In this ible, I will show how to make a simple Peg Gun. It was my goal to use as few materials and tools as possible, and to use materials readily available in most houses.
Strong adhesive glue or epoxy
A marker or spray paint to color the final gun.
Pen, pencil, or item to mark wood.
Knife, razor, rotary tool, to remove wood.
a straight edge tool
small hobby saw
Step 1: Choose a Good Clothespin.
Let's try to find a clothespin, as seen on the left, that has plenty of room to cut a solid groove into, as well as having enough solid wood to take some abuse.
The clothespin on the right is too thin to take the stress of repeated strikes from the spring. (Also a consideration when choosing your adhesive.)
Step 2: Disassemble the Clothespin.
Fairly straightforward forward, be careful not to damage or lose either wood piece or the spring.
Set the spring aside, we will use it later.
Step 3: Begin Marking the Wood Pieces for Cutting.
You want to start by flipping the pieces so the flat sides are facing each other. Make sure the notches where the spring was sitting align evenly, which is more important than if the front and back line up. Those can be addressed at a later point.
Then, mark the material you will remove.
Step 4: Measure Twice, Cut Once.
On a project this small, I like to mark all of the material I plan to remove. It makes it easier to see how well things line up. Remove all material the full depth of the original notches. Remember, the further back your notch on the top piece, the stronger the spring will return to its resting state.
This also means it will be that much harder to cock the gun. Plan accordingly.
Don't forget to remove the barrel material, or you'll end up with
Step 5: Remove Marked Areas.
Since I will mostly be shooting toothpicks, I sized the barrel so there was visible ink on either side of the projectile when looking at it from the top. Be sure to have enough space so your projectile will fit nicely into your gun's barrel.
On the bottom piece of wood, cut the barrel all the way flush with the cavity you made for your spring to travel in. This will ensure your gun will strike the projectile, sending it flying.
Step 6: Smooth Surface Areas for Glue.
Smooth the barrel so there will be minimal drag as your projectile is clearing the gun. Focus more on the areas where you won't be able to once the gun is assembled. Use a medium grit sandpaper. You don't want to remove too much material, and you need to be able to smooth the wood. Medium grit is the most versatile for both.
Step 7: Final Check for Fitting, and Glue.
This is it. After you glue this, you shouldn't need to take it apart. So make one last check to be sure all of your work will produce the gun you want. If it's not fitting, this is the last chance to get it right.
Once you are sure everything is lining up nicely, prepare your adhesive, and surface areas if needed, (I'm using a wet cure glue), and glue it together.
Let it completely dry, so when you test fire, the spring doesn't blow apart your gun.
Step 8: Remove Excess Glue or Epoxy After Dry.
When your adhesive has dried and cured according to its instructions, remove the gun from its clamps or frame if used. Check the barrel to be sure nothing (like glue or debris) went in there while gluing or curing. Remove any excess adhesive from inside the barrel, as well as outside the body where it looks bad.
Step 9: Shape Your Firing Mechanisms, Stock, and Barrel.
It is almost done. After a test fire, I decided to notch the top part a bit more precisely. The spring wouldn't stay in place while cocking it. The first picture should show a 90 degree notch cut to hold it better. Since this is the one with a stronger shot, I think I'll even add some kind of spring retention to the body later. As it is, it will fire.
To load the spring, place the spring tips where they will enter at the points I reference with the pen in both pictures. Actually, the picture shows where the spring sits in a cooked position.
Step 10: Cock, Load, Aim, Fire!
Pretty simple. The gun fires when the spring is pushed down or pulled back slightly. It recoil, striking the butt end of your projectile, transferring it's inertia and firing the weapon.
This is the basic firing mechanism. The body and modifications you choose are up to you from here.
This was my first ible. Please let me know how I can improve. I won't be insulted, as I like hearing how I can be better in any way generally.