Thursday, December 4, 2014

Mal Reynolds Rubber Band Gun

I've built many Mal Reynold pistols in my time and I decided to make a simple one again, but this time as a rubberband gun.  I used my old drawings to print out a template for my new gun.

I cut out the paper template and traced it onto wood.

I cut out the piece using my jig saw.

The finger guard was too thin and fragile to keep intact, so I cut it off.  I then cut the piece out where the clothes pin will go.

I cut off part of the clothes pin so it fits the height of the gun.

The image below shows 2 clothes pins, but in reality only one fit.

Next I used my template again to create 2 wood shapes that will connect the 2 halves of the gun.

These were glued on and clamped.

While the glue dried I cut a piece of wood for the barrel.

Using my dremel saw, I cut the head off of a bolt.

And I screwed it into the barrel.

I then glued and screwed the barrel into the body of the gun.

This is cool and all, but I made the space for the clothespin a little too thin.  It's almost impossible to get a rubberband in there.

I also thought that I could make this a lot better so I disassembled the whle thing with a hammer and chisel.

I made a space to fit in the barrel.

And I drew more shapes using my paper template.

I sanded all the glue off of my original pieces.

And I cut out my new pieces.

Then I reglued it all together.

And held it together with clamps.

I glued in the barrel.  The barrel is now glued onto 4 surfaces and will hold much better than the bolt with some glue.

When everything dried I gave it a good sanding.

Then I glued in the clothespin.  Now it has plenty of room.

I applied wood filler...

...and while it dried I used my files to make a groove on the barrel to hold the rubberband.

When the filler dried I sanded.  I cut 2 pieces of a dowel...

...which I glued and clamped to the sides.  These are just for aesthetics.  The actual Mal Reynolds gun has these as well.

I also added a piece of crafting foam for the small shape above the dowels.

Then I drilled some holes for decorative screws.  The hole nearest to the trigger was a bad idea since the screw would go all the way into the clothespin.  I will have to fill that hole.

I added the screws.

And I filled that hole.

Next I added some primer.  The wood grain would have looked nice, but since there is so much filler, it might look blotchy when stained.

While at the store I found some bigger, stronger clothespins.  So I removed the old smaller one.

I glued in the newer one and it holds rubberbands a lot better now.

Then I put on a second coat of primer.

When that dried I sprayed on some coats of gold spray paint.

And I'm done!

I decided not to paint on any other details, as most rubberband guns don't have a lot of detail anyway.  I like this piece a lot the way it is, and I'm going to have fun shooting things with it.  Below is all the rubberband guns I've made recently.

Below is all the Mal Guns I have.

Thanks for reading!


  1. Brilliant tutorial, and a great example of problem solving and persistence. If you don't mind, I'll use this as a tutorial to help with teaching some of the senior children at our school, particularly with crafting informative and succinct sentences for report writing.

    1. Thanks Phil - I would love to see what your students come up with.