Introduction: Heavy-Duty Shield

About: Homeschooler that messes around with foam, hot glue and power tools in his basement. Also likes Marvel Comics and kittens.

Hello DIY-ers! This is my first Instructable, hope you enjoy!

Are you looking for solid protection from speeding paintballs? Does cardboard not stop those stinging BBs? Do you want a new dimension for nerf fights? Then just use this!

In this Instructable I will show you how to make a heavy-duty riot shield. It was made mostly of a plywood panel and duct tape with a few bolts, so you probably won't need to go to 3 stores for this. Even one trip to Home Depot will get your wood, tape, bolts and paint. The idea is that you get an easy, modern looking shield that you won't need metal for. This is a cheap shield that should last a long time. It's not as fancy as this, but more durable than plain cardboard.

Despite the fact that it's made of plywood, it's pretty light. It feels very solid but won't add 20 pounds to your gear.

I've already made one but I want to make another so you can see how to make it.

If you're a dad looking to get something cool for his kid's nerf battles, a pro speedballer who was feeling cheap, or an air softer who just wanted a shield (like myself), then use wood and duct tape. Easy as pie.

Step 1: Step 1: Materials and Equipment

I'm making this Intractable cheap, so most of the materials you will already have.

Both of the shields were made out of pieces of plywood I had around at my house, most you will have duct tape, and you might have the short screws. But! to the details.


1 piece of plywood (I had a 18"x36" board but you could use a bigger one). You might have one, but a new one would probably about $10.

Duct Tape (at least 1 roll should do). $2-$3 for one roll

8 Nuts and Bolts (Very short is key; I used 8 1/2"long,1/4" wide screws). $2 for the 8.

A drill or electric screw drive with a 1/4" drill head (I used a wood drilling bit). $0. You'll probably have these.

Screwdriver $0. You'll probably have this

A Socket wrench with a 1/4" socket to tighten the bolts/nuts and another bigger socket. $0, you'll probably have this.

Some paint (Black Spray Paint, White (and maybe red) paint) $0-20, a bit of spray paint and a bucket from the basement should do the trick.

Expected total: $0-10.

SUMMARY You need a thin panel of wood about 2 by 3 feet, duct tape, a way to bolt the tape to the shield, and some paint for personality. This really is pretty simple.

Step 2: Step 2: the Handle

How are you supposed to hold your protective panel?


Take a strip of duct tape maybe 7" long and a second just as long to put on the other side (so it won't stick).

The strip needs to be long enough to be bolted to the wood, go over your hand, and go back to the surface.

Then take your tape and wrap it neatly around the initial strip several times in a continuous strip, making a band at least 6-10 layers thick. This needs to be very tough.

Make sure it's tight but still lose enough to fit your hand (maybe with gloves) and not so tight it hurts. It should be 6ish" long, size varies.

Repeat the procedure, but this time make a much longer strip than can run across your arm. Leave a lot more wiggle room here; your sleeves and arm still need to fit. Tightness here will serve little goal. This strip should be 11" long.

Add a little bit more tape to smooth all the edges and make sure there are no sticky spots.

Note: Although I used two different lengths, you could make them the same length to allow for righties or lefties to use the shield easily.

Mark two points on the ends of the strips where you want your bolts. Using some kind of awl, screwdriver or OIPD (Other Improvised Pointy Device), make two holes big enough to get the screws in. I used my 1/4" drill bit to start the holes, then shoved it through twice in an X, using a large socket from the socket wrench as a sort of platform so I didn't have to use my hands.

Step 3: Step 3: Attaching the Handle

To attach it, first find how you want it to fit. For me, the ends of the short ones ended up about 7" while the long on was 10". Use a small screwdriver to make a small dent right through your holes and mark the dent with a sharpie.

Pro Tip: Use some heavy objects or a friend to hold the straps down so you can find the right length.

Next, take your drill and drill holes through the wood in the right spots. Do this for both straps.

After that, take the bolts and secure them through the tape and wood with a nut of the appropriate size. Use a screwdriver and the socket wrench at the same time to tighten them. It will take a bit to get the bolt all the way through the strap, especially if you made it very thick. Once all four of one strap are bolted in, make them all very, very tight; you don't want it to come loose. Then repeat for the other strap.

And you're almost done! You have a solid panel and a solid way to hold it. Your shield probably looks pretty lame. Time for paint!

Step 4: Step 4: Make It Yours

I used the word RIOT and two big X's on my first shield and the word S.W.A.T. on the other, but do what you want! The RIOT-XX was zombie themed while the S.W.A.T. shield was more modern.

First, take some of your duct tape and put them onto the surface in the way you want the words/symbols to show up. After you've covered those spots, take your black, grey or pink (hey, it's your shield) spray paint and spray it liberally onto the surface. Make sure the wood doesn't show after you finish. For the S.W.A.T. shield I printed and s, w a and t and then used them to make a stencil so I could get the clean letters.

After it's dried, take off the tape. Use your white paint and maybe a straightedge of some type (a ruler, bit of cardboard) to paint the words on cleanly. On the S.W.A.T. shield, I made the whole thing black before using white to paint on the letters.

Next; Decorate it! You should put some streamers and maybe a ballon on there if you're making that kind of shield. More likely, you want a heavy-duty set of bullet impacts and zombie scratches. Take a stick, the point of a screw driver or that OIPD and put a bit of white paint on it. Then jab a few spots on the shield, making sure it splatters a tiny bit and then use the OIPD to scratch them into the sharp lines of a blocked bullet or zombie claw. On the RIOTXX shield, I dabbed my fingers in red paint the dragged them across the shield, creating the gory *zombies were here* look. There's also some red in the corners where bashing the zeds was necessary. The S.W.A.T. shield, however, wouldn't have blood all over it. There are some more noticeable dents and even a burn mark, but there was no blood.

Step 5: Step 5: DONE!

You now have a heavy duty shield. This is made of wood, not cardboard, and will be practically guaranteed to stop a paintball, BB or nerf dart. So next time you how up to the field, show it off! You've put so effort into your shield, and you should be proud of it. It won't stop real weapons, but it might stop those zombies in a pinch.

I had a lot of fun working on this project. I'm hoping to get up some more soon!

I hope you enjoyed this Instructable (even if you won't make it). If you guys see any way I did really well or parts I need a ton of improvement in, let me know!

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