Introduction: Pallet Rubber Band Gun

Picture of Pallet Rubber Band Gun

The rubber band gun is a classic toy. I have awesome memories of all the rubber band guns that my Dad made for me when I was young. They were always different styles made of different materials. I had so much fun pretending I was a cowboy, and from shooting my sisters.

So when I saw a rubber band contest I instantly knew what i was going to make. An old west style rubber band gun for my son.

This rubber band gun was made with pallet boards because... Well because I really like to use pallets. Hope you enjoy this instructable!!

Step 1: What You Need

Two pallet boards( different colors make it look nicer.

5/8 oak dowl & 1/4 dowl

Jig saw

Bench sander

Various grit sand paper

Drill press

Fostner bits

Miter saw

Dremel with sanding drum

Brad nailer

Step 2: Plane and Prep Boards

Picture of Plane and Prep Boards

Start off by preparing you pallet boards. When working with pallets you have to remove all nails before running them through the planer. I use a small punch to get the nails started and then flip the board over and pull out with a hammer.

Once the boards are ready, run them through the planer to get a nice even surface. Doing this first makes the rest of the job easier.

I wanted the gun to look like a rugar vaquero so I traced one and cut out a pattern. Then use that to trace the pattern on to your pallet board in two spots.

Step 3: Cut It Out

Picture of Cut It Out

Now if you have a scroll saw or nice band saw I would use those for this next step. But I don't have one of those so I had to use a jig saw.

You really don't have to be perfect when you cut these two out because you can shape later. You need two pieces cut in the same pattern so you can put them together. After you cut out the pattern, cut out a spot for your trigger. I used a fostner bit to start and then a jig saw to finish.

For the trigger I looked at some pictures on line to find the shape that I wanted. When you have two pieces that look similar you can move on the some shaping.

Step 4: The Trigger Spot

Picture of The Trigger Spot

So I wanted a working trigger so I had to hollow out a spot. First just pencil out where you want to carve out. Then I put it on my drill press and drilled it out with a fostner bit.

Then use a chisel to smooth out the sides and your good to go. You have to do this on both sides of the pattern. Just make sure that you drill out opposite sides so they will fit together. I did not do this the first time and k had to make another piece.

Step 5: Shape Up

Picture of Shape Up

This took quite a lot of shaping. First I nailed the two pieces together with a brad nailer. I did this because I want to shape the pieces before the trigger was in. Because they are brad nails you can just pull the pieces apart when your ready.

I started on the bench sander to even up the sides. I also rounded over the Handle and the top.

After the rough sanding was done I started with a dremel and a 60 grit drum. I did a lot of shaping with this. It worked awesome because you could really take a lot off in a short amount of time. I looked at some more guns to see what to take off.

Step 6: The Trigger (updated)

Picture of The Trigger (updated)

First I cut out a I" by 3" piece of pallet. Then I took it to the bench sander to start to give it some shape. I made it a little longer than I needed it because you can cut it to size later.

I put it in the hollowed out spot and used my finger to figure out a good pivot point. When I thought I had it right I drilled a small hole and inserted a finishing nail to act as a pivot. I tested it to make sure that it was going to release the rubber band.

I drilled through the other side of the gun so I could push the pivot all the way through.

I got a lot of comments about not having any resistance on the trigger to hold the rubber band. Luckily I am working on my second gun now and I redesigned the trigger. It was a very small change but it made a big difference. For this step you need a very small eye screw a small spring and another finishing nail.

All I had to do is hollow out another small channel running perpendicular to the first one. I use this as a channel for the spring. Then I screwed the eye screw close to the bottom of the trigger, but still in a spot that will be hidden by the body. Make sure that you make the channel long enough that you can put some tension on the spring.

I drilled a hole at the end of the channel to secure the other end of the spring. I used a finishing nail just like I used for the trigger. You want to be sure that you have quite a bit of tension on your spring so the tension of the rubber band isn't greater than the tension of the spring. It is a very simple fix and works really well.

Thanks for all the encouragement to do this spring better. I really like that way it turned out. Hope you like it.
After I dry fit it, I glued and clamped the body of the gun.

Step 7: Chamber

Picture of Chamber

When you're ready to do the chamber and the handle, find a pallet board with a different color and grain.

For the chamber I cut out a small square that was 3" by 2 1/2". Then I rounded it over on the bench sander. Then I used the dremel to make the groves on the chamber.

Step 8: Handle

Picture of Handle

For the handle I cut out a pattern and used the same pallet as the chamber. I used the jig saw again and then used the bench sander to round it over.

Step 9: The Barrel

Picture of The Barrel

I drilled a 5/8 hole with a fostner bit for the barrel. Then because I want the lower barrel to be slightly offset from the main barrel, I used a 1/4 fostner bit for the lower barrel. Use wood glue to set them.

