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They're old canvas gardening gloves with the finger tips cut off. You should be able to find similar at gardening or home improvement stores.
Admittedly, when Bioshock Infinite came out, I was pretty surprised how close the design was to some projects like this I'd been working on. I was pretty taken with the handyman design too.
I used nickel-wound guitar strings from the E-D strings. I don't recall the exact gauge, but from looking at comparable examples, I think it would be about a 14 gauge wire. The diameter can vary pretty widely, but a thicker, flexible wire will be less likely to wear and break (though a thick wire will be difficult to tie off at the ends). If you can change the geometry of the hand so that the angles that the wire has to bend are less extreme, that will also increase its lifespan.
The guitar wire I ended up using was from the lower stings of a guitar (because it's a lot harder for me to break those strings) and did have additional winding around it that helped protect it from wear. Piano wire or music wire may work as might floss. No comment. If you try it and it works, please leave a reply here for others!
This looks great! Good luck with it and thanks for posting the photos here!
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 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.
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.If you do it though, let me know - I'll be interested to see how you dealt with both.
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.
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.
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.
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