Monday, 13 June 2011

DIY: Duct Tape Flogger

How to make a duct tape flogger --

Today while I was out shopping I picked up some things that are going to make two new toys for me.  One roll of silver duct tape, one roll of purple duct tape, one roll of hockey stick tape, and one 5/8" dowel.  I also used a square, scissors, hacksaw and marker.

The first toy I'm making is a duct tape flogger.  I saw a bunch of these get posted on in the last little while and figured it couldn't be that difficult.  I was making duct tape wallets and clothing back in the day.  I didn't have a pattern or 'how-to' to follow, so I just did this off the cuff and here is how it went.

Step one:

Decide what size and how many falls you're looking for.  I decided to make 1/2" falls and went with 36 of them (so overall 18" wide).  I also planned on 18" length for the falls.

Step two: 

Make a sheet of duct tape, silver on one side, purple on the other.  This was accomplished by laying overlapping strips of tape and sticking them to themselves.  I started by laying one silver strip sticky side up, then attached another silver strip (sticky side up) onto it leaving about 1/8th inch overlap (exact measure here isn't important, but don't overlap too much).  Then I stuck a purple piece over top of it (sticky side down).

Finished sheet of duct tape
The first piece is important, make sure it is at least 1 inch wider than you want a finished product (18" wide was my finished so my first piece was 19" wide).  As you progress always make sure you are at least as wide as the previous piece.  Usually I cut my pieces progressively longer so they stick out on both sides - but I'm not perfect, so some are short on one side and some are super long.  As long as they are 'at least' as wide as your first piece it doesn't matter.

For length, I took my 18" fall length and added about a foot (I trimmed this to proper size later, but I wanted to make sure there was enough for a proper grip) - overall that makes my current sheet roughly 19" x 30".  In some places it was 22" x 30" - not a big deal.

Step Three: (optional)

At this point I felt the weight of the tape and it felt too flimsy for me.  To remedy that I added another layer of purple tape perpendicular to the first layer.  I considered doing another layer of silver tape as well, but didn't think that was necessary.  By alternating layers you can get this to be as thick/heavy as you want.

Step Four: (I used a square here to keep my cuts straight, if you don't have a square make sure you are measuring three or four times, then cutting once)

Trim to size.  I ended up cutting a few inches off each side.  At the bottom my purple piece had overlapped the bottom of the silver, and I just folded it up and back instead of trimming it.  I started with my top edge, that I knew was straight and even and cut from there.  I'd already decided I wanted an 18" x 30" sheet, trim to your own size.

Step Five:

I had planned for the purple to be my 'outside' of the falls, so I flipped my sheet over to mark on the silver.  Always mark on the 'inside' especially if you're using permanent black marker.  Using washable marker might be a good plan, but I didn't have one on hand.

Now first mark the line of the end of your falls straight across your sheet.  My line was at 18", beyond that was my NO CUT AREA.  This is important.

Now, mark across that line for the width of your falls (mine are 1/2").  I then moved half way to the tips and make a second mark to make sure the lines would mostly be straight.  Once you have the marks draw a line for each fall.

I actually trimmed my piece first, then added the second layer of purple, the sticky sides you see here are trimmed off before cutting.
Step Six:

Cut your falls.  Start at the tips and cut down toward your NO CUT line.  Do NOT cut beyond your line.  These cuts do not have to be perfect, just make sure you are stopping close to the line (and not beyond).

Cut falls on the right, NO CUT line clearly marked - you can also see where I folded the purple end over
Step Seven:

Take your dowel (uncut) and set the end on your no-cut line with the length of the dowel pointing away from your falls.  Then roll it so the sheet wraps around the dowel.  This step is temporary so you don't have to be perfect.  Once I had the handle wrapped I gripped it firmly to measure the actual length I wanted on the handle.  I put my hand about 2" down from where the NO CUT line was and measured another 2" down from the bottom of my hand.  Overall this made my handle approximately 8".

Trim off the bottom of the sheet to appropriate length.

Step Eight: (I used a hacksaw here, but anything that cuts wood will do fine)

Measure your dowel to size (place it on the no-cut line and mark the bottom of the sheet).  Cut your dowel to this size.

Step Nine:

Optional: Braid/twist a length of tape and create a loop out of it, attach this loop to the 'handle' piece you've just cut.  I skipped this step for my first attempt.

Cut a piece of tape (doesn't matter which color) and lay it sticky side up.  Press one side of your sheet down (where the handle is going to go) onto it to secure it.  Set your dowel  onto the edge of your handle area and wrap the duct tape around it to secure it tightly.  Begin rolling up your handle.  It is important here to roll STRAIGHT and keep it very tight.  The tighter you can get this wrap the more secure your handle will feel.

When you reach the end, use a couple pieces of tape to secure the handle in place.

Wrapped handle of flogger tightly taped together
Step Ten:

Now I used the hockey tape.  If you've wrapped a hockey stick before you'll probably know how to do this, but it isn't difficult.  I started up at the falls end and started wrapping around the no-cut line.  I probably wrapped up about 1/2" along the cuts of the falls - I did this to keep them tightly grouped at the base and to prevent them from splitting further apart.

After two or three wraps I started moving down the handle, making sure to overlap my tape (by about 1/2 of the width of the tape) to completely cover the handle.  At the bottom of the handle I wrapped around 3 or four times then pulled out a long length of the tape.  With about 3 feet of tape exposed hanging off the end of the handle I spun it.  The tape twists around itself and compresses into a 'twine-like' shape.  Using this 'twine' I wrapped the handle in a screw pattern up to the falls, then around twice and back down crossing over my first wraps forming wide X's. (The tape isn't sticky at this point, feel free to take your time and redo this a few times if you have trouble).

Back at the base of the handle I wrapped the tape a few more times around the base, then climbed back up to the falls covering the 'twine' Xs.  Make sure to press the tape down firmly and grip it as you cross the 'twine' until you can easily feel the ridges beneath the surface.

See the X shapes in the handle.
Step Eleven:

After getting the handle mostly completed I tore off the tape and firmly pressed everything down.  Then I started at the base of the handle (you'll see I left about 1/4" at the end of the handle, this was just preference) and began rapidly wrapping in circles around the end to begin creating the knob (that you see above).  As you are wrapping try to keep the tap centered atop itself.  Every dozen wraps or so offset one wrap toward the center of the handle.  This creates the slope you see on the knob toward the falls in the above picture (I forgot to do it on the end of the handle).

Once your knob is large enough for your comfort wrap the tape a few times working toward the center of the handle to create the sloping effect.  Tear off the tape and firmly press everything together.  Then make the knob toward the falls in the same manner.  My knob is actually over top of the no-cut line, again to hold the falls more firmly together.

Finished Product
Step Twelve:
Find a victim to test your new creation upon.

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