolts at the knees and ankles are load bearing under a shearing load, so I understand those, but the rest of them are all holding the sintra against aluminum struts and I can't imagine that even a grade 5 or 2 bolt would fail before the sintra (or nylon strap) does.

Third, the 5.5" and 3" by 5/16" bolts are specified at grade 8, and that makes sense, but why aren't the 1.25" by 5/16" bolts grade 8 as well? Surely they are similarly critical?

Lastly, what sort of places should I be looking at for turnbuckles? They're very expensive ($13 each for 440# work load limit) on McMaster and I haven't found anything remotely strong enough at big-box hardware stores.

Despite my questions you've done a phenomenal job designing these stilts and have very thorough instructions for such a complex project. Great job!
Random_Canadian (author)  kyle.marsh1 year ago
IUt is possible that I mis-counted the bolt quantities as i was documenting and building on the fly.

The bolts need to be have a strong shear strength due to how they are being used. especially the pivot points. The sintra mounting bolts are not as critical. I specified the strongest that I had on hand.

The turnbuckles can be eliminated if you know the exact length of the cable that is needed. but the cable may stretch a little over time.

Thanks and sorry for the extreme delay in responding.
Thanks! I'll let you know how it goes.
Made these but couldn't get sintra so had to improvise the design. fantastic instructable. Used them for part of my Southern Devil costume at a rock Festival. Brilliant once you relearn to walk
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Random_Canadian (author)  chamilton101 year ago
Awesome work. Thanks for the contribution. Check your inbox.
ignatzart2 years ago
Where can you find a reasonable quantity of 6mm Sintra? OR is there another brand/product you can use?
Random_Canadian (author)  ignatzart2 years ago
Sorry for the delay in responding. The important notes section above will answer your questions.
Industrial plastic and paint only sells 4' x 8' sheets. They do not show pricing but other sites list the same size (and only that size) at prices in the $300.00 range before shipping. I was hoping you knew of a source for pieces of the size required for this project.
Does any one else know of such a source?
If you could find a company that actually uses the plastic then you may be able to get off cuts. I used to live in Bristol and bought some materials from a company there Westward Plastics, They let me take a load of plastic board from their scrap bin., reasonable sized pieces as well.
Random_Canadian (author)  ignatzart2 years ago
That is why I recomended to go to a local to you supplier. As for IPP, in their shop in Calgary they sell by the square foot not just in full sheets. There are several choices all over north america just internet search for Sintra plastic and select the one closest to you. I have no idea where you are so asking where to buy is just a little to broad of a question. I can assist in your search if you send me your location.
Search for TAP Plastics in your area. They are always pretty reasonable.
kde vries11 year ago
Thank you so much for these detailed instructions! Im making these for a raptor costume I'm working on. I've bought all the supplies for this and have begun machining. I'm attempting it without a drill press or bench vise.. The hacksawing is taking forever hahah.. But I want to do this project right so I don't mind putting the time in.

Just wanted to say thanks to Random_Canadian for the clear and thorough instructions.

If anyone's wondering I spent $65 on a 4x8 sheet of Sintra. I had all the metal precut to the right dimensions by Metalsupermarkets.com ... Highly recommended. $49 for that. Another $30 or so on fasteners, etc.
DANG. I guess I should have listened to Canadian about fastener prices. Dropped $80 for the fasteners and cable. Oh well. Better than $800 for digitilegs
where did you find the sintra? I've been all over the net and I can't seem to find any less than 150 smacks to the face.
The designer of these is a genius. I was wondering, what kind of grip do these things have? Better put, were I to step in a puddle, what are the chances of me slipping? Also, how would placing a piece of rubber on the bottom of the foot affect the performance? I think that I might tire of the clicking sound of metal on concrete after a while, and I'm not a fan of falling when I'm a foot higher off the ground than I normally am, so do you think that adding a damper, or some other soft material might address these concerns? One last thing, were you to give these a weight rating, how much weight might one safely put on these and still get their full functionality? I weigh 150 lbs and I carry a 50 lb pack to school some days. I don't intend to use these stilts on a daily basis, but it would sure be nice to take them to school every now and again just to see people's reactions. Any information on the specs would be greatly appreciated, and again (Though you've heard it from everyone else already, and will surely hear it from all who have yet to post) this is a great instruct able. I really hope that you don't get tired of hearing that. Have a great day!

NoMooreMr.NiceGuy
Thank you.

I forgot to add the weight information, it has been added to the main page now. The picture shows me at the initial testing stage at a weight of around 200 pounds. I alo carried an additional 30 pounds in a back pack just to check my balance movement capabilities.

The addition of grip on the feet is always a good idea and is left up to the builder based on the requirements of the end user. I found that a rubber molded foot pad with a custom grip works. It can be made to leave huge paw prints behind you as you walk.
Thank you very much! Also, I was considering extending the foot an additional 6 inches. What are your recommendations according to this variation? Would I need to extend the heel as well? Thank you for your advice! Have a great day!

NoMooreMr.NiceGuy
I'm a year too late, but I hope you saw the comment above that it made balance horrible.
jjones1081 year ago
Would you ever consider taking commissions for these? Or for most of the parts? (as in, all i'd have to do is put it all together?) If so, may i ask how much?
I'm looking for some nice digi-stils for an upcoming werewolf costume... but i'm not to sure of myself with metalworking and the like ^^;;
Hey Random Canadian, I'm currently working on building your stilts and am in the process of cutting/drilling my aluminum. Out of curiosity, how long did it take you to build these once you had all of the supplies? I spent 3 hours with a drill press just getting the 'thru' holes for the upper and lower leg braces!

I'm very excited to make these!!
aoj2111 year ago
these are really rough but they are a great concept, keep up the good work...
Oh my god! I'll definitely have to use this in a short film for a augmented soldier or something like that! :)
poofrabbit1 year ago
Congratulations on being a finalist in the Halloween contest!!! Can’t wait to see if you win! Good luck!
lightcanon1 year ago
what grade Aluminum did you use?
wish I could tell you. I used scrap from work.... you could buy from McMasters, what ever grade they had when i looked was what i was going to get....
lightcanon1 year ago
What grade Aluminum did you use?
marcwolf1 year ago
Really great design Alex - your constuction techniques certainly make it a lot easier than welding etc.

Here's my own attempt (now competed but I need to get a video up)
http://www.marcwolf.org/gallery/default.aspx?aid=5


I originally tried the Underworld 2&3 style stilts but then decided to mae a set of Wetalegs (same style as yours)

The big advantage of this design is that with the thigh piece it allows you to crouch down easily.

Many thanks for sharing with us all.
Marc
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