New Year, New You Butt Kicking Machine

Introduction: New Year, New You Butt Kicking Machine

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Every new year I can't help but make some New Year's resolutions! There's always something new I want to try or something old to get better at. They're easy to make but not so easy to keep. So to help "motivate" me this year, I built a NEW YEAR NEW YOU BUTT KICKING MACHINE that works as a stand-alone unit and doesn't require an air compressor. You can adjust the force from a mild tap to NFL kicker depending on how much air you pump into the canister with a bicycle pump.

In this 4-step Instructable, I'll take you through all the important parts of the build through my livestream highlights. If you would like to watch my builds live, chat with me in real-time, or have access to project plans and code consider joining my Wrench Army!

Now on with it...


Step 1: Pressure Plate Foot Switch

It all starts with this pressure plate foot switch that will activate the contraption we come up with. They're great for homemade booby traps, DIY intruder alert systems or momentarily activating something. In our case, that something will be a Butt Kicking Machine.

The idea comes from what I usually build for pressure activated haunts during Halloween. When you step on the switch, 2 conductive surface come together and touch (aluminum foil). This completes the circuit and activates whatever you have connected to it. When your foot comes off, then the surfaces ...un-touch ...turning off your device. They're easy to hide underneath rugs.

I decided to build my plates using 1/4" plywood that I cut from a larger piece I had lying around the shop. You can easily do this project using cardboard instead but it will tend to get weak in the middle over time and cause your aluminum foil pieces to touch inadvertently, setting off whatever you have it hooked up to. Cardboard versions are great for Halloween projects and other temporary fun but I want mine to last all year.

Step 2: Pneumatic Cylinder From PVC Pipes

The most important part of our New Year New You Butt Kicking Machine is a mechanism to get a foot moving towards one's derriere! Most homemade pneumatic cylinders use an air compressor and solenoid to move the piston back and forth. I wanted mine to be a stand-alone without the need for an air compressor so I could move it around and even use it during a power outage.

"Oh, the power is out, I guess I can't work out." Nope, drop and give me 20 in the dark! LOL!

Plus, the extra shame of having to pump the canister manually to receive your punishment should keep you on track. Hahaha!

I used familiar potato gun "technology" for the design and function with an electric sprinkler valve to release the air (which moves the piston) when activated by the foot switch.

Step 3: From Napkin Drawing to Prototype

We built the foot switch and the pneumatic cylinder and now it's time to make it all come together! I drew out a basic idea of how I thought this would work and made changes to the design along the way. The objective was to get the main components mocked up and in place before permanently attaching everything.

I built the housing for our air tank out of 1"x 6" boards and cut a hole for the cylinder. I then positioned the "knee" and "shin" so the foot would swing at the right angle and height to hit me in the ...butt-icular area.

Step 4: Finish & First Test

With everything in the right place, now it's time to permanently attach all the components together like the foot switch and sprinkler valve solenoid to give the Butt Kicking Machine its first test! Will it give me a gentle tap? Or send me flying across the shop?

My bicycle pump has a pressure gauge on it which was really helpful in determining the right amount of force. For me, 10 PSI was enough to learn my lesson but not cause injury. It goes without say that this isn't a children's toy and you should never overfill the air tank. Also be aware of the kick area in case it goes off accidentally. This homemade pneumatic cylinder packs quite a punch! Once you find the PSI that works for you, it performs pretty reliably at that number. It's been fun trying it out with different footwear!

I even dressed the "leg" with an old pair of jeans that ended up looking more like capri pants and viewers had their choice in shoes from sneakers, to boots and even slippers. Luckily, they chose my soft and comfy zombie slippers for the first test!

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