This super fun rubber band gatling gun project can be completed in a weekend with inexpensive material and basic tools that most people already have. There are easier gatling gun plans pdf to make some of these parts using expensive specialized tools, but we tried to make the entire guide more accessible by using basic available tools that anyone can use.
The gun can shoot LOTs of rubber bands, the only limiting factor to the number of rubber bands it can hold is how many rubber bands can physically fit on each barrel without slipping off. The limit is very high though, and should be ample ammo to dominate any rubber band gun fight! There is a process to loading the rubber bands, and it’s a little tricky at first, but by watching the video on how to load the rubber band gun, and practicing, you should be able to master the process in no time! You will use these with the above mentioned drill. For the most part we used Spade bits, but that is just because they are cheap and come in lots of different sizes. Also, if you have access to a hole saw bit for your drill, the 2″ spacers and 4″ barrel rotors would be much easier to cut out, but again, you don’t need those specialized bits, we will show you how to do it without those. This is to cut out the shapes of the gun parts, and we also used it to cut some of the dowels and other odds and ends.
We just got a bottle of standard wood glue, nothing special required, just a good quality glue that will hold together and dry in a reasonable amount of time. We just bought a pack of 200 grit sand paper, and we still had quite a few sheets left over after the project was finished. If you have access to disc sanders, electric sanders, radial sanders, or belt sanders it will save you some time, but if you have enough patience, hand sanding the pieces is not bad at all. If you have an assortment of clamps and vices, they may make assembly easier, but they are definitely not required. I use tooth picks to help apply the glue when assembling the gun, but they are just a personal preference.
I like them because they are cheap and disposable, and we usually have them on hand. I squirt the glue onto a sheet of paper in a small pool, and then scoop it up with a tooth pick and smear it where it needs to go on the gun. It gives a good even coat and I have lots of control on how much glue I use and where it goes. I know some people prefer a paint brush or other applicators, those should work fine too. You need this to glue the templates to the pine board. Again, nothing fancy required, we use the generic white glue stick that comes in a pack of 3 for a buck. Didn’t even use a whole glue stick either.
Just has to glue the template down long enough to cut it out. We don’t want the glue to be so sticky that we can’t sand the paper and glue off of the pieces when we are done. This is just a metal file that has a rounded side to it. This is not required, but it helps with some of the holes to make sure the dowels will spin freely in them. I found the hand saw came in handy a few times when I was making quick cuts and adjustments to the dowels.
You could easily do the same cuts with a jig saw though, so this is very optional. These will serve as the barrels, but also as the barrel shaft and the crank shaft and handle. The material isn’t that important, poplar is just what my hardware store had in stock. We only need this for the rear barrel rotor.
The one we bought was 48″ long, and we had a ton left over, if you can get a shorter and cheaper one, you would be fine. I didn’t actually measure 15 feet out, I just wrapped it around my arm 13 – 15 times, and that was plenty. The string will go under the rubber bands as you load them on, and then as you wind the string back up, it pulls each rubber band off of the barrel to shoot each individual rubber band off. Making the string longer could potentially allow for more rubber bands to be loaded onto the barrel, but you will run out of room on the barrels before you run out of string. It doesn’t technically need to be nylon, I just like the nylon stuff because it wears great and it’s easy to burn the ends with a lighter to stop it from unraveling. We use pine for a number of reasons. First of all, it’s cheap and widely available.
Second, it’s a very soft wood, which makes cutting, drilling, and sanding it very easy. When looking at size, just realize you will need a big enough piece for all of the templates. It would probably be wise to print the templates out and take them with you. The largest piece you will need is the gun stock, and as you can see in the video, I had to lay the template sort of diagonal to fit on my piece of pine.
Each hardware store may have slightly different dimensions so it is tough to give an exact one to look for, but by taking the printed templates with you, you should be able to find a nice suitable piece. Also, make sure there aren’t too many knots or gouges in your piece. Download them from this site and then make sure when you print them out that you click the option that says “Actual Size” under “Page Sizing and Handling”. It is worth double checking this before you glue them to the wood and cut them out. Once you have printed all of the templates and verified their size with a ruler, you’re ready to cut them out and glue them to your pine board. Don’t trim them too close to the edge, leave plenty of paper to glue down so that it is held firmly in place while drilling and cutting.