Introduction: Popsicle Stick Rubber Band Gun "Escalator Action"
This gun is inspired by the following video by oggcraft:
I have attempted to simplify the design for construction with minimal materials. Readers are encouraged to come up with unique designs as this instructable aims to serve mainly as a guide. The images shown are of a completed gun and thus may also be hard to replicate.
The method of action as shown in the last image, consists of interaction between 2 ladders, the aggressive "firing ladder", and the dormant "holding ladder". These 2 ladders as seen in the video above, work in tandem, alternating the steps to push each rubber band upward.
In order for the mechanism to work, the firing ladder should retract completely within the holding ladder and extend completely for firing. The steps of the two ladders have to alternate with each movement of the firing arm landing the rubber band on a long step as seen in the video.
To get an overall idea of the final product, look at the 2nd and 3rd images for an exploded view and familiarise yourself with the components of the gun.
The following steps include major components of the gun and i hope they will be clear and simple to understand. Have fun building!
Step 1: Tools & Materials Required
These tools and materials will be helpful in your project:
1. Popsicle Sticks (Ice Cream Sticks)
2. Small wooden dowels (2-3mm)
3. Carving Tools
7. Clamps (For holding sticks together while glue dries)
8. Wood Glue (Or glue gun)
9. Rotary tool for drilling
Step 2: Cutting Technique
Using a wire cutter or wedging a carving tool into the sticks are simple ways to make fast and precise cuts.
Step 3: Side Panels
There are 4 side panels in total. 2 for the front and 2 for the back of the gun.
The front 2 panels will be used to support and stabilise the front of the gun and also serve an aesthetic purpose.These 2 panels are 2 popsicle sticks in thickness and layered with the vertical sticks facing outwards. I would recommend an angle of inclination roughly 60-75 degrees. The dowel holes for securing the panels should be drilled as shown in the images or according to your design.
The back 2 panels form the "ladder" that the rubber bands would step up. It's construction is similar to that of the front panels. However, they will require an additional popsicle stick glued flat onto the back and carved into the ladder shape. The steps of the ladder should be identical in length to prevent jams and ensure efficiency. The holes of the back panels should be drilled as shown in the images or according to the dimensions of your design. ensure that the holes of the back panel leaves room for the firing arm built later in step 5. To make things easier, the holes may be drilled after all the components of the gun are completed.
Step 4: Top Rail
The top rail will serve as a mount for the rubber bands as well as a guide rail for the firing arm. The top rail is 5 popsicle sticks in thickness and roughly 1 popsicle stick in height.
The front and back supports should be sanded down to ensure that they are as smooth as possible so as to avoid interfering with the firing arm.
Construction of the top rail can be derived from the images above.
Step 5: Firing Arm
The firing arm is a crucial component of the gun. The steps are cut alternately from the back side panels. The firing arm can be constructed according to the images above. It is 3 sticks in thickness.
The trigger is made by layering popsicle sticks vertically and shaving down the sides.
Ensure that the firing arm is smooth all around to reduce friction while firing.
Step 6: Bottom Rail
The bottom rail acts as the main sliding rail for the firing arm and its main feature is the room for the trigger of the firing arm. ensure that there is sufficient room here for the trigger to move such that the ladder of the firing arm can extend completely and retract completely from the back side panel ladder.
Construction can be derived from the images. The thickness is 5 sticks.
Step 7: Final Assembly
1. Position the firing arms between the guide rails and ensure the trigger fits into the bottom rail
2. Secure one side of the side rails with the dowels
3. Secure the remaining side panels accordingly.
Instructions on operation can be found in the intro step.