How to make a extension arm with Makedo


A great activity for small groups or one-on-one using Makedo Scrus, mini-tool and lots of new words!   Aimed at ages 6-10 you can use words like - extension, gripper, lattice, pattern, repeat, crossover and join.

Parts Used in This Guide




Step 1  Cutting your pieces of cardboard

You will need 6 strong pieces of cardboard. Ideally, 2 or 3 layer cardboard works best.  Each piece should be about 20 cm long and 4cm wide.  Cut in the direction of the cardboard  - along where the cardboard would bend.

Step 2  Laying out the pattern

Before making holes or screwing it is a good idea to lay out the lattice pattern. Show how 3 pieces go in one direction and 3 in the other. The parts should overlap/crossover in the middle.

A good idea is to lay the Scru in the places where they will join.  I used the XL Scru for the moving joins and two smaller Scrus for the join where the gripper is attached.  The extension arm can have extra extension joins added to it.  Each one will need an additional 3 Scrus.

Step 3  Punching holes

Use the mini-tool to make 3 holes along the length of the cardboard. Pre-making the holes make screwing everything together easier.

Step 4  Creating a cross shape

Screw together two pieces in the middle holes. This will be the pivot point of the first extension. Repeat this 3 times making sure to follow the pattern of which direction is on top.

Step 5  Screw together the crosses

Finally screw together the crosses. Do not over-tighten the screws as we need all of them to allow movement. This is the point where the quality of your cardboard will show. Strong cardboard will make a nice pincer movement. If the cardboard bends you may need to look for stronger material.

Step 6  Extension arm movement

In action!

Step 7  Add a gripper

Finally, you can add a gripper at the end to help pick things up. Use thinner cardboard to make this and secure it with a small Scru.

Step 8  Extension arm in action

Now to pick up a screwdriver!