How to build a gallows?
November 7, 2008 9:13 AM   Subscribe

Does anyone know where I can find plans for building a gallows? I want to build a miniature gallows for hanging plush pandas on stage with my band.
posted by tastypiesinc to Media & Arts (10 answers total)
You didn't need to self-link to ask your question.
posted by amro at 9:24 AM on November 7, 2008 [1 favorite]

Sorry... just trying to give some context to why I wanted to build the gallows. Didn't realize that was frowned upon. My apologies.
posted by tastypiesinc at 9:31 AM on November 7, 2008

Gallows are extremely simple. It's basically a post in the ground with a crossbar attached at the top. You obviously won't be installing a post into each stage you and your self-linking band play on, so you'll probably want some sort of support at the bottom. Two planks attached at the bottom of the post and angling out towards the front with a 45o angle between them. (So the crossbar at the top bisects the angle. Then you tie a rope, one end to the crossbar and the other into a noose.

Another option that might be easier to stand up is to use a box frame (four pieces of wood nailed together into a rectangle) and just put two perpendicular supports beneath each vertical piece. The panda hangs from the top piece into the frame.
posted by carsonb at 9:37 AM on November 7, 2008

Wow, cut'n'paste kills. at the bottom. Like two planks attached... and a close parentheses after bisects the angle.
posted by carsonb at 9:39 AM on November 7, 2008

I'd really like it to be on wheels, so we could roll it out on stage at the beginning of the song, and have a bottom platform with a trap door. I want to throw a lever and have the panda be hung at a dramatic moment in the song. I just don't have any experience making stuff, so I was hoping to find some plans I could modify before I head to the hardware store to buy supplies, tools, etc.
posted by tastypiesinc at 9:51 AM on November 7, 2008

Well, it depends on if you want merely hanging pandas off gallows, or have an elaborate panda drop. For the former, you just need to mount posts, so they're stable with an additional board on top, and a diagonal cross piece on either end for stability. Then hang your stuffed pandas like morbid goth teddy bears, somewhere in the background.

Another option is to fill your pandas with sand or beans, and via pulleys, have noosed pandas drop on signal. The low budget version involves either a stage hand holding the ropes so the pandas are out of sight, or leaving them tied off in such a way that one of your performers can throw a switch and release them to drop. This will take a person with good sewing skills to open a seam on your pandas and convert them to sand bags.

Anything elaborate, like a gallows with a dropping trapdoor, would be difficult given the relative size of a panda plushy, as the scale of a panda gallows means your audience might not be able to see what you were doing, and a full sized gallows would cause the panda to be hidden by the platform it fell into when the trap opened.
posted by Phalene at 10:02 AM on November 7, 2008

[removed self link, carry on]
posted by jessamyn at 10:12 AM on November 7, 2008

Do the post with crossbar, put the panda on a stool... kick the stool at the dramatic moment. Bonus points for destroying the stool.
posted by toomuchpete at 10:39 AM on November 7, 2008

hinge a cut out section of the top surface and use a simple slip hook to hold it closed. Pull a string attatched to the hook to let the top swing down and drop guilty panda to his neck-snapping death. (I assume he's guilty) just make sure the surface is higher than the hinged lid's swing. String can be attatched to a hinged lever for greater historic accuracy and class
posted by Redhush at 2:23 PM on November 7, 2008

Instead of having it resting on wheels, you could add two spur wheels on the side with the lowest profile. Then it would tilt onto the wheels to roll out and sit firmly on the stage (good for kicking proximity). And you only need 2 wheels that way.
posted by carsonb at 9:57 PM on November 8, 2008

« Older My roommate is giving me a concern   |   What is this strange buttoned-on loop on the... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.