Overview

overview of how to build stilts
Illustration: Carl Wiens
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Stilts are simply sturdy poles with treads attached to their sides. To make the poles, Tom Silva and his handy helpers used two 6-foot lengths of pine handrail, which are flat on one side and rounded on the other. The flat side braces against the user, while the round side provides a comfortable grip.

The treads are attached to the flat sides of the poles with large supports. To make the treads and supports strong enough, Tom recommends using a hardwood, such as poplar. He used carriage bolts to attach the supports to the poles; these can be unscrewed and moved to raise or lower the height of the treads. And last, a pair of rubber feet are popped onto the bottom of the poles to keep them from slipping while you walk.
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    Tools List

    • circular saw
      Circular saw or jigsaw
    • hammer
      Hammer
    • drill
      Drill/driver fitted with #6 countersink bit and 5/16-inch drill bit
    • random orbit sander
      Random-orbit sander
    • 30-foot tape measure
      Tape measure
    • straightedge guide
      Straightedge

    Shopping List

    1. 12 feet of 1½-inch diameter pine handrail
    (round on one side, flat on the other)

    2. 3 feet of 1x8 poplar

    3. Wood glue

    4. 3d nails

    5. 2-inch deck screws6. 1¼-inch deck screws

    7. Four ¼ x 3½-inch carriage bolts
    with fender washers, lock washers and wingnuts

    8. 120-grit sandpaper

    9. One pair of 1½-inch rubber feet (sometimes used for furniture or canes)