Rubber Band Powered Race Car

Thought I’d try my hand at making a toy for my son while he’s still young enough to appreciate it.  You hook on a rubber band, wind it up and let it fly! The band flicks off the axle to let it free wheel and coast along. At least that was the plan.

I sketched out my own variant of a design I’d seen elsewhere online, and just cut on the bandsaw and used sanding bit on my dremel to do a bit of shapping.

I knew from the outset that I’d struggle to drill straight inline holes for the axles as I have no drill press, nore brad point drill bits. Trying my hardest with some guides and clamps, I still managed to stuff it up royally. I gave it a second try just gauging it by eye  and it worked much better! Not great, but better. So I was left with an ugly set of redundant holes, but I figured I can plug it later if really needed.

For the wheels I went with just some pine ply, and cut out simple disks with a hole saw. Again lacking equipment, this time a lathe, that’s about as good as I could do. I cut a bunch of spares as these weren’t exactly precision cut, so I needed some spares to pick the best of this ugly bunch.

To drive the rear shaft I wedged on the wheels with a section of nail, then used a larger nail cut down to use as a pin in the centre of the axle. After mounting all the wheels I found to my annoyance that the front axle was also angled, causing only one to contact the ground. 😦  oh well I guess it’s a prototype. 

As this was all a little rough and not entirely satisfying. The two axles arent parallel and the wheels aren’t mounted very square to the axles. But the concept worked pretty well really all considered. It drives about 4m.  It’s also a little too tricky to use for my son as it’s turned out, so I will rack this one up as a prototype and make him another better one next year.

So the lesson in all this for me is that I really need to find myself a drill press! As I actually like making toys. This was the first I’ve made since highschool, but after this experiment I really want to do some more. 

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