While going through the garage, I found an old fire extinguisher that had been in there since 1987. It needed to be recharged, but I decided to use it for another purpose. Since I have been working on putting together a military themed motorized bicycle, I decided that I could use this fire extinguisher as a prop. It was the perfect shape for a giant bullet prop that I can carry on the luggage rack.
If you don't have an old fire extinguisher laying around, you can always use one of those aluminum water bottles. I found a couple of the aluminum water bottles at the 99 cents store that would be perfect for a round nose bullet instead of the rifle bullet that this instructable features.
Step 1: Tools/Materials
- 5 minute Epoxy
- 2 inch Dowel (Wood of Choice)
- 6"X6"X 3/4" wood (Wood of Choice)
- Steel Wool and Sandpaper (120, 220 grit)
- Spray Primer
- Brass and Copper colored Spray Paint
- Masking Tape
- Fire Extinguisher Body or Aluminum Water Bottle
- Lathe With a Variety of Gouges
Step 2: Preparing the Body (Casing)
If your not using a fire extinguisher as the main component of this build, skip to the next paragraph. The first thing that you need to do is test to see if the fire extinguisher still works. If it still works, then keep it for its original purpose. If it doesn't work, look at the gauge(if it has one) and see if it says it needs to be recharged. SLOWLY and CAREFULLY twist the valve off of the cylinder. As soon as it is off, take a trash bag and dump the contents (if dry chemical) into the trash bag. Tie up the trash bag and take it to the local toxic waste roundup because your not suppose to dump it into the regular trash.
Start preparing the Casing of your "Bullet". Take any stickers or labels off of the cylinder using acetone or a heat gun. Then use your steel wool to start scratching the surface so that epoxy and paint have something to grab onto. The next step you will be making the tip and the bottom of the bullet.
Step 3: Making the Bullet Tip and Bottom of the Casing
The best (and easiest) way for me to make the tip and bottom was to turn it on a lathe.
First start with a length of 2 inch dowel that seems proportional to the body of the "bullet." I had a .270 win bullet as a model to work off of and started on the part that will be attached to the body. I use a parting tool for most of my turning and I used it to hollow out a portion of the dowel that would slip into the opening of the fire extinguisher. Then, using a pencil, I marked where the beginning of the actual bullet portion would start. After marking the line that I was happy with, I used the parting tool to start shaping the tip of the bullet. As soon as the tip was close to being finished, I used 220 sand paper to sand out any major scratches. After being happy with the turning, I cut it off and sanded the very tip smooth to get rid of the cut off mark.
The bottom of the casing, I used a scrap piece of cedar fence board and turned it between centers. After making it round, I started work on the portion of the wood that goes against the bottom of the fire extinguisher and then began shaping it to the final shape. The gap between the wood and the fire extinguisher will be covered with air drying clay after their epoxied together so I didn't care if it was perfect.
Step 4: Epoxy Everything Together
I epoxied all the wooden components to the metal fire extinguisher using 5 minute epoxy. The first part I epoxied to the fire extinguisher was the wooden tip that was turned on the lathe. I stood the fire extinguisher vertically and put the tip on. I viewed the tip from all angles in order to see if it looks straight. After making sure it was straight when viewed from all angles, I allowed the epoxy to dry.
The next piece that was epoxied to the fire extinguisher was the bottom of the shell. After making sure that the bottom of the shell was straight and epoxied, I used a piece of clay in order hide the seam between the metal extinguisher and the wood. Then, I let it dry and used a scotch-brite pad to smooth and blend everything together.
Step 5: Painting
After sanding the whole piece using a scotch-brite pad, I used gray primer and gave three coats to the piece. I then used copper colored spray paint to paint the bullet tip. The tip had about three coats of paint. After letting the copper color dry, I taped up the tip with masking tape and then sprayed the whole piece with three coats of brass colored spray paint. Letting the brass color dry for a few hours, I remove the masking tape covering the copper paint and then sprayed the whole piece with an outdoor clear coat. The clear is about two coats.
I then came up with the idea to use stickers to write "STUDIO PROP" where the information for a real bullet would go. I did this because I don't want someone to call the bomb squad on my bike if I have it locked out front of some public place. I recommend doing this if your going to have this prop out in public so that the bomb squad does not destroy your prop.