How to make a dead man

How to make a dead man

What is a dead man?  A dead man is a weighted Wooden box with a 2×4 attached to the front to clamp walls too.

What you need 

  1. One 4’x8’x3/4” Plywood. 
  2. One 2x4x8 Wooden stud 
  3. 2, 4” bolts with washers and nuts 
  4. two stationary 3” casters 
  5. A circular saw 
  6. a drill with half inch bit 
  7. hammer and nails or if you have a nail gun even better, or 2” screws and a screw gun 
  8. Rocks or a cinderblock, or some other kind of weighted material.

How do you begin 

1. cut your 4’x 8’ plywood in half lengthwise so you have two 2’x8’ pieces.

2. with one of your 2’x8’ pieces, cut two 1’6”x2’ and two 1’7.5”x2’ pieces.

3. cut two 1’7.5”x1’7.5” square boards. 

4. Using the two 1‘6”x2’ pieces and the 1’7.5” pieces and assemble them to make the box.  Like shown.

5. attach one of the 1’7.5”x 1’7.5” boards to the bottom. 

6.  Attach the other 1’7.5”x 1’7.5” board to the opposite end using the two hinges. This is now the top of the box.

7. Lay the box on the opposite side of where the hinges are. 

8. place the 2’x4’x 8’ on the box with the end not all the way to the bottom edge of the box.

9. Using the ½” drill bit, drill two holes through the 2’x4’x8’ stud and the side of the box.

10. Secure the 2’x4’x8’ stud to the box using the two, 4’ bolts. 

11. On the opposite side of the box from the 2’x4’x8’, attach the two casters near the bottom of the box.

12. Place your weighted material in the bottom of the box. 

You’re Done.

But wait.  There are two more things that I do to my “deadmen”. 

I put one or two large hooks on the 2’x4’x8’ to hang spare power cords.

And I place 1/2” dowels on each side to hang my apple boxes on.

For more information and how to book services, please reach out via email at or via phone at 404.247.5458. And don’t forget to follow me on Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn for exceptional photo inspiration as well as photography tips and tricks.

John Armitage

John Armitage is the founder of Armitage Photography, Inc. in Norcross, Georgia. He's passionate about product photography and hosting classes teaching various elements of professional photography in Lilburn and Atlanta, GA.

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