Two Holiday Gifts Down - Rubberband Car and 7mm Chrome Pen kit

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Project by USCJeff posted 12-12-2011 04:18 AM 2926 views 5 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I have a tight budget this holiday season, who am I kidding, it’s tight every holiday season. Anyways, here’s how the weekend was spent.

I’ll start with the pen. I’ve turned more of these than I can count over the last 4 years or so but it’s been about a year since I’ve done one. I had a couple of kits still in hand and decided to reprise the pen making routine. Nothing unique or noteworthy in the process on this one but I do like the finished look. The wood is a Rosewood variant. The kit is either a 7mm twist pen Chrome or Platinum Kit. Never can tell the difference and it wasn’t in it’s original bag.

The car was fun. I went to a Renaissance festival not too long ago in Charlotte and a vendor was selling these for about $20. Took a picture of it and gave it a shot. The body is standard cheap pine from a 2X4. The wheels driver and steering wheel are hardwood. The axles are craft dowels. Shaping wasn’t too tough. Cut to size using a table saw. Made it angular free hand on the band saw and cleaned that up on a stationary sander. Sanded the contoured nose on the sander as well. I used a round-over scratch stock I recently made to soften the edges. Pine doesn’t work as well as hardwood with the scratch stock but it cleaned up with light sanding. The wheels were created on a drill press using hole saws without guide bits. The larger rear wheels are 2.5 inches. The driver and steering wheel were turned on a lathe at the same time and cut apart. They’re glued into drilled wholes in the body. There’s a vertical dowel with a small notch to hold the rubberband as it’s coiling. I didn’t have a large enough rubberband so I linked a couple together to test it. One end hooks on the steering wheel. The other coils tightly by reversing the rear wheels. The rear wheels have rubberband treads for traction. Primed it well since it’s pine and used craft paint. Spray poly for a glossier look. Got a 4 year old that will have fun with it.

-- Jeff, South Carolina

4 comments so far

View Chefdavid's profile


254 posts in 2852 days

#1 posted 12-12-2011 04:28 AM

Great idea for the car.. Thanks for sharing!!

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View sedcokid's profile


2731 posts in 3595 days

#2 posted 12-12-2011 05:58 AM

Jeff, Great project!!

Thanks for sharing!

-- Chuck Emery, Michigan,

View crowie's profile


2431 posts in 1948 days

#3 posted 03-04-2013 10:00 AM

G’Day Jeff,
I’ve made a rubber dragster which was a lot of work for about 15ft of driving fun.
The rubber band really needed an adult or older child to wind it up; your design looks great, simple & strong.
How well does it run please, ie, how far does it go on one windup.
Cheers from On Top DownUnder, crowie

-- Lifes good, Enjoy each new day...... Cheers from "On Top DownUnder" Crowie

View USCJeff's profile


1063 posts in 4065 days

#4 posted 03-04-2013 04:10 PM

Crowie. It sounds like this one runs similar to your’s. My 4 year old (at the time) had no issue coiling the rubberband. It coiled as it was pulled backwards fairly easily so long as the rubber-band was in the notch. We played with to rubber-bands at the same time and it increased it to about 20 ft or so on a hard surface. It was a little harder to coil though. Other than we had no rubber-band issues, performance sounds similar. We saw it at a fair originally. Of course the fair wanted a ton for it. Rubber-bands super-glued to the tires made a big difference.

-- Jeff, South Carolina

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