Step 10: Glue It Up

Picture of Glue It Up

Time to glue the handle and chamber. I glued one side at a time. This way there is less of a chance that they would slip. I clamped them on for about two hours and then moved on to the next side.

Step 11: Sand and Poly

Picture of Sand and Poly

I did the rough sanding with the bench sander and the dremel but I wanted it to be really smooth. So I started sanding by hand. I used 80-400 grit sand paper.

When that was all done I used minwax spray poly to finish everything off. I used spray because of all of the small spots I had to get into. I did three coats and it turned out very nice.

Step 12:

Picture of

So there it is. A really fun project that my son really likes. It actually shoots really well. Pretty accurate too. Hope you have an awesome Time making your own rubber band gun. Thank you so much for reading this and have fun.


Erniebob made it! (author)2017-09-05

I made 2

MichaelH390 (author)2016-03-26

Trying to make it, thanks guys!

Woodworker_17 (author)2016-01-23

Love this, if it wasn't so cold outside I would be making one right now.

Tigger32810 (author)2015-11-15


Thanks so much... Glad you liked it

jaucoin (author)2015-08-05

That looks great!!!! I have been thinking of making some, even at 47 I am still a kid ....haha.

Do you have the templet you used?? If so would you upload it as a jpeg so I could copy it?? tanks for taking the time to show us yer nice work. Keep it up

ClenseYourPallet (author)jaucoin2015-08-10

Thanks for the great compliment... Unfortunately I do not have a templet. I traced a gun that had a slimilar style that I wanted and I kind of just winged it from there. Most of my projects unplanned. The outcomes are always more exciting that way. Sorry I couldn't have been more help but o hope your gun turns out fantastic

Shrimathi (author)2015-03-31

wow!! this looks really cool... :)

Glad you liked it!! Thanks for the comment

Vyger (author)2015-02-15

I recently read that 70% of hard wood trees harvested in the US get turned into pallets. That is a lot. Now as pallets they do lead a productive life and fill a need so I completely understand that. The sad part is that most of the wood just goes to waste at the end of their life as so many end up in landfills. Well, I, like you am reusing as much of that wood as is practical. Maybe a bunch more projects like this and we can make a little dent in the waste.

I was just thinking about my projects and as far as I can remember I don't believe I have bought a single piece of wood for any of them. It has all be either salvaged or taken from the trees themselves. And that gives me an idea to suggest for another contest, none of the wood used can be purchased but instead must come from either salvage or home cut wood. That would be interesting.

By the way, your instructable is well written and documented with lots of good pictures and of course the project is great too. It is a good example to any new people of how make a quality instructable.

I do wonder though if you got chewed out for glueing things up on the lace table cloth.

ClenseYourPallet (author)Vyger2015-02-16

Thanks for the kind words. I love working with pallets as well. Like you said, I feel that it is such a waste to let these pallets with beautiful wood just go to waste. I think the all salvaged wood idea is awesome. We should talk to someone about that. And as far as working on the lace table cloth... I make sure to work in the spot where my 2 year old eats. That way if I make a mess it will be assumed that he did it. It's so great to have kids!!

CorgiCritter (author)2015-02-13

Congrats, man! This thing DESERVED to win! And to think it was built from an old pallet, yet looks better then a store bought RBG.

congratulations.... For Winning......

Thank you so much!! It was a fun contest with a lot of great entries.

Matthias760 (author)2015-02-10


Thank you for that very enthusiastic "cool" I'm glad you liked it

Matthias760 (author)2015-02-10


Matthias760 (author)2015-02-10


Mr Useful (author)2015-02-10

awesome Man!!!

srilyk (author)2015-02-01

Awesome. My only disappointment is that the hammer is not involved in cocking the gun.

eruger (author)srilyk2015-02-04

Well, you could put the hook for the band on the top of a lever with a spring pushing it up (rear sight?), then copy an existing hammer mechanism , you could have the hammer strike the lever in front of its pivot, driving it down and firing the band.

eruger (author)2015-02-04

Beautiful work! A next project: my grandpa actually made a revolving six-shooter model that actually worked like a revolver. It didn't look anywhere near so good though. I remember that the bands passed from the front hook down through the frame, and so also provided the power for turning the cylinder. The back hooks just flipped forward when the cylinder rotated them to the top, then were flipped back by the frame as the cylinder continued to rotate, but I don't recall the mechanism he used to advance and stop the cylinder.

