A wooden toy gun is one of the classic toys of a Rockwellian boy's childhood. No Saturday morning hunting excursion through the great backyard or jungle safari through the attic would be complete without a trusty wooden firearm. This beloved toy weapon can easily be made by even the most amateur woodworker using basic equipment, a solid piece of wood and a clothespin. With a little bit of practice or experience, these simple toys can become works of art, which can be treasured long after their owners have grown up.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Jigsaw or band saw
- Carving knife
- Wood block
- Rubber bands
- Wood glue
Print (or cut) out a picture of a gun and use the picture to trace or transfer a rough outline of your gun of choice onto your wood block using the pencil. Include as much detail as possible in your outline, as you can always cut off unnecessary or confusing contours later in the process.
Trim the extra wood off the block using a jigsaw or band saw. You can also accomplish this with a hand saw or hacksaw, but it will require a longer period of time and a greater amount of effort. Trim off excess pieces using the chisel or saw.
Carve the gun blank using a carving knife, adding curvature to the barrel and 3-D realism to the grip and action area. Those with greater carving experience can try carving out a trigger guard. Add as little or as much detail as you wish. Sand all desired edges or corners with sandpaper to give the gun a smooth finish.
Attach the clothespin to the top of the gun using wood glue; place it at the rear of the barrel or action with the pinching end facing forward. Your thumb should be able to squeeze the clothespin down while holding the grip. Allow the glue to dry overnight.
Cut a thin groove horizontally across the centre of the barrel for the rubber band. Test a variety of sizes and thicknesses of rubber bands in the gun by stretching them from the groove on the end of the barrel to the clothespin pincher, squeezing the clothespin to fire the weapon. If the gun is for someone else, include a box of the best-performing rubber bands with the gift.
Tips and warnings
- Stain or paint can help add realism to the toy gun; you should apply it after the carving but before attaching the clothespin. You can touch up the pin afterward.
- Using multiple coats of sealant is very helpful for protecting the wood during the rough play that a toy gun will certainly endure.
- Always wear safety goggles when working with power saws, and keep your fingers far away from the cutting blade and the exposed parts of the saw.
- Never wear loosefitting clothing or long, unbound hair when working with power saws.
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