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
Various grit sand paper
Dremel with sanding drum
Step 2: 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
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
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
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)
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
Grand Prize in the
Rubber Bands Challenge
Participated in the
Participated in the
On a Budget Contest
Erniebob made it!