My partner and I go out every few weeks to put out bandit signs. In the past we would put them up using metal H-Stakes or hang them on telephone polls using a sign stapler. We found that the signs would only stay up for as little as a week end in some areas and a max of a month in other areas.
The signs we H-Staked into the ground would either get blown down by the wind, covered by snow in the winter or taken down by the landscapers when they mowed the grass. So if we were putting signs up when the grass was high, we knew they wouldn’t stay up very long.
The Signs on the polls would stay up longer, but would be blown down by wind or just popped off by anyone who wanted them down. They stayed up long enough to get a few calls, but was annoying to have to replace them every few weeks.
This is when we started seeing another wholesaler’s signs that stayed up for months upon months. Looking closer at the signs we noticed they were put up with “Cap Nails”. They are nails that have a plastic, “frisbee” like piece at the top. This prevents the nail heads from going through the cardboard. You can buy these at your local hardware store in the roofing section.
The next question was how did he get them so high up on the telephone polls? I can’t imagine he used a latter and a regular hammer. That would take forever to put those signs up. So as with anything I ever do, I called up google and did some research and found some interesting ideas on creating a hammer out of PVC pipe.
None of them had plans on how to make them, but I could purchase it for about $55 shipped if I wanted. I was going to buy it, but figured it looked so easy that I would attempt to build one myself. It was VERY easy once I found all the right parts. It took me a total of 1 hour to put the entire thing together.
To get the right parts, I basically went to home depot and stared at the plumping PVC pipe section for about an hour. I would grab pieces and just start dry fitting them together until I had what I was looking for.
The hardest part to find was that steel cap that went on the end and acted like the hammer head. It turns out they are in the metal pipe section of the plumbing isle. Luckily I found it and it just threaded onto one of the PVC pipe adapters perfectly.
Below is the complete parts list of what you will need from home depot to build one of these hammers. I’ve never joined pvc pipe together so that should give you an idea of how easy this really is…
Parts List *All PVC items are of the 2 inch variety even if they don’t say it in the picture
- 2 in x 10ft PVC Schedule 40 Pipe – 4 ft of it will be your hammer handle.
- 2 in Hub x FIPT Female Adapter – this will be for the base end cap
- 2 in PVC MIP Adapter – This will be the adapter that you attach the steel end cap to for you hammer
- 2 in Threaded Iron or Steel Cap – The Hammer head
- 2 in PVC Spigot x Hub Elbow – the bend of the hammer from the handle to the metal end cap
- 2 in PVC MIPT Cleanout Plug – this will be the base cover so you can unscrew and place the wooden sign holder
- 8 oz Handy Pack Purple PVC Primer and Solvent Cement – make sure the sign hammer doesn’t come apart
- 36 in x 1 1/4 in Oak Dowel – use this to hold your sign in place while you hammer
Step #1: Buy all the stuff from home depot. Total cost is about $40 (save $15 if you were to buy it)
Step #2: Cut the 2 in x 10 ft PVC pipe down to one 4 ft piece. I had to buy a 10 foot pipe because I couldn’t find anything smaller. You may be able to at your local store.
Step #3: Dry fit the 2 in Hub x FIPT Female Adapter (item #2) to the bottom of the the 4ft PVC pipe.
Step #4: Screw in 2 in PVC MIPT Cleanout Plug (item #6) into the 2 in Hub x FIPT Female Adapter (item #2). Your handle is now all set.
Step #5: Fit the 2 in PVC Spigot x Hub Elbow (item #5) onto the other end of the 2in x 4ft PVC Pipe (cut down item #1)
Step #6: Attach the 2 in PVC MIP Adapter (item #3) to the end of the PVC Spigot x Hub Elbow (item #5)
Step #7: Screw on the 2 in Threaded Iron or Steel Cap for the hammer head.
Step #8: If everything fits and looks right, pull off the 2 in Hub x FIPT Female Adapter (item #2) from the 2in x 4 ft (item #1) pvc pipe and use the primer and cement to permanently adhere the two pieces together
Step #9: do the same as step 8, but with PVC Spigot x Hub Elbow (item #5). Pull that piece off (you can leave the adapter and cap on) and use the primer and cement to permanently adhere the two pieces together
Step #10: Cut the 36 in x 1 1/4 in Oak Dowel (item #8) down to 4 feet.
Step #11: Cut a notch in the end of the down that will hold the bandit sign. This is the only tricky part if you do not have a table saw handy (which I did). You have to make sure the cut out is wide enough to fit the bandit sign in it, but narrow enough to hold it snuggly. If you used a regular hand saw, that might be wide enough to work. The blade I used on my table saw was .093 inches wide (standard is 1/8). I had to make the gab slightly larger then my blade which leads me to believe that 1/8 in blade with is perfect. That is the size of the standard wood hand saw, so you should be good if you use that.
That is it! Building it was very easy and took only 2 hours total between the trip to home depot and the building time. We used the hammer this past weekend and it worked awesome! Let me know if you have any questions.
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How do you hold the nails in place?
You’ll pre-push the cap nails into the sign before hanging them. It’s really easy and two per sign should be all you need. Then you’ll just hold the sign up with the wooden dowel and hammer the nails into the telephone poll.
Cool, great idea, thanks!
Thanks Jessy, it seriously is a great tool to put up bandit signs with.
Awesome tool and detail provided. Glad to find your site.
Thanks for stopping by, hope you come by often!
Haha. Awesome! Thanks for the great tip, and mostly, for the very detailed assembly instructions. Now time to build one… : )
Let me know if you have any questions Ben.
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I made this thing back in April. The hard part is the stupid metal cap is beveled/rounded so when you hit the nail if it’s not dead on you’ll knock it sideways or get a nail shower in the face. Also I only use 2 nails a top and a bottom. After several times of nailing the bottom and then trying to get the top one only to have the above mentioned happen my sign flips upside down and good luck getting it down after that lol. I gave up on one sign after several attempts to get it down… It definitely gets attention, but the wrong attention from callers saying “Your ******* sign is upside down!” which makes me laugh someone stood there to read it upside down just to call me. Moral of the story… nail the top one first, and then the bottom. If you lose the bottom nail it’ll still hang there a while and won’t flip upside down.
That’s kinda funny, gave me a good chuckle…LOL
We must have gotten different metal endcaps, because mind is relatively flat (except for the edges). Do you know the part number of the end cap you used?
After reading this, I’m not sure if you are for or against buying one vs making one, but It would have been nice of you to give props to the creator, Scott B., previously of SignHammer.com instead of making it sound like you had an original idea. I own the business now so I have the right to speak on this 🙂
Wasn’t my intent to not give credit where credit is due. I had a link in the article pointing to the SignHammer website, figured that would be enough. I sent you an email asking if you could send over some information so I can help promote your product.
Hope all is well!
Thanks Scott! I just emailed you some info.
Our new SignHammer™ has a completely flat hammer face design just like our SignSledge™. More improvements to come..