9ft Tall Guillotine!




Introduction: 9ft Tall Guillotine!

About: I'm a passionate maker and video creator on YouTube!

Make this 9ft tall French guillotine and be the coolest neighbor this (and every) Halloween!

Step 1: You'll Need...

There are no strict measures to build this. Just follow the video and you'll get the sense for the ratio and measures.
It is very easy to build with basic tools.

Have patience and most of all FUN!

You'll need:


- 4x4 (2 pieces)

- 3/4'' x 3/4'' (2 pieces - those are runners for the blade)

- 1x4 (14 pieces for the base and angle braces)

- 1x8 (1 piece for the head opening and blade assembly)
- some scrap wood, MDF board for blade and plywood for various pieces like pulleys, depth stops, and such.
- 1'' dowel for spacing


- 1 hinge (try to find old looking ones)
- 1 lock
- 1 coat hanger
- screws, washers and bolts
- thick cotton rope


- black and silver spray
- dark stain for wood
- varnish (optional)

- fake blood

Step 2: Attach the Runners

Attach the runners (3/4''x3/4'') to the vertical posts (4x4s).
Use glue and screws.
Be sure to pre-drill the holes so you don't split the runners.
Follow the video for more details.

Step 3: The Base

Assemble the base using 1x4 boards.
Glue and screw together.
Then cut the notch with a jigsaw and assemble the pieces.

Step 4: The Cross Braces

Make the cross braces out of 1x4s.
Cut them to 45 degrees on both ends (forming 90 degree angle).
Fix them to the post.
I used pocket holes for quick assembly but you can use any method to attach the braces to posts.

Step 5: The Blade Holder

The space between the posts will determine the blade holder's width.
Cut the piece that will hold the blade. (I found 1 1/2'' thick board, you can glue two 3/4'' boards together)
Attach the pieces to form the channel for the runners. Pictures explain this better :)
Sand, stain and attach the hardware for the rope.
Add some wax (paraffin, beeswax, even grease will work) so the blade holder slides easily on the runners.

Step 6: The Blade

Make the blade from MDF board (or hardboard).
The width of the blade will be determined by the width of the holder.
Cut the blade angle (around 60 degrees).
Attach the blade to the holder with three bolts, washers and nuts (it gives it that hefty look!)

Cut the bolts with hacksaw to size if necessary. Remove the blade for painting

With the sander bevel the blade on the cutting edge.
Paint the blade silver, add masking tape to the cutting edge and spray lightly the rest with black spray.
Remove the masking tape and you have the most realistic looking blade from MDF.
Even up-close you won't tell it's made from MDF sheet!!!

Even the blade is made from MDF it can cause serious injury or death if hits the back of the neck by falling from the guillotine.
You have been warned!

Step 7: Make the Pulleys

You'll need two of these.
Use 3/4'' scraps to make two 3.5'' circles.
Cut them using the jigsaw.

Find some scrap plywood/MDF/hardboard and cut 5 inch circles.
Drill the center hole for the carriage bolt through 3 pieces (per pulley).
Apply glue and put the bolt through for alignment of the pieces.
Add clamps and leave to dry.
Repeat spraying process as you did with blade for the metal look.

Step 8: Sand and Stain the Assembly

Remove all the sharp edges, sand and stain the structure.
Use coarse sand paper for the vintage and dinged look!
Leave to dry.

Step 9: Make the Top Crossbar

Make them wider than the distance between vertical posts.
Cut the ends to 45 degrees.
Stain and attach to the top.

TIP: Use the cross braces to keep the posts parallel to each other, attach with screws.
These will be removed later.

Step 10: Install the Blade

Put the blade in from the bottom
Attach the cotton cord to it (I used hangman's knot).
Finally add the stops on the top of the posts preventing the blade from going too high.

Step 11: Add the Pulleys

Next add the pulleys to the structure.
Use scrap pieces to mount the pulleys.
Open the images and hover the mouse over the note windows for instructions.
Please watch the video to see how it was assembled.

Step 12: The Lunnete

Make the the part where the neck goes.
Use 1x6 lumber for this. You can also attach 2 pieces of 1x4's.
Attach it to the posts. Look at the images.
Add the hinge.

Step 13: Adding the SAFETY!!!

D A N G E R ! ! !
Your guillotine may be lovely a decoration but it is VERY dangerous (especially for children without supervision). The blade fall to the body parts can cause a serious injury or even death.
Please install these safety bars to prevent the blade passing the Lunette (neck part).
Also add the lock to the Lunette so it can't be used to put head inside without supervision.


PS I know I'm a ''little'' bit worried but this stuff is serious, please take care.

Step 14: Add the Hanger

Finish by adding the hanger (upside-down) and attach the cord to it.
You can then cut the rope to length.


Take some awesome photos of your family, neighbors, mother-in-law (j/k)...etc.

Enjoy your Gruesome and Terrifying 9 foot tall Guillotine!


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    Random gamer
    Random gamer

    1 year ago

    What the hell😖 thats probably illegal if i was your neighbour i would call the police especially with a real blade😱 NOBODY MAKE THIS😵


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Excellent job! I want to make a mini version to chop carrots.

    DIY Andrea
    DIY Andrea

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    Thank you! You can build smaller one or cut carrots like a boss on this one :)


    Reply 5 years ago

    OK, I built my mini carrot chopper.


    Funny thing happened to me when I tried to publish. It turns out that my Instructable was quarantine for having a number of not-so-nice keywords. Unfortunately, it's kinda hard to explain a guillotine with nice words :). It took about 12 hours for the quarantine to be lifted. All is good now and thanks for the inspiration!


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Wonderful work! If I had seen that in a yard when I was a kid, there's no way I'd walk up to your house!

    DIY Andrea
    DIY Andrea

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    Thank you so much Ashley, you are my favorite writer on Instructables, love your drawings and writing! Keep up with the great work you do!

    Oh boy... the safety Nazis will have a stroke when they see this. You need to have a warning sticker

    Screen Shot 2015-09-23 at 11.44.50 AM.png

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    Or more along the lines:

    "Warning, Do not stick your head in there!" lol

    DIY Andrea
    DIY Andrea

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    Read - Step 13: Safety features!
    If someone wants to build it maybe he'll read through it all, if he doesn't...well.
    Anyways, I have placed the prompt warning!

    DIY Andrea
    DIY Andrea

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    It was a good humor!
    I still consider this guillotine dangerous so I replied seriously. No offence taken :) Cheers!


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Around here, my neighbors would be OUTRAGED and report me to the police.

    Some people just don't get it. Sigh

    DIY Andrea
    DIY Andrea

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    That's sad. I was worried that my guillotine was going to be also frown upon, but people here liked it a lot. We took more than 300 photos of children and adults. Nonetheless you shiver when thinking that this thing was last used in 1977!


    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    What?! wow, I didn't know that last bit! I got goose bumps!

    DIY Andrea
    DIY Andrea

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    Yes it's creepy, but true. There is also a record of the last guillotine execution: http://deathpenaltynews.blogspot.mx/2013/10/20-minutes-to-death-record-of-last.html


    6 years ago on Step 13

    could always make the Blade out of EVA foam Flooring as an added safety measure if, god forbid, it does land on someone's body, it wont do any harm.