Pneumatic Wolverine Claws Are Quite Possibly The Best Thing Ever

Wolverine's Claws

With the new X-Men movie coming out soon, [Colin Furze] decided to make some real working props from the movies — starting with some bloody brilliant fully functional and retractable Wolverine claws.

We’ve seen Wolverine claws before, even electrified Wolverine claws, but never have we seen anyone take them to the level [Colin] has. He didn’t just want realistic Wolverine claws. He didn’t just want claws that could deploy. He wanted realistic claws that could both deploy, and retract — fast! And he wanted them to branch out just like the real deal.

He started brainstorming different ways of doing this. Motors, springs, geared racks, cables, pneumatic cylinders… nothing really fit the bill. Pneumatic power seemed the best option for performance, but the problem is he’d need a 12″ cylinder to sit behind his claws — it’d completely ruin the look — one of his main criteria for the project.

That was when he had a stroke of brilliance. What if he used o-ring seals, and turned the blades into pneumatic projectiles on a guide rail? Using a slew of awesome toys in his workshop including a TIG welder, desktop mill, grinders and more, he fabricated an awesome double-acting piston-less pneumatic cylinder which can blast his triple-bladed claws back and forth at high speeds on demand!

The only downside is he needs to carry a backpack complete with valve banks and an air tank — but as soon as you see the following videos — you’ll discover the pros quickly outweigh the cons. It’s absolutely bloody brilliant.

[Colin] is one of our favorite hackers across the pond in England, where he’s built a jet-engine powered tea kettle, the world’s fastest baby carriage, and even a jet engine… made out of a toilet paper holder.

[Thanks Alex!]

45 thoughts on “Pneumatic Wolverine Claws Are Quite Possibly The Best Thing Ever

  1. The air power system is pretty impressive. I wonder if you could achieve similar results by using a repulsive electromagnetic system. A small bank of caps firing into a coil so that it creates repulsive force on a fixed permanent magnet. That would reduce the size a bit and make your power supply easier to carry. You could still adjust the force and speed by adjusting how much power you sent through the coil. Plus, you could make a latch system by using the magnet and a small piece if iron at either end. Of course the carrier for all this would have to non magnetic, possibly fiberglass or a custom printed piece.

    1. If you put a coil along the entire side rails, by reversing the current you could expand/retract, and with an AC supply, you could extend it slowly.

      Another option might be some sort of railgun.

          1. A spring with attached motor with gearbox in a linear actuator fashion. The spring does the deployment, slightly slowed down by motor and gearbox (the motor can be used to recover some energy and partially recharge the batteries). When retracting just use the linear actuator. While not fast and powerful than the pneumatic version, this would make it fully portable.

          2. Reversed, fairly easily, although you’ll have two springs. A linear actuator can toggle the thing. Here’s a ghetto build using wood and superglue, for an Assassin’s Creed retractable blade:

            By upping the spring tension and using a linear actuator to supply power, you should be able to do awesome things.

  2. I think that it should have a small mechanical latch on the extended side. It could be just a hinged bit of metal, operated by his finger as he presses the retract button.
    If he pushes the claws straight into something, it will just retract the claws.
    A very neat and ingenious extend and retract solution, but it was that one small flaw that pretty much ruins its “performance”.

    1. Yep… forget any sort of safety, no matter how marginal it might be, at your nerd convention. I can just see him tripping and popping the boob of the one hot chick that decided to go.

          1. I do welding all the time in a t shirt. worst iv ever had was a light tan after a particularly heavy session. I agree its not best practice but its hardly worth summoning the safety police for odd jobs. different if your doing it daily obv. besides, he has his safety tie on.

  3. So, in the video, what was he plugging that air hose into?
    >>Can’t you hear, can’t you hear the thunder<>You better run, you better take cover!<<

    Still, glad he thought about safety enough to only trigger when he squeezes his hand closed.

  4. This is fine as a “build”, but – really – come on, this is sort of like the fools that got their asses arrested at a Highlander convention years ago. They were going at it with one another using real razor sharp katanas, and drew blood. Cops hauled both chumps away.

    Hate to break the news, but they weren’t truly “immortal”, and getting stabbed in the heart with a katana, would’ve been game over. The *real* Wolverine had similar regenerative abilities as an immortal. If someone were to shoot this fool in the face, there’s a pretty darn good chance, he isn’t going to be getting up – or another scenario. Having the bone structure to deflect blows from a baseball bat with those claws. Not going to happen, either structurally or martial arts training/reflex wise.

    Dude might have a future in movie props, but deploying the build as a tactical weapon is dubious at best. Better off with kevlar and a Glock 9mm.

      1. One would suspect it’s “implied”. I don’t even think it’s that good as a “prop”. As others have pointed out, implant it inside the skin with reinforced exotic alloys, and then we’re talking !

  5. What if these claws get stucked in the middle of movement? (eg. by hitting some object during deploy phase) There will be no longer a “pneumatic circuit”, so you will have to position them manually to get them in touch with the exhausts again…

    BTW what about using carefully measured ammount of gunpowder to get rid of backpack? :-)))

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