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Cheapstacles

The poor man's mobstacles

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#1 TantumBull

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Posted 29 June 2009 - 05:31 PM

NOTE: Through making this write-up I've realized that these are not any cheaper than Mobstacles. Maybe at another time I'll change the name and edit this write-up. I don't really feel like it right now. So just disregard the "cheaper" stuff.

The following is a write-up to make your very own Cheapstacle. The name is based off of Slug's Mobstacles. Below is a quick materials list and price comparison to the mobstacle.

For 1 Cheapstacle:
-10 feet of 1/2" PVC (I can get mine 1.99 as long as it's SDR 13.5 [thinwall])
-12" plastic tent stakes (6 for 5.49, so 1.83 for 2 stakes [2 needed per Cheapstacle])
-Plastic tarp (I think it was 18 for a 10' x 25' tarp, and I with my size Cheapstacle I get ABOUT 17 per tarp, so .94 per Cheapstacle
-2 PVC elbows (50 cents each, so 1 dollar per Cheapstacle)
-1 PVC coupler (50 cents?, I forget the actual price, but I'm guessing it was as much as the elbows)
-Screws and nuts (I just had these lying around, this is probably too much, but I'll just add a dollar per screw and nut, if someone knows how much the sized ones I used actually costs, do tell)

So per Cheapstacle, that's a cost of ABOUT 7.26, compared to 12.45 per Mobstacle. Something to consider, though, is that Mobstacles have 3 segments while Cheapstacles have one. Actually, after reading Slug's write-up, his are actually cheaper per segment. However, he did say he got 24 tarps for 33 shipped off of ebay. I've never ever seen tarps that cheap before, which I think would throw off any cost comparisons. I stand corrected by Split. I guess Ace is just overpriced.

In other words, just view these maybe as an obstacle just thrown together with various crap, as the cost for Slug's isn't that much different per segment. It also really depends on how big you make them. I think I'll keep then name Cheapstacle just because they LOOK and ratty compared to Mobstacles. Enough bullshit, onto the write-up.

Grab one of those fatty stakes.
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Sand it down so it can fit into the thinwall PVC, and make sure that its a tight fit.
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Slide it into a 5' piece of PVC, and then hammer it in as far as it will go. If you sanded it just right, it should deform the PVC and make large lines in it, which also means its well in place.
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Drill a hole and fasten a screw through it.
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Now do the same thing with another 5' segment of PVC

Now hammer one of the poles into the ground. Cut off excess PVC to get the Cheapstacle to be the height you want it at. Cut at the same spot on the other pole. Connect the two cut-off pieces with the coupler. This will be your horizontal bar. Cut out a piece of plastic sheeting. Make sure its larger then the assembly so you have room to make it so the PVC can slide into the sides.
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Start folding the tarp over a bit and taping it down. This will make it so the PVC can go through it. Start with where the horizontal bar will go through.

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Cut out the two top corners to allow slots for the vertical poles.

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Make slots for the vertical poles.

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Here's everything ready to be assembled.

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Assembly video.

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Finished product.

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Final Notes:

This didn't end up being as cheap as I had planned. A couple ways to make this cheaper and make it actually worth doing would be to buy everything in bulk online, and NOT at your local Ace. The fittings I bought were in singles.

Edited by TantumBull, 29 June 2009 - 05:44 PM.

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#2 ggk

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Posted 29 June 2009 - 05:55 PM

tantum a way to make them cheaper would be to get rid of the tent takes and use wooden dowels and cut them to about 4" and sharpen one end. Another way would be to get painting plastic the stuff is cheap.

But I do like the idea. I may make a set of them.
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#3 CaptainSlug

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Posted 29 June 2009 - 06:14 PM

If you bother to scallop-cut the ends of your conduit pipe or just use a post hammer you won't need the tent stakes.

You can use 32 gallon or larger size trash bags in place of tarps, but they won't be as durable.
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#4 TantumBull

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Posted 29 June 2009 - 06:34 PM

tantum a way to make them cheaper would be to get rid of the tent takes and use wooden dowels and cut them to about 4" and sharpen one end. Another way would be to get painting plastic the stuff is cheap.

But I do like the idea. I may make a set of them.

