ProjectLab: $6 stilts you can make in an hour
Stilts can be a great way to reach high places when drywalling or painting.
But at $150 a pair, they're not cheap. Nor are they easy to use. I tried to wear a pair of stilts once. It took me about 2 minutes to realize that I lacked the necessary circus-performance DNA to make them work.
Editor Sid Schwartz offers a different solution. Here's his story, told with the help of Twitter:
Helping my nephew tape his drywall next weekend. pic.twitter.com/Wp54Cg489F— Sid Schwartz (@SidSchwartz) January 31, 2016
Sid has plenty of experience with drywalling. His dad was a painter, so when Sid was younger, he earned money by helping with the family business.
Ceiling is 7 feet 6 inches. pic.twitter.com/ShXWJifDMv— Sid Schwartz (@SidSchwartz) January 31, 2016
The design you see here uses two pieces of PVC pipe; four plywood circles, cut to the inner diameter of the pipes; and some miscellaneous nuts, bolts and screws. Each pipe gets two plywood circles, which are glued together and screwed to the PVC.
Then screws are drilled through some old shoes and attached to the tops of the stilts.
This setup cost about $6 using scraps and glue that was already available and shoes bought from Goodwill. The design was inspired by his father's version, which used 2x4s and wood scraps instead of PVC.
Well, the weekend has come and gone. How did they work out?
"You kind of clomp around like Herman Munster," Sid said. "But when I was troweling the ceiling, they definitely came in handy."
Andy's takeaway: The price is right. And for a beginner, these seem to be far safer than jumping into full-sized stilts. If you just need a few inches, these $6 stilts look like they're worth a try.
Are you good with stilts? Have any DIY hacks you want to share? Let me know. Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, find me on Twitter at @andrewreuter, follow me on Instagram at @reuter_andrew or leave a comment below.