Beat The Boredom | Woodworking Projects for Kids | Paper Plane Launcher
Take to the skies with your very own hand-crafted Paper Plane Launcher! Get the kids involved with this supervised beginners project, providing guaranteed fun for all the family.
What you'll need
Once you have assembled all your materials, you are ready to begin crafting your Paper Plane Launcher. You can download our plans too!
Part 1 - Prepare your timber
To get started, prep your two pieces of timber to the following dimensions:
Main handle: 250mm x 40mm x 20mm
Top T bar: 200mm x 23mm x 12mm
Part 2 - Mark out the handle
Next, use the T bar to mark the main handle, this will be used to notch out the top corner to enable T bar to drop in.
Part 3 - Notch out measurements
Using a small pull saw, notch out your measurements. To make it easier you can hold your workpiece in a bench for this part.
Part 4 - Prepare the handle
Measure to the halfway point of your T bar, make a little mark then drill a 3mm hole through the middle.
Part 5 - Sketch and cut
Sketch out the trigger handle on the main body. Feel free to use our line drawing as a guide but create your own shape if you'd like! Then it's time to cut out your trigger handle design - we recommend using a coping saw for this.
Part 6 - Sand
Once you have cut out your desired shape, you can now sand all the parts down using rasps, files and abrasives.
Part 7 - Assemble your wood
Position the T bar onto your handle, mark it and drill ready for connecting them together.
Part 8 - Measure up and drill down
Measure in 25mm on each end of the T bar. These will be the positions for the dowel that will hold the elastic band. Where you mark these points will depend on how stretchy your elastic bands are, so check your elastic bands reach before doing this step.
Now you can drill a 8mm hole into the T bar, if you're using a pillar drill make this hole blind but if not, just drill straight through-it's easier like that!
Step 9 - Making your dowel
Using a pull saw, cut two pieces of 8mm dowel to 40mm in length. Then you can add a few drops of wood glue and tap at the end of your pieces of dowel to secure them in place.
Part 10 - Screw together your two pieces
With your dowels in place, you can now screw together your handle and T bar, ready for the final section of building your Paper Plane Launcher!
Part 11 - Test
Attach your elastic band onto your Launcher and pull it back, test how far it stretches. Feel free to double up, depending on its length.
Part 12 - Position and install the peg
Pull back the elastic band, position the peg and make a mark. Next, you can carefully dismantle the peg and drill a 3mm hole through it, this will be used to screw the peg to the handle.
Part 13 - Secure the peg
You can now screw the peg to the handle. Use a roundhead pocket hole if you can, as they don't require countersinking. If you are using a countersink screw however, be sure to countersink the hole to avoid any splitting.
Part 14 - Final adjustments
Strengthen your Launcher by adding another band around the handle and around the front of the peg to ensure no accidental firing!
Part 15 - Last step
Lastly, you can can add your main band. Give it a run through by pulling the band back and placing it between the teeth of the peg. You can make adjustments by either using one of two sections of the band, or you could wrap one section under the handle.
Part 16 - Take your aim
Now it's time to install your personalised paper aeroplane into your Launcher, take aim and fire it high into the sky!
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If you’ve enjoyed reading this article, keep an eye out for our next woodworking project for kids as part of our online Beat The Boredom series. Watch this space for more details! Furthermore, why not take a look at all of our previous projects below?
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