Sunday, March 27, 2016

How to make a Spring gun

There are many ways to make different kinds of guns. I wanted to build one that is easy to make and not too dangerous.

The gun I will make will be made of basic material you can find around your woodworking shop except for piano wire which you can get at a hobby shop.

It will be a spring gun I recently made a video on how to make springs using piano wire.....very easy to make.

When it is complete you will be able to shoot marbles or marshmallows.


Let's get building                                                                                  


The materials                                                                                      

  • 2x4 1 foot long-  To keep things simple I chose a piece of fir because it is inexpensive and very easy to work with.                                                 
  • piano wire-  I used piano wire because that's what I had on hand, most hobby shops carry different kinds of wire.                                             
  • large washer-  The inside diameter should be 5/8". 
  • dowel-   A couple inches of 5/8" dowel, it can be cut to any size.               
  • 2 large screws-  3 inch deck screws.                                                                                                                                                                        

To start I used a piece of 2x4 and cut it to 1 1/2" by 1 1/2" and 1 foot long.

The next thing to do is to drill a hole down the center of the block. A Bosch extension is attached to my forstner bit and I was able to drill 10 inches deep.  

                      Making a jig is necessary, it will hold the block secure
                      and make sure it is drilled down the  centre.
                      A speed square was used to make sure everything 
                      was square.

                  After the hole is drilled a slot will be cut down the middle.
                  This will be for the slide for the trigger pin.

                  I started the cut first on the table saw then finished up 
                  using the bandsaw. 

                  Cutting what you can on a table saw will always result in 
                  a cleaner and straighter cut.

                Now two slots can be cut, this will be for the trigger pin lock.                             I used maple since a piece of hardwood is best.  A table 
                saw sled can be used to cut the dado, you just have to mark 
                it and slowly chip away until you cut the right size. Don't go  
                over or the insert will not fit snug.

     The maple inserts are glued and clamped. The inserts 
       are larger than what is needed because after it is dried
 it is easy to trim down.                                        

                     I always trim later when I can because it is a good tip and           
just too easy.                                                     

      The slot is first drilled then cut out with using a mini       
        To see how they are made check out my  workshop 101 .

                      To make the trigger I will use a piece of metal rod and
                      a small dowel. A pair of bolt cutters can be used to cut
                     the  small metal rod to size.

                     A small piece of dowel around 3" is cut. An easy way                   
                   to cut it is to use a  bandsaw sled. This is very safe and             
 will give you an accurate cut.                                  

                      How to drill the center side of a dowel-

                      A V-block is set on the drill press to drill a hole in
                      the centre of the dowel, this will be for the small 
                      metal rod.

      Using a small belt sander and a cordless drill, the metal
 rod ends can be cleaned up.                                 

                    The metal pin was pounded in the dowel, a friction fit                
                      is all that is needed.  I like to keep things easy.                                        

                 The spring was made with a drill and wood dowel, below
                 is just a sample but the spring can be made as long and 
                 strong as needed to fit the gun barrel.                                      

                 Check out this video  if you need help to make the springs.                                      

                           A couple of holes are drilled in the washer and two 3" screws 
                   are turned in. Don't forget to pre drill the holes otherwise the wood                    will split.   


Depending on how much tension you want  springs are easy to make and work with. This is a simple gun to make and is works fine. 

 I will be shooting marshmallows in the house and marbles in the workshop.

The steps I have shown you are pretty easy but you do need some basic woodworking tools and  skills. The gun can also be modified in shape, length and power. If you have any questions about the build please let me know. 

See also                                                                                                    

Candle and match holder           I-beam table             Make a large compass                                                                           


Friday, March 11, 2016

Diamond plate tool box

Need another tool box?

Lots of tool boxes are great for any woodworker or work shop especially when you have lots of tools. They help keep things organized or if you need to carry many certain tools around. 

I wanted to do something different so this one will be made with diamond plate.

I've always wanted to work with diamond plate metal. I recently went to my local metal mart and found some short pieces and bought this piece for $10.00.

It was 5 1/2" by 5 feet long, that is plenty enough for a tool box, plus some extra for sample testing for cutting since I have never done this before.

Also I will have some left over for any other projects I may make.

                             To cut the metal  I will be using  a BOSCH
                             basic metal blade in my jigsaw.

                       First let's cut the wood to size.                                                  
                       I found some old plywood although it is dirty it is                      
                       very good quality. It came from a cabinet from the

                       After I cut it to size, 17 1/2 inches 
                       I sanded it a bit and it turned out very nice. The          
                       length is important because of the handle I will be using.

   An easy way to make exact lengths is to set up some
                  jigs. I used my quick stop block and miter gauge .               
                   There are many other ways to do this so you can be                  
                     creative and come up with something.                                                             

Table saw angle cutting jig                                                                           

The ends for the box are 11 inches high. The band saw could have been used to cut the angle but I quickly made this jig for the table saw. The cuts will be cleaner and more precise. 

Cut one side flip it over then the other side. Now do this  to all of the side pieces. They should all turn out exactly the same.

Woodworkers are always making jigs and my favorite ones are the ones that can be made very quick. 

          Cut the diamond plate                                                                          
          A speed square and a sharpie are used to mark the piece square to 
         get it ready for cutting.   

          The best way to cut the diamond plate is to clamp it since it can jump               as the blade is cutting. 

                             The sides   
                     This piece is cut half way then flipped around, re clamped 
                     and then cut the rest of the way. 

The pieces are marked and will be the frames for the diamond plate to fit in. The plate and the wood are both 3mm thick. 

After the frames are cut they are placed on the sides and all the pieces are checked over to get ready for glueing.

                      Face plates are now added and are clamped very securely,
                      I did not want to take any chances since the diamond plates                             are not a flat surface. 

                       The holes are drilled in the two sides for the handle.       
                       To do this I used a 1 1/8th inch hole saw in the drill                

                      To attach the sides I will be using dowels.

                    I used a long dowel and put some glue on a small 
                    section then placed it in the hole and just cut it flush to 
                    the plywood. I did this 6 times on each of the sides.                                                                                            

                       Easy to make handle from a galvanized pipe.                       
                The pipe I used was from the plumbing department and was 
                17 1/2 inches long.  It was already threaded on both ends so 
                      I did not have to cut anything. I just had to buy some end caps                   and it was ready to go.                                                      

Handle and end caps                                      


I like how diamond plate can  be used decoratively for projects. It is easy to work with because it can be cut with a jigsaw. 

What other kind of woodworking  projects do you think would look good using diamond plate?

See also
        Tool caddy                Spline jig boxes                 Spray can door rack