When CA at WRSA posted a link to Part V of the defensive obstacles entry he also posed a request for a cheap and simple method to construct caltrops. For the uninitiated a caltrop is a small device that no matter how it lays will always have a sharpened point facing upwards. They have been used against everything from horse to foot troops and vehicles (they were a constant source of pain for the Somoza troops in the 80s).
So how do ya make ‘em? Here’s a little shopping list for one method:
- Find the thickest banding material you can lay your hands on. Banding material is the spring steel material they use to run around pallets of equipment and other goods when they ship them. Anyway the thicker the better.
- You’ll need a good set of sheet metal snips. Harbor freight also sells a cutter with different type heads on it petty cheap as well. Good snips will make this job easier. Cheap ones will make it harder.
- Gloves. This shit gets sharp and will cut the piss out of you.
- A good pair of pliers (or two which makes it go faster).
Here’s an illustration to go along with the following text:
Once you have all of your material together you need to cut the banding into pieces between 2 inches and 3 inches in length. Using either a sheet metal brake or snips cut a triangle out of either end. Then using your pliers bend the opposite corners (top right and bottom left) opposite directions along the dashed line. After that bend the other opposite corners (top left, bottom right) opposite directions along the dashed line. Using two pliers you can bend one end in one motion. Pretty simple huh? Simple enough to make a few hundred on a Saturday afternoon. Look at the pic at the beginning of this entry if you need a little more visual clarity.
A good source for material is big box stores – they will gladly hand it to you but if they don’t want to just check their dumpster. It’s trash to them.