I based this off of others I'd seen on the internet, because I love the concept of having one. It's one of the most obscure pieces of wall art that I think any nerdy, dork, geek, sci-fi fan, weird people, etc. should have in there home. I made this for probably more money than it was worth, especially with the flub ups I ran into through faults of my own. Hopefully this might inspire others to try and make one of their own!
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Step 1: Gathering Material
The first thing you should do is brainstorm and decide what you want to include with you station. I browsed Amazon.com and found cheap deals on some airsoft replica weapons. The shotgun cost about 9 bucks, and the pistols I got for about $2.50 each Since they were purely decorative, they didn't have to be high quality, especially since I painted them black to get rid of that garish orange muzzle. *WARNING* Do NOT walk around with them outside after you have painted the airsoft guns black all over. I will not be liable for a cop possibly shooting you in self defense, because they don't know it's fake. Exercise good judgement here people :) I also picked up the machete at the bottom of the box at Wal-mart for about $6.50. I also ordered the Zombie Survival Guide off of Amazon for about 8 or 9 dollars. Use what ever you want in your box though if you make one. The "content/instruction" poster was made using a website that generates those things, and laminated.
Some of the wood I used was scrap left over from a previous project. The back, or the board everything is mounted to, is 1/2" birch plywood, and the outer box is just made up of 3/4" MDF. The glass/riot shield is 1/4" thick acrylic sheet. I used 3/8" dowel rods to support the guns and book.
Overall list of materials used:
- 24x48" sheet of 3/4" MDF
- 1/2" plywood that was cut to 23x28 1/8"
- acrylic sheet cut to size at 28x23 1/4"
- 3/8" dowel rod
- 1 6 inch exterior handle (for the riot shield)
- 11" strap material for the arm band on the riot shield
- caulking to make the seams neat and clean on the inside of the box
- primer (I forgot to get this...whoops)
- 1 to 2 cans of gray spray paint for the interior of the box
- 1 to 2 cans of red spray paint for the outside
- nuts, bolts, washers for the handle/strap on the riot shield
- decals for the front of the shield
- air soft guns
- printed poster
- shotgun shells
- wood glue
- brad nailer
Step 2: Cutting Stuff to Size
I figured out the dimensions I needed by roughly placing everything on the 1/2" plywood scrap I had available and made it fit in a way that looked good. I ended up figuring out that I wanted the plywood to be 23x28 1/8". The MDF pieces used for the sides/top/bottom were cut to about 6" deep, and then the sides were cut to length at 23", and the top and bottom were cut to 29 5/8". I had a glass company cut the acrylic sheet I needed at 23 1/4" x 28"
I also cut a 1/4" wide dado in the top and bottom pieces for the riot shield glass to slide into and then sit in. The top piece had the dado cut 3/8" deep into the MDF, and the bottom dado was only 1/8" deep. This allows the glass to be lifted up into the top piece, then dropped into the lower piece groove but maintaining enough of the glass on top and bottom to be held in place firmly. I cut a notch in the middle of the bottom piece to be able to lift the glass out and help guide it back up into position.
I cut a french rail to mount on the back side/wall to hang this when it's finished so that it will sit flush on the wall. Those would be the mitered pieces you might be able to see in the pictures.
Step 3: Start Assembling
Once you get everything cut out, start assembling the pieces. It's a pretty straight forward process is you have basic woodworking skills. Flush up the ends, add some wood glue, and nail away. In the first picture, you can see that the plywood isn't flush with the back of the side pieces. I set it forward 3/4" to account for the mitered french rail pieces I eventually will use to mount this.
Step 4: Drilling the Holes
Once I had the box build, I put the guns and everything in the positions I wanted, then marked were the dowel rod holes would need to be to support them in those spots. Once that was done, I drilled them all out, cut the dowel rods to a good length, sanded the cut ends smooth and round, then glued them in place. I used a brad nailer at an extreme angle to reinforce the pegs along with the glue.
Step 5: Start Finishing
I absolutely loathe finishing work. I'd rather build a million things instead of have to paint one of the things I make, but it's all part of the process. Use paintable caulking to make the joints look completely solid. I was dumb and forgot to pick up primer for this project, so I just laid down a layer of some silver spray paint (weird and probably bad choice of substitute primer by the way) along the joints so wiping up excess caulking would be easier to do. Once you've caulked everything, lay down what should have been primer at this stage across everything. I ended up spraying the whole thing with the silver, then eventually spraying the interior with grey spray paint.
In the second picture that shows red on the box already, I had purchased a quart of brush on red paint, and that ended very very badly. I don't know what I was thinking, but I couldn't get rid of the brush strokes. I had to sand the outside down a good bit to get rid of as much of them as a could before switching to red spray paint.
Step 6: Seeing Red
Once the inside was finished, with the addition of the shelf for the shotgun shells at some point during this painting stage, I masked everything off. I probably could have gone about it an easier way, but I do love playing with painters tape lol. Once everything was masked, I busted out the red and went to town on the outside with the second attempt at doing the red, this time it turned out much smoother.
Step 7: Add Some Ammo
I mounted the shotgun shells on the shelf using contact cement. Pretty straight forward process with that.
Step 8: Making the Riot Shield
I figured out where I wanted my handle and arm strap to be, and got the lines marked on the blue film protecting the acrylic. I drilled the holes for the handle and the strap, then used some bolts, washers, and nuts to hold them on. Once I had the shield completed on the back side, I flipped it around and started measuring out where I wanted the decals placed. I just kind of eyeballed the open spaces I had next to a tape measure to get a feel for what felt best, then once I did, I used blue painters tape to form grids to use as guidelines and positioning aids. Then of course I tested it out once everything was mounted and in place :D
Step 9: And Finished
Once I had everything painted, and the shield finished, I stuck all the items back in the box in their places and voila...done! My very own Zombie Defense Station.