Altoids Danger Demolition Racer screams 20 feet or more across the floor with rubber band power. Knock down card houses or K'nex robots.
Step 1: Prep the Can
The Altoids tin is strong and light and makes a good chassis for this air car.
You will need a balsa wood rubber band airplane - the kind with the red propeller is best:
Guillow Sky Streak
You can buy these at most toy shops, hobby shops, discount stores, or drugstores for a dollar or so.
But you probably have a broken one already at home !
Hold the Altoids tin on the airplane's body and mark the tin at the center of the motor hook.
Do this on both ends of the Altoids tin.
Step 2: Punch Holes
Use a standard paper punch.
Punch a hole at each end of the can.
The hole should be centered on the marks you made in the last step.
Step 3: Bend Paper Clips
You will need 4 large wire paper clips like the blue clip in the picture.
Bend all four of them open so they look like the yellow clip in the photo.
Bend two of them so they look like the red clip.
These two red clips will be the front wheel struts.
Step 4: Attach Wheel Struts
Duct tape the two wheel struts to the Altoids tin bottom.
Use beads or plastic bottle caps for wheels (see intro photo).
Milk jug caps work great. Just poke a hole in the center with a small nail or awl.
Bend the wires to hold the wheels in place.
Step 5: New Engine Mount
Now you will make a replacement engine mount. Normally the propeller holder fits on to the end of the airplane body.
If you want to save the airplane stick and not have to cut off a section, you can use a paper clip to hold the propeller in place.
Gently squeeze the small loop on the paper clip with pliers.
This is so the loop will fit in the grooves on the propeller holder.
If your propeller holder does not have notches, you can use a 2 inch piece of the original balsa airplane body, or popsicle sticks, to attach it to the Altoids tin.
Step 6: Attach Prop
Angle the propeller hook through the punched hole in the Altoids tin.
Fit the squeezed paper clip into the grooves on the propeller holder.
Duct tape the propeller holder and paper clip to the bottom of the Altoids can.
Bend the front wheel struts up.
Step 7: Attach Back Strut
Angle the small loop of an open paper clip through the hole in the back of the Altoids tin.
Loop the rubber band through the clip and the propeller hook.
Pull the paper clip back to fit tightly in the hole.
Duct tape the paper clip to the Altoids can.
Bend the paper clip to make the rear wheel strut.
Step 8: Zoom !
Wind the propeller clockwise as you look at it from the front.
Start with 50 winds.
Hold the Altoids tin on the floor while also holding the propeller.
Let go of the propeller first, once it is whizzing, let go of the tin.
It should go screaming 20 feet or more across the floor.
- Bend the wheel struts until the beads roll smoothly
- For bottle cap wheels, use tiny beads as washers
- Try different size rubber bands
- Do not use near pets
- Works best on smooth floors
- Experiment with a cardboard rudder for curved runs
Runner Up in the
Klutz Rubber Band-Powered Contest