The Hasbro toy company produces several lines of Nerf blasters that shoot soft foam darts. The darts come in a number of sizes. The blasters are powered by spring or air, and they range from single-shot to fully automatic battery-powered models. Constructing your own simple Nerf blaster from wood is a simple, fun project.
1. Screw the boards together to form the frame. Cut the end of the one-by-two across the long side of the width at a 45-degree angle. This board will be the grip. Screw the grip board into the flat side of the two-by-four “barrel” board. Make the joint along the right — rear view — side of the barrel board.
2. Drill through the “barrel” board. Holding the “pistol” frame in your hand, drill all the way through the length of the horizontal board. The hole should be made on the left — rear view — side of the two-by-four board. Drill the hole, using a bit slightly larger than the diameter of your wooden dowel. Then use a bit only slightly smaller than your wooden disc to drill from the front 8 inches back into the two-by-four. Now you have a large diameter hole through the front 8 inches and a small hole through the rear 2 inches of your 10-inch two-by-four.
3. Attach the disc to the dowel. Insert a small screw through the center of the wooden disc and into the end of the dowel.
4. Cut your spring so that it is about 6 inches long at rest. Use a set of pliers or scissors to cut the spring so it will fit entirely into the large-diameter hole. Use a spring that is smaller diameter than the disc but larger than the dowel.
5. Insert the spring into the large hole, then insert the dowel. The end of the dowel without the disc should enter the large end of the hole first. Pressure from the spring will keep the dowel from exiting the small-diameter hole.
6. Push the disc down in the hole. This will cause the other end of the dowel to exit the small-diameter hole. Fasten a small eye screw into the end of the dowel as it pokes out of the rear of your pistol. When you release the dowel, it should be drawn back into the small hole until the eye screw makes contact with the 2-by-4. The spring will still be under slight pressure.
7. Test fire your Nerf blaster. Place a Nerf dart into the large-diameter hole. It should be slightly loose so that it can slide further back when the spring is compressed. Grip the handle with your right hand, and pull back on the eye screw with your left hand, compressing the spring. When you release the screw, the spring will expand, forcing the disc forward and launching the dart out of your homemade Nerf blaster.