I have been a fan of Sam Raimi's Evil Dead series since I was ten years old.
I've always been a horror fanatic and even though my fellow horror enthusiast friends consider Evil Dead as a gateway movie, I always disagreed.
It is more than a horror movie, it is a slapstick adventure with more blood than a brothel employee during menstruation.
But underneath all the gags and spatter lies the solid truth that Ash "Ashley" J. Williams, a not-so-bright S-Mart employee, is the most iconic horror hero of all time.
I always found myself obsessed with his chainsaw, for some reason it strikes itself as a piece of art or beauty within my decaying brain. I am utterly attracted to such a prop and for that reason, I have decided to finally quit drooling over the scenes it is featured in or spending time on google wishing I myself had the chance to order a chainsaw from evildeadchainsaws.com when it was up and running and get out there and make my own f--cking chainsaw.
Here we go:
I found an Austin local that was kind enough to sell me an old Homelite XL chainsaw he had sitting in his garage forever for 25 bucks. The thing didn't run but all I really needed was a body that wasn't too dinged up or chipped and broken.
His was in great condition except dirty as HELL:
I pulled out the oil leaking engine and put it aside as I cleaned the saw body... Which took forever:
Then I contacted a local prop bud of mine named Eric to modify the saw.
First he went at the body and cut off the top handle, cleared the bay for the plate cover and sanded down the edges:
Next up, he chopped down the side handle:
What I have planned for this is to plug the tube area that's been cut and then plasti-dip the entire thing so that it is one flush black piece... And thicker than the standard metal bar that came with the saw as seen in the film.
Here's a shot of the cut sidebar and exposed insides of the saw:
Next he cut out the back of the saw where the wearers hand will insert (where Ash's nub plugs into the wrist cuff):
Then it was on to the top plate... I had a discussion with Eric about what he used exactly... I think he said it was a metal door stop plate found at Home Depot? I don't remember. Anyway, he cut the plate out to size and popped the toggle switch onto it:
He then connected the top plate to a hinge that is bolted to the saw body so the saw actually opens like the workshed saw viewed in the scene where Ash and Annie rig the chainsaw for battle:
Then he bent an aluminum bar sheet into shape for the top handle and bolted it onto the plate:
Another shot of the top handle installed:
Then it was on to the dowels and so forth... There is a set of three here as we originally were going to make three separate top handles so I could make the dorky red resin piece that took the place of the metal top plate saw towards the end of EDII oddly and was prominant throughout AOD:
Unfortunately, lady luck has never been that interested in me and the two spare handles snapped and I didn't feel like paying more for supplies... So one will have to do for now.
Eric then chopped the dowels in half and set them up to be bolted onto the top handle:
He drilled accurate sized holes and then bolted them onto the top handle to form the wooden handles:
I will stain these later for more accuracy, it's no rush at the moment because I want to attempt to mold the entire top piece and cast it in resin......... I'll explain why later in this post.
He then bolted the back of the top handle onto the plate and replaced the plastic pull start handle with a wooden dowel and threw it back at me for completion:
From here, there are many technical things I must do... First I have to mold the side of the engine where the chainsaw guide bar attaches and cast this in resin. I have to glue and bolt this into the body and then add a handle for the inside of the saw.
From there, I have to obtain a T-Bolt plumbers clamp and bolt that onto the back of the saw as the wrist cuff that secures around Ash's nub.
Then I have to bolt on a real chainsaw bar and chain (I plan on hopefully using the real sprocket from the XL) and muffler.
And following that, I have to grime and dirty distress the entire saw for realism... I have a few tried and true techniques that will do this beautifully.
As far as anything else, I just have to make that strange grill piece that covers the XL logo on the chainsaw.
I have tried this before but can't get it down right, and it literally pisses me off more than anything.
I attempted the grill with a clay sculpt...
Here's me setting up an initial starting point:
My idea was to etch the lines and then sculpt down deep to widen them and bring them to a raised ridge looking shape.... Yeah:
It KINDA worked, but I felt it turned out looking stupid, so I scrapped it.
I've viewed a few other prop makers' ideas on how to do the grill and I've attempted it... The wooden piece with dremeled grooves, the resin piece with dremeled grooves, the styrene and sentra and yadda yadda, but I don't know... It doesn't turn out how I want the saw grill to look.
I was browsing the net and found on a Ghostbusters forum someone's grill piece and I absolutely LOVE the look... I don't want the movie style big chunky weird piece, it's easy to do but it's not the look I want... I want the comic book style/movie poster style where it is flatter and more streamlined.
Here's a pic of the grill I found:
I love it... Don't know why.
More progress to come!