Wooden Peg stilts – part two

Posted by jerry on October 14th, 2006 — Posted in DIY, Journal, Woodwork

With the legs cut to length, and the supports cut and the whole thing assembled so far, the other elements are the foot-plates and the straps to hold the stilts to the leg and foot.

First: the foot plate.

Cut two pieces of timber – pine or hardwood – into two rectangles each 19mm x 100mm x 260mm.

Then carefully draw a radius  across each corner, using a suitable round object – in this case some car polish – as  a guide.


Then carefully cut around the radius  – you can use a sander, or a coping saw, or in my case a hobby band saw, then sand the corners smooth.


The footplates are now ready to be fitted by drilling and screwing to the support brackets.


Now for the  knee cup and straps.

Cut a piece of PVC drain pipe of a radius larger than the wearer’s shin. Cut it about 100mm long and bisect it so you have two matching cups. These will be drilled and screwed to the upright post near the top and with the convex side pointing forward.

Using some old mouse-mat rubber, cut two pieces at 100mm x 250mm and glue them to the cups to provide padding for the shin with a bit left over to wrap around the leg for comfort.

Now, using some wide webbing strap, screw the webbing so it is trapped between the cup and the timber upright, having first stitched velcro in a manner that will allow you to feed it through a D ring and back to attach on itself, holding the leg firmly in the shin-cup.


Do the same with the heel and toe straps – attach them beneath the footplate with scres and washers to hold them firmly in place.


And then you will have a pair of stilts – please use them safely – always with a minder, and practice with good hand-holds until you are confident on them. Once again I take no responsibility for breakage or injury if you choose to build these stilts.



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[…] Many of you will be familiar with my peg stilts instructions. And the more my daughter and I use them, the more the design is being refined. […]

Posted on April 15, 2007 at 10:23 pm

Comment by Mike Templeton

Not a bad design…
From my 15 years experience, using screws on the shin cup will cause a failure over time. Using carriage bolts is much safer, sink the head into the plastic with heat and seat the cup with epoxy to minimize flex.
Rock tall!

Posted on July 16, 2008 at 7:14 pm

Comment by jerry

Thanks MT – that’s a good suggestion. That said, I’ve never had a failure using screws, and the shin cups are easily replaced if they are damaged in a fall or if the padding wears out.


Posted on July 16, 2008 at 9:36 pm

Comment by Larry Dobson

you have a nice design there. I have detailed plans for similar stilts on my website at http://www.stiltman.com/html/stilt_plans.html
I’ve had those plans up for 12 years, and hundreds of people have made stilts from them. I have gotten positive feedback on the strap configuration, which keeps the foot firmly attached, even with velcro, although for rough treatment, a positive cinching buckle is best. Also, I have had few failures using screws and glue, but they must be done right with a number of long screws, crossing grain with some to resist splitting.
I have found after building many many pair of stilts that everybody’s lower leg and balance is different, and I can tell when my stilt bottom is even 1/2″ out of alignment. you can see some ways of compensating for this on my website.
Good to connect with fellow stiltwalkers!

Posted on January 15, 2010 at 1:33 pm

Comment by jerry

Thanks Larry
Actually I went back to my earlier design – although these are quite easy to build, the brace plate makes it difficult to apply velcro or gaffa tape for greater security. So for these ones I modified the plate to have a step rather than angled side. But I only used them briefly, before retiring them and using the two under-footplate supports. This gave me a design in which I could substitute different length legs.

Have you joined the Tall Stories stilt forum? http://tallstories.ning.com/


Posted on January 15, 2010 at 9:30 pm

Comment by Kricket Caffery

Nice design.

just a question..Did you buy the foot straps or did you make them yourself, they look like you could steal them off a pair of sandals if you’re just making a pair or two of stilts for yourself.



Peg Stilts for Kids and Adults
Unique, One of a Kind Puppets too!
Portland, OR

Posted on January 24, 2011 at 2:36 pm

Comment by jerry

Hi Kricket
The straps are hand made and sewn. And the velcro is sewn onto the straps not glued or ironed on.

One way if you are making them just for yourself is to bolt a pair of tight fitting shoes to the footplate = it is the most secure way to attach, then a hefty double strap of velcro – or even gaffa tape – around the knee pad and you are good to go.


Posted on January 24, 2011 at 7:13 pm

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