Saturday, August 22, 2015

bathtub shooter

my son loves playing in the water.   most of the time, that means bathtub.   he wants to take all of his toys in the tub.   obviously, water and most toys just don't mix.   even if they aren't electronic, anything with springs or screws will rust and just make a mess or eventually disintegrate into a non-usable state.   we have to improvise.

recently my little blond curls wanted a gun for the tub.   not a water gun, but something that shoots something.   this is our first attempt, it could still use some tweaking to perfect it but it should get your creative juices flowing.   the bathtub shooter with plastic bottle lid ammo-

this is super simple to make and understand.   it is a deodorant container, disassembled and equipped with a rubber band.   really, just that easy.   the hardest part is prying the end of the deodorant container off.   

start by cleaning the container out.   boiling water and some vinegar worked for us.

twist the base up until it comes off.   lay that aside for later.

now, the hard part.   take the thing apart.

we put a butter knife between the twisting end and the main part of the container.   it wasn't just about prying up but also getting into the center and releasing the two pieces.  don't push down from the inside as you might end up actually removing the center stick and you need that part to still be attached later.   every deo container is different so i can't help much.   for us, twisting it so the end sat uneven with the container and pushing the knife in between at the center hole popped them apart.  

use a knife or sandpaper to remove any edges that were holding the two pieces together.   you need to be able to push the twist end back in all the way without it staying there.  i used a dremel tool and a little sand paper disc.   the plastic is really soft so it doesn't take much.

now, the easy part.   cut a couple of slits in the sides of the container for the rubber band.   the plastic is pretty soft yo you could probably use a knife.   we used a dremel.   the paper sanding discs at high speed was enough to cut it.   they are really that soft.  make sure your slits are wide enough for the rubber bands and smoothed off so they aren't sharp.  that will cut your rubber band.  
 we contemplated cutting the slits on the long edge or the short.   haven't tried both ways so i am still not sure which would be better.   the makeup of your deo container might make your decision easier.   the rubber band has to go through the deo base so look at where your holes are.   

you can see in the picture how we ran the rubber band through the holes and looped them over the slits in the sides.   you need to go through the holes in the base and not under the base.   obviously, the rubber bands won't fit between the base and the sides of the container.   

now, just hold your base at the top and put the twist end back in and twist it back into the base.   you are basically reassembling the container the way it was with a few modifications.   don't glue them together.   if the rubber band breaks, and it will eventually, you need to get the base back off to make putting another one on.

now, just put your plastic bottle caps, or milk lids, or pieces of balled up tin foil (don't use foil in the water though), whatever ammo into the shooter, pull back and release.   you can adjust your power with different rubber bands.   this would work with any container that has the twist up end.   you could make lipstick or glue stick container shooters too.

enjoy your totally easy, water safe, no real cost or commitment bathtub shooter!

let me know what kind of fun tweaks you make to it or how it might work better in the comments.

we discovered that setting various boats sail in ocean tub makes great target practice.   my little blonde curls likes trying to get the bottle lids in the cups or just knocking them over.   he also found that he can fit several lids in the shooter at once to make a serious multi-shot function in his shooter.

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