How to Make a Guillotine

October 30, 2015


For Halloween this year, I wanted to make something that would stand out. Sure I could make a pumpkin or a tombstone decoration, but I wanted something that caught the eye of every neighbor in my subdivision. After I did some thinking, I thought it would be cool if I were to build a full size guillotine and put it out in front of the yard for Halloween. To begin the process of designing/building the guillotine, I made a 3D model of it in Google SketchUp (Link at bottom of Page). Once I finished making a 3D design of the guillotine, I calculated all the materials that were necessary and made a shopping/cut list. For ease of storage, I made the top and bottom half of the guillotine two separate structures that are held together with a bolt on each side. All you have to do is slide the bolt out on each side and you can easily store this while it’s not in use.

Shopping List:

7- 2×4’s at 8′ long

2- 1×6’s at 8′ long

1- 2×6 at 8′ long

1- 2’x4’ Sheet of ½” Plywood

4- ½” Bolts at 4” Long

4- ½” Nuts

8- ½” Washers

1- Box of 3” Exterior Screws

1- Box of 1 ⅝” Exterior Screws

1- Piece of Rope

1- Piece of 3/8″ Dowel at 1′ Long (Connects the Upper and Lower Headstock)

1- Bottle of Wood Glue

1- Eye Hook (Connects the Rope to the Blade)

1- Can of Red, Silver, Brown and Black Paint Long

Cut List:

2×4 Material:

2- 96” Long

2- 70” Long

2- 55” Long

4- 15” Long

4- 12” Long

2- 10” Long

1×6 Material:

10- 13” Long (Slats on the Bench)

2- 21” Long (Top Pieces on the Guillotine)

2×6 Material:

4- 12” Long (Head stock pieces need to be planed down to 1 3/8” of an inch to fit properly)

Note: The Blade and it’s components were cut to fit at the time of the build and the dowels for to connect the headstock were cut to fit as well.


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