My Evil Dead Chainsaw Story

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Cam McFly

Active Member
(This thread is going to be more of a story than a general build, detailing my history with this particular prop.)

At some point in 2013, my dad asked me if I'd ever seen the movie Army of Darkness.
This would be the only time I have ever answered "No" to that question.

I watched Army of Darkness and instantly fell in love with it. It's one of those movies that once you see it you can sort of become obsessed over it. At least, that was the case for me. It immediately became one of my favorite movies.

Halloween 2013

Now let it me known now, that I am a pretty young member of this site. In fact, I was only 13 years old in 2013, and had only just entered the 8th grade.
For halloween this year (and my last Trick or Treating), I decided that I would go out and dress up as Ash Williams. I bought and ripped up a shirt, got a fake gun, made a crude shotgun harness, etc. However, I would need to build Ash's most iconic and unique weapon; his chainsaw hand. This would make or break the costume, as it is such an important element to the character.

Using videos found online, I followed the tried and true method of an Arizona Iced Tea bottle with various elements glued on.

Here's the only (terrible) picture I could find of 13 year old me in that costume:
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The chainsaw fell fell apart because it rained that night.

If only I knew that chainsaw would just be "the first one"

The Second Chainsaw (AKA "The Instructables Chainsaw")

After my first chainsaw fell apart, I knew I could do it better. At this point, I was an avid user of the website Instructables, and I used this to show off any props or replicas that I made. I slowly stopped using it as I became a more active user of TheRPF, but Instructables was my original home for my younger selfs props.

The Instructables Saw was made by my revolutionary method in chainsaw arm building; using a half gallon milk container instead of an Arizona bottle.

I clearly was ahead of my time.

The full Instructable is still available to read here if anyone is interested.
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This chainsaw also fell apart, though it did last longer than the Halloween Saw.

2014: Basement Discovery

I was at my grandparents house helping them clean their basement. At this point I knew almost everything about the original prop and scoured the internet in search for a cheap Homelite XL that I could gut.

Almost like dumb fate (more likely luck), there it was. In my grandparents basement.

And I couldn't have it.

The EXACT chainsaw was in my hands, and I wasn't allowed to take it.

The Three Year Gap

In the three year gap between 2014 and 2017, a lot had happened (high school, etc)

In this time I went into props that I knew I could actually get or build myself; for example Freddy glove, Jason hockey mask, BTTF hoverboard, etc. But the chainsaw was always on my list.

In 2014, Ash vs Evil Dead was announced and in 2015 it premiered. The result of this (other than seeing Ash again) was that I was able to buy myself one of the official Foam Chainsaws to put on the "horror wall" in my bedroom.

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My grandparents had moved to a few different houses (they very much like flipping houses) and that chainsaw always moved with them. I kept asking and asking but always got the same response (and to be perfectly honest I totally understand why. I'm 14-15 years old, why do I want a chainsaw?)

In 2016, I got to use the chainsaw in the annual haunted maze we throw on halloween, and it stayed in my garage for a few more years as they forgot to pick it up. You have no idea how much self control I had to show because every other weekend I just wanted to tear into that thing.

In April 2017, I turned 17 years old and was a junior in high school and I went to ask for the chainsaw one last time.

The Deal (Or; "How to Properly Obtain a Chainsaw from your Grandfather)

I worked out a deal with my grandfather; I would do some house work for them (as they had moved again) and in return, I would get my precious Chainsaw (I was honestly willing to buy it, but this way I got to spend time with my grandfather so it was a pretty painless deal we just cleaned out his basement.)

July 2017

In July 2017, I was finally able to begin work on the chainsaw. I decided early on that it wouldn't be a 100% accurate replica to whats on screen, just various components I liked from Evil Dead 2, Army of Darkness, Ash vs Evil Dead, and my own personal touches (mostly for cost reasons). I also wanted to avoid putting too many holes in the body so I tried to use the premade holes to put the parts on (the cuff is attached with a small piece of metal between where the body connects).

I removed the handle/filed down the edges and attached the cuff which is a rubber plumbing connector (or something, I just saw it and bought it)

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I knew that there are two ways to go when it comes to the top. Some people just do a piece of sheet metal flat across the top, which is the way it looks when Ash builds it in the workshed. The other and more complicated way, is to make a lid for it, which is how it looks in every other piece of media. I personally like the lid, because it adds to the shape and is more visually interesting (in my opinion).

So I made a test version out of cardboard and later turned it into a stencil

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August 2017 (One Year Ago)

I've been steadily collecting pieces here and there and building on this project. The top lid was still proving the most difficult part and I went through a LOT of trial and error.

