Zoom! Improved Racer :)

Second try at a rubber band racing car. This time I’m very happy with the end result. Working with a drill press made all the difference.

My first attempt had a few issues. Most notably trying to get away with just a cordless drill simply didn’t work well enough. Yes the car “worked”, but it didn’t go far and the wheels wobbled and frequently lost the little rubber band tires. Certainly no good as a kids toy. So I took this as the excuse to go buy myself a drill press and try again.

I modified the design a little here and there, and  also ditched the hardwood and made it all just from pine. Easier to work with and I was contemplating painting it anyway.

Having a drill press in my arsenal was awesome. I actually used drill press, bandsaw and table saw for this little creation. Really making me appreciate why these are indispensable tools.

So with some dremel and hand sanding the body was basically done. Leaving me the remaining big challenge, which was how to make some decent wheels. 

As I tried last time, I used a hole saw to cut out the basic wheel shape and mounting hole, but this time mounted in the drill press, and made from 10mm pine. Sooo much easier and gave a decently accurate result. I even tired quite successfully the trick of mounting the cut wheels in the drill press to speed up the sanding.I also cut out a recess in the wheel with a forstner bit to give it a nicer look. 

I also wanted a better way to keep the rubber band tires on. (You need the rubber to give the rear wheels enough traction or they’ll just spin on the spot)   Apart from being wider, I created a shallow recess using my router and a slot cutting bit. I used my little mounting plate (made many years ago) clamped to my work bench in lieu of a router table. Then a few blocks clamped just so, to allow me to safely spin the wheel around taking a tiny cut around the circumference. Worked quite well!

A couple more holes for the pegs used to hold the rubber band on, and then glue up time. Really happy with how well all this went. I’m many ways making toys is such an indulgence. Toys these days are so cheap to buy new, let alone secondhand. So spending hours on a less than perfect toy is this mix of self indulgence and smug satisfaction. Not a bad hobby and who knows maybe I’ll do more for kids and grandkids in the future. 

I had thought of painting the car, but that’s another area I’ve not really done before and I’d hate to wreck the look with a crappy paint job. So I went instead with a simple linseed oil coating.

Finally the tires mounted, being just a triple row of red rubber bands, and a few test runs before wrapping up for my son’s 4 year old birthday present. 

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