ClenseYourPallet (author)2015-02-03

Trigger update! Thanks for all the comment about my trigger. I have finished the new design on my second gun so there is now resistance on the trigger. It is updated on the instructions. Thank you everyone for your interest in my project!!!

blue-ice (author)2015-02-02

Very nice job, ClenseYourPallet! Woodworking is my secret passion and I love to see projects like this. I built a toolbox and posted it on here and it was my joy to see people interested in the project. Hopefully you feel the same about the comments here.

Your attention to detail is impressive and the finish looks silky smooth! Hopefully your son loves the gift from his dad and uses it often :) Looks amazing.

thomasbleser (author)2015-02-01

lern tu spel. Thatz a PELLET gun not a PALLET gun. Jeez laweeze to toss PALLETS around u'd nead a mid-evil katapult uf sum kaind

I really hope that is just an awesome joke. It is so hard to read sarcasm in text. Just to clarify this is made out of PALLETS, which explains the title. Also it shoots rubber bands, not PELLETS. I will start on the pallet throwing catapult very soon. Thanks for the comment

Well handled, ClenseYourPallet. Keep up the good work!

Beautifully done but please redesign using a simple crossbow trigger mechanism and it will be perfect.

corneliusarkeveld (author)2015-02-01

I feel deprived, why didn't my old man make me one of these. A work of art, I hope your son looks after it. And to Docc55's question, a small spring in the housing would keep the trigger back.

docc55 (author)2015-02-01

What prevents the trigger for moving when the rubber band is attached?

seamster (author)2015-01-28

Now this is what a toy gun should look like! What a fine looking piece. Very impressed and inspired!

I have a question about the trigger mechanism though. How do you keep it "loaded"? It appears the tension of the rubber band would just pull the trigger upon loading. Is there an additional spring or something in there that puts pressure on the bottom of the trigger mechanism to keep it loaded until you pull it?

Well about that trigger.... To be honest, due to my haste and excitement in finishing this project I do not have any tension on the trigger. It would have been very easy to hollow out a small space and insert a spring to hold the trigger but alas, I did not. So at the moment you hold your finger behind the trigger and pull it out to fire. The good news is that I am working on the second one right now, and as soon as I build the new trigger, I will ad that design to my post. Thanks for the kind words!!

Gordyh (author)ClenseYourPallet2015-02-01

Have you seen this trigger assembly? click on the pdf for a picture of it.

Here's another one, but I like the first one better ;-)

Nicola Crelick (author)2015-02-01

Já fiz muitas dessas esculturas em barras de sabão.

Ayce (author)2015-02-01

I've got all the tools except for the drill press. I really want to try this one, but I don't think I could get the barrel drilled straight enough. Very cool project!

ClenseYourPallet (author)Ayce2015-02-01

I think you should definitely try this one out. It was such a fun project and it's fun after your done too! If you're worried about drilling straight, try using a carpenters square to guide the drill. It's worked for me in the past. Hope that helps

PaperAirplaneandThings (author)2015-01-30

Amazing work! You should next make a rocket launcher gun with compressed air!

cgrover1690 (author)2015-01-29

Does it shoot real bullets?

JoshS1 (author)cgrover16902015-01-30

Yea, Pallet wood is able to handle the pressure, Awesome right?

JoshS1 (author)cgrover16902015-01-30

Yea, Pallet wood is able to handle the pressure, Awesome right?

desertsniper (author)2015-01-29

Glad to hear you liked my build! I have a new design I'm working on. I can't wait to see your trigger redesign!

Porda (author)2015-01-29

This is a profound rubber band gun. Nice work!

ClenseYourPallet (author)2015-01-29

Oh guys... You are making me blush. Glad everyone liked my gun. It was such a fun project. Thank you everyone for the kind worsd

desertsniper (author)2015-01-28

Love the build, I too am curious about the mechanism for the trigger? I have a pretty cool instructable on a rubber band gun too, check it out and tell me what you think!

Believe me, I have seen your gun! It is one of my very favorites. I commented below about the trigger. Hope I explained it. Thanks for the wonderful comment

The Rambler (author)2015-01-29

This is fantastic. A great build and wonderfully nostalgic.

Creativeman (author)2015-01-28


clazman (author)2015-01-28

Voted for you after only looking at the picture. Absolutely beautiful and hand hand made as well. I'd be using more machine control, to make those fabulous flutes you hand crafted so expertly.

Was this modeled after Wyatt Earp's gun (the long barrel)?

Uffe (author)2015-01-28

I love it! As i don't have kids guess i need to come up with a viable excuse to make one. Hm lets see how would this sound "saw this awesome instructable and my inner children demanded i make one for eaxh of them to play with"?

NathanSellers (author)2015-01-28

Wow. beautiful craftsmanship. great design. my son would totally love this.

About This Instructable




Bio: My Grandpa got me into wood working when I was five years old. Ever since then I have been hooked. I love creating something out ... More »
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