Eventually I used one of those thin metal "No Trespassing" signs and cut it out and glued it into the shape I needed. Once I made one that... worked... I sealed it all seamless with bondo. Now, I had never used bondo before and made quite a mess. I sanded it a bunch but eventually used the good old elmers glue to seal everything. I made it in a way that it just rested between the two halves, held in place by the two screws that connect the chainsaw body as well as two screws in the front. Eventually another hole was added that held it and the handle firmly to the body. I drilled another hold and put the on/off switch from the original chainsaw into it. I also painted the cuff with silver.

I decided to paint the lid silver instead of the color of the chainsaw, because I like the sliver flat top of the Workshed saw, but not the flat top itself. Like I said, I'm making it to my own personal preference.

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August 18th and 19th, 2017

Walker Stalker Con was going on in Boston and my family surprised me by saying we were going because Bruce Campbell is going to be there and I might meet him (I wore my Army of Darkness shirt just incase). It turns out, they also got me tickets to his Last Fan Standing show, as well as signed copies of Hail To The Chin. The next day, we went to the con and I happened to get lost and find the photo op area.

Anyway, I got a picture with him as well as Ted Raimi.

Bruce laughed at my picture (I looked insane) and I got the photos signed and hung up in my room the same day. He also retweeted my tweet about it.

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October 2017

I wanted my chainsaw to work. Not like, actually cut things, but I wanted sound and I wanted movement.

I had been working at Spirit Halloween for the season, and decided to use my employee discount on one of their fake animated chainsaws. My plan was to remove the blade and speaker, and install it in my chainsaw.

So I disassembled the prop chainsaw, took out all the components, painted them, then installed them in my Homelite body. I also attached the top handle, and the vent.

Interestingly, the vent in the movie appears to be backwards to the one I have. I put it in the way it was originally because I think it looks better.

After painting and attaching the blade, I used black paint, elmers glue, and dirt from my back yard to create a built up dirty oil look. This also helped hide where I attached the saw. I also put the gas caps in, painted the handle bar black, and weathered it a little to make it look used.

(mind family pictures in the background)
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The moving saw worked great, but the wires came attached and I'm not that great with electronics. I hope to fix it one day in the future, though. I really loved how it turned out.



One Year Later


As the year went on, there wasn't much for me to do with the chainsaw. I still needed the side grill and the wooden handle on the top handle but I couldn't find a way to make the grill and I didn't have the tools to cut the handle.

I was in my senior year of high school and most of my attention went to that.

Eventually, I was able to use my schools 3D Printer to print out the side grill.

It wasn't until two days ago that I found what I needed.

A three foot long piece of trim that was 1/4 a circle. I glued them together making 1/2 a dowel, sanded, stained them, and added the details.


Ash Williams Evil Dead Chainsaw Hand Replica

I was going to wait until I made a display for it before I posted "final" images, but I can always update this post when I later

It took me from July 2017 (2014 if you want to include trying to get it) to August 2018, over a year to complete, but I finally did it.

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It still needs a little work here and there. Some minor weathering and such (I painted the teeth silver, but I think I'm going to put them back to black), but the chainsaw is completed. Like I said, its not screen accurate, just kind of a frankenstein of things I like. Also the blade doesnt look the best because it's from the prop chainsaw, but hopefully I can get that to work again.

My next sep is to build a display for it before I leave for college.






Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this pointlessly long thread about my various chainsaws, I figured there are so many Evil Dead chainsaw threads on this site, I should probably make something a little different.
 

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shotts63

Well-Known Member
Great job on your build! I finished my saw with the intention of having Bruce sign it and came down with the worst flu Ive ever had and missed the opportunity.
 

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YepLeBloop

New Member
Beautiful!!!
I think to build one in the future, especially since I've helped a friend on his own!
Do you plan to add blood on it? We did it, it was fun and look great:

29100eb.jpg


We used clear resin and red paint mixed together
 

Cam McFly

Active Member
Beautiful!!!
I think to build one in the future, especially since I've helped a friend on his own!
Do you plan to add blood on it? We did it, it was fun and look great:

http://i66.tinypic.com/29100eb.jpg

We used clear resin and red paint mixed together


Your saws look great! I especially love how the blades turned out! (one day, I swear, I will get the electronics working)


I thought about adding blood, but ultimately decided against it for personal taste reasons. I tried to make up for the lack of blood by putting the grease over the vent and where the saw connects so it doesn't look too clean.

 

Cam McFly

Active Member
So I was going through my closet and found the the remains of the Instructables saw...

Can't say it was the strongest thing I've ever built
IMG_2384.JPG
 

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