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How to Make a Gaffi Stick


Our son’s love for Tusken Raiders started thanks to The Book of Boba Fett. He didn't see Episode 1, 2 or 3 prior to that... 😬 Jovi was absolutely obsessed with Tusken Raiders... so much so that he wanted an entire costume, by Halloween (he ended up being a ghost by the way 🤦🏼‍♀️) so the race was on to assemble a child size Tusken Raider costume complete with the full helmet, and of course, the Gaffi Stick. If your kid happens to like Tusken Raiders too, this is how you can make a Gaffi Stick.



by Ryan Kolb

This is truly where my wife wanted me to begin the blog of our Star Wars journey. Back when I was researching Tusken Raider masks, I found digital downloads for, and pre-made buildable, gaffi sticks. In either event, it did not make sense to 3D print, then build/finish a gaffi, nor purchase a pre-made buildable gaffi and (still have to) finish it myself. So I set out on building one on my (son’s) own from things I could get easily: PVC piping, spray paint, caulk, massage roller ball, bicycle handlebar grips, basters (yes, as in food basters), and wallpaper smoothers. If you are not aware of what a gaffi is, I would compare it to a mace.


I started with the stick itself, being this is for a child, I thought PVC piping would work great, it is light, durable, and cheap. I had an initial idea of using a 3/4" x 2’ pipe with a reducer coupling to 1/2" x 2’ pipe and then adding a 90 degree curved PVC conduit pipe. I purchased those parts, plus a few 3/4" coupling; however, I could not easily find the right reducer. The gaffi has couplings between sections like the spear or grips.


I started painting and after experimenting with the 3/4", I realized the stick would be very long with the two straight pipes, curved pipe, and spear attachment. Granted, I could have done some cutting, but that became unnecessary after the realization. Therefore, I decided on using only the curved pipe and the 1/2" x 2’ pipe, in conjunction with the spear. I stayed with the 3/4" couplings I had already purchased. Basically because I was lazy and didn’t want to go back out and get 1/2" spacers/couplings.


Here is a cut of Boba Fett building his gaffi in The Book of Boba Fett. Since I made the mistake of not fully documenting my building process (despite making several points of note in my head for the need to document), this might help give visual to my process.


Parts (explanation):


Tools:

  • Hacksaw

  • Caulk gun

  • Super glue

  • 3/4" hole cutter (drill bit)

  • Utility knife/box cutter

  • Super glue

  • Duct tape


Gaffi Stick, Creating and Finalizing:


Once I had all my materials, and tested results, I began to build with intent.


Step by Step:

  1. Using the hacksaw, cut the wallpaper smoothers (approximately 3” along the top edge and approximately 4” at the widest surface width).

    1. I used the blunted smoothed handle portion so that the “blade” edges were flat; this is the top edge.

    2. I also sanded the cut edges

  2. Using the hacksaw, cut plastic cap off one side of the massage roller

    1. Cut as close to the cap as possible and on a straight edge; further down you will be replacing the cap

    2. If possible, remove the remaining portion of the cap tubing from inside of the hollow massage roller tube (not necessary)

    3. Here is where I am glad I bought two basters. The inside of the roller has a ~2” hollow tube. The bulb end of the baster fit perfectly in the tube of the roller. The curved PVC pipe then fit snugly in the baster end, creating a great connection between the massage roller and PVC curved pipe

  3. Place super glue on the bulb (closed) end of one baster bulb and secure inside of the roller

    1. The open connection end should be facing out inside of the open/cut end of the roller

  4. Cut the second baster bulb along the ribbed/raised edge where the bulb begins to taper

    1. Using the product I bought, you can see a solid raised line around the bulb, near the top, this is the edge I cut along.

