Penny Racers: Build Your Own 3¢ Lincoln!





Introduction: Penny Racers: Build Your Own 3¢ Lincoln!

About: I am a maker. As founder of MakerBlog, I enjoy sharing my creations with others.

Although the design is extremely simple, and easy to make, the "Penny Racer" is an entertaining toy that can be spun like a top (almost), used to play games, and raced with other Penny Racers. Made with $.03 and some hot glue, the Penny Racer is a fun pocket-sized entertainer. One of the first big toys among American boys was the marble. Then there was the Hot Wheel. Now I hope to transform the American boy's world, by giving him an equally fun racer, that can be made at home! Enjoy!

Step 1: Materials

  • A Hot Glue Gun w/ Hot Glue (I used hot glue for the sake of time, but it does come undone easily. Another glue would probably work better, but, as I said, I used hot glue for the sake of time.)
  • Three Pennies
  • Vinegar To Clean The Coins (optional)
  • Imagination (also optional, but highly recommended)

Step 2: Assemble the Penny Racer

Take one of your coins, and place a bit of hot glue in the center of it. Before the hot glue dries press a different coin's edge into the hot glue, so that it stands upright. Make sure that it is perpendicular to the first penny. Repeat this process for the opposite side of the vertical penny.

Yes! It was that simple. Now you can build more and play with them! To see what you can do with them click the next button.

Step 3: How to Use Them

To launch the Penny Racer, pinch the middle penny between your thumb and index finger. Next, move the racer quickly, horizontal to a flat, hard surface, and release when you have reached your desired speed.

To spin the Penny Racers, place it on a hard surface. Next, place your index finger on the top of one of the wheels and press down firmly. The racer should squeeze out from under your finger and spin for a short amount of time.

If this were all you could do with your racer, you would be bored in a short amount of time. Fortunately, you can also race your racers (obviously!). Gather several friends together with their racers and set the racers at the top of an incline. On the count of three, release your racers and see which reaches the bottom first. You can also judge by how far a racer goes.

Have fun using your Penny Racers, and discovering new things to do with them!

Note: You can also use this to make a rugged outdoor case for the Penny Racers!

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I really dont see how hot glue will hold glue is hopeless when it needs to be hopeful and it refuses to let go for many years when its sticking where it shouldnt stick.

I think super glue will do a better trick here...but the coins need a cleaning first.

People always talk about hot glue drying when in fact it cools. You can make a unicycle penny racer by rolling one edge on, lawnbowling style, across a large expanse of concrete. They will cover an impressive distance at high speed.

2 replies

ya but these go farther then any one penny i roled

ya but these go farther then any one penny i roled

I went through 20+ pennies trying to make one of these things. How do you get the pennies to stay together? They always fall over.

5 replies

JB Weld.
You could solder copper pennies.

Lay the first penny flat on the table, and place a spot of hot glue in the middle of it. Press another penny vertically into the spot of hot glue. It should stay upright. If it doesn't you can hold it for approx. 30 seconds. Lay another penny flat on the table, and put a spot of hot glue in the middle of it. Press the other side of the vertical penny onto this spot of hot glue, and wait for it to dry. I hope this helps! Thanks for commenting!

That's exactly what I did, and it didn't stay.

If you soak your pennies in bi-carb & hot water for a short while, you will clean them thoroughly (or try something stronger); the issue could be that there's too much oil on the coins & the glue isn't working..... or try a super super super glue

I don't know how else to do it. I guess you'll have to experiment until you find a way that works for you. Sorry I couldn't help. Good luck!

Neat! If you have a camera that will take video, you should upload a video of it in action, so it's clear how to launch (and just to get people excited by showing them how it works when finished).

Thanks for sharing the build. Simple, but lots of fun.

looks pretty cool! 3-cent racers look super cool

You hold it by the center penny, and, basically, flick it in the direction you want. I'm not sure how to explain it any better. Ironically, you kind of have to do it to get a feel for it. I hope this helps! Sorry I couldn't explain it better.

Great idea. My kids would love this.