To tell you the truth, it's completely possible. I really don't know my materials as well as I should.
Plexiglass aka acrylic is some of the most brittle stuff around. Aj you are prob thinking of polycarbonate.
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There have been 7 items by AJ R (Search limited from 11-June 93)
Excuse me? No offense, but no. Absolutely not. Plexiglass is a fantastically strong material. Small pieces won't budge, large pieces will bend, but it's almost impossible to break. Throw a brick at a plexiglass window, and it'll bounce back at you.
Impressive, though I question the use of plexiglass for a replacement catch. It is probably weaker than the stock ABS one...
ABS, in the grand scheme of things, is fairly weak. for a toy, it's fine. start suping it up, and it won't be fine for long.
Have a sizzlin' day,
have you got access to a propane torch? I use torches to help with woodwork. you just roast the wood and scrape off the charcoal. pretty much like burnt toast.
try not to get too carried away with the heat, it causes any cracks in the wood to expand if the heat gets too deep.
it helps a bunch with sanding too, you just burn the surface and hit it with a sanding block or sanding sponge.
you could drill a hole for the thumb and wobble the drill to get it a little bigger, then burn it over and over to get it big enough.
otherwise take an old screwdriver and use it like a chisel. a hammer makes just about anything work like a chisel. torching the wood after will clean it up fine.
early crossbows (real crossbows) used a lever and a dowel pin to trigger the crossbow. the string was in a groove over the hole for the dowelpin (like your hole in the extra block) the handle was tied to the stock and squeezing it up against the stock pushed the dowel up the groove and forced the string up out of the groove.
you could cut a groove in the wood below where the notch on your plunger sits. the wire could be bent into a rectangle and the ends could be bent down like a little handle. the dowel hole would be drilled up through the stock and hit the middle of your groove is sawn. drill a hole in your dowel tip for the tiny handle on the wire.
the dowel would be long enough to stick out the bottom of the stock. you could either push the dowel directly or use a handle like the crossbows used.
as a side note, the notch and dowel setup is pretty darn strong. a friend made a real crossbow completely out of hardwood and the string, no metal at all. a stray shot bounced off a forklift, a steel beam and then went through a 12 pack of soda, lengthwise! it could easily kill someone.
Most of this post made me cringe... I'm a fine woodworker (aspiring luthier, to be specific)
Don't burn the wood, it's a good way to warp the fuck out of it. The only modern reason to expose wood to excessive heat is steam bending. Use a spokeshave. Faster, more effective.
You obviously don't have to patience to use bladed tools and do your sanding by yourself. You don't need a torch to work your wood for you.
Very very good way to fuck over not only your screwdriver, but your project was well. Always best to have a /sharp/ tool, otherwise doing that is dangerous because it forces the person using it to apply more force than is needed. This increases the likelyhood of your hand slipping and you getting hurt.
You could draw your thumbhole, use a .5" drill bit to drill out the corners, and saw between the holes. Afterwards, you use rasps to round things off and then sand it down.
Or, you could make yourself a template and route out the area... with a router, if that isn't clear. I don't know how many people have routers, though... So that may be out of the question.
Anyway, now that I've gotten the safer way to do things across, do whatever you want.
EDIT: and by the way, I just took a moment to process the last part of your post. Nice job having no respect for weapons. Another pet peeve of mine. I'm a hunter's safety kid, and obviously you and maybe your friend need to go through the same course. The reason why I say maybe is because I don't know how he handles his weapon.
Crossbows are not toys, in any way shape or form. You can make a foam tipped arrow, it will still hit like riot shot. The fact that it can kill someone should instill some kind of silent respect for it.
Don't do anything stupid.
Have a sizzlin' day,
By the way, I have to ask... is this a spring gun, or is it a pump gun? Because if it's a spring gun, I'm going to have to ask how large the plunger system is.
Anyway, I would rifle a crazy powerful gun myself, if I had one.
Have a sizzlin' day,
I actually pursued this... not worth doing, it just so happens. By making a barrel with rifling, the foam dart catches on the rifling... on top of that, the friction of the barrel is enough to hold the dart in place, keeping it from spinning. So all you would really do is lose air from around the dart.
My idea was to have a primary barrel and a secondary barrel... the secondary barrel being at the front of the gun and much looser than the primary barrel... and having the rifling in that. The idea was that the air would follow the path of least resistance, which would be through the wider spaces. If those spaces are in the rifled pattern, it effectively puts a spin on the dart without the issue of friction. The problem is that it is next to impossible to achieve axial stability with a foam projectile.
So, for one, it's kindof useless one way or another.
But I can definitely appreciate the ingenuity here. I like the idea of having a chamfered hole so the foam loses strength the closer to the back of the dart you get. Definitely an interesting concept, unluckily it still causes more friction than is necesary, and you still have to deal with the problem of air loss.
I've thought it would be interesting to try putting a rifled barrel on a ridiculously powerful gun.... say, if you were to make a plunger that moves 7 or 8 cubic inches of air at a high velocity. With that kind of power, the air loss would be beneficial, and the spin may be interesting.
It's possible that part of the problem with rifling is the low velocity of the projectile... It just doesn't have enough force to fly straight. In which case, a ridiculously high powered gun may actually benefit from this. Attach a rifled barrel to a cobra-powered gun? Just an idea.
Anyway, I kind of got off on my argument there, strayed away from the original point of the topic. But I figured I would put in my two cents. =)
EDIT: I'm sorry, the word I was looking for when I said "chamfered" was "countersunk"... although, it has essentially the same meaning, in this context.
Have a sizzlin' day,