RUBBER BAND POWER!
Build a mini toy car launcher out
of scraps. By Nancy “Dot” Dorsner
This project was inspired by my son’s love of
Hot Wheels cars and making them go fast, as well
as my husband’s love of making cool toys for him
and wanting any excuse to play with power tools.
This car launcher shoots out Hot Wheels-type
cars using rubber band power, and it’s makeable
using materials you probably have lying around
the garage or in the scrap pile.
Photograph by Grieg Wehr
While I can take credit for the concept and
documentation of this project, the design and
execution were all by my quite handy maker
husband, Dameion. This can either be a standalone launcher, or can be modified to attach to
a standard Hot Wheels track. Here’s how to make
one yourself, or maybe even two so you can race!
Before you begin, gather the materials and tools
listed on the following page.
1. Cut out the launcher.
Find the center of your wood block, center a car on
top of it, and mark the car’s width just outside each
wheel (Figure A, following page).
Use a pencil and straightedge to draw 2 reference
lines for cutting, slightly outside the car’s width;
ours were about 1" in from either side of the block.
Cut the block along both lines. Now your wood is in
3 pieces. The 2 side rails will hold the car in place,
and the middle block will move to launch the car.
2. Cut and attach the base.
Reassemble your 3 pieces of wood, placing a few
business cards between each piece as temporary
spacers (cut these in half lengthwise so they don’t
show and get in your way).
Measure your reassembled block’s length and
width, and sketch the dimensions onto the plastic for