    2. The two pieces should give you a small dome shaped part and a tapered cone with openings on either end

  5. Super glue the dome shaped baster part to the massage roller, to the exterior cap, so that the piece is convex appearing

  6. Super glue the remaining cut baster bulb piece (open ended cone) to the top of the baster dome

    1. The edge you cut along should fit snugly over the dome

  7. Using the hole cutter, drill the 3/4" hole in the loose massage roller end cap

  8. Slide 90 degree curved PVC pipe through loose end cap

    1. One end of the pipe has a built-in coupler, this end should remain outside of the massage roller

  9. Super glue end of curved PVC to baster bulb inside of massage roller

  10. Super glue end cap back to massage roller

  11. Caulk (clear or brown) the seam where the massage roller end cap meets the PVC

    1. Either color is fine as it will be painted later

  12. Slide baster tube onto one end of straight PVC pipe

    1. It will naturally stop due to the taper of the baster tube

  13. Note/mark where the baster tube overlaps the PVC

    1. Consider only the overlap after the ribbed rings near the top of the baster tube

  14. Cut the PVC, lengthwise, with three (3) evenly spaced cuts

    1. Do not cut lower than the mark for the baster’s ribbed rings

    2. Width of cuts to match the thickness of the bottom of the wallpaper smoother/blades

  15. Slide baster tube onto one end of straight PVC pipe where you made the cuts

  16. Mark the three cuts (from the PVC) on the baster tube

  17. Cut the baster where you marked the PVC cuts

    1. Length of cut should be same length as the bottom edge of cut wallpaper smoother

    2. May need to add length where overlap did not occur

    3. This allows the smoothers/”blades” to be notched inside of the baster

    4. Width of cuts to match the thickness of the bottom of the wallpaper smoother/blades

  18. Place wallpaper smoother blades into the baster tube

    1. This is a dry-test

    2. The notches should help keep in place

  19. Slide baster tube onto straight PVC pipe

    1. Ideally, the cuts will align with the recessed wallpaper smoother blades and “lock” into place

    2. Make adjustments if necessary

  20. Remove the baster tube and super glue edges of wallpaper smoother blades, returning the blades to their slots

  21. Super glue straight PVC pipe or baster tube opening, and slide baster tube onto PVC

  22. Caulk (clear) the baster tube end to the straight PVC pipe

    1. Personal choice, I placed a little caulk in the tip opening of the baster tube

  23. Cut one PVC coupling in “half”

    1. I made two cuts just slightly off center as there is a ribbed ring on the interior

    2. This was to remove the inner ring and keep the coupling balanced (for later placement)

  24. Spray paint silver:

    1. PVC straight piece

    2. Couplings

    3. Baster tube

    4. Wallpaper smoother “blades”

  25. Spray paint brown:

    1. Curved PVC pipe

    2. Massage roller

    3. Baster bulb

  26. After paint dries, connect curved PVC pipe to straight PVC pipe

    1. Connect on opposite end of the cuts

  27. Mark the straight pipe where the curved pipe ends

    1. My curved PVC did not have a “straight” or “flat” edge so I needed to mark the deepest part of the connection

  28. Slide one handlebar grip on the straight PVC pipe

    1. Slide to the middle

  29. Slide the uncut coupling onto straight PVC pipe

    1. This will go between handlebar grips, so slide on end where the PVC pipes will connect

  30. Slide second handlebar grip onto pipe

    1. Sandwiching the uncut coupling between grips

  31. Slide one cut coupling onto straight PVC pipe

    1. Onto the uncut end of the straight PVC pipe

  32. Where the PVC contact point is marked (at its deepest), wrap several layers of duct tape to straight PVC pipe

    1. Do not make tape width wider than the coupling

  33. Place super glue on duct tape and slide coupling into place

  34. Slide handlebar grip up to the affixed (glued) coupling

  35. Wrap several layers of duct tape for the middle (uncut) coupling

    1. The tape should abutt the handlebar grip which is “in place”

    2. Do not make tape width wider than the coupling

  36. Repeat Step 33 with the uncut coupling

  37. Repeat Step 34 with the second handlebar grip

    1. This should be the grip closest to the cut end of the straight PVC pipe

  38. Repeat Step 35 for the remaining cut coupling

    1. Do not make tape width wider than the coupling

  39. Repeat Step 33 for the remaining cut coupling

  40. Caulk (clear) the end coupling to the straight PVC shaft

  41. Super glue the curved PVC pipe to the straight PVC pipe

  42. Caulk (brown) the gap between the PVC connection point

    1. As previously mentioned, my curbed PVC did not have a “straight” or “flat” edge

    2. The caulk filled the gap between the coupling and the curved PVC pipe fitting

  43. Tape (cover) handlebars

  44. If needed, spray paint in appropriate colors the gaffi stick

  45. After touch-up paint dries, clear coat the entire gaffi stick to protect paint colors

  46. Remove tape from handlebars once clear coat dries

  47. Enjoy!







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