I personally like the stacks because they're already sharpened. Dowels may be a bit cheaper, but it would be more work. However, thank you verymuch for the suggestion and the compliment.

If you bother to scallop-cut the ends of your conduit pipe or just use a post hammer you won't need the tent stakes.

You can use 32 gallon or larger size trash bags in place of tarps, but they won't be as durable.

What is scallop-cutting? And would a rubber mallet work as a post hammer? Also, the PVC would go into the ground just through the use of a hammer, or did you mean if it was already scallop-cut?

As for the trashbags, that is probably something to consider, seeing as this sheeting is only slightly thicker.
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#5 fallinouttadabox

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Posted 29 June 2009 - 06:48 PM

I think he means make a 45 degree cut so it makes the pipe sharp enough to penetrate the ground. If you do this and slam them into the ground you shouldn't even need to hammer. Also, if instead of tape you iron the bags along the same lines it will melt them together so they'll be stronger and you won't need tape. If you're planning on doing this put a brown paper bag between the iron and trash bag and use the lowest setting.
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#6 nerfer63

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Posted 29 June 2009 - 06:49 PM

Yeah but a trash bag won't stop a dart.
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#7 ggk

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Posted 29 June 2009 - 06:58 PM

Contractor bags will definitely stop a dart. But the paint drop cloth is typically very thick and resilient.(I used the stuff to make a slip and slide)
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17:18 Snake51886 to those who hamp: you do not nerf well, you paintball poorly

#8 taerKitty

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Posted 29 June 2009 - 06:59 PM

(edit)Here's an odd thought - would cut open garbage bags work? (that'll show me to go to a meeting after composing and before sending...)

Great idea. I can see this being useful for sparser parks.

So, what if someone uproots it and uses it as a shield? :)

Edited by taerKitty, 29 June 2009 - 07:00 PM.

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#9 TantumBull

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Posted 29 June 2009 - 09:53 PM

I think he means make a 45 degree cut so it makes the pipe sharp enough to penetrate the ground. If you do this and slam them into the ground you shouldn't even need to hammer. Also, if instead of tape you iron the bags along the same lines it will melt them together so they'll be stronger and you won't need tape. If you're planning on doing this put a brown paper bag between the iron and trash bag and use the lowest setting.

Wow, thanks for the info man. Yeah, you're probably right about the scallop thing, and even if that isn't what Slug meant, I'm sure that would work well. I'll probably end up doing that once I run out of stakes, plus the PVC I'm using is pretty damn flimsy, so the stakes aren't a bad method. Also, great idea with about the iron. If I wasn't as concerned that I might be inhaling plastic fumes I would probably try that.

Yeah but a trash bag won't stop a dart.

True. I think he thought what I was using was a trashbag. It may even be as thin as one. I'll probably end of doubling up after I try shooting my sm1.5k through it later.

Contractor bags will definitely stop a dart. But the paint drop cloth is typically very thick and resilient.(I used the stuff to make a slip and slide)

Thanks for the info.

(edit)Here's an odd thought - would cut open garbage bags work? (that'll show me to go to a meeting after composing and before sending...)

Great idea. I can see this being useful for sparser parks.

So, what if someone uproots it and uses it as a shield? :)

Thanks. I actually had Marymoore in mind when I made this. I should have several of these ready by July 20th. If any other "SOF Seattle"ers would like to pitch in on the effort, that would be fantastic.
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#10 ggk

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Posted 29 June 2009 - 10:33 PM

Another place to pick up the black plastic is pool covering. I have a huge roll of the stuff in the basement and it is 10 mil thick, so it is really tough.
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#11 Hi Yah

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Posted 30 June 2009 - 02:07 PM

Dowel rods would make this cheaper, and to make them go in the ground smoothly, I would reccomend picking thinner dowels and sharpening them. And to sharpen them I would use a pencil sharpener.

Edited by Hi Yah!, 30 June 2009 - 02:08 PM.

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The yellow balls are also slightly smaller in diameter than the green ones.

#12 TantumBull

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Posted 30 June 2009 - 03:29 PM

Dowel rods would make this cheaper, and to make them go in the ground smoothly, I would reccomend picking thinner dowels and sharpening them. And to sharpen them I would use a pencil sharpener.

Thanks for the suggestion, bu this has already been brought up, and I already addressed the suggestion.
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